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Reference Items
Cavalry Carbine Sling

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Exceptionally fine cavalry carbine sling. These slings were worn over the cavalry trooper's shoulder, clasped to his carbine by a ring on the cheek-side of the stock, thus insuring the arm would remain handy and accessible when needed. This sling is uncut and bears its original steel swivel, marked "O.B. North/New Haven, CT". The strap is black bridle leather with only minor signs of wear or flaking. Its length is 58” from tip of the brass batwing to the loop at the buckle.

North was a military goods manufacturer who received a government contract for 29,142 carbine slings and swivels between May of 1864 and June of 1865. This is an uncut example and is original in every respect with brass tip and buckle original to the sling. An exceptional leather cavalry accoutrement.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-165

Model 1858 Union "Smooth Side" canteen

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This is a regulation model 1858 Union Army "smooth side” canteen which was the standard issue to Union infantry during the Civil War. It retains its original cover and strap just as it came from the depot, and also bears an original painted unit or company designation twice, indicating usage by more than one soldier during its time of service. Company designations are B 10 on one side and E 23 on verso. Its cover is in fine condition with minor separation along one edge, all keepers intact, the cork is a modern replacement.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-163

Pattern 1839 Infantry Cartridge Box Rig

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This is a scarce example of the pattern 1839 US Army issue cartridge box and sling. These boxes were issued to US infantry throughout the Mexican War but saw continued use into the Civil War. They were designed to carry 40 rounds of .69 cal musket ammunition held firmly inside tin liners to minimize jostling. An inner and outer flap protected the rounds. The brass US oval plate on the outer flap was largely for decoration but also served to weight down the flap preventing accidental loss of contents, or fouling by weather.

The regulation shoulder strap made of white buff leather included a round brass eagle plate held in place by a leather tong. The pattern 1839 Cartridge Box is easily recognized by the absence of belt loops on its reverse as it was designed for shoulder strap use only. This rig is very fine with untouched leather, both plates are original and uncleaned, showing a deep brass patina. Brass finial is round, its latch tab is missing.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-162

Inscribed Cane - General William G. Belknap

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35¼" cane from the staff of a Mexican standard captured by Lt. Colonel William Goldsmith Belknap 9 May 1846 at Resaca de la Palma, Texas during the Mexican War. Colonel Belknap rallied his troops to break the Mexican line and later had the "split mexican stick" sent to New York to have it mounted in gold. Belknap was brevetted Colonel for his actions and later Brigadier General at Monterey. For the full story of this historic personal battle honor see "Gen. Belknap's 'Old Split Mexican Stick" in the Articles Section.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-145

Cavalry Guidon - Cal Battalion, 2nd Mass Cavalry

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This is the original cavalry guidon flown by Company M of the Cal Battalion who fought under command of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry. During their early involvement in the Civil War, they were occupied in pursuit of Confederate ranger John Mosby in the Shenendoah Valley. However, by 1864 the Californians were fighting under Grant and the Army of the Potomac, commanded by General Sheridan.

Company M was comprised largely of golden state volunteers whose enlistment bounties paid for their transportation to Massachusetts where they mustered into service. This guidon is in exquisite original condition. Its silk remains fully intact with only a few minor separations. The oil-painted laurel wreath surrounds a block U.S. with a star device and letter C circumscribing a block M in the center. The guidon’s overall dimensions are 30” X 40”. All of its gold fringe is in near perfect condition.

The guidon was one of four flags presented to the Cal Battalion, companies A, B, & C in March of 1863 and D Company in April when they departed San Francisco for the battlefields on the east coast. The presenter was Daniel Norcross, a local masonic regalia supplier. When the four companies arrived in Boston, they were re-designated E, F, L, and M with Company C receiving the "M" designation. The C and M letters are plainly visible in the guidon's center.

Another of the four guidons, flown by Company E is held in the Civil War collection at West Point. It is identical in dimension and pattern, but is absent its gold fringe. The location of the other two flags is lost to history.

For more information on the Californians in the war, visit the excellent website hosted by Earl Robinson at

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-132

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