CIVIL WAR INFANTRY LIEUTENANT COLONEL SHOULDER STRAPS

$525.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2024-87

Field grade officer’s shoulder straps are scarce. Infantry regiments usually fielded ten companies with three officers each, but just one of each grade of field officer to the entire regiment: a colonel, lieutenant colonel, and major, all of whom went into battle with the rest of regiment, in theory mounted, often more sensibly on foot, but still under fire like everyone in the battle line.

This pair shows they were worn, but are still in very good condition and have nice color. The gold bullion embroidered borders show some rubbing and darkening across the high points, which is natural, but still have a lot of subdued gilt remaining and plainly show the alternating dead and bright bullion strands, and the jaceron wire edges are fully intact and in place. The fields are light blue, the branch of service color for infantry. They show some wear to the nap of fabric, some soiling, and one of the straps has three small holes in one corner next the rank insignia, showing just a spot of dark blue from the underlying base fabric.

The oak leaf rank insignia seem pretty clearly to be silver, though there is still some grumbling on this matter from fellow staff who shall remain nameless, since on one strap they appear closer in color to the darker portions of the borders, but they clearly differ from the borders on the other. In passing we note the use of silver oak leaves for the higher rank of lieutenant colonel, when a major uses gold, derives from usage on epaulets where gold oak leaves would have been hard to see on the gold epaulet and thus were omitted, leaving a major to be signified by just the wider fringe of field officer’s epaulet, and the lieutenant colonel privileged to wear an oak leaf made of silver to be more visible. The backs of the straps are the usual open style of the Civil War with the sides of the dark blue base fabric turned under and joined by long stitches in preparation for sewing to a coat. On one strap this stitching was redone. On the other much of the original thread is there but broken and tied off. Both straps show the original black paper used on the underside of the strap to conceal the webbed portion used to anchor the embroidery, and both show some other thread likely used originally to attach them to the coat. [sr] [ph:m]

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