The D.P. Newton Civil War Collection

Time Period
1861 to 1876
Topics
Civil War
Military History
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Broken rail from the Potomac Creek Bridge; U & I.D. Clinton “Premium Soda Water” bottle; U.S. cartridge box plate; U.S. Army brogan (shoe); examples of nearly 500 Minié balls recovered from the site of a shooting match held at Falmouth and Virginia in January 1863, among members of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters
Broken rail from the Potomac Creek Bridge; U & I.D. Clinton “Premium Soda Water” bottle; U.S. cartridge box plate; U.S. Army brogan (shoe); examples of nearly 500 Minié balls recovered from the site of a shooting match held at Falmouth and Virginia in January 1863, among members of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters.

Danny Patrick (D.P.) Newton caught the Civil War bug as a child, accompanying his father Patrick on excursions through thickets and fields owned by family and friends in Stafford County, Virginia. For the next fifty-plus years, D.P. dedicated his heart and soul to building and sharing an unparalleled collection of artifacts left behind by 140,000 Federal troops during their encampment in Stafford County in the winter of 1862–63. A meticulous researcher, D.P. also thoughtfully documented his work by hand-drawing detailed maps with camp locations, the regiments present, and descriptions of items discovered during his outings. 

The corpus of D.P.’s collection—which grew to tens-of-thousands of items—includes ordnance, uniform buttons, eating utensils, bottles, canteens, footwear, tools, and personal effects like toothbrushes, razors, and customized identification tags. It’s the latter—along with the photographs, letters, and diaries that D.P. collected over the years—that humanizes the grave toll the war took on so many during campaigns in and around Fredericksburg.  In 1998, D.P. opened the White Oak Civil War Museum & Research Center in Falmouth, Virginia, to share his collection and knowledge with the public, a labor of love he embraced until his passing in 2019.  

Thanks to the generosity of D.P. and his wife Bonny, the VMHC has been gifted nearly 500 select artifacts from D.P.’s collection, including a number of items identified to individual soldiers. These items will be used to support our education mission through display, programming, and research. Newton’s extensive collection of hand-drawn maps and research were also donated and will serve as an invaluable resource for the study of the Civil War in Stafford County. The VMHC is gratified to be able to honor D.P. Newton’s remarkable life’s work and to ensure his legacy—along with the important history he sought to preserve—lives on.

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Pocket revolver recovered from campsite of the 9th New Hampshire Infantry near Falmouth and Virginia. D.P. Newton, a master carpenter, fashioned the new walnut grip.
Pocket Revolver

Pocket revolver recovered from campsite of the 9th New Hampshire Infantry near Falmouth and Virginia. D.P. Newton, a master carpenter, fashioned the new walnut grip. 

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Twelve-pounder spherical artillery shell with Boremann timed fuse
Artillery Shell

Twelve-pounder spherical artillery shell with Boremann timed fuse