Original U.S. Indian Wars Converted M1878 Civil War Canteen - Marked Pennsylvania National Guard - Rare
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a genuine Civil War example of the Model 1858 ‘Bullseye’ pattern tin canteen, which was then converted to the Spanish-American war style M1878 Canteen specifications. This involved removing the cover, and then usually the three shoulder strap loops were removed, and replaced with the M1878 triangular bales. This one was not fitted with the triangle bales, instead only the bottom shoulder strap loop was removed but the top two were left still attached. A canvas strap was run through both loops and then it was then re-covered with M1878 Tan fabric. The fabric is stenciled N.G.P. on the front for the National Guard of Pennsylvania, and the rear is stenciled with A.8 / 19, most likely for a unit designation. The shoulder strap is in good condition, with the expected wear and deterioration from age.
Overall condition for the canteen is very good with only minor staining and rust on the exposed metal. The cork stopper still sits snugly in the mouth of the canteen, all stitching is still tight and complete, there is some fraying on the shoulder strap but no tears. This is a complete canteen, and as far as we can tell there are no missing parts or repairs done to it.
For the collector seeking a very interesting M1878 canteen that started life as a genuine U.S. Civil War Issue. Ready to research and display!
The PA National Guard traces its lineage back to the militia organized by Benjamin Franklin in 1747 known as the Associators. Franklin organized artillery and infantry units to defend the city of Philadelphia against French and Spanish privateers. The first meeting of the Associators occurred on 21 November 1747, and on 7 Dec. 1747, the enlistees and officers were formally commissioned by the Provincial Council President, Anthony Palmer. On that day, hundreds of armed Associators presented themselves to Palmer at the Philadelphia Courthouse. Official National Guard webpages state that 'he wisely stated their activities were "not disapproved" and duly commissioned all of them.'
In 1870, the name "militia" was dropped, and the force became by state law the "National Guard of Pennsylvania."
In 1879, the Pennsylvania National Guard established a division, organized in a fashion not specifically approved by the War Department. The keystone was prescribed as the designated symbol of the National Guard of Pennsylvania on 27 August 1879.
The Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized for the Spanish–American War and the Pancho Villa Expedition. When the United States Army created the Spanish War Service and Mexican Border Service Medals, Major General Charles M. Clement was designated as the first official recipient of each, in recognition of his status as the longest-tenured National Guard officer eligible for the medals at the time they were authorized. Clement served in the Pennsylvania National Guard from 1877 to 1917, and commanded the 28th Infantry Division at the start of World War I.
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