SCARCE U.S. 1819 PATTERN BAYONET SHOULDER BELT PLATE FROM FORT HAWKINS, GEORGIA

$475.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 766-1542

These scarce plates were designed by Armitage in Philadelphia in 1819 for wear on the 1808 pattern bayonet shoulder belt (by then reduced from 2.5 to 2.25 inches in width.) They are made of stamped brass, crimped over a tinned iron back plate that in turn mounts belt hooks fashioned of one continuous wire, secured by a thin tin or lead solder fill. Although infantry was specified white metal plates and artillery yellow, they seem to have been produced only in polished brass and were in use until replaced the familiar 1828 pattern round eagle breast plate.

This shows some dings and creases, with one short tear on the lower left edge, but with a pleasing green patina that has subtle gold tones. The iron wire long ago rusted away, but the plate is solid and the large “U.S.” raised letters are quite distinct.

The plate comes with its original cardstock display card labelled by the finder as a “U.S. Model 1815” plate excavated at Fort Hawkins. The card looks to be about 1950 and 1815 dating was the best available information at the time. See O’Donnell and Campbell Plate 110 for the recent scholarship. Fort Hawkins was established in 1806 at what is now the city of Macon, Georgia. Named after Indian Affairs Agent (and NC Senator) Benjamin Hawkins, the fort had two blockhouses and a stockaded perimeter, and was strategically situated on a high point on the eastern bank of the Ocmulgee River, on the border of the Muscogee Creek Nation.  It served as a military supply point and point of contact and trade with the local Native American population, playing a role in the War of 1812, the Creek War, and first Seminole War, being eventually decommissioned as a military post in 1828.

This is a tough plate to find for the collector and this one has a great connection to U.S. forces stationed on the frontier in the early 1800s.  [sr] [ph:m]

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