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
802..Confederate buckles and plates, Virginia style rectangle CSA plate

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
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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

The manufacturing quality of these cast Confederate plates, varies considerably one casting to the next. Flaws in the master will theoretically appear in each successive example, but there are also flaws introduced or "cleaned up" one casting to the next. In addition, the rough castings needed to be milled and finished, and this process may introduce more variation, particularly as to size. In addition production may have been shared amongst more than one small producer, in which case some original castings could have been made from second generation master patterns. These flaws have been aggressively exploited by the fakers, some fakes are very difficult to tell, some authentic examples may have been inadvertently condemned by the "experts", or the experts simply cannot agree. There is no absolutely certain way to determine the authenticity of any of the plates, other than by making comparison to other examples and having definite irrefutable documentation of original ownership or provenance. An attempt is being made here to narrow the possibilities by showing multiple examples, by comparison conclusions can be drawn and and judgments made, more examples will be added as they can be found to analyze and publish.

Confederate rectangle belt plate, CSA, Virginia style, Confederate wartime manufacture
Buckle depicts "CSA" and is a rectangle belt plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for the rounded style of lettering. Most Virginia style plates are relatively thin but the thickness can vary considerably. Plate is cast, hooks were originally cast straight up, then bent into place once the casting was removed from the mold, and often this will leave an impression on the face. Plate may have been made in Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next. However more seem to show up in the western theater than the eastern theater so the question of where manufactured is unresolved.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 084 to 099.

P0321...Confederate rectangle belt plate, CSA, Virginia style, Confederate wartime manufacture.
P0321.jpg (22459 bytes) P0321B.jpg (29064 bytes) Buckle depicts "CSA" and is a rectangle belt plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for the rounded style of lettering. Most Virginia style plates are relatively thin but the thickness can vary considerably. Plate is cast, hooks were originally cast straight up, then bent into place once the casting was removed from the mold, and often this will leave an impression on the face. Plate may have been made in Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next. However more seem to show up in the western theater than the eastern theater so the question of where manufactured is unresolved. Plate measures 49.3mm X 71.5mm. Dug buckle, hooks intact. Recovered: Shelbyville Tennessee by Larry Hicklen, original discovery was published NST Vol XI, No 3 Mar - Apr 1984 pg. 7 center right.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 084 to 099, this is the plate published.

P1846...Confederate rectangle belt plate, CSA, Virginia style, Confederate wartime manufacture.
Buckle depicts "CSA" and is a rectangle belt plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for the rounded style of lettering. Most Virginia style plates are relatively thin but the thickness can vary considerably. Plate is cast, hooks were originally cast straight up, then bent into place once the casting was removed from the mold, and often this will leave an impression on the face. Plate may have been made in Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next. However more seem to show up in the western theater than the eastern theater so the question of where manufactured is unresolved. Plate measures 48.8mm x 71.5mm. Dug plate, hooks intact. Recovered: Shell Mound Tennessee in 1999.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 084 to 099.