The Civil War Collection is one of the most important treasures of the Boonsborough Museum of History.
This outstanding collection includes: two bullets that met in midair and formed a leaden embrace; a confederate land mine; Union and confederate hand grenades; a bible kissed by 10,000 rebel soldiers when they took the oath of allegiance; genuine hardtack brought home from the War; a piece of fence rail from Bloody Lane at Antietam; a sharpshooter’s rifle used at Devil’s Den; a brass buck that stopped a bullet – and probably saved a soldier’s life.
Also on display is original correspondence from Secretary of State William H. Seward, General Banks, Clara Barton and confederate prisoners of war. There are personal items from such illustrious Civil War officers as Henry Kyd Douglas, General C.C. Augur, rebel surgeon John Gaines and Major George B. Russell, who as Provost Marshall was involved with the hanging of the Lincoln conspirators.
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.