A carved laurel root pipe by Cpl. John S. Small Co. F 2nd Maine Infantry. Small was a twenty eight year old mill worker from Carmel, Maine when he enlisted in the spring of 1861. He remained with the hard fought 2nd Maine through the battles of 1st & 2nd Bull Run, Yorktown, Hanover Court House, Gaines’ Mill, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Of 1,228 men at full strength only 275 souls would return to Maine for the mustering out of the 2nd Regiment in June of 1863.
A pen and ink sketch by Capt. Burpee of the 19th Maine Infantry is entitled “Rebel quarters near Culpepper, Virginia now occupied by Capt. E. A. Burpee”. The drawing is overlaid with bone trinkets and finger rings to include two rings by an unknown member of the 2nd Maine Regiment and two rarely surviving rings carved in the female form. Such were personal or trade items likely cast away before battle or before returning home.
A sketch by Burpee depicts the 1862-1863 winter camp of the 19th Maine Infantry at Falmouth, Virginia overlooking Fredericksburg. The scene is overlaid with a collection of beef bone folk art trinkets the subject and use of which was limited only by the craftsman’s imagination.
A throwback from the Civil War winter camp days, is this finger ring carved by a veteran at the Togus, Maine National Veterans Home in 1892. The ring was made from the bone of the Maine black bear “Old Dow” who served as mascot at the veteran home. Named for Maine General, and one time presidential candidate Neal Dow, the mascot died in 1892. This relic of the beloved “Old Dow” was preserved by veteran Pvt. Azra B. Webber of Co. I, 29th Maine