‘Checker Board
Made from a piece of the
Floor of Libby Prison made with
A piece of glass by Isaac Harris’

This pre Civil War vintage British military style bottle flask bears a period cursive inscription incised into its leather cover identifying the carrier as Owen Tucker 28th Va. Infantry. Likely coming through the Union Blockade as did so many obsolete military supplies, this souvenir bears a G. A. R. Post loan tag advising that the GETTYSBURG REB CANTEEN was made available by Comrad Wm. H. Green. Green was a Portland, Maine native enlisting in August 1862 as a Sgt. Co. B 17th Maine Infantry. He was present at Gettysburg with his 17th Maine, by this time serving as 1st Lt. of Co. B. Green would remain with the hard fought 17th Maine through the war rising to the rank of Captain in 1864 and mustering out at the close of the war. He returned to his home state of Maine and became a member of the Bosworth Memorial Post #2 G. A. R. in 1867. He remained a member in good standing until his death in 1910 at age 74. The unfortunate benefactor of William H. Green’s Gettysburg trophy, Owen H. Tucker, enlisted as a thirty-eight year old farmer on May 13, 1861. Tucker mustered in as a Pvt. Co. B 28th Virginia Infantry. While in the service of the 28th Tucker’s Regiment was engaged at 1st Bull Run, the Siege at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, the Seven Days Battles, Gaines’ Mill, Frayser’s Farm, 2nd Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam and at Fredericksburg and finally at Gettysburg where the 28th was part of Pickett’s Division. This would be Tucker’s his last battle for though he would be carried early on in the regimental rolls as having been killed in action at Gettysburg along with most of his comrades, Tucker was in fact taken prisoner on the third day. Before the war’s end now 2nd Lt. Owen H Tucker would be confined at the Union run prisons at Fort Delaware, Sandusky, Johnson’s Island and finally at Point Lookout, Maryland where on March 21, 1865 he was given the Oath of Allegiance and released.

Isaac Benton Harris was a thirty year old resident of Appleton, Maine when he mustered in in the fall of 1861 as a Private of Co. B 1st Maine Cavalry. He was taken prisoner on September 24, 1862. It was Pvt. Harris who had been detailed to remain to care for Major Cilley of Co. B who had fallen critically wounded that day at Middletown, Virginia. Though the record becomes a bit jumbled in this period, it is most likely the trophy checkerboard came back to Maine when Pvt. Harris was paroled in relatively quick order then discharged for disability. The stuffy Yankee had not finished his service however as he almost immediately joined the 48th Mass. Infantry, a nine month regiment that mustered out in October 1863. Before the close of December of that year Isaac Harris was serving as a Sergeant of Co. H 2nd Maine Cavalry. He remained with the 2nd Maine Cavalry until the regiment was mustered out on December 6, 1865 at Barrancas, Florida.