Civil war soldiers used backpacks made primarily of leather and wood to carry their gear onto the battlefield. Their personal items, including a tent, food plate, cup and blanket were all arranged either into or onto a relatively small pack. The standard civil war military backpack measured about 14” height by 15” wide, which, if compared to army backpacks today, which contains everything from clothes to ammunition and wireless outdoor speakers means these soldiers traveled pretty light.
There were several models of backpacks available during this era but most were designed in a similar way. They had two internal flaps and an external flap. Everything was kept together by leather straps. It also had two, usually wider, leather straps that was worn over the shoulders pretty much the same as with backpacks today. These soldiers obviously didn’t have t comforts of padded strap to help protect their shoulders from the burden of wearing a loaded backpack for days and weeks on end.
Genuine Civil war military backpacks can still be purchased today, mostly from collectors or online auctions. Before buying one of these be sure to check with a trusted Civil War Appraiser to verify your buying a genuine item.
Civil War Backpack Information – Boulder History – Civil War Backpack
Modern Military and Civilian Outdoor Speaker Information – Outer Audio – Best Outdoor Speakers