Item: Excavated Volunteer Maine Militia "VMM" cartridge box plate.
Use: Cartridge box plates were attached to the outer flap of the soldier's cartridge box. Not only ornamental but more practically used as a weight to keep the cartridge box flap closed to prevent cartridge loss. See the additional images in this listing for an image showing its use.
Construction: Stamped thin sheet brass with raised letters "VMM". Rear with solder fill and iron wire attachment loops.
Condition: Very good, excavated. Its brass front has a very pleasing chocolate brown patina with a light layer of encrusted tan colored soil primarily in and around the letters and rim. There is a very thin scratch in the surface patina just under the "V" extending through the lower right serif of the middle "M". This line is barely visible under normal room lighting. The rest of the front has its typical tiny flaws one might expect after so many years since it was lost. Some of its rear solder has flaked away leaving a lightly pebbled surface. There are a few areas where no solder remains, exposing the rear of the sheet brass front. Also, printed on the rear in black marker is "PORT HUDSON". Both iron attachment loops are present and straight up. There is one very slight inward bend in the plate at the rim under the "V" otherwise. there are no cracks, breaks, or repairs.
Recovered: In the area of Port Hudson, LA
Approximate size: 56 x 87 mm.
Comments: This is a rare opportunity. Over the years I have listed only a half a dozen excavated VMM box plates and this is the first one that included both attachment loops. This VMM cartridge box plate will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War plate or general relic collection.
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