Item: Eagle Plate
Use: Federal. Eagle plates, also known as breast plates, shoulder belt plates, and cross belt plates, were displayed on the belt that held the soldier's cartridge box. Eagle plates with two belt attachment loops were primarily ornamental and proudly worn by Union soldiers with the belt slung over the shoulder and across the chest. See the additional images in this listing for an image showing its use.
Construction: Die stamped thin sheet brass with solder fill and two iron wire loops.
Condition: Excellent, excavated. The brass front has a very pleasing chocolate brown patina that is partially covered with a thin layer of encrusted soil. The rim is complete and has a tan coating as a result of the chemical reaction between the brass front and rear solder as well as exposure to the elements for approximately 130 years. This rim coating creates a border which serves to nicely highlight the eagle. The rear retains a complete complement of solder and both complete loops, with one loop bent. Printed in blue ink on the rear is "NORTH ANNA / 11/29/92 E. V. SMITH". The plate has no cracks, breaks, bends, or repairs.
Recovered: November 29, 1992 North Anna, VA.
Approximate size: 63 mm.
Comments: This excavated eagle plate was acquired directly from the family of E. V. Smith. Mr. Smith, a lifelong Virginia relic hunter, thoughtfully recorded the plate’s location of recovery. It will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War accoutrement plate or general relic collection.
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