This militia tongue is one half of an artillery officer's buckle and it pre-dates the Civil War. This half consists of a brass belt loop and bar with an applied thin disc with a stamped eagle with the letter "A" in its shield. An example of this plate is pictured in the second edition of O'Donnell and Campbell's "American Military Belt Plates", on page 205 as plate 309. These buckles were considered "stock plates" and would have been available for general purchase by an Artillery officer and could have supplied either Northern or Southern units. Most Northern plates were exchanged for standard issue accoutrements, southerners were more likely to use them into the field. This attractive example has some minor bending and the disc has been straightened and touched up. Before and after pictures are available on the enlargement page by clicking on the thumbnail picture to the left. It was recovered Charleston, SC by renowned digger Rocky Sommers. It measures approximately 62 mm. from end to end and its belt loop is 51 mm. in length. This belt plate tongue will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War belt plate, artillery accoutrement, or general relic collection.
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