This is a great Find. A rare Civil War Military/Militia Whistle. This piece comes to us from a collector who loved to search the Civil War battle Fields and had many battle field finds. We think this Whistle maybe one of them.
This Whistle is made of Pewter and still has the ball (either Wood or Cork). It has a couple of small "corrosion spots" that could easily be cleaned off, otherwise this Whistle has a great patina. There are no cracks, chips or holes, and it still sounds good and loud when blown.
This piece could have been used by Militia or even NCO as an alarm or signal to friendly troops. This kind of whistle could also have been used to command troops on the battlefields. There is some documentation of this mostly by Southern Confederate Troops of the Missouri Brigade.
"We were also joined by a company from the Second regiment, Col. F.
M. Cockrell. The three companies formed a battalion and were placed
under command of Lieut. Col. Hubb[ell] of the Third Missouri. Our
movements were executed by calls from a whistle instead of the bugle. We
discarded the bugle some months previous though the influence of Capt.
Burke, as the calls on this instrument were the same as those used by
the federal forces. Hence, while we had the advantage of knowing his
movements by the bugle calls, he could not anticipate our moves, as he
was not familiar with our orders by the whistle. This change afforded us
great advantage and amusement while we anticipated his every move."
- Joseph Boyce, Captain Joseph Boyce and the 1st Missouri Infantry, C.S.A., ed. William C. Winter, p. 105-6
See further information on the Missouri Brigade including the above quote (found on Page 11) here: Missouri Brigade
These whistles are hard to find, especially in this condition, and are highly collectable.
This would be a fantastic add to any Civil War Collection.