Civil War Relicman
Harry Ridgeway

Winchester, Virginia USA (changed hands 70 times in the Civil War!)

http://relicman.com/


Ridgeway Reference Library, Civil War plates and buckles
490..Federal shoulder plates (Regulation 1826), variant patterns not otherwise listed

This is the "Ridgeway Reference Archive", a research tool for educational purposes only, and is provided at no cost to the reader. Some of the relics listed are retained in the author's collection, most reside in other collections and are not owned by the author. None of the items listed in this section are for sale, please refer to relicman.com sales listings for items offered for sale. This is a work in progress, I list items as I get to them, there are many patterns that are not listed yet, this list will be regularly updated as I get pictures and descriptions for more items. I will also correct mistakes, so if you see any please tell me. All items listed are believed to be authentic to the Civil War or as otherwise described. Any excavated relics have been recovered from private property with owners permission. This information is available for research purposes, pictures may be used by permission only.

Most information on this page is from:
Plates and Buckles of the American Military 1795 - 1874, by Sydney C. Kerksis
Confederate Belt Buckles & Plates, by Steve E Mullinax
American Military Belt Plates, by Michael J. O'Donnell & J.Duncan Campbell



Use of the round shoulder plate was approved with the regulation of 1826, most were manufactured 1850's through end of the Civil War. Designed as adornment only for the shoulder strap, the plate was die struck on thin brass sheet, solder filled, wire loop hooks. Plate is usually configured with two iron loop hooks for the enlisted soldier, but is sometimes configured with three iron hooks for the non-commissioned officer.



Federal round shoulder plate, regulation 1826, eagle, variant pattern 08
Not enough is known about this pattern. It would appear to match the plate shown in Crouch's Repro book, Fig 9 page19, measurement is stated at 61mm. However this plate is slightly larger, 63mm versus 61mm, and this plate came out of a collection credibly dug in the 1950's and 1960's from Spanish Fort, Alabama. The plate in Crouch's book may be a repro, but could have been struck from an original die, the same die that was used to strike this plate, although there should not be a size difference if struck from the same die. Or the example in Crouch's book could actually be a cast copy from an original die struck plate, then the back milled out and lead covered, this might explain the size difference, and this is a method of faking that we now know was widely practiced on other patterns of struck plates, although generally had mostly been applied to southern die struck plates. Or the measurements of either plate could be off, I have measured this one several times but with so much damage the measurement is at best an estimate. With all this conflicting information, it is hard to tell if this plate is authentic or not, but given the poor condition of this plate and its claimed origin, and comparison of patinas to the other Spanish Fort plates in this collection, which are authentic plates beyond question, it is hard to see this being a repro. This die pattern is not shown in O'Donnell's book, so it is presented as yet another die variant.
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, plate not listed.

P1734...Federal round shoulder plate, regulation 1826, eagle, variant pattern 08.
Not enough is known about this pattern. It would appear to match the plate shown in Crouch's Repro book, Fig 9 page19, measurement is stated at 61mm. However this plate is slightly larger, 63mm versus 61mm, and this plate came out of a collection credibly dug in the 1950's and 1960's from Spanish Fort, Alabama. The plate in Crouch's book may be a repro, but could have been struck from an original die, the same die that was used to strike this plate, although there should not be a size difference if struck from the same die. Or the example in Crouch's book could actually be a cast copy from an original die struck plate, then the back milled out and lead covered, this might explain the size difference, and this is a method of faking that we now know was widely practiced on other patterns of struck plates, although generally had mostly been applied to southern die struck plates. Or the measurements of either plate could be off, I have measured this one several times but with so much damage the measurement is at best an estimate. With all this conflicting information, it is hard to tell if this plate is authentic or not, but given the poor condition of this plate and its claimed origin, and comparison of patinas to the other Spanish Fort plates in this collection, which are authentic plates beyond question, it is hard to see this being a repro. This die pattern is not shown in O'Donnell's book, so it is presented as yet another die variant. Dug plate has clean patina consistent with other plates from the same site, but has been heavily damaged and is missing part of the solder filling and a piece of the face. Recovered: Spanish Fort, Blakeley, Alabama from 1957 to 1963! Plate measures 63mm.
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, plate not listed.