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NIGHTSTICK
[Regulative & Protective Tools and Equipment]


missing
View at Kansas Memory

Accession Number: 1889.37.0

Physical Description: Short wooden mace or nightstick turned of a single piece of unpainted wood. Handle end turnings include vase-and-ring style with button tip. Smooth shaft flares from handle to rounded end. Wood has pronounced grain.

History of Object: According to the KSHS Seventh Biennial Report, the donor had this nightstick turned from a wooden floorboard removed from Libby Prison. Libby was a notorious jail for Union officers operated by the Confederacy at Richmond, Va., during the Civil War. The prison was dismantled in 1889 and moved to Chicago, Ill., where it was reassembled as a museum. The person in charge of the move was John W. Woodward, whom the donor met in Richmond and convinced to turn over a section of the prison floor. According to an 1889 article in the Topeka Daily Capital, the donor then took the wood to a factory and watched while it was turned into three canes and three maces (one of which is this nightstick). Walter W. Phillips was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 1831. He was an early Kansas settler, moving to the territory in 1855. Phillips served in the 2nd Kansas Militia, Company G; this unit was active in the Battle of the Blue on Oct. 22, 1864.

Date: 1889

Dimensions (in cm): 29.00 (H) 3.50 (W) 3.50 (D) L: 11 1/2? Diam: 1 3/8?

Index Terms

Associations and Subjects

    Event: United States History Civil War, 1861-1865
    Origin, Place of: Richmond (Va.)
    Individual: Phillips, Walter W., 1831-
    Origin, Place of: Libby Prison
    Use, Place of: Shawnee County (Kan.)
    Event: Civil War, 1861-1865
    Use, Place of: Topeka (Kan.)
    Individual: Woodward, John W.

Status: Cataloged

For more information, please contact our museum staff.