ST. CLOUD - A couple of the more interesting artifacts that you can find at the Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud are a canteen and knapsack that were used in not one - but two - important wars in our nation's history.

Curator Adam Smith says the canteen and knapsack may have saved James McAlvey's life during a Civil War battle.

So James was shot during the battle of Nashville. The bullet ricocheted off the canteen, so it injured a less vital part of his body. But, he was still in the hospital for two or three months after the battle. But, the canteen and knapsack actually helped save his life.

Smith says McAlvey later handed down the canteen and knapsack to his son - also called James.

James E. McAlvey decided to form a regiment of St. Cloud people too go fight in the Spanish-American War. So they formed a company, part of the 13th Minnesota Infantry. And he took these with him to the Philippines.

The canteen and knapsack were donated to the Stearns History Museum in 1939.

Once a month WJON news features a different interesting artifact that you can find at the Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud.