Selma Arsenal Marked Cap Box

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     Every Confederate soldier that carried a gun had to have a waterproof cap box to store and protect a supply of percussion caps.  A firearm without a cap was useless.  All over the South, contractors sought to fill this need.  Unlike their Union counterparts, which were all virtually identical, using two belt loops and a brass closure finial, Confederate cap boxes came in assorted sizes and materials. 

     The most common Confederate cap pouch is easily distinguishable from its Yankee counterpart by its single, wide, leather belt loop and a lead finial to hold the outer flap closed.  Hundreds of thousands of these boxes were produced all over the South and are highly collectible today.  The maker, or even region of manufacture, of most cannot be identified.

     The Confederate States Government also made cap boxes at their arsenals.  A few of the Confederate Arsenals marked the boxes they made prior to their shipment to the front.  These maker marked boxes are extremely rare and highly sought after by collectors.

     The percussion cap box shown here was made at the Confederate States Arsenal located in Selma, Alabama.  The Selma Arsenal was a huge manufacturing facility.  It produced everything from cannon to percussion caps.  Though it must have produced thousands of cap boxes, only a very few of their marked examples survive.

     The one shown here is completely original in all regards and in very good condition with the exception of a tear at the closing tab hole.  Fortunately, no one has put an oil based preservative on the box, leaving it in its beautiful natural russet state.  The leather remains strong and supple and all of the stitching is original.

     A very desirable feature of this box is its lathe turned, wooden closure finial which so well demonstrates the resourcefulness of the Confederate Ordnance Department.  The wooden finial remains tight and the stamping is clear. 

 

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