This .58 caliber Johnston & Dow waterproof cartridge is in very good condition and was excavated in the area of Fair Oaks, VA. The bullet has a white patina and the main body of the cartridge has no cracks, holes, or repairs. On one side, there is a small break in the paper where the cartridge joins the bullet, likely due to age and shrinkage, but the cartridge is still solidly attached, and, if gently shaken, one can still hear the 150 year old gun powder inside. According to Jim Thomas, co-author of "A Handbook of Civil War Bullets and Cartridges", "the case material was paper or cloth treated with various chemicals to make it combustible. A final coat of collodion made the cartridge waterproof. The fact that complete cartridges are still recovered is a testament to the inventor's claim of them being impervious to the weather." An example of this cartridge can be found in the above mentioned handbook on page 39 as item 150B. This cartridge is a fine example and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War bullet, cartridge, or general excavated relic collection.
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