Waist Plate ID

Q. I was referred to this forum by a member of another forum. Several years ago I acquired this buckle in a lot of civil war and earlier objects and have been unable to identify it. It measures 2 5/8″ x 2 5/8″.

A. I think that is a “french style” plate copied from zouave and chassuer uniforms. Some of these square plates had bevelled edges like yours.They were popular in the militia during the 1850s and 1860s though some were worn into the 1920s.

Can you describe or photograph the tongue and belt loop on the reverse?

Subsequent A. Nothing unusual there.

Back to the front.

The stylized horn has two loops and two double straight lines (at ten and two o’clock) not found on other examples of this insignia I’ve seen and may be used to identify the manufacturer by comparing with known samples.

If it is American made, I’ll bet on a NY manufacturer. And, as NY, OH and PA were the miltia manpower sources of the 19th century United States, it may be that one of their soldiers used it. Each state provided 300,000 to 400,000 soldiers organized into over 300 units each during the War of the Rebellion.


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