Wallace & his Walking Stick

Lew Wallace with cane in hand exiting the Study, ca. 1900.
Lew Wallace with cane in hand exiting the Study, ca. 1900.

Among the extraordinary items in the Study, the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum has a collection of canes associated with the General. Throughout his life, Lew Wallace maintained a military bearing and erect posture that was frequently commented upon. He did, however, on occasion use canes. Beyond aids to walking, canes were also ceremonial gifts in the 19th century that were offered in recognition of significant events or to honor important people.

According to museum records, one of the canes in the museum was made from a sapling that was growing where General Wallace pitched his tent prior to the Battle of Shiloh in 1862. In later years when the General traveled to the battlefield he visited his campsite and asked for wood from the maturing tree. Wallace was given the wood and he sent it off to Tiffany’s in New York where a cane was made and an ivory handle was affixed.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.