This very rare identification disc belonged to Private George W. Stevens of Battery B, Hale Rocket Battalion, New York Volunteer Artillery. The tag is in good condition and was excavated at Newport Barracks, Newport, North Carolina. It measures approximately 1 ¼ inches in diameter and has a dark brown patina. One side depicts a bust of George Washington surrounded by a circle of stars along the outer edge of the rim. Below the bust in small letters is stamped “UNION”. On the other side of the disc, while worn down, are discernable small raised letters: “GEO. W. STEVENS / CO. B / ROCK. ART. / N.Y. VOLS. / ENTD SERVICE / NOV. 2 / 1861”. Private Stevens was captured at Plymouth, N.C. on April 20, 1864 and died in the US General hospital at Annapolis, MD on March 16, 1865, two weeks after receiving his parole. Stevens’ identification disc comes with copies of his military and pension records from the National Archives and also a unit history from Historical Data Systems, Inc. Also included are copies of war dated letters from Private Stevens to his mother. Many of the aforementioned documents are included in this item’s additional images found to the left of this description. Originally designated the “Rocket Battalion” near Albany, NY in1861, the unit employed a breech loading “rocket gun” intended mainly for use in setting fire to buildings. Performance of the gun in test firings was unsatisfactory and after just a short period of time, the “rocket battalion” turned in their rocket guns for regular field pieces and re-organized November 1, 1862 as the 24th Independent Battery, New York Light Artillery. Civil War ID tags are becoming scarce and an ID disc from the Hale Rocket Battalion is as rare as they get. This ID tag will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War campsite, personal item, or general relic collection,
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