US CARTRIDGE BOX PLATE FROM FIRST MANASSAS, EX-SYD KERKSIS

$495.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 2022-939

This regulation US cartridge box plate was recovered in 1954 at Bull Run (First Manassas) by Syd Kerksis, one of the legendary early relic hunters and collectors, author of books on military belt plates and Civil War projectiles. The plate comes with Kerksis’s original paper storage envelope bearing his ink notation that he found it in area known to have been occupied by Keyes’ Brigade.

The plate is the standard 1839 pattern made of die-struck rolled brass with a lead-solder filled back still retaining the iron wire loops, rusty but intact, and the fill level, showing some gray, but with white oxidation and stains from the iron wire. The edge is very good with no nicks or dings, and the face has a crisp US, likewise with no dings or scratches and a nice even gray-green patina showing just some gray on the very edges. The excellent condition of the face is fully in keeping with a plate that had not seen much prior service and was lost in the first major battle of the war.

Erasmus Keyes had graduated West Point in 1832 and was a Major and military secretary to Winfield Scott when the war broke out. Promoted to Colonel of the 11th US Infantry in May 1861, he commanded the First Brigade of Tyler’s Division at Bull Run, consisting of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Connecticut Regiments and the 2nd Maine. On July 21, 1861, the brigade took part in Tyler’s advance along the Warrenton Pike while other Federal units flanked the left of the Confederate line. They crossed Bull Run by a ford above Stone Bridge and turned to form on the left of Sherman’s brigade, fighting against the right of the new Confederate lines formed on Henry Hill,

losing 19 men killed, 68 officers and men wounded, and another 154 captured or missing before joining the Union retreat from the field about 4:00 p.m.

This is in excellent, excavated condition, from a significant engagement, and with great provenance to an early and respected collector and author.  [sr] [ph:m]

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