The Canteen is probably the most important accouterment that the soldier carried. Water was just as essential for life then as it is in today’s world. Each soldier carried one canteen. Each canteen was able to hold roughly 1 liter of water. The Union troops was more standardized on the canteens they issued their troops. In the above photo on far left is a Union “smoothside” canteen. The smoothside style canteen was issued to Union troops and saw service from 1861 until 1865. The Confederate troops did not have a standardized style of canteen they were issued. Some styles of Confederate canteens include the “tin drum” and “wooden” canteen to name a few. The Confederate canteens varied depending on availability of material, the state from which they came from, and the army they served in. Many Confederates used captured Union canteens.