A one-of-a-kind collection of carved bullets
From the Civil War Collection at the Boonsborough Museum of History

A one-of-a-kind collection of carved bullets from the Civil War

"I have one of the best collections of carved bullets in existence"

The most unusual of all the Civil War displays at the Boonsboro Museum of History is the Carved Bullet Collection. Soldiers from both sides frequently carved their lead bullets into various objects. On display are examples of buttons, thimbles, watch fobs, bottle stoppers, crosses, rings, dice, chessmen and poker chips. Though the majority are practical items, some of the intricate carvings are purely whimsical in nature: miniature goblets, a swan, vases, an exquisite rose, a starfish, pine cones, a ghoulish hangman’s noose, tiny hatchets and even miniature canon. But certainly the most outstanding of the entire collection is a Civil War bullet carved into a caricature of President Lincoln in stovepipe hat.

So much ammunition was fired during the Battle of Antietam that even one hundred years later, people were still digging up bullets in their backyards. Civil War soldiers used the lead bullets as material to carve toys, tools, charms and necessities. "A Bullet Lives On" is a song based on hundreds of carved bullets displayed at the Boonsborough Museum of History. Bullet carvings, (a bottle stopper, a pencil, dice, etc.), and imagin why they were carved. Each verse is dedicated to an exhibited bullet, and the soldier who carved it.

Below are a few of the Hundreds of Items in our Collection

Relics from some of the many Civil War battlefields in the area - come see them at the Boonsboro Museum of History!
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