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Civil War Paymaster's Chest

Paying the troops
As indicated by the stenciled name on its lid, this iron money chest was used by David Gribben, a paymaster serving with the United States Army during the Civil War. Gribben was an Irish-born New Yorker who entered the Union army in 1864 and served as a paymaster until 1869. Although they carried rank, paymasters were really military accountants and lived more like civilians than soldiers. An officer serving at Fort Snelling, in St. Paul, MN, in the 1850s recalled that the local paymaster spent his time "not doing military duty, seemed irresponsible and did about as he pleased. He allowed himself much latitude in dress, appearing in civilian dress, except at the pay table, when he appeared in uniform, or nearly so."

24-1/2" long x 16-1/4" high x 16-1/4" deep.
200 pounds
Web display only

Learn more!
· Civil War Pay
· Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)
· "Farewell, Mother(Confederate Parody)"

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