The cartridge box contains ammunition for the soldier's musket. Usually, about 50 rounds can be stored in the box in "tins", or metal inserts inside a leather or tarred linen outer container. The box is carried either over the shoulder on a sling or can be threaded onto the soldier's waistbelt. Leather cartridge boxes can be either black or russet colored. Boxes are often made especially for particular calibur muskets and differ slightly in appearance depending on the contractor and period in which they were made. Often, boxes contain a small inner pocket that can be used to store a nipple pick or other small articles. Many soldiers afixed a lead filled brass oval box plate to the outer flap. These box plates helped keep the cover down when running and displayed either the generic "CS" for Confederate States or, early in the war, a specific state's seal. Sometimes CS or the manufacturer's name were stamped into the leather itself in lieu of a boxplate. Cartridge box slings came in leather, linen or tarred linen and, upon occasion, a breastplate was worn on the sling over the breastbone (although this is more common among the Yanks.)
If you plan a Federal impression, get a cartridge box and sling in black leather and look for a Federal issue pattern. Go with either a US boxplate or none at all.
C & D Jarnigan & Co. (2000 prices)
#204L M1855 .58 calibur Cartridge Box with tins (Late War) $79.95 #260 Leather Sling, US or CS, black or russet $17.50 #299A CS Oval Boxplate $7.50 #299 US Oval Boxplate $7.50 #301BP Georgia State Seal Boxplate $11.00
If you're looking for a hand-sewn tarred linen cartridge box and authentic slings, check with:
Trans Mississippi Depot Co.
718 E. Alvarado Ln.
Cottonwood, AZ, 86326