SCARCE EXCAVATED “BURNSIDE PATTERN” SHOULDER BELT PLATE

$595.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1156-16

This is the slightly small version of the standard eagle breast plate used on cartridge box slings. These have been nicknamed the Burnside pattern from their recovery on 9th Corps sites. O’Donnell and Campbell, Plate 448, posit they are an 1861-63 state contract plate and note one on a Thaxter, Maine, made cartridge box rig. An interesting theory put forward by Huntington and noted by Johnson is that these are actually plates left over from use on Hall rifle bayonet belts and called back into service to meet demand in the Civil War.

This face of this one has been cleaned, showing brighter metal on the lower portion and upper part of one wing. The iron wire loops are in place on the reverse, though showing rust. The lead solder fill is very good, though it shows white with some brown staining from the wire.

This pattern was adopted in 1826 with hooks on the reverse for the bayonet shoulder belt and made of stamped rolled brass for artillery and white metal for infantry. This was changed to brass for both services in 1831 and when the bayonet was moved to the waist belt around 1842, the plates were redesigned with two loops on the back for wear as fixed ornaments on the cartridge box sling and plates with hooks were relegated to the NCO and musician’s sword shoulder belts. (Some militia versions used hooks at a different angle for wear on the waist belt.) Although in theory the plate was dropped with introduction of the 1864 cartridge box rigs with no plates, the plate remained in use in the field and was not discontinued until the new 1872 sets of accouterments were distributed. [sr] [ph:L]

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