The Irish Brigade Cigarette Case in the Attic

A little over a year ago friend Jim Swan, author of the excellent Chicago’s Irish Legion sent me on an image of a cigarette case he had come across. It  commemorated a 50th anniversary dinner held in 1912 for the survivors of the Irish Brigade who served at Fredericksburg. I decided to research the object, which revealed a remarkable story which was the topic of a subsequent post (read it here). In fact I was so taken with it that I also decided to cover this commemorative dinner in my book (which is now available, but more of that anon!). The inscribed cigarette cases were available to those who attended the 1912 anniversary event, so imagine my delight when recently contacted by reader Patricia Doherty, who is also in possession of one of these cases.

The cigarette case in pristine condition, replete with original Turkish cigarettes (Patricia Doherty)

The cigarette case in pristine condition, replete with original Turkish cigarettes (Patricia Doherty)

Patricia recently discovered the superbly preserved object in an attic, complete with the original packet of Turkish cigarettes inside! The object may well have belonged to Patricia’s Great-Great-Grandfather who was a Civil War veteran. Patricia is seeking the help of readers in determining the value of the object, so any assistance in that regard would be appreciated. It is a truly magnificent object, which was discovered just in time for the 150th anniversary of the event that it commemorates.

Detail of the inscription on the case, which was produced for the 50th anniversary dinner for Irish Brigade survivors of Fredericksburg (Patricia Doherty)

Detail of the inscription on the case, which was produced for the 50th anniversary dinner for Irish Brigade survivors of Fredericksburg (Patricia Doherty)

Obverse of the Turkish Cigarette packet (Patricia Doherty)

Obverse of the Turkish cigarette packet (Patricia Doherty)

Reverse of the Turkish cigarette packet (Patricia Doherty)

Reverse of the Turkish cigarette packet (Patricia Doherty)

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Categories: Battle of Fredericksburg, Irish Brigade

Author:Damian Shiels

I am an archaeologist based in Ireland, specialising in conflict archaeology.

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6 Comments on “The Irish Brigade Cigarette Case in the Attic”

  1. Judy Fitzpatrick Parisi
    February 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    So Interesting! I am unable to see the photos but I will bet someone like artist Don Troiani, would be a good resource and very interested in this object

  2. February 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    What a great attic discovery!

  3. February 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    I can imagine that these were indeed treasured mementoes of a special celebration. It’s wonderful that some still exist.

  4. February 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    I would be so tempted to smoke one of those. Probably not a good idea.

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