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Strange Relic of War

The soldiers who fought in the Civil War often brought back souvenirs from the battlefields to serve as reminders of their wartime service. Both museums and private collections feature artifacts that came home with the soldiers. Often these items feature handwritten labels that tell the story behind the artifact. Rarely are the items as personal as the item pictured above. This is a remarkable Civil War relic that was preserved and cherished by the veteran. It is a Confederate Enfield bullet that struck a Pennsylvania soldier during a skirmish at Altoona Hills, Georgia in 1864. The bullet was saved by the veteran. The old handwritten note reads: “I was shot with this ball in the left

Civil War Artillery Shell Jacket

Original Civil War uniforms are very scarce. When I first started collecting Civil War items, uniforms could still be purchased quite inexpensively. When I think about collecting memorabilia and my early days in the hobby, I remember a trip to Virginia in the summer of 1976. I was almost 16 years old and had saved a summer’s worth of lawn mowing funds to buy another item for my collection. The sum totaled about $165. I did business with a dealer named Ron O’Connor who was based outside Richmond and operated a mail order business known as Rebel Relics. Ron had always told me to give a call if I were in the area so I took him up on the offer. We drove into the Virginia back country and f

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