VERY SCARCE CONFEDERATE CAVALRY CARBINE CARTRIDGE BOX WITH INITIALS

$1,450.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1213-02

This a very scarce, “no-doubt-about-it,” Confederate cavalry carbine cartridge box. Made of black leather, the box still retains its tinned-iron liner with a single divider, enabling it to carry two ten-round packs of ammunition, matching the standard U.S. cavalryman’s box in capacity, if not in workmanship. The box is sturdily made, however, omits frills such as an implement pouch and inner flap, and has five sewn panels: front, bottom, sides with slightly rounded tops, and back panel in one piece with the flap. The belt loops are sewn, secured at the bottom by two lines of stitching, the bottom one of which is the same line that secures the back of the box to the bottom, a time-saving technique often seen on Confederate cap boxes. Even more typically Confederate is the use of a lead or, more likely, pewter finial to secure the latch tab. The seams are all good and tight.

The latch tab is attached by a single, straight line of stitching. It shows wear and use, but is full length and secure. The leather retains good color. The cover shows wrinkling and crazing to the finish, with a little flaking at bottom right and along the top edge from flexing. The corners of the box show typical creasing and bending up and inward, usually taken on a cartridge box to be from frequently opening it to draw ammunition, and the edges and bottom do show some abrasion from use. On the right the folding of the corner of the flap weakened the leather along the fold line so that the corner at some point broke off. Interestingly the face of the box shows the most crazing to the finish exactly where the turned back corners of the box would have exposed it the most. The upper edge shows some broader crazing, but the finish is comparatively smooth, as it is on the back of the box and the belt loops, which would be protected by the soldier’s body, though the sides, which would be exposed, show the same dense crazing as the cover. The cartridge tin shows some thin rust along the upper front edge, likely from the tin coating being worn there from use. The edge bows slightly inward on either side of the divider, which is firmly in place. The seams look good and the tin solid. Naturally, we have not tried to remove it.

We note that the soldier to whom it was issued personalized the box with his initials- gear that was carelessly lost or simply vanished would be charged against the soldier’s pay, so there is a real incentive to keep track of things. One side panel of the box has a “W” clearly scratched in it, followed by what may be a “J.” The “WJ” seems confirmed on the face of the box by what is pretty clearly “W J” followed by a last name that may starting, “BAR,” or “BAB,” and with a “T” or “E” following, but we cannot be sure. Some trials with different lighting and searching of personnel records might narrow the field of candidates.

In any case, this is a scarce Confederate accoutrement and all the rarer for being cavalry. It would merit a prominent place in a CS cavalry, carbine or accoutrement collection.  [sr] [ph:L]

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