Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Civil War Canteen Saves N. J. Infantryman's Life in 1862

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, in partnership with the New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, presents a major exhibit, “Gone for a Soldier:” Jerseymen in the Civil War, which will be on view until July 1, 2012. Among the many objects in the exhibit is an 1862 bullet struck canteen, on loan from the Cape May County Museum.

Lower Township resident Swain Reeves was a corporal in Company A, 7th N.J. Volunteer Infantry and was wounded at Gettysburg in July, 1863 and again at Petersburg in June, 1864. The last wound confined him to Lincoln Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Swain Reeves enlisted as a Private on 23 August 1861, and then joined Company A, 7th Infantry Regiment New Jersey on 23 Aug 1861. Promoted to Full Corporal on 18 Jun 1864, and mustered out Company A, 7th Infantry Regiment New Jersey on 7 Oct 1864 at Trenton, NJ. (Historical Data Systems, comp., American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999)

Reeves credited his canteen for deflecting the bullet that struck him at Petersburg and preventing an even more severe injury.

This, and other artifacts from the U. S. Civil War, are on exhibit at the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum. See our post, "U.S. Civil War Jerseymen Museum Exhibit in Morristown, New Jersey," for details.

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