Original U.S. Civil War “Bullet In Wood” Relics Recovered from Petersburg, Virginia - Lot of Two

Item Description

Original Items: Only Ones Available. This is a lot of two “Bullet-In-Wood” pieces recovered from the Battlefields of Petersburg, Virginia, likely in the late 19th Century- early 20th Century. These were popular souvenirs at the time, when amateur relic hunters would pluck out pieces of wood from trees which absorbed projectiles from the battle in which they were found. The larger piece appears to have Confederate “Two-Ring”.58 Caliber Minié Ball embedded (Measures 11 ¾” x 2 ¾” at the widest point). The second smaller piece has a U.S. “Three-Ring” .58 Caliber Bullet embedded (Measures 3 ¾” x 1” at widest point).

“War Logs” were highly sought after relics in the decades following the American Civil War. These logs started to become popularized by veterans who harvested them after returning to the areas in which they had fought. By the 1870s-1880s, the battle damaged trees, now having healed and continuing to grow, made for rather dramatic display pieces with the iron projectiles being absorbed into the wood.

No better of a poignant reminder to the veterans of the Civil War than a piece of a tree, which much like themselves, had not only endured the crucible of combat, but lived on to show the scars of battle decades later. The concept of the popular “War Log” was not only appealing to illustrate the incredible amount of fatal iron that was airborne at a typical Civil War battle, but also appealed to the sentimentality of those living in the Victorian age. By the turn of the 20th Century, most War Logs had been harvested and displayed as curiosities in the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Halls, museums, civic halls, and so forth.

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