Civil War Eagle Claw Pipe - Carved from hardwood and fashoined into an Eagle's Claw cradling the bowl of the pipe. Clay tobacco pipes were abundantly available during the war, but many soldiers preferred to smoke a more durable, less fragile pipe. They scavenged for whatever hard woods were locally accessible and easy to carve: laurel, greenbriar root, hickory, holly, sweet brier root, rhododendron, walnut and burl, among others and, without trade experience or apprenticeship, using pocket penknives or hand tools forged from iron hoops, they carved, sculpted, whittled, etched, engraved and used . . . an unpretentious, utilitarian utensil. Every decorated Civil War pipe that has survived tells a remarkable story, mementos recording the soldier’s patriotism, military experiences, and travels. They embellished their pipes with various emblems — battle flags, cannon, swords, eagles, the names and dates of battles and their leaders — often adding self-portraits, scrolls, floral designs, pledges, and special inscriptions.
Inventory Number: CAM 139