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AN EXAMINATION OF ITEMS FROM THE NATIONAL CIVIL WAR NAVAL MUSEUM COLLECTION
by Charlie McCulloh and Glenn Milner

 My pard, Glenn Milner, and I were very fortunate to visit the collection that is soon to be in the National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus Georgia. With the help of Greg Starbuck, Education and/Programs Director of the Port Columbus Civil War Naval Center (yes, that Greg Starbuck, who either made the Kepi you are wearing or the Kepi you want) we were able to get a pre opening tour of the incredible new facility that is nearing completion and view several of the items soon to be displayed. Firstly, let me tell you that this new facility will be one of the finest of its kind in the country. This is located within a mile of the old museum and will be a “must see” for anyone of our interest. In addition to the fine collection that will be on display they will have full-scale reproductions that will instantly bring scope and scale to naval warfare of the period. Reproductions of portions of the CSS Albemarle, USS Monitor, and the USS Hartford in addition to the proposed artifact and reference displays will give the naval arm of the War the focus and attention it rightly deserves.  The grand opening is set for March 9th of this year and with the advent of this opening, Civil War Naval history will be available as never before.

Greg is a Living Historian and Reenactor who understands the quest for accurate reproductions. Thanks to his efforts we were not only allowed to view, photograph and make notes of several items in the collection but will be allowed to make dimensioned drawings that will aid in reproduction. Greg believes the dissemination of accurate and detailed information from the museum collection is one of the goals of the new facility. With that in mind, Glenn and I were allowed to examine items, take measurements and make photographs. We plan on providing accompanying descriptions of construction and materials with several photographs, and where an item might be reproducible, a dimensioned drawing. Hopefully this will aid in reproduction or allow already produced items to be modified for authenticity. We were able to view several Naval Sea Bags, both CS and US. We also viewed a Columbus Depot .69 caliber buck & ball ammo box and a few personal items brought up from the CSS Jackson. These being a pocketknife and a frying pan.

The new facility will be well worth your effort to visit. Make plans to go now and support this important new exhibit that preserves the Civil War Naval heritage, you will not be disappointed.

US NAVY SEA BAG OF J. A. SELMAR

This bag is extremely large and of heavy cotton duck that is course weave and appears to be at least 14-oz. weight. The thread is very heavy multi-twist linen thread and stitching was done with a large gauge needle about 4 stitches to the inch. Stitching is very well done with handsewn grommets along the opening of the bag that have 15-16 stitches each. The overall condition of the bag is very good and the lettering is crisp and clear. Tom Apple has made a very good dimensioned drawing of this bag showing all seam construction with appropriate stitching notes. One of the unusual features of this bag is the piecing of the fabric for the bottom to complete the necessary width and the reinforced grommets on the bottom that obviously held a rope loop. Greg believes that this rope loop was to aid in cleaning and drying the bag by allowing it to be hung upside down. Included with the drawing are photos of the overall bag-front and back, detail of the top opening construction, detail of the seams construction, detail shot of the bottom and close up of lettering.

Sea5.jpg (46189 bytes)    Sea4.jpg (45155 bytes)    Sea6.jpg (45884 bytes)    sea3.jpg (48188 bytes)    sea2.jpg (39982 bytes)    sea1.jpg (38321 bytes)
sea print.jpg (90599 bytes)

Notes:

Port Columbus Civil War Naval Center
PO Box 1022
Columbus, GA 31902
706/324-7334
Web site: www.portcolumbus.org