Wonderful pair of Civil War boots from the Charles F. Gunther collection of Libby Prison artifacts. Libby Prison was a Confederate prison at Richmond, Virginia that gained an infamous reputation for the overcrowded and harsh conditions under which officer prisoners from the Union Army were kept. Prisoners suffered from disease, malnutrition and a high mortality rate. By 1863, one thousand prisoners were crowded into large open rooms on two floors, with open, barred windows leaving them exposed to weather and temperature extremes. The building was built before the war as a food warehouse. In 1889, Charles F. Gunther moved the structure to Chicago and renovated it into a war museum. Gunther was a German American wealthy confectioner, politician, and collector. He purchased many of the items now owned by the Chicago History Museum, and assembled a massive collection of Libby Prison artifacts. This pair of boots was once part of that collection. The boots are the typical Civil War style with square toes and pegged soles. They rise 16” tall with 11” soles. The boots come with a display tag from a museum that displayed them after Gunther’s collection was sold, which reads “Worn by a Union officer as prisoner in Libby Prison 1864.” A great pair of Civil War boots from the infamous prison camp.
Inventory Number: UNI 109 / SOLD