Description: The carved wooden decorations on this walking stick include an eagle, a shield, and a star.
Historical Note: This folk art walking stick was carved by Union veteran Barton L. Barker, possibly from wood procured near the battlefield at Chattanooga. Soldiers often brought home souvenirs from the war such as samples of a captured flag as mementos of their experience. Like the flag, the eagle, shield and star were recognized symbols during the period of the war. The Union shield was symbolic of unity, the desire to preserve the union. Stars often symbolized states (Confederate flags can often be dated by the number of stars in the upper register). The eagle, adopted as the national symbol by Congress in the eighteenth century, was often depicted on Federal drums that led men into battle during the Civil War. Barton Barker served in the 3rd Tennessee Infantry from 1862-1865. He moved to Chattanooga after the war and was active in the Lookout Mountain Post of the Grand Army of the Republic as proud of his membership in the Union Veterans League, since that was reserved for men who had enlisted in the federal army prior to the draft of July 1863.
Institution: Chattanooga History Center
Publisher: Digital Initiatives, James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University
Rights: Images reproduced on this website are intended for individual, educational use only. For research inquiries about specific objects or requests for high resolution images, contact the Chattanooga History Center.