CONFEDERATE WAIST BELT IMPROVISED OF SNAKE BUCKLE AND CS RIFLE SLING

$2,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 480-167

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

Field-used and field-modified equipment is a really interesting area of study where a moment of innovation or need on the part of a soldier comes to life. This also one of those objects that carries its own history with it. In this case we have a very typical Confederate-imported English “snake buckle” that was mounted on a CS rifle sling to use as a waist belt.

The brown leather sling is still solid, but shows that the original adjustment hook had been attached with stitching that gave way. The soldier then used a piece of doubled iron wire in its place that was unlikely to stand the stress of carrying a musket, but would do well enough to act as an adjusting hook on an improvised waistbelt. The buckle he used was a standard three-piece English buckle that was imported in large numbers through the blockade and was probably taken from a broken belt that would have required too much leather work or talent to mend properly. Whoever our soldier was, he had an eye for the quick-fix. Looping the sling through the brass belt loop with the fixed ring, he could slide it through its own standing loop to secure that end, and then pass the other end through the brass belt loop with ring and snake link, and adjust with his improvised hook.

The belt may have been something simply worn about camp, but an infantry waist belt might only support a cap box and bayonet, and in the Confederate army perhaps only one of these, if the soldier used an English shoulder belt-mounted cap box or had managed to lose the bayonet. In any case, it’s a wonderful example of Confederate field improvisation. The leather shows the original adjustment holes from its use as a sling, but still has good color and surface, though with some edge wear and crackling to the finish. The standing loop is firmly in place. The belt is still solid, has never been in a collection or had any dressing or preservatives applied to it, and would look great with a CS cap box beside it.  [sr]

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