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Description 
Model 1855 double bag knapsack. The body of the knapsack is constructed of black painted canvas or linen with two compartments; one compartment closes with four flaps and string ties; the other is shaped like an envelope with a flap that closes with two string ties. There are four leather straps on top to accommodate overcoat straps (missing) and three leather exterior straps with steel buckles to close the entire knapsack. There are two 3-piece leather shoulder straps on the back with brass rivets and hardware; and two blackened steel buckles; "JB" is stamped on strap. The knapsack would carry a soldiers blanket; shelter tent half; rubber blanket; toilet articles; and extra clothing and personal items. A rolled overcoat could be tied to the top. James F. Sawyer listed his residence as Gibraltar, Door County when he enlisted there on Mar. 28, 1864. He was assigned as a private in Company K, 21st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and was wounded at Savannah, Georgia. He was transferred as unassigned to the 3rd (reorganized) Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry on June 8, 1865 and was mustered out on July 18, 1865. James was listed in the veteran section of the 1885 Wisconsin State census at P.O. Omro, Winnebago County. He was a charter member of GAR Post #7 at Omro and was the namesake of that post. Nancy E., his widow, was listed in the 1890 federal census as residing in the town of Omro at P.O. Omro. She provided his unit designation as above and information that he had suffered a bullet wound to his neck during his military service. He is buried with a simple military marker. Nancy was born on Feb. 26, 1830 and died on June 5, 1905. She was listed in 1905 as his widow and was then residing at 201 Exchange Street in the village of Omro. Both are buried at Omro Cemetery, Olin's Addition, Section A, plot 8.
Knapsack -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009