Museum Monday 5/7/12: Confederate Cartridge Box

Hi everyone, welcome to another Museum Monday,
Greg Goodell here at Gettysburg National Military Park, pulling some things from the collection
for you to see. What I have for you today is actually a Confederate manufactured cartridge
box. There’s a few characteristics that distinguish it as Confederate. First, of course, it doesn’t
have any sort of cartridge box plate on it. You can also look, it’s hard to see under
here, and I won’t be able to lift it because the leather’s stiff, but there is a much more
simplified lead keeper nub in place. Also, it’s a very simplistic browned leather cartridge
sling. This is actually a remnant piece, this was actually found by a local resident after
the battle. As you can see, up here on the top, near the fold of the flap, there’s actually
a historic label, which was very common during the 1880s and 1890s; as people were picking
up objects from the battlefield that they would use to label the artifact, where they
found it, and its history. This cartridge box was actually found in one of the field
hospitals here on the battlefield and what’s very interesting about this is that it tells
us a couple of things. First of all, again, as I said, there was lots and lots of equipment
on the battlefield after the battle that local residents picked up and took home as souvenirs.
This process even continued into the 1880s and 1890s as I said, because things would
continue to be discovered, of course, less and less, as time goes on. The second thing
that’s important about it is that this is a Confederate cartridge box from a Union field
hospital, and what it tells us is that Union and Confederate soldiers were treated in the
same field hospitals equally after the battle. So both Union and Confederate soldiers died
side by side in many of these field hospitals in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Thanks for coming by today, we’ll see you next week.

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