This is probably the belt
plate most closely associated with the Texas troops in Virginia. Even so, it is extraordinarily rare, rating
a 9 on the Mullinax rarity scale. It is
the only star plate of the Confederate era that was only used by Texans.
It is supposed, because of
its rarity and crudeness of manufacture, that it was made specifically for a
company in Texas by a local artisan.
The plate has a die-struck
brass face, filled with pewter to give it strength, and to hold the Iron wire
hooks in place. Remarkably, this example
still has all but the ends of the wire hooks still in place. The pewter filling remains intact. The backing filler and face were in such very
good condition that I suspected that it had been professionally repaired. Because of this I had the plate x rayed to
see to what extent it had been repaired. However, much to my surprise I found that it had not been repaired; that
it remained in its original, excellent condition. A copy of the x ray is shown below, along
with an x ray of a SNY belt plate that has been repaired, in order to show how
a repaired plate appears to the x ray. To the naked eye, the SNY has no flaws in the back, but the filled
spaces show up clearly in the x ray.
This clearly demonstrates
that the plate remains in its original, virtually pristine excavated condition.