Confederate CanteensBy

Confederate Canteens

During the American Civil War, most Union troops were supplied with uniformly designed and manufactured metal canteens made in the North's many factories.

The first reproductions of Confederate wood canteens were reported in May 1998. Those pieces did not have any mark or insignia. The later canteens have a prominent brass CS (Confederate States) mounted on the canteen body. The hoops binding the wood are also made of brass.

Authentic Confederate wood canteens virtually never have any mark, let alone an applied brass mark. The vast majority of original hoops were made of steel or iron. Original canteens were made like miniature barrels. Forcing the hoops over the wood made the seams watertight. Brass was too soft for hoops.

The thick leather strap is also out of place. Straps on vintage canteens were made of fabric, generally of linen or webbed cotton. Water makes leather shrink, crack, lose strength and eventually break. Leather is fine, though, for "antiques" which hang on walls, but leather straps would not be found on practical, functioning canteens made for daily use.

New canteens are 7 inches in diameter and retailed for $75 - $100.