Volunteer Infantry Accoutrements

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During the last half of the 19th century, volunteer troops in Cuba and Puerto Rico wore simple, locally manufactured accoutrements generally consisting of a single cartridge pouch, called a "canana", waist belt and bayonet frog.  Often these items will be found in black enameled finished leather but natural brown and black dyed examples are also known.  The cartridge pouch was habitually worn on the center front of the waist and will often have a metal unit numbers or branch insignia mounted on the flap.  The flap covers a varying number of loops to hold metallic cartridges sewn to a leather back with belt loops on the reverse.  The matching leather belt will often have a simple iron harness buckle.   Both socket and saber bayonets were issued and frogs will vary with the type of bayonet.  

 

 

 

 

 




  


Cartridge Pouches - Cananas


Volunteer cartridge pouch of black enameled leather with a brass 1st. Company insignia.  The finials are made of brass.  This and the next pouch, as well as the waist belt, were brought home by an unknown Ohio soldier.


A second Volunteer cartridge pouch of black enameled leather.  The finials are of nickel on this example.  This was brought home by the same unknown Ohio soldier as the one above.


A third variant of the Volunteer cartridge pouch in black enameled leather.  The finials are of brass.  Provenance is unknown.


An example of the Volunteer cartridge pouch of natural brown leather with a brass 4th. Battalion insignia.  The finials are of brass.  This pouch comes with the oral tradition of having been the souvenir of a Michigan Volunteer.

 


Waistbelt


Volunteer's equipment belt of enameled black leather with and iron roller buckle.  The belt is 1.25" wide.  The buckle has traces of a black japanned finish.  This waist belt was brought home by the same unknown Ohio soldier as the first two pouches shown above.

 


 

All material is Copyright 2006 by William K. Combs.  No portion may be used without permission.