Item: US Cartridge Box Plate - Maker Marked "W. H. WILKINSON / SPRINGFIELD, MASS." and Inspector "T. J. SHEPARD".
Construction: Stamped thin sheet brass with solder fill and iron wire loops.
Condition: Very good, excavated, both loops complete, marked. Its brass front, with the raised letters "US", has a very nice smooth surface, with an even chocolate brown patina. Minor dings are present from period use as expected. The rear has a near complete complement of solder with both iron attachment loops complete and straight-up. The manufacturer's stamp of "W. H. WILKINSON / SPRINGFIELD, MASS." is partially present with a portion obliterated by what appear to be period light knife carvings done by perhaps a bored soldier. The inspector's mark of "T. J. SHEPARD" is nearly all present. The plate has a slight inward bend and one of its loops is also slightly bent inward. The plate has no cracks, breaks, or repairs. See all of the additional images.
Recovered: In Culpeper County, VA in the area of Cole's Hill (Cole's Hill was the site of a Union signal station in 1862-1863 - Click the preceding Cole's Hill link to view it on map in lower right corner).
Approximate size: 56 x 88 mm.
Comments: In my many years of handling box plates I have concluded that Wilkinson marked examples are very difficult to find, even more so than the Wilkinson marked buckle and eagle plate. This example will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War plate or general relic collection.
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