When soldiers weren't marching, drilling or fighting, they utilized time on their hands by making objects to help them pass the time away.
By flattening out musket balls, they were able to make poker chips or game pieces. Notice the piece on the far left of the photo on the top. It looks to have been flattened by placing on a railroad track.
A single flattened musket ball probably used as a gaming piece or poker chip.
Here's a flattened musket ball with a hole in the top for suspension.
3 ring minie balls that have been intentionally flattened out. Purpose unknown except for maybe amusement.
Minie balls that appear to have been carved into chess pieces. Some diggers have found some really intricately carved chess pieces.
These, however, appear to be more simple.
Carving and whittling was a common practice among the youth of the day. Carving a soft metal like lead made for an ideal medium for their art.
Another interesting carved piece. This one was carved from an Enfield bullet.
The musket ball on the left has the letter "W" carved on it.
The Enfield bullet on the right has an "X" carved on it.
Lead that has been fashioned into pencils or writing implements.
Bullets fashioned into fishing weights. When soldiers camped near large rivers or lakes that would've supported fish populations, I'm sure
the hope of catching and eating fresh fish was better than what was on the menu in the camp.
Here's a copper wire that has been fashioned into a fishing hook.
Nothing like a dice game in the camp.
Here are two brass objects that have been carved out of sheet brass available in the camp:
On the left is a star device (popular with Texas and Mississippi troops).
On the right appears to be a Christian cross (note the hole in the center for attachment).
Bullets cut in two.
Here's an interesting little relic. It's a small lead piece that has been chewed into the shape of a button.
Many lead objects were chewed by animals, but in the case of this relic it has been chewed by human teeth
with great detail.
Thanks for viewing a portion of my collection on lead and brass items that had been utilized by soldiers to relieve the boredom of camp life.
We can learn a lot about their activities in camp during the civil war years. One thing is for certain, people haven't changed much!
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