Mc Pheeters Antique Militaria
Home Page About Us Ordering Information Links

 

     

FRONTIER ARMY MODIFIED CIVIL WAR CARBINE CARTRIDGE POUCH – CUT LOOP VARIATION AS USED DURING THE EARLY INDIAN WAR YEARS:  A field modification of the standard Civil War Carbine Cartridge box and identical in function to the more familiar “Cut Loop” Dyer Carbine Ammunition Pouches, these two specimens are the only two known examples of this rare box to have surfaced in modern collections.   

Used in the field in combination with the soldier made “Fair Weather Christian” looped cartridge belts, these boxes were modified by cutting the belt loops, punching holes in the cut ends and rejoining them with a leather thong.  This allowed the belt loops of the pouch to be laced over the wider cartridge belt, providing the soldier with an additional quantity of ammunition.  The buckles on the bottom of the body of the box that secured the previously used shoulder strap were removed as superfluous weight and unnecessary appendages.   

While these boxes were originally designed and issued with the variety of .50 to .54 caliber Civil War carbines, and were certainly issued with the Spencer Carbines still being issued to the Cavalry in the 1865-1872 period, they will also accommodate the .50-45 and .50-70 Government rounds and it stands to reason that they would have been used with the Indian War period Sharps, and the Springfield and Ward Burton Model 1870 Carbines as well.   

That so few of these modified accoutrements survive today can be easily explained when viewed through the Ordnance Department’s process of issue and return.  When the units received new issues of current equipment and returned the obsolete accoutrements and equipment to the Ordnance Depots, those pieces that had been modified such as these boxes were looked upon by the Ordnance Department personnel as damaged beyond repair, or the necessary repairs to return the item to its original configuration were not cost effective – especially since it was obsolete equipment.  It is very likely the modified pieces were condemned and destroyed with the other unserviceable equipment, and they simply did not survive to be funneled into the surplus sales that would eventually lead to the collectors’ market. 

The small number of surviving modified accoutrements serves as quiet testimony of the efforts of the soldiers and the Ordnance Department to adapt stocks of surplus material to suit the needs encountered on the Frontier.  In spite of the number of these boxes that must have been modified during the period, surviving examples such as these pieces are rare and they are a fascinating field of collecting in their own right.  These interesting  boxes will display very well in a grouping of early Indian War accoutrements and arms. 

Each of these boxes is described and priced individually below with accompanying photographs.  

 

NO. 1:   This pouch is complete with the outer cover closing tab, the implement pouch is complete with the flap and separate closing tab, all the seams are intact, and the wooden cartridge block is present.  The cut belt loops still retain what appear to be the original leather thongs.  The inner flap bears the maker’s stamp and the exterior cover bears the Civil War era Ordnance Department Inspector’s acceptance stamp.  The overall finish of the leather is very nice, showing the expected signs of use but with a generally smooth, bright surface to the leather.   (C0075)  $650 

 

NO. 2:   This pouch is complete with the outer cover closing tab, the implement pouch is complete with the flap and separate closing tab, all the seams are intact, and the wooden cartridge block is present.  The cut belt loops still retain what appear to be pieces of the original leather thongs.  The overall finish of the leather is very good, with a bright shiny finish on the outer leather surfaces and some crazing to the inner flap – expected evidence of use.  (1001) $575 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ordering Instructions

Identified Items  

Firearms

Edged Weapons

Saddles and Horse Equipment

Accoutrements

Collectors Ammunition

Uniforms, Insignia, Hats

Canteens and Mess Gear

Gun tools, Bullet molds and Parts

Field Equipment and Artillery

Original Ordnance Manuals, and Photos 

US Army Medical

Reference Books and Reprints