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Object Record

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Object Name BOTTLE
Catalog Number 0985.03.00019
Description Bottle: Glass bottle, light blue in color, of a dark liquid (brandy). The bottle is oval in shape, and has a rounded profile. Sealed with wax, apparently originally red; apparently subsequently re-sealed with additional white wax. Remnants of a wax floating in the liquid.
Material Glass/Wax/Cork/liquid
Dimensions H-5.5 W-2 D-1.5 inches
Owned Irvine S. Bulloch; Georgiana F. Gholson Walker [Mrs. Norman Stuart Walker]
Owner Regiment CSS Shenandoah
Event Surrender at Liverpool, England, November 1865
Provenance A partial bottle of brandy from the medical stores of the CSS Shenandoah. Given to Georgiana F. Gholson Walker [Mrs. Norman Stuart Walker] by the officers of the ship upon her arrival in Liverpool, England in 1865.

"Sealed bottle of brandy. The last of the hospital stores of the cruiser 'Shenandoah.' It was given to Mrs. Norman Stewart Walker by her officers afer the arrival of that man of war at Liverpool, England, in 1865." (donor note)

"...Irvine Bulloch, uncle of the present Pres. USA, was one of the officers who presented me with this last drop of 'Aqua Vita' of Confederate memory. Bulloch was also an officer on the 'Alabama' when she was sunk by the 'Kearsage'. I promised him that I would send this brandy to him, as a wedding gift, if ever he married. And...he did marry - but married a Northern woman and I felt it was not tactful to make this offering as theirs was a large gathering of Northern friends - so I now offer it to you…." (donor letter)

This bottle of brandy may have been captured from the "Abigail", which became one of the CSS Shenandoah's prizes. On May 27, 1865, the Shenandoah captured the whaling bark "Abigail", in the Okhotsk Sea off the coast of Siberia. The "Abigail" was carrying 20 barrels of whale oil, but also had 50 barrels of brandy, rum, whiskey and gin, together with 180 cases of "assorted spirits, wines and ciders" on board. It is unknown why Captain Nye of the "Abigail" had so much alcohol on board, but it was labelled, "for medicinal purposes only".
People Walker, Georgiana F. Gholson [Mrs. Norman Stuart]
Gholson, Georgiana F.
Bulloch, Irvine Stephens
Search Terms Confederate States Navy
Surrender at Liverpool, England, November 1865
Subjects Alcoholic beverages
Medical care
Medical equipment & supplies