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Old South Military Antiques

Published Confederate Tin Canteen and Holster
Item #: OS-7857

Variations of tin drum canteens were manufactured before, during and after the War, so most tin drum canteens cannot, even if they are from the mid nineteenth century, be identified specifically as Confederate. Sometimes a Confederate identified sling or a name scratched into a canteen’s face can positively identify it as Confederate, but most have to be considered militia, be it Southern or Northern. There are two exceptions to this rule; the tin drum canteen that has CS impressed into its face and the style that has a flat back and a convex front. The only period in which the flat back and convex front was produced was during the War Between the States, and they were only produced by the Confederacy.

The six and five sixteenths by two inch canteen shown here is one of the positively Confederate examples. It has the flat back and convex front. The desirable striations found in War era canteens are extremely visible across the front and back of this canteen. The canteen is in excellent condition with lots of visible solder; even the cork remains tight inside the spout.

On the reverse of the canteen is a label stating:

"Boyer” Estate

Shenandoah County, VA

The holster accompanying included with the canteen is a purely Confederate manufactured accoutrement made to carry a Colt Pocket revolver. It has two characteristics that identify it as definitively Confederate manufactured; the toe is open and it has a cast brass buggy awning closure finial. The holster was manufactured with a narrow belt loop which did not hold up, so the soldier personalized it by splitting the leather with his knife.

The leather remains in excellent, stiff but flexible condition. All of the stitching remains tight and the belt loop is solid. The holster remains in simply stellar untouched condition.

This group was purchased from the Boyer family at a Shenandoah County, Virginia estate sale by Lewis Leigh in 1977. It was sold to Steve Mullinax and acquired from his wife Patricia after his death.

The type written provenance that is provided with the group states, "The Boyer brothers, George Alva and David S. were in Co. E. 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry ‘White’s Comanches’.”

This exact canteen is pictured on page 62 of Civil War Canteensby Steve Sylvia and Michael O’Donnell alongside a CDV of Boyer. The CDV has since been lost but a photocopy of it is included with the group.