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Original U.S. Indian Wars / Spanish-American War M1878 Canteen With Veteran Artwork - Corporal Henry Morris, Company E. 10th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

Regular price $695.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great example of a service worn US M1878 Canteen with a tan canvas cover decorated with artwork. This canteen is marked with a clear U.S. on the front which was redone by the soldier and outlined in gold. The front is also decorated with a patriotic Bald Eagle carrying olive branches in its talons, above this is a crossed American Flag and Cuban Flag. The back is marked with unit information for the 1st Battalion, 10th Ohio.

The top of the canteen cover is faintly marked with the initials HKM, which fortunately has been identified by a previous owner and confirmed by IMA on the 10th Ohio Roster!

Henry K. Morris, a 22 year old resident of Springfield, Ohio, was mustered as Corporal in Co. E, 10th O.V.I. on July 7, 1898, and mustered out March 23, 1899.

Company 'E' originated as an independent battery of artillery in 1880. First known as the 9th Battery O.N.G., the designation was changed to the 5th Battery in 1882. In 1886, at the organization of the 1 Regiment Light Artillery O.N.G., the battery became Battery 'E'. Upon the declaration of war, only the 1st Artillery's 1st Battalion was called to active service. Subsequently, the remaining three batteries decided to offer their services as infantry and became the 1st Battalion, 10th O.V.I.. Battery 'E' becoming Company 'E' of that organization.

The 10th O.V.I. was organized at Columbus, Ohio, June 25, 1898; and, mustered in July 7, 1898. The regiment served at Camp Meade, Middletown, PA, and later at Camp McKenzie, Augusta, GA. It was mustered out March 23, 1899.

There are no other markings that we can find, which is not unusual, as the covering may to have been replaced at arsenal at some point. It is definitely the correct fabric and stitching pattern, but the wear and staining on it is definitely less than the rest of the canteen.

There is some denting on the body, and the cover has the expected rust and verdigris stains stains near the fittings, and light wear to the canvas. A great chance to pick up a good example of this iconic canteen!

The Model 1878 Canteen:
Prior to 1858 canteens were made of wood or tin and came in a variety of forms and sizes. The two most prominent being the "barrel-type" made of wood with side slats like a barrel, and the "cheesebox-type" made of wood with a single wrap around side. Tin water bottles, similar to that used by the British Army, were also used, particularly towards the end of the 18th century.

In 1858, a new standardized canteen was authorized and the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot contracted with Albert Dorft of Philadelphia to produce the new item. The canteen was made of tinned iron, covered in sky-blue wool kersey, with a white linen shoulder sling.

Coinciding with the start of the Civil War (April 1861), an improved version of the canteen was introduced. Known as the "bull's-eye" canteen, it had concentric circles embossed in the sides to add additional strength. Both patterns were produced for the Army throughout the war.

Some Civil War period canteens will have contractor information stamped into the side of the spout. In 1872 the pattern 1858 canteen was improved with a brass stopper chain attached to a brass wire loop around the neck replacing the original iron chain.

The Army experimented with brace systems in 1872 and 1874. Although the system itself was a failure, the canteen for the 1874 Palmer Brace System in modified form continued in use. The original 1874 canteen (type 1) was nothing more than an existing Civil War period canteen with a double wool cover in brown or sky-blue, a web sling with a brass Chambers buckle, and the 1872 modification to the stopper chain. The 1874 canteen (type 2), introduced about 1876, had a brown cotton canvas cover and the lower sling guide was removed to allow the cover to fit better. Variations to the 1874 canteen include leather welts in the seam of the cover, and the bottom sling guide not being removed.

The Infantry Equipment Board of 1878 further modified the pattern 1858 canteen by removal of the bottom sling guide and the addition of triangular iron wire loops to the upper guides. The body of the canteen was recovered in a layer of Petersham cloth for insulation, with an outer cover of drab cotton canvas.

A new shoulder sling was introduced made of black leather one-inch wide by 56 inches in length. Each end of the sling was doubled back through the loop of a two-inch long brass wire hook and a leather keeper. It was then secured by a small brass hopin fastened to the end that was secured through one of five holes spaced evenly near each end of the sling. The sling was then attached by the large brass hooks to the triangular loops of the canteen. This pattern of canteen would continue in use well into the 20th century. The principal manufacturer was: Rock Island Arsenal.

Stocks of Civil War period canteens were exhausted by the end of the Spanish-American War and the bodies for 1878 canteens were being newly manufactured. In 1902, a modification was made to the canteen body by the addition of a convex depression on the backside so that it would fit more snuggly against the wearer. In addition the leather canteen sling was eliminated and the haversack sling became the universal pattern sling for both the canteen and the haversack.

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