MAINE “VMM” CARTRIDGE BOX PLATE FROM ORANGE, VIRGINIA

$495.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1184-148

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These plates, measuring 56 X 87mm, followed the standard U.S. 1839 version, but with VMM stamped in the rolled brass indicating Volunteer Militia of Maine. These were paired on equipment with the smaller 1839 pattern oval belt plates bearing the same initials. Both belt and box plates were made with variants that used no lead solder fill on the reverse, just enough solder to anchor the hooks or wire loops. This has enough lead solder on the back to indicate it was one of the filled plates, though essentially just the face remains. See O’Donnell and Campbell, Plates 556 to 559, for examples.

This was excavated in Orange, VA, where there were extensive Confederate camps in the winter of 1863-64 and was likely stripped off a captured cartridge box. It has a piece out on the top edge and a hairline diagonal crack running down from there on the face, but is stable. The remaining edge of the plate is good and the letters legible. It shows as a mix of brown and gray. The Volunteer Militia of Maine adopted that name in 1851, but O’Donnell and Campbell date these plates 1855 to 1861, after the 1855 adoption of a state button. The state organized ten regiments of volunteer militia for U.S. service in 1861, some or all of whom would have carried these plates into the field. [sr] [ph:L]

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