The Civil War in Missouri

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The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.


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USA Hospital Department Medicine Bottle

ca. 1860
MHM Collections

USA Hospital Department bottles were used by the Union army during the Civil War to carry a variety of chemicals, drugs, and even alcohol. They came in various sizes and colors, and were shipped to supply depots across the country, including St. Louis. These bottles would have been stored with other medical supplies in a pannier, a large wooden or reinforced wicker crate that weighed 88 pounds when filled. Hospital Department bottles were manufactured in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, though some archaeological evidence suggests that some may have been made in St. Louis.