On another forum we've been discussing whether small purses were ever worn at the waist during the civil war period. Here is a potential waist purse that was listed on Ebay some time ago. Unfortunately I don't know who the seller was. Comments as to it's authenticity/use are welcome!
"Fresh from a local Maine estate - antique purse that dates to the Civil War era or earlier. Worn at the waist...like a pocket. Covered with black beads....some beads missing ( a few beads were packed away with it & will be shipped with purse). The purse is so dark they really do not show up through. Black silk lining has some lines in cloth from wear...not bad at all. One side seam needs to be reattached. Measures 7" x 6" across...side straps.... each 5 1/2" long by 3/4" wide.
Just a wonderful early purse for any collection...and they are really becoming scarce."