SOUTH CAROLINA “GERMAN ARTILLERY” BELT PLATE 1880-1900

$1,475.00 SOLD
Originally $1,850.00

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 766-1763

This plate is identical to O’Donnell and Campbell Plate 855, dating 1880 to 1900, and identified as belonging to the “German Artillery” of Charleston, South Carolina. The plate is rectangular with clipped corners made of rolled brass with a nicely stippled and gilt face. The reverse has a narrow tongue on one side and raised bar on the other, likely for a web belt. The base of the bar shows some crude solder, indicating it was broken and repaired during its period of use. The face has an applied wreath of laurel and palm with a large Palmetto tree at center, all of white metal and secured by pins passing through the plate and clenched on the reverse.

The German Artillery was a prewar uniformed volunteer militia company that was part of South Carolina’s First Regiment of Artillery. The association of the plate with the company is established by the 1851 date near the base of the Palmetto tree, which is in marked contrast to the 1776 date used on the state seal. A plate with the Palmetto, 1851 date, and the letters “GA” is in the Charleston Museum, which is thought to reflect the founding of the second company German Artillery (Erd and McMaster, CMH 35.4, 185.)

The plate is in excellent condition. Many members of the unit had Civil War service and it is an interesting reminder of the ethnic makeup of some militia companies. The CMH uniform plate even shows the German Artillery using a pickelhaube helmet before the war.  [sr] [ph:m]

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