Old South Military Antiques

Arkansas Belt Plate
Item #: OS-6997


In the decade before the War, Arkansas theoretically had four militia companies in each county. They were to be Infantry, light Infantry, Artillery and Cavalry. In reality only Pulaski and Phillips Counties had one or more companies in each county. In 1860 Pulaski had four companies, one each of the various authorized branches. Captain Gordan Peay commanded the Infantry company, and his was the only uniformed company in the county. In addition to the militia companies, Arkansas’ Army included the Cadets of the Arkansas Military Institute in Dallas County. The Cadets formed Company I, 3rd Arkansas Infantry, and served in the Army of Northern Virginia.

The State of Arkansas had made no effort to uniform her troops until July 15, 1861. Obviously, this northern made belt plate had been in the state months before. So, these plates were private purchase items by one of the uniformed companies or cadet corps.

The Arkansas State Seal used throughout the 1850s consisted of a shield containing commerce and farming symbols, with an eagle on each side of the shield. The whole was surmounted with the Goddess of Liberty, ringed by thirteen stars and projecting rays. A ribbon under the shield bore the inscription "Regent Populi”. Loosely translated it means the people are king.

The plate was made by Emerson Gaylord of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, just prior to the War. Gaylord also supplied accoutrements to the Southern States of Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

This plate was excavated just north of Knoxville, Tennessee. Its only flaws are that the hook and one stud is missing the cap of the second stud is missing. There is a small sliver of brass missing on the upper left rim, which is shown in the accompanying images. It is in very, very solid condition and has no repairs or alterations of any type, it is just as it came out of the ground. The face still has excellent detail.

Price $65,000.00 USD