OVAL US BELT PLATE RECOVERED BY SYD KERKSIS 1955 AT BETHESDA CHURCH

$450.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 2021-206

Syd Kerkis was one of the legendary early relic hunters and collectors, and author of “Plates and Buckles of the American Military 1795-1874,” which led the way for a couple of generations of relic hunters, collectors, students, and authors. This is a nicely documented 1839 pattern oval U.S. plate, the regulation infantry enlisted man’s buckle of the Civil War. This has good lettering on the stamped rolled brass face, and an even surface to the lead-solder filled back with the belt hook and arrow studs in place, which even retain a small bit of the soldier’s leather belt. The face shows a mottled deep greenish brown mixed with some gray. The reverse is light gray and some white from oxidation and ground action.

This comes with Kerksis’ original collection envelope with notations at center indicating it contains a “USBP,” US Belt Plate, and has some leather. At top he noted that he found it on the battlefield of Bethesda Church in November 1955. At bottom he specifies it came from the “back line / 9th AC / Shady Rd.”

Otherwise known as the Battle of Shady Grove Road, the Battle of Totopotomoy Creek was fought May 28-30, 1864, as Grant continued to edge around Lee’s right flank after the Battle of North Anna. Confederates were dug in along Totopotmoy Creek and the Union right and center did not make much progress, but on the left the 5th Corps crossed the creek and began advancing west, and the 9th Corps was called from reserve and moved across the creek to the Union left center, taking position across Shady Grove Road. Confederate counterattacks halted the Union advance, but were ultimately brought to ground by Union artillery and rifle fire, and the two armies soon moved on to the killing ground at Cold Harbor.

This is a good condition Civil War belt plate with a recorded find location and a great provenance to a well-known early relic hunter.  [SR][PH:m]

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