|Bone tie slide set over a period print entitled
Camp Leavitt [Virginia]
Winter Quarters of the 16th Maine Regiment,
March 18, 1865.
Pvt. Patten’s handiwork is representative of classic
Civil War winter camp soldier folk art fostered by
long hours of inactivity when entire regiments were
holed up for the winter months. During this mostly
idle time soldiers fashioned all manner of personal
items and trinkets to send home or trade. Beef bone
was a readily available medium which was carved
and frequently incised with decorative inlay of
colored sealing wax. Beef bone as a raw material
was augmented by the use of wood to include the
dense native laurel root, peach pits, silver from coins
or a spoon flattened to provide a thin flat sheet.