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Record 211/294
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Description Large leather tri-fold wallet or "Portfolio" constructed of 9" piece of leather on the outside and three sewn sections on the inside. Each interior section has a closure flap, the center one with a leather tab and loop. Exterior closes with a leather strap through a loop. Interior embossed with "MADE BY Chas. ARMS/SOUTHDEERFIELD, MASS".

Leather wallet or "Portfolio" carried by Joseph Arnold during the Civil War. In a letter to his mother dated August 27, 1864 he writes: "You did not say anything about the portfolio that I wrote for. I want one to carry any letters and papers in it, to keep them from getting wet. Please send one that I can carry in my pocket." He again writes on September 14, 1864: "What I meant by a portfolio is something like a briefcase, of the kind journeymen have, although you will probably not be able to get one." This is probably the portfolio he requested.

Joseph Arnold was the son of Frederick and Margaret (Mack) Arnold, both from Bavaria, Frederick came to America in 1835 and married Margaret several years later, 1843 family moved to Milwaukee, WI, and in 1851 to Oshkosh. Frederick was employed as a soap and candle maker in 1857. Joseph was employed as a butcher according to the 1860 census. Joseph went to Milwaukee in April 1861 and enlisted in Company H, 1st Wisconsin Infantry (Three Months Regiment). He served in Virginia and saw action at the Battle of Falling Waters. He mustered out of service on August 15, 1861. Joseph reenlisted in Fond du Lac on August 15, 1862, as a sergeant in Company E, 26th Wisconsin Infantry (Seigel Regiment). He fought in the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg (where he was captured on July 1, 1863) and was a prisoner of war at Belle Isle near Richmond, Virginia until March 7, 1864. He participated in the Atlanta Campaign, March to the Sea, and the March Through the Carolinas. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on February 11, 1865 and commanded the company as senior officer and briefly commanded Company H. He mustered out on June 13, 1865. After the war he operated a restaurant and bottled mineral water in Oshkosh. He married Matilda Moss on November 24, 1868 and raised four daughters. Arnold was active in the Grand Army of the Republic and was commander of the Phillip H. Sheridan Post #10 in Oshkosh. He died in 1898.
Dimensions W-3 L-4.5 inches
Event Civil War
Year range to 1865
Made Chas Arms
Material Leather
Object ID 2000.69.3
Object Name Wallet
Place of Origin South Deerfield, MA
People Arnold, Joseph
Used Arnold, Joseph
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009