Alcohol played both good and bad roles in the Civil War. Doctors used alcohol to kill pain and to sedate patients. Sometimes soldiers were given alcohol as a reward for hard work or to celebrate victories. On the other hand, many soldiers drank too much alcohol because they were bored and unhappy. That often caused fights and other problems and even led to alcoholism. A flask is a portable way to carry alcohol. This whiskey flask belonged to James M. Davenport, a Union soldier. It is made of a glass bottle covered with leather on the top and a removable tin cup on the bottom half.
This resource is part of the A State Divided: Exploring the Civil War Through Images collection.