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Hand Grenade

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

A Ketchum hand grenade of the type used during the Civil War. The grenade consists of a plunger and casing, which would have held the main charge. A wooden tailpiece with fins (not present) was designed to stabilize flight when thrown. Ketchum grenades were largely inefficient because they had to land directly on their nose in order to detonate. Donated by the wife of Captain Mortimer M. Wheeler of the 5th Iowa Cavalry, Company E.

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

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Civil War Drum

Monday, March 14th, 2016

A 1st Minnesota Regiment Civil War snare drum. The painted wooden drum was made by W. R. Thompkins in Yonkers, New York. This drum was presented to musician Peter Hoffman in Alexandria, Virginia on July 15, 1861 by Henry Mower Rice and the Regiment’s commanding officer, Colonel Gorman. Peter Hoffman was mustered into the 1st Minnesota Regiment on May 31, 1861, as a musician first class. Hoffman served at the First Battle of Bull Run, Edwards Ferry, Fair Oaks, and the Seven Days Battles. The regiment’s band was dismissed on August 31, 1861, but Hoffman stayed on, serving with the regiment until he was discharged at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, on August 8, 1862.

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

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Ironclad Souvenir

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

A miniature souvenir anchor made of iron salvaged from the frigate USS Merrimack, which had been rebuilt by the Confederates as the ironclad warship CSS Virginia during the Civil War. The CSS Virginia was engaged at the Battle of Hampton Roads, sinking or grounding three Union ships before being engaged by another ironclad, the USS Monitor. The world’s first battle between ironclad warships ended in a draw. The Virginia was later destroyed to avoid being captured by Union forces. 1907.

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

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Alexander Ramsey

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

A Civil War era tintype photograph of Alexander Ramsey (front left) seated with Major Baxter (front right), Lt. Benjamin F. Butler (back left), William B. McGrorty (back center), and an unidentified man (back right). 1863
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For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

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General’s Spurs

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

A pair of United States Army spurs worn during the Civil War by General Charles Powell Adams of the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Adams was mustered into service on April 30, 1861, and elected Captain of Company H. General Adams was wounded many times during the course of the war; at Bull Run, Antietam, Malvern Hill, and at Gettysburg, where he served as lieutenant colonel and was hit at least three times. Adams re-enlisted in Hatch’s Battalion of Independent Cavalry and was mustered out of service on June 5, 1866, and was given a promotion to brevet brigadier general for meritorious service.

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

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G.A.R. Flag

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

A Civil War era G.A.R. flag. Made of silk with 38 stars, crossed cannons and a G.A.R. medal.

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

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