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Sharp Shooter

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

A Spencer .52 caliber repeating carbine with a walnut stock, iron mountings, and a round barrel with an elevating notched rear sight and a German silver blade front sight. The carbine was used during the Civil War by Captain Mahlon Black of the 2nd Company of Minnesota Sharpshooters. Black’s unit, after serving in the Army of the Potomac, was assigned to duty with the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment on the first day of the Battle of Fair Oaks. In 1865, after being formally mustered out, Black re-enlisted and was transferred to the 1st Minnesota Battalion.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this carbine in our collections database.

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Corps Badge

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

A Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac shamrock or trefoil-shaped corps badge composed of machine-sewn red, white, and blue cotton thread. The badge belonged to Albert Smith Davis, who served in the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this badge in our collections database.

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Collapsible Cup

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

A nickel-plated brass collapsible cup with a folding handle and a lidded leather case. The cup belonged to John B. Sanborn, a Minnesota State Senator and member of the Indian Peace Commission. He was also president of the Minnesota Historical Society in 1903.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this cup in our collections database.

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Compass

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

A compass carried by William R. Marshall of the 7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 and the Civil War. Marshall would later be elected Governor of Minnesota.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this compass in our collections database.

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View of Fort Snelling

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

A carte-de-visite photograph showing Fort Snelling and the Minnesota River valley in 1865.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

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Confederate Rifle

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

A percussion rifle of about .54 caliber. The rifle’s buttstock reads “Jas Bishop 17 LA RED C” [17th Louisiana Regiment, Company C]. The rifle was retrieved from the Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg, Mississippi, by General John B. Sanborn of the Fourth Minnesota Infantry Regiment while his division performed garrison duty after the surrender. The rifle is half-stocked in walnut, has engraved nickel-silver mountings, an octagonal barrel, and the original ramrod tipped with brass. Made by Henry E. Leman in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this rifle in our collections database.

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Abraham Lincoln ribbon

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

April 15, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He was shot on April 14th by John Wilkes Booth while attending the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre.

This ribbon commemorates this event and features features a black and white image of Lincoln, with the words “THE LATE / Lamented / President / Lincoln” printed below.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this ribbon in our collections database.

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150th Anniversary of Appomattox

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

April 9, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Appomattox Court House, the final engagement of the Civil War in Virginia. It was also the last battle fought between Gen. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Lee signed surrender papers later that afternoon at the home of Wilmer McLean.

This first day issue broadside and pane of Civil War Centennial stamps commemorates Lee’s surrender of his Army of Northern Virginia. They were gifted to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1965 by the stamp’s designer, Leonard Fellman.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view these stamps in our collections database.

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Day Dress

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

A striped silk day dress with ikat floral panels, ball fringe trim and mille fleur glass buttons. Completely hand-stitched. Worn by Frances Hanson Ordway, circa 1859-1862.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this dress in our collections database.

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Civil War Scale

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

A collapsible physician’s scale in a wooden case. The scale was collected from a medical school in Mobile, Alabama after the Battle of Mobile Bay (a major naval engagement of the Civil War) in August of 1864. The rectangular case has brass clasps and pin latches on its front. Oval and rectangular brass plates are screwed into place on its top, and two brass hinges attach to its back. The case holds a variety of brass weighing instruments, including balances, scales, weights, and bowls.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this scale in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs