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Old South Military Antiques

Captured Confederate Canteen with Corded Strap
Item #: OS-7692

  Note remnant of tag

  The original tag, layed in place

  Note string in center of stopper

The large 8 ½ by 3 inch canteen shown here is accompanied by an old tag that was glued to the cloth cover, that has since been removed and saved for preservation purposes. The tag states:

This is a Confederate canteen carried at the end of the Civil War

in lieu of his own Union canteen by Mandel Wells.

His own was captured by the enemy.

Mandel Wells was born on February 21, 1844 and lived in Embden, Maine at the time of the War. He was eighteen years old in 1862 when he enlisted in Co. A, Twenty-Eighth Regiment Maine Infantry. He served ten months in the Department of the Gulf under Nathanial Banks, so this canteen was captured in the deep South. After the War he had five children and is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Berrien Springs, Michigan with a headstone that memorializes his military service.

The tin canteen shown here is covered with two layers of rough spun cloth and retains its original corded strap. These rare corded straps can be seen on other examples of Confederate canteens. In Civil War Canteens by Silvia and O’Donnel there is a CS embossed canteen shown on page 85 and another tin canteen on page 77. These straps were of purely Confederate manufacture.

The rough spun cloth covering even covers the red striped strap where it wraps around the canteen. The cloth is in excellent condition with only two small patches missing, which allows us to see that there is a second layer of cloth underneath. All of the stitching remains intact and tight with the exception of about three inches on one bottom side. A small bit of the original tag was pulled out when it was removed for preservation which can still be seen glued to the cover.

The canteen’s original cork still has a bit of the cord that passed through it which was used to pull out the cork and to tie it to the strap to keep it from getting lost.

On the right side of the canteen there is a pin with Wells’ Grand Army of the Republic Eagle, surmounting crossed cannon, and clutching an unsheathed sabre above a pile of cannon balls. It has a very nice smooth patina.

The strap is in excellent condition, the only imperfection is what looks to be a small hole where something pierced it at the top. It is extremely strong and perfect for displaying on a mannequin.

This is the crème de la crème of CS tin canteens!