1/95th Rifle - A Rifleman's Kit
The water canteen was in effect a small wooden barrel, made of oak and painted powder blue. The canteen could hold up to approximately two pints of water.
One side of the canteen would often be painted with regimental devices and the identity of the soldier and his company.
The water canteen would be suspended from a leather sling which for the rifles, would be black.
Like all barrels, it had to be kept full at all times, as if it was allowed to dry out the slats around the side would shrink, causing the barrel to leak, thus rendering it useless.
A soldier would be expected to keep his canteen full of fresh water at all times, however it was not unknown for less scrupulous soldiers to fill it with wine or spirits.