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Mess pot

United States



6-3/4 in x 6-1/4 in (with handle extended) x 4-1/2 in (dia)


Tinned sheet iron, iron wire

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of Mrs. Harrison V. Davis

Accession Number



Two file cards accompanying the mess pot say, "Aug. 28, 1979 / Gift of Mrs. Harrison V. Davis / to The Corbit-Sharp House / Mess pot or coffee can.  U.S. Army / issue / Tin, U.S c. 1861 / Belonged to Sgt. Harrison Vandegrift / who served in the Delaware Volunteer / Cavalry, Aug. 1862 - June 1865. / Originally from near Port Penn / and later lived in Odessa."


The mess pot belonged to Sgt. Harrison Vandegrift (1840-1931), who served in Company C, 1st Delaware Cavalry.


The mess pot is a cylindrical vessel made of single iron sheet soldered together.  Iron wire forms the handles and reinforce the rim.

Harrison Vandegrift's Civil War diary is held in the Winterthur Library Archives.  It covers two years and references an engagement with J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry en route to Gettysburg in June 1863.