Rare Contract M1858 Civil War Smooth Side Canteen


Rare Contract M1858 Civil War Smooth Side Canteen – This M1858 smooth side canteen remains in overall excellent condition; it retains its complete, gray wool cover, folded, cotton shoulder strap and cork stopper and chain, the latter still connected to the sling guide. There appears to be a faded, Federal inspector’s stamp on the sling. There is a small cut in the cover, but it is barely noticeable; with this minor exception, the cover remains in excellent condition.  Of significance, stamped in the pewter mouthpiece is the following:

J.C. JOHNSON & CO. / FEB. 5, 65”

 Johnson was awarded a U.S. government contract in early 1865, to produce 100,000 canteens. These canteens were New York Depot canteens; U.S. government contracts that were awarded after 1863, required the contractor’s full name and date of production to appear on all items produced, to include clothing, accoutrements, as well as canteens. This canteen clearly shows the name of the contractor, although the date is obscured beneath the cover. This is a fine example of a late Civil War, issue canteen, produced by rarely encountered contractor.