|Description||Single black shoe, women's "bootee" (ie, ankle boot). Made from raccoon leather with leather laces up one side (interior ankle). Lined with natural linen fabric. Welted construction with thin spring heel. Leather sole; written on the bottom of the sole is "Property of / Mrs. W. K. Bachman / Columbia / South Carolina."|
|Dimensions||H-4.5 W-3 L-9.5 inches|
|Owned||Julia Rush Fisher Bachman [Mrs. W. K. Bachman]|
|Made||unidentified Confederate soldier, South Carolina, CSA|
Julia Rush Fisher Bachman [Mrs. W. K. Bachman] of Columbia, SC, owned a pair of shoes made of raccoon skin, to which this shoe belonged. A Confederate soldier caught the raccoon, and tanned its hide while in winter quarters on the South Carolina coast. He also tanned the skin in camp. [Her papers are in the SC Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia.]
"Shoe made of raccoon skin. The animal was caught and the skin tanned in camp and the shoe made by a soldier while in winter quarters on the coast of South Carolina, and the shoes sent home with a message on the soles." (ledger)
Note: the mate to this shoe (for left foot) is in the collection of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum, and was given to them by the same donor, with the same history.
Construction details appear to exhibit a high quality of workmanship. The soldier who made these shoes must have been an experienced shoe maker with proper tools available, because this is NOT crude construction.
Supplies of leather in the south quickly dwindled as it was used to make thousands of cartridge boxes, belts, horse equipment such as saddles and harnesses, boots, holsters, and a myriad of other items. For shoes, cloth and wood often served as substitutes for leather.
Bachman, Julia Rush Fisher [Mrs. William K.]
Fisher, Julia Rush
unidentified Confederate soldier