Original Tiffany & Co. Knapsack on display
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Author:  Bill Skillman [ Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Original Tiffany & Co. Knapsack on display

Fellow Sharpshooters;

The August 2011 edition of Civil War News has a nice article about a rare Tiffany & Co. knapsack that is in the South Carolina Confederate Relic room and Military Museum in Columbia. The 'Berdan knapsack' is believed to have been cast off by a member of the USSS during the Battle of Jones Farm near Petersburg in 1864. While this may not be the knapsack described in Wyman White's book (that he describes as a 'hair trunk' carried by one of the USSS men deployed as pickets and nearly 'gobbled up'), it is likely to have been one of the few remaining ones still carried by the regiment at that late stage of their service. The 1st USSS had their knapsacks lost beginning at White Oak Swamp (Co. C & G) thru Chancellorsville (lost majority of knapsacks after dropping them in a pile near the Chancellor house); the men finding the burned remains while passing the night on the battlefield before the onset of the Wilderness battle).

The knapsack was picked up by Pvt. Oscar Chappell of Co. F. 17th SC Vols; a member of Dunlop's Sharpshooters (Major Dunlop published an account of his experiences in the CSA SS that is still available--a good read). Chappell kept the knapsack throughout his service and donated to the museum sometime between the late 1880's to early 1900's.

Members of Co. 'C' discovered the existence of the knapsack and have been helping curators there research it's history.

Bill Skillman
Randolph Mess-USSS

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