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1820's- 1830's Campaign Chests Pic's sought

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Forum topic by Dallas posted 02-16-2013 07:38 PM 1182 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dallas

2906 posts in 1143 days


02-16-2013 07:38 PM

An open request for anyone who can supply pictures of early 19th century military campaign chests. Preferably from the slight dispute time when the Alamo was inundated by intruders, and to specify even further, would like to have pictures of the Mexican officers campaign chests, circa 1820-1845.
Texian chests would be really nice, along with Tennessean and Kentuckian and Louisianan of the same period.
They could be land based infantry, cavalry or artillery, no problem. Maritime are a bit more problematic for my needs… Sailors got stuff from all over.
I would also appreciate any provenance that you have to date the piece(s).

I have some friends who are re-enactors in the Mexican/Texian secession dispute in 1835 and most didn’t realize that there was actual furniture carried for the officers on each side.

We (A local television personality) and I are looking for pieces that could be recreated and used in the re-enactments and maybe be featured on some of the special programs for PBS and other places.

TIA!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!


19 replies so far

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Handtooler

1084 posts in 788 days


#1 posted 02-16-2013 11:08 PM

Dallas, Christopher Schwarz just recently had several blogs and a Poplar Woodworking Magazine article on his fabrication of the English campaign chests and stacked secretary desk of their era of travels into India. He may just be your best source of info on such. He did an extensive search for the bronze and or brass quality hardware. His final selection was $700.00 + for just one piece of furniture. Keep this thread going please. It should be of interest to all LJers.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

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Dallas

2906 posts in 1143 days


#2 posted 02-16-2013 11:28 PM

Russel, I am hoping it brings at least some interest.

It is amazing that most people have no idea what a campaign chest is. Many think of it as nothing more than a box to carry personal items in. It’s much more than that, and really seems to be specific to each country of origin or maybe even each unit.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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Handtooler

1084 posts in 788 days


#3 posted 02-16-2013 11:42 PM

Yes, it certainly does! I searched the internet for campaign chest and even the selective dates and for Alamo related. Nothing Alamo specific yet but there’s oodles out there including chests, furniture, hardware and such. Horton is a primary hardware source even though Chris didn’t select them totally.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

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Dallas

2906 posts in 1143 days


#4 posted 02-17-2013 02:00 AM

Not just Alamo, but San Jacinto, Goliad, San Saba and all along the east central section of Texas.

I have some designs for folding camp chairs and even beds used by officers, some designs for cooking stuff as used for storage and near the cooking fires, but finding period correct furniture like the campaign chests is like buying unobtanium….

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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Handtooler

1084 posts in 788 days


#5 posted 02-17-2013 12:19 PM

I am certainly not an historian, and know little about these missions; but I was and am still very impressed with the blogs and articles of the British Campaign chests and the upper secretary unit that artisan Christopher did within the passed year. WOW that’s some kind of cabinetry! Some day I hope to really learn and master (HA HA) hand cut dovetails.

Please share the source of some of the plans and info. I’am certain other LJ’s will be interested in a challenge to improve their cabinet construction skills. Do some of the lid panels include breadboard ends?

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

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bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1007 days


#6 posted 02-17-2013 01:12 PM

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JoeinGa

3249 posts in 663 days


#7 posted 02-17-2013 01:29 PM

Well you’re right Dallas. I never heard of a campaign chest till I read this post. Spent almost an hour Googling and I’m now “Duly impressed” at what they had and used.

I’ll be watching this thread to see what you find.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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Dallas

2906 posts in 1143 days


#8 posted 02-17-2013 01:53 PM

These are simple designs that probably were used all over from the beginning of wood woorking:

Thanks go out to David Martin, Texas Historical Reenactors.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Willeh's profile

Willeh

228 posts in 995 days


#9 posted 02-17-2013 02:08 PM

There was a cover story and feature article about campaign furniture in the August edition of popular woodworking. Lots or pics and construction techniques and a good history of the furniture. You can pick up a copy of that issue from their website for about $6. A good buy if you are interested in this topic.

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2400 days


#10 posted 02-17-2013 02:19 PM

Dallas, I guess you’ve checked the local library (if it still exists). When I was a teenager, they had several books on Texas history, with lots of pictures. I’ll check the San Saba library also. They’ve got a fairly large section of local history books. Might be some camp photos in them.

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Dallas

2906 posts in 1143 days


#11 posted 02-17-2013 03:15 PM

Thanks Willeh and Tenontim.

I’ve looked in libraries from Dallas to Laredo to Monterrey to Mexico City.

Generally campaign furniture is about the same throughout history, up until mass production came along.

What I am actually seeking is the style and type of furniture used by Santa Anna and his Mexican officers and also the Texian/Texican military units.

To give you an idea it’s like looking for different examples of a sideboard table: There are a lot of different styles from the same period depending on where they were built. then there are completely different styles depending on the style popular at a given time.
It’s like looking at the difference between craftsman, Mission, Shaker, Hepplewhite, Victorian, Nakashima, and Walmart.

I have a feeling it will take a trip to the museums in Mexico City and Monterrey plus a few stops along the way in Coahuila and Chihuahua. oh, and maybe a cantina or two just to be fair to all.

In my search I have found some interesting things out about the Texas revolution and to tell the truth it is this knowledge that is driving me.
The Texas revolution was not as much like pictured in the movies, but more centered in politics, (Coahuila at the time was known as a ‘double state’.. part Texian and part Mexican, which the white settlers and most of the resident Mexican population of Texas was happy with).

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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joeyinsouthaustin

1256 posts in 728 days


#12 posted 02-18-2013 02:13 AM

You may want to contact the Bob Bullock Texas State history museum, here in Austin. I know they keep artifacts from this period, including the original gates to the Alamo?? maybe you hit this already.

-- Who is John Galt?

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Dallas

2906 posts in 1143 days


#13 posted 02-19-2013 07:48 PM

Thanks Joey. I’ll dig up a phone number for them and see if they have anymore information.

When I was down there there wasn’t much that had to do with Santa Anna’s side in the way of furniture.

I also have an email in to the curator of the museum in Monterrey hoping that they will have something. Since my Spanish is pretty bad, I had a friend write it for me. He may get more response than I did.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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joeyinsouthaustin

1256 posts in 728 days


#14 posted 02-19-2013 09:55 PM

Hope it works out, they keep quite a bit archived, and definently have connections to the community that should find the material your need. I would imagine that it will be found to be very similar to English and French campaign furniture, but out of mesquite or pine. It wouldn’t surprise me if what santa anna was carrying around was european iin origin either. Contact the curator at the gadsen museum in new mexico. They specialize in items from that period, and a little later. I don’t think they would have anything specific, but It is in the hart of a community that is much, much older than the Texian nation, and might be able to point you in a direction.

-- Who is John Galt?

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bandit571

6977 posts in 1339 days


#15 posted 02-19-2013 11:03 PM

I seem to remember an old FWW magazine, back in the 90s. A fellow had built a Campaign Chest out of Bermuda Cedar, with a special type of Bermuda Dovetails. There was a “locking bar” along one edge to keep all the drawers from sliding out. There was a”pullout” office/desk for the writing of orders/letters/reports. Brass hardware, of course.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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