Militia Knapsack Circa 1820s – 1830s


Black painted canvas with regiment and company markings.

Contact Us About This Product


Militia Knapsack Circa 1820s – 1830s.  I bought this knapsack in Virginia, at a Civil War show, but most likely it is a New England or New York area piece.  Painted black one piece canvas, with main body folded over and sewn on the edges. The edge of the flap has been turned under and sewn. Tie down straps of thin cotton tape is used to secure the flap to the body. By the 1830’s these knapsacks were largely decorative and not made to hold any items, and they generally became more colorful, and smaller.  This one was made more sturdy and could have held some articles for the field (muster). It is a good size at 16 inches square.

The thick tan canvas straps are made in two sections; the upper shoulder yokes are wide to accommodate more comfort, then transitioning to thinner straps for the remainder of length, and secured firmly to the corners. At some point during the period of use, the straps were painted white and now looking a dirty tan.

The outer painted oval on the flap now has an orange hue, but could have been red at one time. the numeral, and letters used the same color. Markings for 2nd Regiment, Co. C.

There is no way to know where this knapsack originated from specifically, until another shows up identified. It is in very good condition for it’s age.  Knapsacks like any of these old militia items are getting hard to find, especially intact.