SECOND LIEUTENANT OF ARTILLERY SMITH PATENT SHOULDER STRAPS

$575.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1087-32

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Smith’s patent straps made use of a false-embroidered gilt brass border that could be used with different colored fabric interiors. This was a benefit to military goods dealers, who could then better provide straps to order without having to stock every variation of service and rank, and were also liked by officers for their sturdiness, with no worries about stray bullion threads becoming snagged or pulling off. They were introduced early in the war and saw use throughout. These show short frame pins on the reverse, which are a nice indicator of wartime production.

The brass borders have a nice aged patina with just some expected rubbing to high points. The frames, fabric and cardboard underlay are firmly attached. The backs have a blue fabric covering, which is standard for the pattern, and show scattered mothing on one strap and just a couple of small holes on the other. The faces show good color with expected wear to the nap and slight staining from use, etc. One has three small moth nips and one larger bit exposing the under board. The other has the fabric fully intact.

Second lieutenants of artillery served on the front lines in the field artillery as chiefs of sections of two guns in a battery and supervisors of the line of caissons. In an age where there was little indirect fire, artillery crews were usually positioned right with the infantry elements of an army corps and subject to enemy fire of both artillery and infantry. Members of heavy artillery units were usually trained as infantry as well and, in Grant’s 1864 campaign especially, found themselves in some to the most brutal fighting of the war.

This is a good set of wartime shoulder straps that would have been worn by a fighting officer.    [sr]

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