Muzzleldrs Paper with soldier name found in my musket buttplate. NEW provenance info added on 1/18/14.

96Ohio

Private
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Location
Valdosta, GA
Hello,

I am lightly oiling the metal and waxing the wood to preserve my newly acquired original CW Bridesburg musket. I found this piece of paper with what looks like a soldiers name and unit information attached to the inside of the buttplate.

I thought I had read that someone found similar information or discussed soldiers doing this with their weapons but I can't find that thread.

The name looks like "Jacob Havens" and after the name it looks like "Co" and a letter H or A,(I can't really tell), the number 14 followed by "N." Gr or Jr (not sure)? The paper is glued to the plate from the top of the paper strip and folds down to read the name

If anyone has any information or comments that would be great and appreciated.

Also, should I lightly oil around the paper and leave it there or not touch the inside of the buttplate at all?

Thanks again for all the help!

FrankView attachment 23165
That is a jaw-dropping discovery. I recently took an online course with NEHGS on conservation and preservation. Here is one easy link to the National Archives on how to do it it yourself. And another link for consultation. https://www.culturalheritage.org/about-conservation/find-a-conservator. Off the top of my head, I'd say do not put it in the buttplate because the acid in the wood and oils are going to compromise the paper and ink. Get it out of the light. Store it in a polyester protective sleeve and store the sleeve in a buffered, acid and lignen free file folder. Write a full description of the document and when and how you discovered it. Then file that file in a safe, archival acid and lignen free box. Label the box. Here's one supplier I've dealt with for years: http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/
That's just my two cents. Havens is in my family line but branches back in a cousin's line. Quick search did find a Jacob Havens in New Jersey who served in the Civil War. Will have to contact her and see if it leads anywhere. Fascinating.
 

FrankN

Corporal
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Location
Near Philadelphia
That is a jaw-dropping discovery. I recently took an online course with NEHGS on conservation and preservation. Here is one easy link to the National Archives on how to do it it yourself. And another link for consultation. https://www.culturalheritage.org/about-conservation/find-a-conservator. Off the top of my head, I'd say do not put it in the buttplate because the acid in the wood and oils are going to compromise the paper and ink. Get it out of the light. Store it in a polyester protective sleeve and store the sleeve in a buffered, acid and lignen free file folder. Write a full description of the document and when and how you discovered it. Then file that file in a safe, archival acid and lignen free box. Label the box. Here's one supplier I've dealt with for years: http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/
That's just my two cents. Havens is in my family line but branches back in a cousin's line. Quick search did find a Jacob Havens in New Jersey who served in the Civil War. Will have to contact her and see if it leads anywhere. Fascinating.
Hello, thank you for your interest! This thread is actually about 7 years old. Since I first posted this, and with the help of kind and knowledgeable forum members and my own research, I’ve been able to gather a good bit of information about Jacob Havens. I have copies of his military pension records and muster rolls from the National Archives, we visited the Trenton NJ Archives and had some records copied from there and we have visited his grave site in Point Pleasant NJ. (Not far from me). I’m sure there could be more information out there and I’d certainly be interested in it!
There is a lot to read in this thread but on the 5th page, post #90 I started to give updates on the information that we were putting together.
The cartridge paper with his hand written name and other information is still in the buttplate. It’s a long strip of folded over cartridge paper that Jacob (I assume) glued, post-it note style, to the buttplate. The glue was applied to about a one inch section of the paper and pasted to the buttplate. I don’t want to tear it off. I think it’s best to leave it as is but I’m open to alternative ideas. It’s probably been in there for over 155 years. I have taken photos to show visitors and have only taken the plate off twice since I’ve owned it. The musket is well taken care of and none of the patina has been disturbed.
I’ll always remember the day when I first removed the plate and saw Jacob‘s information. I guess I can never be 100% sure when and where he may have carried this musket but it sure has a “been there” look to it. I always get excited when I look over at it.

Best regards,
Frank
 

96Ohio

Private
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Location
Valdosta, GA
Hello, thank you for your interest! This thread is actually about 7 years old. Since I first posted this, and with the help of kind and knowledgeable forum members and my own research, I’ve been able to gather a good bit of information about Jacob Havens. I have copies of his military pension records and muster rolls from the National Archives, we visited the Trenton NJ Archives and had some records copied from there and we have visited his grave site in Point Pleasant NJ. (Not far from me). I’m sure there could be more information out there and I’d certainly be interested in it!
There is a lot to read in this thread but on the 5th page, post #90 I started to give updates on the information that we were putting together.
The cartridge paper with his hand written name and other information is still in the buttplate. It’s a long strip of folded over cartridge paper that Jacob (I assume) glued, post-it note style, to the buttplate. The glue was applied to about a one inch section of the paper and pasted to the buttplate. I don’t want to tear it off. I think it’s best to leave it as is but I’m open to alternative ideas. It’s probably been in there for over 155 years. I have taken photos to show visitors and have only taken the plate off twice since I’ve owned it. The musket is well taken care of and none of the patina has been disturbed.
I’ll always remember the day when I first removed the plate and saw Jacob‘s information. I guess I can never be 100% sure when and where he may have carried this musket but it sure has a “been there” look to it. I always get excited when I look over at it.

Best regards,
Frank
I saw the date after I posted and chuckled to myself. My first thought was oops, but I contacted my cousin and indeed, Jacob Havens is the same individual in our line. Yes, sometimes it is best to leave it as it is rather than risk further damage. Rule 1 in preservation and conservation: do no harm. It makes me so happy to hear from someone who sees beyond the object and into the individual. A scrap of paper instantly brings the item to life. My cousin has the story about the musket and it's owner, Jacob Havens, and I'm waiting on her email. Hope we can stay in contact about our common link and any other Civil War topics.
Warmest regards,
Victoria
 

FrankN

Corporal
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Location
Near Philadelphia
I saw the date after I posted and chuckled to myself. My first thought was oops, but I contacted my cousin and indeed, Jacob Havens is the same individual in our line. Yes, sometimes it is best to leave it as it is rather than risk further damage. Rule 1 in preservation and conservation: do no harm. It makes me so happy to hear from someone who sees beyond the object and into the individual. A scrap of paper instantly brings the item to life. My cousin has the story about the musket and it's owner, Jacob Havens, and I'm waiting on her email. Hope we can stay in contact about our common link and any other Civil War topics.
Warmest regards,
Victoria
Once again, thank you for your interest! We can always enjoy interesting artifacts and wish that they could reveal their history, mostly we are left with our imagination. It’s been a pleasure and joy to be able to take care of this piece of history and learn a little about the owner and his experience. I’m sure we’ll have other common CW topics and I’ll certainly pass along any other information I may come across concerning Jacob. It’ll be very interesting to hear what your cousin may have discovered.

Thank you!
Frank
 

96Ohio

Private
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Location
Valdosta, GA
Once again, thank you for your interest! We can always enjoy interesting artifacts and wish that they could reveal their history, mostly we are left with our imagination. It’s been a pleasure and joy to be able to take care of this piece of history and learn a little about the owner and his experience. I’m sure we’ll have other common CW topics and I’ll certainly pass along any other information I may come across concerning Jacob. It’ll be very interesting to hear what your cousin may have discovered.

Thank you!
Frank
 

96Ohio

Private
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Location
Valdosta, GA
Good morning! My cousin, Jayne, gave me the link to Find a Grave memorial someone else has started. She posted Jacob's obituary and has suggested edits, however, the memorial owner posted what I'd call a reluctant and somewhat smarmy edit. I think I'll also post an edit and see if we can't get the owner's attention. If not, I'll go to the editors. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/38010715/jacob-havens
My email is [email protected] if you'd like to continue this through email. I have a feeling we'll be able to exchange a lot more information.
I'm an historical genealogist and live in the Deep South. I've been trying to provide some identification of a group of unknown Confederate soldiers buried in the historical West End Cemetery Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia. I'm reasonably certain they were going to or coming from the Battle of Olustee FL. The story even printed in the papers was the bodies were dropped off at the train station as it stopped in Quitman. There has to be some sort of record somewhere. I can't imagine the Army would just deposit the bodies for burial and not make a notation somewhere. Would love for a DNA analysis. I'm away from my records but it is about six or eight soldiers.
 
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