Item: Federal Eagle Plate - Manufacturer Marked "W. H. SMITH / BROOKLYN"
Use: 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. The two loop type such as this one, were 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 iron wire loops.
Condition: Good, excavated. The plate's brass front has a dark brown-green patina nicely high-lighting a well-defined eagle, clutching arrows in its right talon and an olive branch in its left. There is a small rust through bump in the brass front just under the eagles beak. There is also a small dent under the eagle's left talons at the rim and a tiny hairline fracture just to the right of the dent. The rear has a near complete complement of pebbled solder with one rusty belt attachment loop still present and straight-up. Also on the rear is the manufacturer's stamp of "W. H. SMITH / BROOKLYN". The mark is incomplete but does show approximately half of the letters (see additional images). In addition to the manufacturer's stamp there also may be some soldier artwork carved into the rear. The plate has no repairs.
Recovered: Quantico, VA area along the Potomac River.
Approximate size: 65 mm.
Comments: Included in the additional images is a scanned image of the digger, a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel (on far left), with his hunting buddies and their detectors dating to the 1970-80s. This manufacturer marked eagle plate will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War accoutrement plate or general relic collection.
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Call or Text: 804-873-5462