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Civil War Union Officer's Trunk

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    Posted 10 years ago

    TrunkerMar…
    (32 items)

    I've collected trunks of many types for almost 40 years and while it's not too fancy this is one of my favorites because of it's history. This small trunk was owned and used by Capt. Laffer S. Caples, who led Company D, 70th Battalion of the Ohio National Guard from Tuscarawas County which became part of the 161st Ohio Volunteer Infantry in May of 1864. They fought with the Army of the Potomac and served in Cumberland, MD, Martinsburg, WV, Staunton and Lexington and defended a supply train for General Hunter. The trunk is marked on the side with Capt. L. Caples, Co. D 70. Batt N.G. Capt. Caples is listed as leading Company E. of the newly formed 161st Ohio Volunteers.
    The trunk measures only 22" wide and 14" tall and has iron bands with large brass studs. The wood was covered with a thick paper made to look like leather when new. These rounded shape trunks were usually called Jenny Lind trunks, named after her during the 1850's but the style was popular through the 1860's. Most people assume that small trunks like this were only used by children or ladies, but this proves that even an army officer would use this style. I saw a much larger trunk of this style a museum in Nashville, TN once, which was owned by a confederate general. The more elaborate models of these trunks had fancy tooled leather, brass banding and ornately trimmed interiors. Through geneology searches I was able to find the family history of Capt. Caples and that his father was a drummer in the war of 1812. His unusual first name was his grandmother's last name.

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    Comments

    1. YardSaleDave, 10 years ago
      Great story Trunker, I have a Span-Am war trunk that is also stenciled with it's owners name. I googled the name and found a newspaper article relating to him where he is boarding the ship going off to war. I printed the article and have it attached to the trunk. It's the histories of these old items that I find the most interesting.
    2. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 10 years ago
      I agree, that is great to find information like that. Thanks.
    3. antiquesareamazing antiquesareamazing, 9 years ago
      I love the bugle in the left image!!
    4. Jacob , 9 years ago
      I am looking for some information on a trunk I bought a at flea market. It has the name Cpl. W. Hinman Youngstown Ohio, with 2 crossed cannons in the corners. Also has the numbers 135 or 136 above the cannons. The only information I have so far is that it may have belonged to a W. Hinman from the Civil War. Any help as to who it may have belonged to and the worth would be greatly appreciated.
    5. Lintz, 8 years ago
      This would have belonged to our great, great grand father. Can't believe my sister found this while looking up info about our genealogy. Thanks for preserving and treasuring this trunk . Exciting to see it.
    6. VanessaT, 7 years ago
      Your collection is beautiful. I love these trunks. I understand why this is your favourite, I collect puzzle boxes and my favourite is an old broken one because of its history.
    7. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Thanks for the comments and loves everyone. I'm very slow responding, sorry about that. Marvin
    8. TrunkerMarvin TrunkerMarvin, 6 years ago
      Lintz, that's amazing that this would have belonged to your g-g-grandfather! Please contact me again if you can... Marvin@ThisOldTrunk.com Thanks!
    9. Fishmistress, 2 years ago
      I have a trunk, in not so good condition, however it has a very thick leather top with an eagle holding a shield with 13 stars overhead. I am wondering if this might be a federal emblem and if it was perhaps an officers trunk. It is a large trunk. I do have the bottom which is made of some wood. Honestly I would probably throw something like this out, except the emblem. If this has enough historic value, perhaps it is worth restoring to the right person. If this is the case, I’d love to give it to someone that would preserve it- simply to preserve the history. It may not be in as bad of shape as something of this age might be. I don’t know.
      Wish I could submit a pic. Happy to send one - fishmistress2@yahoo.com
    10. trunkman trunkman, 2 years ago
      Oh please post a pic so we can all have a look!!

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