Civil War Confederate Canteen, Union Veteran Hat & Photo

Value (2005) | $6,000 Retail$6,500 Retail

My husband's great-grandfather served in the Civil War from New Haven, Connecticut. And this is his hat from the Grand Army of the Republic. And there is a canteen there that is engraved with a name and a date, and I believe the... Port Hudson, Louisiana, was a very famous Civil War battle.


The family history is that Thomas George Washington Jefferson, who is the great-grandfather...


Was in the hospital in Fort Jefferson, having fought in that battle. And while in the hospital, he befriended a Confederate soldier. And at that time they-- according to the history-- they swapped canteens.

That did happen quite often. They were in camp, in a hospital, and most all of the Union soldiers' canteens looked similar. They were same basic construction, same basic style. With a Confederate canteen, many of them were handmade, as this one. It's made of a wood body, and we also have wood pins holding the two sides together. I love that trait. It's a little bit different than any canteen I've encountered, and I've sold hundreds of canteens. And I love the way he put the date and "Port Hudson," hand-carved it. It's just got a wonderful look. Another thing that it has is the original cotton sling. Those very rarely ever survive, because you can imagine how fragile that would be after being handled for 140 years. And it has the tin roller buckle. I love that. Most of the Union pieces are nicely formed, well made, because there were mass quantities. This one's handmade. It just screams "necessity." And this is his hat from his time in the Grand Army of the Republic. The Grand Army of the Republic, of course, being the Union veterans of the Civil War. Very proud organization. On the front of the hat, it has the G.A.R. wreath and the post number. And I love on this side, it has the anchor. The anchor was the symbol of the G.A.R. post that he was a member of. It's a nice example. And you can tell that it's one that he wore. The wear along the brim... You can tell the wear along the top, that he wore this. He was proud...

He was.

To be a veteran. The image of the man is probably a $50 to $100 piece. The hat, there are a lot of hats out there, but this one has a little bit more character than most. This one would probably bring between $300 and $400. This is not your typical thing, and it's one that any Civil War collector, North or South, would love to add to their collection. I talked with a few of my colleagues, and I even made a couple of phone calls, because I wanted to be sure everybody liked it as much as I liked it. This is a piece I think any reputable Civil War dealer or auction house should be able to get at least $5,000 for it.

Oh, you're kidding.

In that condition, it's just... it's beautiful.

Oh, my husband will be very pleased. (laughing)

And when you look at the items as a group, it's a little bit more than that. Because you know who brought it home. So as a group, you're looking at probably $6,000 to $6,500.

Oh, my goodness. Well, thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Shiloh Civil War Relics
Savannah, TN
Appraised value (2005)
$6,000 Retail$6,500 Retail
Providence, RI (June 18, 2005)
November 14, 2011: We contacted appraiser Rafael Eledge for an updated appraisal of this object in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $6,000 - $6,500 (Unchanged)

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