160 year old chest

Related history content:
Sweetgum Mortar video 1
Sweetgum Mortar video 2
Rolling Forge
Howitzer Elevation Gear

This is a vlog style video showing the before and after of restoring/preserving a 160-ish-year-old chest. It started its life as an ammunition chest. Then became a blanket chest for 70 or so years. And now it’s going to live the rest of its life as an ammunition chest once again at a history museum. I was asked to help with the woodworking portion of the restoration. This was a situation where I donated my time and labor to work on someone else’s schedule so I did not record any of the actual work. The goal of this video was to document the before and after.

Contact info for Duffy: https://www.starkvillecivilwararsenal.com/
Help fund the next addition to the museum: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-me-get-a-cannon?qid=1158e88348b3626908cccd3f0a2abfeb


  1. Wonderful job of keeping history alive. It makes me want to attempt to build one from scratch. Great job guys.

  2. It looks to me that it may have at one time been a wagon seat, from the design of the end handles. Great restoration job on the outside. Was anything done inside?

    • Part of the gun crew would ride on this when transporting the gun. Other members would ride the horses pulling the gun and caisson along with officers on their own horses.

  3. This is a ammo chest from a Cason for black powder and the shade of gray paint and the handles are arm rest for the driver of the Cason beautiful piece of history thank you.

  4. Note I have a Navy Corpmans sea chest made during WW2. May have been used to store medicines or supplies shipboard, or just his gear.
    It’s last function was to be used to return his personnel effects after he was killed in the first engagement of the Korean War James Smith was one of three Navy Corpmen killed in during the first battle, he was my mother in laws brother.

  5. Very impressive Mr Bates! I have a tobacco press from the same Era I wish to restore and preserve in the same manner. Your video has inspired me to move this project timeline up. Thank you for sharing!

  6. As a collector and preserver of tools used during the civil war I can appreciate your endeavor to keep it as original as possible.

  7. Great job. As a member of the 7th Michigan volunteer infantry, North-South Skirmish Association I am glad to see this piece of history being placed where it can be saved for future generations. Our organization shoots live fire competition with firearms and full size cannons and mortars from the US Civil War.

  8. Nice restoration work. Are there any photographs showing soldiers sitting on the ammunition chest when it was on the limber? I recall seeing a European painting of about the same vintage with soldiers sitting on a limber.

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