Antietam Museum RELIC - Rare Iron Tasting Spoon

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  • Item Category: Militaria & Weapons
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Oct 08, 2007
  • Channel: Auction House
This lot contains a very rare cooking tasting spoon. Similar to onefrom the Revolution that I am currently selling but 2 inches longer. Measures 11 nches long witha shallow 2 1/4 inch bowl. The handle length and shallow bowl tell us that this was a tasting spoon used by the cooks to taste soup before it was fed to the troops. Some heat tempering still showing. Museum stable. Blacksmith made and hammer marks are on the bowl from when it was formed from a flat piece of iron. Small integral rat tail hanger that is amazing that it is still present. Excellent early recovered condition with age toning. Found by eye in the late1800's in a camp area. I am starting this below cost and not really comfortable to part with it, so if interest is not brisk at this time I reserve the right to delist it. Spoons that are this obviously tasting spoons and Civil War period are extremely hard to find.
This lot contains a tasting spoon that was once on display or owned by the Antietam museum and recovered in the Antietam area. The museum was opened in the early 1950's by Grafton Smith with most items recovered legally off of the battlefield before the park service owned large tracts of the land. In 1963, John and Rositta Ray purchased the museum intact. After the passing of John Ray, Rositta commissioned York Town Auction to sell the museum contents in its entirety. I purchased several lots of Antietam recovered items at the auction on Feb. 21, 2003 and am selling a few of the items and putting others in my collection. Offered are authentic legal Antietam Battlefield relics. It is becoming very difficult to obtain actual battlefield recovered relics with the majority of items coming from camps. Excellent items that I guarantee to be from the Antietam Museum forever.

The Battle of Antietam (also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the South), fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek, as part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with almost 23,000 casualties. After pursuing Confederate General Robert E. Lee into Maryland, Union Army Major General George B. McClellan launched attacks against Lee's army, in defensive positions behind Antietam Creek. Despite having superiority of numbers, McClellan's attack failed to achieve concentration of mass, resulting in a three-phase battle that Lee was able to counter by shifting forces to meet each challenge. Despite ample reserve forces that could have been deployed to exploit localized successes, McClellan failed to destroy Lee's army. Nevertheless, Lee's invasion of Maryland was ended and he was able to withdraw his army back to Virginia without interference from the cautious McClellan. Although the battle was tactically inconclusive, it had unique significance as enough of a victory to give President Abraham Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia--45,000 men--had entered Maryland following their recent victory at Second Bull Run. Lee's strategy was to seek new supplies and recruits from the border, slave-holding state of Maryland, which had considerable pockets of Confederate sympathizers, and to affect public opinion in the North. As it turned out, the social impact of Lee's actions was otherwise mixed; Marylanders were not as thoroughly won over by the sounds of Maryland! My Maryland! from the bands of the Army of Northern Virginia as Lee would have hoped, and the weak strategic victory of the Army of the Potomac at Antietam easily diminished any successes Lee may have had in winning the hearts and minds of the people of Maryland. While McClellan's 87,000-man Army of the Potomac was moving to intercept Lee, Union soldiers (Corporal Barton W. Mitchell and First Sergeant John M. Bloss of the 27th Indiana Volunteer Infantry) discovered a mislaid copy of the detailed battle plans of Lee's army--Special Order 191--wrapped around three cigars. The or...