These kits include Material to cover the canteen, Canteen Strap and Cork with correct attachment for depot. Canteen bodies were manufactured by various contractors and then shipped to the depots.  At the depots, the cover, strap and cork were then added. Each of the various depots issued canteens slightly different and we offer the options of which depot along with type and color of cover. However, we should be careful not to apply our 21-st century standards of uniformity to the Civil War as the canteen was a utilitarian item. Most covers were pulled from the ‘scrap pile’, and there was very little concern on the type or color of material used. As per original construction, covers are machine sewn, which then would be slipped over the body and then finished by hand.

Some of the differences are:

  • New York Depot, folded cotton strap with “T.F. Bayles, U.S. Inspector” stamp and cork with chain. The NY Depot is the ONLY one known to punch a hole into the upper strap loop.
  • Cincinnati Depot, folded cotton strap with maker “Holenshade” and U.S. Inspector A. G. Spencer” and cork with twine attached.
  • Philadelphia Depot had cotton twill strap with no maker or inspector stamp and cork with twine attachment.
  • Indianapolis Depot had a contract for 10,000 canteens which specified leather straps in 1862. Leather straps were used with canteens from 1812 to early-1863.