[Confederate Civil War Powder Horn]
1864 (undated) 2.25 x 9.5 in (5.715 x 24.13 cm)
This is a rare c. 1864 map scrimshaw powder horn etched by a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War (1861 – 1865). The powder horn bears a fascinating map covering the coast between Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. The map names various forts that saw action during the war, including Fort Sumter, Fort Walker, Fort Port Royal, and Fort Beauregard.
Typically map powder horns, like the present example, are associated with the French and Indian War and focus specifically on the Hudson Valley theater. We have occasionally seen powder horns from earlier and later wars, including both the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Of these, horns from the Civil War are exceptionally rare, being toward the end of the period when such horns were commonly used.
The horn was engraved by Jim Reed. A study of Civil War records provides little assistance in identifying Reed, as the Reed name is common and frequently first names were not recorded in military records. Nonetheless, when we acquired the horn, the present owner offered unsubstantiated provenance, apparently from the family that preserved it, stating that it was owned by a Jim Reed of Blairsville, north Georgia, connected to the Georgia Volunteers.
The horn is undeniably authentic and betrays an inexperienced but earnest hand. We have tentatively dated it to 1864, or so, at the middle point in the Civil War.