Any American Civil War items anyone?
I quite like ACW militaria, I have a lot of thoughts about collecting it but most of the items available just seem to be relic Bullets and Belt-Buckles. So I am waiting for the right piece to come up.
Does anyone here have any ACW militaria they could share?
Best regards, Patrick
12-06-2013 10:13 PM
All I have is relatively uninteresting ground dug miniť bullet
It's a very expensive field to collect as not all that much has survived a century and a half and naturally it has the greatest interest in the US where the deepest pockets are keen collectors-this also leads to faking stuff in significant amounts (like high end Nazi gear)-I have a few Confederate banknotes and a friend of mine has some battlefield relics (mostly Minie balls) but it's not really a field for the novice collector...
I only know one person that collects it and he is definitely an expert. He's been collecting for 60+ years and runs a museum, but even he only has a couple of swords and balls. As lithgow said there are so many fakes (and I mean fakes of everything) it's potentially a real hazard.
As said, it is an expensive field to get into. I have two
or three Minie balls as well, and also this 'Ames Mfg.
Co.' NCO sword I picked up last August:
Peruse Roy's threads on GHW.
I used to heavily collect Civil War artifacts, but it became such an absurd pool of fakes and the prices of anything decent simply went through the roof that I eventually liquidated my entire holdings of it and gave up on it. For just one example, you had a seller named Joe Walters who ran an outfit called the House of Swords and Militaria out of Missouri. To this day, no one Really knows for sure where he obtained his swords from, but he dumped Countless numbers of them in Quantity onto the market and they fooled even some Museum experts for Decades. They were aged to perfection and constructed nearly perfectly and quite often carried researchable names and dates inscriptions, etc. They are still to this Day confounding collectors. And these were just the Swords that he sold-he sold nearly everything you could imagine. And to confound the matter, there were, indeed, many Genuine pieces mixed in with the fakes as well. He eventually got him self robbed and murdered, but that certainly doesn't keep his "replicas" (would that be the word for them?) from circulating even now.
At one time, my collection included an actual Confederate Battle Flag from an Alabama family, a McElroy Confederate etched sabre from Tennessee, a Memphis Novelty Works Confederate sword, more than a handful of Union Cavalry sabres-both 1840 and 1860, Confederate Bowie's, a Union Ames Eagle head bowie, a New Orleans Cutlass, 2 Ames Model 1860 Cutlass's, and much much more, but to assemble such a set Today would be nearly impossible anymore. I certainly could not see anyone starting from scratch anymore. And to make it even more difficult and costly, to be overseas no less. Unless a person would stick with the obtainable pieces like canteens, currency(flooded with fakes also), belt buckles(also heavily faked) or perhaps projectiles like cannon balls, etc. I really would not recommend it being attempted. And, yes-they even fake cannonballs nowadays.....sigh. Uniforms? When I was a kid, you could find them in garage sales....today? Not a chance.
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
Very well put Wagriff I too used to pick up a few small end items you can still find them especially the shops over here in Missouri around some of the battles. Mini balls, grape shot maybe a old well used Federal canteen, Kepi you have to watch as they were made for GAR in 1890;s and replicated uniforms also. It is a minefield these days I saw a Enfield bayonet in fair shape for about 300 dollars so it is a expensive field now days and as many fakes as SS if not more. Joe Walters I did a lot of business with in the 80's his common items dress bayonets common daggers etc were always ok but watch the high end stuff from him he is a whole book by itself. timothy
While on the topic there are some beautiful civil war museums in the parks here in Midwest like Pea Ridge Arkansas, Wilson Creek Missouri, battle of Carthage MO civil war muesuem downtown and in the court house they are full to mention of original civil war items found when they were around these area's way back in time. There are also some not a lot of replica uniforms, shirts etc used on their manequins. Also the museum at Shiloh Tennessee park is also a good one. timothy
I think we just broke Patrick's heart... Wagriff, I have a hard time believing the tales of people finding German uniforms in garage sales decades ago, but Civil War? Thats just craziness! I have never even found anything even remotely worth while at the antique stores around here. To get something decent at a garage sale would be insane!