US PATTERN 1839 OVAL BELT PLATE EXCAVATED AT CEDAR CREEK BY SYD KERKSIS IN 1956

$495.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 2022-1715

This plate was recovered on the battlefield of Cedar Creek 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’ original paper storage envelope bearing his ink notation that he found it in September 1956 along the 19th Corps line.

The plate is the regulation 1839 pattern oval U.S. belt plate used throughout the Civil War and is in very good excavated condition. The belt hook and two oval studs are present on the reverse; one small ding along lower edge. The face has a nice light chocolate patina.

Soldiers of Gen. William Emory’s 19th Corps built trenches just days before the Battle of Cedar Creek to guard against attack coming from Strasburg and across Cedar Creek.  At the time, the 19th Corps earthworks - or trenches - started at the Valley Pike and extended for about a mile north. They included several redoubts - defensive works for artillery batteries - and one redan, or V-shaped work, which was constructed in front of the main line of trenches and intended to serve as an advance warning system.

The 19th Corps bore the brunt of the Confederate attack against their position, around 6:00 a.m. In the fog and smoke they could see little—only the flash of rifles and sounds of battle told them where the enemy was. Their trenches, facing towards Cedar Creek, were of little use as the Confederates attacked from the left and the rear.

Nearly one hundred and sixty years later, the 19th Corps entrenchments still snake through the woods along Cedar Creek.

This is a nice plate, with a legitimate find location and provenance to one of the great early collectors.    [LD] [ph:L]

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