The Old Museum at Manassas

Last update
Jul 13, 2005

Personal Possisions

The personal possessions of the Civil War soldier included articles issued by the army, purchased from sutlers (the Civil War version of the Post Exchange) and items brought or sent from home.

Click on an item to get a closer view.

1   Uniform coat and field glasses worn and used by Cpl. John Henry Thomas of Col. John S. Mosby's 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Partisan Rangers.
The black cloth covers on the second pair of buttons from the top of the coat, were made after the war to comply with a U.S. Government order that permitted ex-Confederate troops to wear their army clothing, only if they removed or covered the military buttons.

2   A Union soldier is said to have taken this flag from the hand of a dead Confederate officer at First Manassas.

3   This Confederate side knife was made from a file. Most of these were of little use, and soldiers eventually discarded them with other pieces of nonessential equipment.

4   Mother

5   A "housewife" or sewing kit was usually given to a soldier by his wife, mother, or sweetheart.

6   Like his counterparts today, Summer S. Judkins used a stencil to identify his clothing and equipment.

7   Col. Simeon Buford Gibbons, 10th Virginia Infantry, may have worn this hat and coat at First Manassas. In the same uniform, he was shot in the forehead and killed at the Battle of McDowell, Virginia, on May 8, 1862.

8   Lice or "graybacks" were a soldier's constant companion. Soldiers tried to remove them with specially designed "lice combs".

9   Wallet

10   Razor and case.

11   Pvt. Ludwell Thomas Rector, Co. H "Black Horse Troop," (Fauquier County), 4th Virginia Cavalry, carried this Colt pocket revolver, Model 1849, through the war. The wear on the muzzle end shows repeated use.

12   One side of this Confederate drum-type canteen was probably blown out when a bullet hit the opposite side.

13   A Hymn book for soldiers.

14   A Confederate soldier may have used this ticket to travel on the Richmond and Danville railroad.

15   Holy Bible carried by Lt. William Raymond Free, Co. B "Quantico Rifles" (Prince William county), 49th Virginia Infantry.

16   Tobacco found in a pocket of Colonel Gibbons' coat

Weapons of War Escapes from War