CHICKAMAUGA RECOVERED EAGLE BREAST PLATE

$225.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-5809

This regulation US infantry cartridge box sling plate was recovered at Chickamauga, the two-day battle of the western theatre in September 1863, with losses second only to Gettysburg in the whole war. A Federal defeat, it helped ruin Rosecrans’s reputation, but made that of George H. Thomas, who refused to be driven from the field.

This is the regulation US plate worn by a US infantryman on the sling of his cartridge box, made of stamped rolled brass, bearing a US eagle with arrows and olive branch in relief on the face, and with a lead solder filled back securing an iron wire bent to form two loops that pass through narrow slits in the leather cartridge box sling to be secured by a thong. These plates were introduced in 1826 with hooks on the back to adjust the bayonet shoulder belt, but after the bayonet was moved to the waistbelt, they were made with two loops on back for wear as an ornament in a fixed position on the cartridge box sling. See O’Donnell and Campbell, American Military Belt Plates, pages 274 ff., for a thorough discussion of its development, production, variations, etc.

The face has an even, medium brown color. The rim has some minor wear to the face, but no significant dings or nicks to the edge. The eagle has good detail, though showing some wear to the high points- the feathers on its chest and knees. The back is very good. The loops are present. The fill is gray in color with some brown stains, but little edge wear and nice level surface. When viewed from the edge, the rim shows some slight corrosion and one side of the plate seems to turn up slightly, but this is not readily evident.

This is a nice, original plate from one of the great battlefields of the war.  [SR] [PH:L]

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