View Full Version : 12 August, 1861 - Invoice for Misc.
04-20-2007, 07:58 AM
Am attaching an invoice for various items dated August 12, 1861.
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More information at: http://www.crr.sc.gov/support<WBR>/mcrae/ (http://www.crr.sc.gov/support/mcrae/)
04-20-2007, 09:46 AM
3 pair Woolen Socks, 1/3 at 3 for 9
Now, what's that next line about
3 " Union " " 3 9
Which I'm interpreting as 3 pair Union socks, again at 3 for 9
So, are these cotton socks or what?
04-20-2007, 10:08 AM
The term "union" in this context means a combination of different types of yarns (presumably wool and cotton in this case). Union webbings are often seen in period saddle-making materials.
04-20-2007, 11:42 AM
Hmmmmm---any case for a wool/linen union here?
I've been toying with using linen as a 'carry' thread in heels and toes, or with running the foot with a wool/linen combo for wear's sake----mostly because I've got a pair of linsey woolsey stockings that are just the *best* I have ever owned for sheer walking capacity.
04-20-2007, 11:49 AM
I've never seen any 'union' stockings up close and personal, so I was just hypothesizing about the actual yarns involved; in fact, 'union' webbing for saddlery is indeed generally woolen/linen. Boy, I'd love to have some hard-wearing union socks (hint, hint...).
04-20-2007, 12:26 PM
Just as soon as I finish this lovely handspun pair that is to display in the museum case still on the needles at Confederate Memorial Park when it opens late next week----(only non-original in the whole place is my basket of hand spun * batts eyelashes in false modesty*)
I'm taking summer orders........
04-21-2007, 12:23 PM
Nick, Mrs Lawson,
It is obvious that they put together a "set of necessaries", The typical set from "Arms and Equipment of the British Army 1866" is,
Battalion of the Line: Blacking, Braces, Brass button, Brushs.(brass, clothes.shaving.shoe x2) Comb, Holdall, Knapsack and slings, knife fork and spoon, Mitts, Razor and case, Shirts x 3 cotton or flannel worsted, Socks, worsted x 3, Sponge, Stock and clasp, Straps, set of 2, for greatcoat, Tins, mess, with cover and strap, Towels x 2, Account book.
Total cost 1.11. 3 One pound Eleven shillings and three pence.
Socks, worsted cost 2 shillings and nine pence three farthings, weight 12oz.
Mrs Lawson, I think Samuel Isaacs was charging 1 shilling and 3 pence a pair (or three shillings and nine pence for three pairs) This was one thing that was levelled at the company and was felt that he and his firm were massivley overcharging. True the cost in some of these prices is more than that if sold to WD, However Isaac, Campebell & Co were in this big time on their own money, payment often followed a lot later (if at all in the end)
It appears they have added to a soldiers kit things that are not on a standard British list. Canteen and cover, Boots, Union, Scissors and Havelock.
Nick I can not find "Union" anything, be keen to find out what Union means. Some things are plain to see- socks x 3, shirts x3, and so on. Why 6 pair of socks, of diferent types? West India issue for British troops was Stockings x 3, brown, cotton.
Could it be underware? In UK there were items called combinations, you called the Union suits! What did we call them in 1860's. I know they were patented in the US in 1866, but when were they worn here?
04-21-2007, 02:54 PM
I would surmise that this was a sample set of "necessaries" (plus a few other items--boots, etc.) that the contractor was offering at the given prices (since most items listed are one-off). The regulation kit issued to the mid-Victorian Brit. squaddie has many more items than his American counterpart (regulars) was ever authorized (or issued). Interesting that the contractor would try to foist off an even more extensive set of kit on the Confederate purchasing agents (can't blame a bloke fer tryin'). Neill, is there any evidence that these items were ever actually contracted for &/or delivered as "sets" (which is clearly what the contractor was hoping for)? If so, I would be very surprised.
I find the reference to canteen covers a little odd, since the Brit. canteen of the period was a wooden style that had been in service since the Napoleonic Wars (and did not have a cover). Perhaps they were offering some proprietary metallic model with a cover; in any case, it certainly wasn't the bog-standard Brit. issue type. Interesting...
John, perhaps I misread your post, but I don't see any ref. to 'union' boots on the list--just socks. As I've already stated, this term is common in the saddler's vernacular, meaning textile webbing comprised of two different types of yarn, hence my hypothesis that it would mean something similar in other types of woven goods as well. I don't have access to my research files at present (all packed up!), so I can't give you any specific refs. from the saddlery trade until I get back out of boxes on the other side of The Pond. In the meantime, you might want to contact Mike Glasson, the curator at the Walsall Leather Museum, as he may be able to provide chapter and verse. In any event, the reference to 'union' seems to be referring to a type of socks (vice 'woolen')--I'm pretty sure that they're not referring to longjohns!
04-21-2007, 03:33 PM
Nick, sorry I did mean just Union, not Union Boots. My thought was in (I was going to say English) old world British paralance, worsted usually means woollen, i.e a "worsted wool". I know you are refering to saddlerey and leatherwork and I understand it being used. I just can not imagine issuing six pairs of socks? especially when everything else is "by the book". Hence my thoughts on other things.
The waterbottle and cover is odd, perhaps forerunners of the later type, when were they trialed? I have no idea what canteens Samuel was selling to the Rifle Volunteers, as they were "private" and the only ones the firm could still sell to, he may have pushed them?
I understand the problem, most of my books are scattered, or in storage.
04-21-2007, 05:21 PM
Well, if we could just get Nick moved across the pond and his books unpacked, and get Mr. Hopper all legal and back in this country, and all his books unpacked, we'd have an answer!;)
Knowing we've been hoping for a remedy to Mr. Hopper's dilemma for near to a year now, I shall not hold my breath.
But as soon as I finish this fine stocking for the museum case at Confederate Memorial Park, I believe I shall ply some unbleached line linen into those fine wool singles I spun at Banks Grand Retreat--it will be a fitting end for them, and my old stockings have mends upon mends.
04-21-2007, 05:58 PM
Thank you for your kind thoughts Mrs Lawson. Yes in June it'll be 12 months, blast it. We are hoping that we'll resume normal life in October, in the meantime Anna is working for English Heratige at Etal Castle.
I thought you'd like to know what the 3.9 and 1.3 and such was, hence my interference. Being older I learnt all pounds shillings and pence before we went decimal. 3s 9d is about 18p now, ((converted to 8.36p sterling now, or $16.72).so thats 6p or $5.57 a pair)
Having got the prices as sold to WD it's good to see what old Samuel charged the Confederates. The other thing is about turning it all into modern prices, and seeing the costs.
05-21-2007, 08:34 AM
British mess tins were called canteens. What we call a canteen they called a water bottle...JIM HENSLEY
05-21-2007, 08:54 AM
Please provide a source for defining the use of the terms Canteens & Water Bottles.
Paul B. Boulden Jr.
RAH VA MIL '04
23rd VA Regt.
05-21-2007, 11:14 AM
Will find direct references in my brit equipment books but for now look under answer.com and in dictionary definition #5 canteen is "a british soldiers mess kit". Brits have always called canteens water bottles. JIM HENSLEY
05-21-2007, 02:40 PM
I'm afraid Mr. Hensley is mistaken. British nomenclature for the vessel used to carry the soldier's water was a "canteen" (referring to that monstrous wooden keg that was in use from the Napoleonic Wars through the Crimean War). The term "water bottle" was introduced with the metallic kidney-shaped vessel that was adopted after our Civil War (can't recall the year off the top of my head). Sorry to have to report that my research files are currently all packed up, so I can't provide chapter and verse at present, but I trust Mssr. Hopper will do the honors...
05-21-2007, 05:12 PM
Mr. Nichols in "SOLDIERS ACCOUTREMENTS OF THE BRITISH ARMY 1750-1900" Canteens are referred to as water bottles from 1812 on. JIM HENSLEY
05-21-2007, 06:41 PM
Pierre Turner in his book "SOLDIERS ACCOUTREMENTS OF THE BRITISH ARMY 1750-1900" does indeed use the term "waterbottle" in his drawings from 1812 onwards. He does, however state in the text, waterbottle or canteen throughout. It is a very good book,with some expert drawings, however you do also need to refer to other material from the period, "Arms and Equipment of the British Army, 1866" is useful.
I think the reason is that Canteens were not an item of personal issue to a British soldier and do not appear alongside uniform parts. Under the General List of Accoutrements and Appointments, is "Canteen,wooden, with strap cost 2s 6d weight, 1lb 12oz. All ranks, but only when on active service", Arms and Equipment of the British Army, 1866.
From about 1880 or so you find soldiers having retained the canteens for full time use even on home service,and it appears that the real change in what troops called them started about then. Why? no real idea.
I have always called mess tins, mess tins. Issued once at public expense as Necessaries; Tin, mess 1s 2 1/2d, cover for mess tin 5 1/2d.
The metalic waterbottle came into service in 1888.
British troops still use both descriptions for the humble water container.
05-21-2007, 06:47 PM
05-21-2007, 07:05 PM
But the invoice mentions canteen and cover. I was suggesting reference to british soldiers mess kits being called canteens. In dictionary reference under answer.com #5 definition... Canteen: "a british soldiers mess kit". I have read this reference before but can't place the time frame. Will keep looking. JIM HENSLEY
05-22-2007, 06:51 AM
Jim, you may be right, I/we did wonder, as there are no other mention of waterbottles/canteens being sold or sent, and as far as I am aware, (subject to later suprises in the McRae Papers) in any of Huse's or Isaac & Campbell's lists. This coupled with the fact the British Army had no canteen with a cover until 1880 it could be one answer? The bit that suprises though, in some ways, is that, Samuel Isaac was a military contractor (albeit an ex-National contractor from 1858). He was supplying the newly formed Rifle Volunteers and one would asume his company (I, C & Co.) would use the same terms of reference as the military, and the references I have quoted come straight out of the 1866 book.
It appears that the sale of Necessaries did not catch on anyway, which in itself is interesting!
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