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civil war pocket watch - or whats left -help ID "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 2075
posted
I see watches up for sale claiming a civil war connection , and I am always suspicious of these claims , for one it is usually a watch that was made during or at the end of the war , that just does not sound right to me , money was tight 2. who would buy a new watch and go to battle ? maybe . I always thought there would be a lot of english watches . Help me ID this one ,dug from the field ,I know there is not much left , maybe there is enough to id

Old Rare Vintage Antique Civil War Relic Beautiful Confederate Camp Pocket Watch

 
Posts: 1574 | Location: Maryland in the USA | Registered: June 04, 2015
IHC Member 1411
posted
Civil War Pocket Watches would have all been of the Key Wind,Key Set variety. Stem Wind Stem Set watches first came out in the U.S. in the 1870's. Can't identify the movement but as it is in a Stem Wind Case it sure could not have been carried by anyone at Appomattox Courthouse VA in 1865
 
Posts: 229 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: April 26, 2010
IHC Member 2075
posted
good point ! this is why I always have my guard up.
 
Posts: 1574 | Location: Maryland in the USA | Registered: June 04, 2015
posted
Great call, Michael. I too always have my antennae quivering every time someone makes a claim like that. Half of the time they even try to say it belonged to old Bobby Lee himself or such. In addition, my great-great-grandfather was in the 10th New Jersey Infantry Regiment which fought in the battle/skirmishes around Appomattox, and then was there for the surrender, and then the disarming of Confederate troops. That land all around there was so mixed up with soldiers from both sides one would have to have some pretty convincing evidence that anything that was or is found there was Confederate as opposed to Union since they were both back and forth around the same lands. And, there are no fences around the town and lands nearby to keep people out of the area so when a relic such as this is dug up other than being able to say with certainty that the oldest it could be is 1870s one cannot say exactly when it was dropped other than it was in wet soil for at least a good number of decades to become so corroded/rusted. My guess is that given the amount of corrosion and rust it could be from some time between the 1870s and the early 1900s.
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Life Member
Picture of William D. White
posted
This appears to be what's left of a common dollar watch, probably not made before 1930. Likely discarded by hunters, hikers or campers sometime in the 1960's .....not the 1860's! Smile

William
 
Posts: 1557 | Location: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: September 01, 2008
IHC Member 107
Picture of Brian C.
posted
I agree with William. On the bottom, left, you can see a hole tab used to hold in a dollar watch movement.
 
Posts: 1848 | Location: Epsom, New Hampshire USA | Registered: December 14, 2002
posted
People are constantly losing, accidentally dropping, deliberately tossing away or shedding all sorts of things where ever and when ever they go somewhere. It is a real problem on historical sites. I am somewhat reminded of the old Charlie Brown cartoons where the character "Pigpen" has a constant cloud of dirt and such coming off of him.
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
One of the more common watches of the American Civil War era were Swiss bar movement key winders with cylinder escapements. Often marked "4 holes jeweled" on the covet along with spurious British maker's names like Tobias and Copper. Watches of this type have been dug out of Civil War battlefields. Of course the actual products of Tobias of Liverpool were very popular but there were fewer of them. I seem to recall that a genuine gold Tobias was found on the Confederate submarine Henley and it was the property of the captain.
 
Posts: 1865 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
posted
There is a kind of running joke among people who look for or collect War Between the States relics from battlefields about confederate uniform buttons from soldiers from the 12th Georgia infantry regiment that are found at most every site. Of course the 12th Georgia was not everywhere during the war and these are not actually buttons from soldiers of the 12th Georgia, but instead they are the brass bases of 12 gauge shotgun shells where the paper casing has long since rotted away and so they are in the shape and metal of brass buttons and are marked 12 GA. Hunters over the last 150 years have dropped these spent shotgun shells all over the countryside including contaminating the battlefields with them.
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
That's a good one Jim. I would guess the 12 Ga. buttons would fall into the category of Civil War wishful thinking.

At a Civil War collectors show some years back, a seller had a canteen, cartridge box and holster each carefully marked with the same Confederate soldiers name and unit. While he had researched the name and unit of an actual Confederate officer, the seller was otherwise a true nitwit. The weathered old holster had stitch marks on the front of about the size for a .32 automatic pistol clip and was clearly a European military holster no older than World War One.
 
Posts: 1865 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
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