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updbtn.gif (168 bytes) December, 2018.

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Canteen is approximately four inches in diameter. This canteen resembles powder cans of the Mexican War and may have been previously used as such.

The Confederate Army went to war with every type of canteen imaginable.  On this page I will endeavor to show a few canteens used by the Southern Army. If you want to learn more about Civil War Canteens see Stephen Sylvia and Mike O'Donnells book "Civil War Canteens" available from Moss Publications, PO Box 729, Orange County, Va. 22960.

Follow the below links for pictures and descriptions of other items of interest.






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DOUBLE SPOUT TIN CANTEEN: This canteen was used by William Lunsford of the 9th Va. Cavalry. The mounted arm of the CS army liked these canteens since the soldier could drink from one spout and his horse could use the other.  Papers obtained with this canteen indicates that Lunsford was captured in June of 1864  during the first battles  in front of Petersburg. The cover appears to be a fine weave material, maybe linen, covered with a black waterproofing.  It is very fragile. The canteen actually had two separate compartments for separating liquids and was most likely a private purchase. Courtesy Henry Story.

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WILLIAM LUNSFORD'S SPIDER. These were called spiders by the soldiers probably because of  the resemblance to a spider. They were common in both armies and used for preparing all sorts of culinary delights. Notice the field repair on the inside of the pan. Cookware was hard to come by in the Confederacy hence the repair to keep the item in service. The top of the pan is approximately 6 3/4 in diameter. There are accounts of soldiers carrying spiders while on campaign.




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WILLIAM  LUNDFORD'S CAMP STOVE. Due to a discovery of another of these stoves still in the crate it seems this may be a reunion item. The coffee pot and trivet are not part of the stove.









I included these canteens with the split sling on this page due to the pictorial evidence of this type sling being used by Confederates. There are several Library of Congress images of dead Confederates using union canteens with split type slings. It was unknown if these slings were added by the Confederates to salvage canteens or did the canteens come with these slings. I recently came across an image of Union soldiers with their canteens supported by split leather slings which indicates that they are of Union issue. It is possible the canteens in the Confederate images were obtained from Union/battlefield sources by the CS quartermaster and re-issued to Confederate troops. The left canteen sling has an iron roller buckle and it is used on a bulls eye canteen. The adjacent canteen sling uses a knapsack strap fastner to hold the sling together. The above pictured canteen is interesting due to the sling and also the lack of a support collar around the spout. Because of this it could be mistaken for a CS manufactured canteen. The evenly spaced position of the sling loops and consistant size of the loops indicates that this was probably an early war U.S. contract canteen.

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Bullseye canteen put to Confederate use. Notice the cotton web sling with the pants buckle for an adjustment. Cotton slings of this type are frequently found on Confederate used canteens. The sling is made from similar material as the sling on a tin drum canteen shown further down on the page.


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This one found in the Appomatox NPS visitor center. Carried by Wiley Smith, 12th Ga. Inf at the surrender.

CONFEDERATE CANTEEN FOUND AT GETTYSBURG: Notice the varient strap and the folded tin spout. Printed on the sling is the name W.Giles Co. C. Giles was killed at Gettysburg. This canteen was offered on e-bay as a Southern manufactured canteen because of the spout. Since adding the canteen to this page, a federal canteen with pewter spout has surfaced with an identical strap. In view of this information it is possible that this is a federal canteen repaired with a tin spout and put to Southern use.

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GETTYSBURG TIN DRUM CANTEEN: Here is another Gettysburg canteen marked with the soldiers name "T.Love". The label details the presentation of the canteen from one soldier to another and states that it was found on Roundtop. 

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ANOTHER DOUBLE SPOUT TIN CANTEEN: This is a variant of the two spout, divided compartment, tin canteen. One spout has a M-1858 stopper with jack chain. It almost appears that there should be a bottom section but there is no sign of one ever being present. I am listing it as Confederate but I have no province of Confederate use. Compliments of Henry Story.




The probable ID for this canteen is John Nash of the 37th Ga. Inf. John was a good soldier, as he was promoted within the 37th GA to 1st Corporal and later to Sergeant. He was wounded at the Battle of Hoover's Gap, TN and was hospitalized at a CS hospital near Tunnel Hill. He endured the Atlanta Campaign, then Hood's disastrous Franklin/Nashville Campaign, and surrendered at the very end.

This canteen was recently sold by John Spicer of CHAMPION HILL RELICS. It appears to be smaller than a typical Richmond Gardner pattern canteen. It is likely a locally made canteen from the state of Georgia. The sling loops are copper and not iron as is usual for wood canteens.


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CONFEDERATE WOOD CANTEEN:  This canteen was used by Pvt. David Gardiner of the Rockbridge Artillery. He was the oldest son of President John Tyler by his second wife, Julia. This canteen probably had a spout similar to the others shown below. Many wood canteens were manfactured through out the South and many exhibit the same construction techniques. Courtesy Henry Story.

gardcant.jpg (18023 bytes) Wood canteen with iron bands and thin tin sling loops. The spout is turned wood and does not have a stopper. This wood drum canteen may have been manfactured by John Bowers of Richmond, Va. He was associated with the firm of C.D. Yale & Co. of Richmond which was a supplier of all sorts of goods to the Confederacy.







woodcant.jpg (17279 bytes)CONFEDERATE CEDAR CANTEENwith its original strap. This may have been another canteen manufactured by John Bowers of Richmond as evidenced by the distinctive mouthpiece. The cotton strap is held together and adjusted with a wood button. This canteen was captured by Leonard Rand of Haverhill, Mass.





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A couple of close up views and measurements from a wood canteen owned by Steve Sullivan. This canteen was on the cover of volume 33, number 6 of the NSTrader's Civil War having been part of the collection of Captain DeMeritt of the 29th Wisconsin.



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Shown above is a dug CS tin drum canteen found with it's iron roller buckle which is pictured to the right of the canteen. The iron buckle indicates that this canteen may have had a leather strap which is some what unusual for a Confederate manfactured canteen. This one was dug at Petersburg in an area vacated by CS forces when the Union attacked in June of 1864. The canteen on the right is a non-dug example of a very similar canteen. Notice the carved wooden spout and leather strap. Unfortunately the iron buckle has broken off the strap at some time in the past.

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CONFEDERATE TIN CANTEEN with original linen shoulder strap carried by Lt. R. Welch, Company D. 18th Virginia Cavalry. Notice the buckel used to adjust the strap. Also shown are his spurs. Lt. Welch was killed in action during the battle of Winchester on September 5, 1864 at the age of 24.

The 18th Virginia Cavalry fought in every great battle of the Eastern theater including Gettysburg, New Market, Front Royal and Fisher’s Hill.



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This is a tin drum canteen with old cork stopper and a cotton web sling. Straps for Confederate manufactured tin drum and wooden canteens were also frequently made of ornasburg material. This canteen is most likely a militia or small contract manufactured canteen. All of the sling loops are different sizes. The diameter is not quite 6 inches and the sides are slightly convex. The web sling is 1 and 1/8 inch wide.








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