Lot 143    

Camp Chase Confederate Prisoner of War Cane
6/21/2013 - American History: Live Auction
A wonderfully executed Camp Chase Prison cane with unique crude metal fittings, carved of hickory wood by a Confederate POW possibly as a gift for the girlfriend of one of his Yankee guards. 34 in. ln., 2.375 in. ferrule. Handle consists of a metal fitting, with four-sided panel below featuring Camp / Chase / Prison / J.A. H.B. in relief, with gilt highlights and requisite hearts; with the familiar Rebel prison touch mark of a venomous spiraling snake carved in relief throughout the remaining length of the cane; plus an additional metal fitting located near the ferrule. 

The initials carved in one side of the four-sided panel, J.A., may be in reference to Private John Armbruster, who enlisted on May 27, 1862 and mustered into Co. H of the 84th Ohio Infantry. The regiment was organized at Camp Chase, Ohio, to serve for three months. It was ordered to Cumberland, Maryland on June 11, where it was employed in preventing transportation of supplies into the Confederate lines. The 84th was then ordered to New Creek, West Virginia, in September, where an attack by Confederate forces was anticipated. However, the enemy retired without making an attack, and the regiment was ordered back to Camp Chase, then to Camp Delaware, where it was mustered out on September 20, 1862. This cane may have been carved by a Confederate POW for Armbruster while he was at Camp Chase, almost certainly for a girlfriend as indicated by the many carved hearts. The cane is accompanied by a copy of a letter written by a guard at Camp Chase, who served with Co. G of the 84th O.V.I. In the letter, dated June 7th, 1862, the guard, "Willie," makes reference to these POW canes, writing ...The prisoners are all very ingenious. They will make canes out of hickory and carve all over them snakes, letters, and other things...

A fine example.


Condition:  
With some light surface wear to cane, including a few nicks in the shaft. 
Sold: $1,527.50
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
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