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|Thanks for that additional information. I had read a small reference that said Gutta-Percha, although a latex material, could be hardened into a material that could be carved like wood. In fact, one senator was known to carry a carved Gutta-Percha cane!
I never cease to be impressed how serendipity works at this message board. Someone asks a question or makes a statement and then more and more people add what they know. Then the facts just keep increasing with all kinds of compelling tidbits of Civil War life and times coming forward.