CARTRIDGE BOX PLATE RECOVERED BY SYD KERKSIS IN MAY 1960 IN THE 5th CORPS LINES ON SHADY GROVE ROAD

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Item Code: 490-5776

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This cartridge box plate comes from Union 5th Corps positions in the Battle of Shady Grove Road, sometimes called the Battle of Totopotomoy Creek, fought May 28-30, 1864, as Grant continued to edge around Lee’s right flank after Spottsylvania and the Battle of North Anna. After Grant managed to cross the Pamunkey River and continue pressing southwest, Confederates dug in along Totopotmoy Creek where the Union right and center did not make much progress, but the 5th Corps crossed the creek on the left of the Union line and began advancing west along the Shady Grove Road, threatening Lee’s right. Early’s troops were rushed to meet the threat and Confederate counterattacks halted the Union advance, but were ultimately brought to ground by Union artillery and rifle fire, and the two armies soon moved on to the killing ground at Cold Harbor.

This is standard M1839 cartridge box plate used by Union infantry throughout the war. It comes in its original collection envelope notated by Syd Kerksis with the find location and date. Syd Kerkis was one of the legendary early relic hunters and collectors, and author of “Plates and Buckles of the American Military 1795-1874,” which led the way for a couple of generations of relic hunters, collectors, students, and authors.

The envelope reads: “Shady Grove Road / May 60 (= May 1960) / CBP (cartridge box plate) / 5th AC / 30 May” (the location of the find as the lines of the 5th Army Corps / the date of the fighting at this spot.) The plate is in excellent condition with nice even surface to the face, sharp edges with no dents or dings, and chocolate brown color. The reverse shows a very good, level back, brown, gray and white in color, with no chips, cracks or losses to the lead-solder fill, and both iron wire loops in place and intact.

This is in excellent excavated condition, has a recorded find location connecting it with the climactic campaign of the war, and has a great provenance to a well-known early relic hunter.  [sr][ph:m]

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