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Many Americans living at the time considered the War of 1812 against England to be a second war for American Independence. At stake were many issues unresolved at the close of the Revolution. These included America's status as a sovereign nation and control of the lands west of the Mississippi River. This cartridge box and its contents were similar to cartridge boxes carried by soldiers thirty years earlier during the Revolution. The leather bag held a block of wood drilled with holes that stored upright fifteen to twenty paper cylinders, or cartridges. Soldiers rolled and folded these paper cartridges to hold black powder and a musket ball. They tore open the paper cartridges with their teeth and dumped the powder and bullet down the gun barrel. Black powder ringed a soldier's mouth once he had fired several times.