Original U.S. Civil War Federal Regulation Canvas Backpack Knapsack

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a rare example of an original, Federal issue, box-style Army knapsack in nearly complete but delicate condition. This infantryman’s accoutrement, of the early war pattern, is a soft double-bag knapsack made to accept an internal wooden frame that rendered rigidity to the pack. This artifact is made up of two sections of canvas coated with a black rubber or tar-like substance for protection from the elements. Front section is a bag approximately 15” wide x 12” high with a top cover to open or close. Piece has a gusset on each side, 4” wide at the top and tapering toward the bottom. Interior rear section consists of four plain flaps inside, each triangular in shape. Flaps close inward toward each other and fasten together via a thin, leather strap. The two bags fasten together at the bottom with three, original straps and their original black japanned iron buckles. Unmarked, original leather shoulder straps, 1.75” wide, are sewn to the pack backside. The accompanying leather straps and adjusting loops, one with triangular brass hook for fastening to the right armpit strap when soldier was on the march.

This pack is more or less complete and retains all its russet leather straps and even has all four of its inner ties made of rawhide still intact. The exterior canvas of the pack exhibits multiple areas of wear. damage, repair as well as various stress points along the body. It will be perfect for display and is 100% genuine with no reproduction parts.

Knapsacks like this were issued to all infantrymen and used mainly in the early to mid term of the war. The knapsack held soldier ‘essentials’ such as stationary, books, photographs, letters, extra clothing and personal items. In actual wartime service, these fully loaded packs became a burden to the weary foot soldiers on their long marches and were soon unceremoniously tossed aside to lighten the load. Hence, very few pieces of intact, original field equipment such as these knapsacks have survived to present day.
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