Mississippi Oval Belt Plate


Description and Photograph




     The oval belt plate shown here bears the unofficial seal of Mississippi; an eagle with three arrows in its right claw and an olive branch in its left.  An official seal was adopted in 1861 bearing “a cannon and plough” but it was never used.  In 1859, in response to the North’s sympathetic approval of the fanatic John Brown’s plan to massacre the white population of Virginia, the Mississippi legislature appropriated $150,000.00 to purchase arms and accoutrements for the newly raised Army of Mississippi.   Accordingly accoutrements were ordered by the state of Mississippi from Emerson Gaylord of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts just prior to the War.  The shipment of accoutrements from Gaylord began in 1860 and continued until shortly after the state seceded on January 9, 1861.  Included in these shipments were a relatively small number of oval infantry belt plates like that shown here.  These plates were issued to the earliest regiments of the Army of Mississippi.

     In answer to the Confederacy’s call for troops in the spring of 1861, many of the men in the Army of Mississippi were transferred to the Confederate army and the entire Army of Mississippi was disbanded in January, 1862.

     These plates are primarily associated with the Mississippi troops that served in the Army of Northern Virginia and though rarely found they are nearly always found in sites fought over or occupied by that army.

     The Mississippi oval accoutrement belt plate shown here is in such fine condition it almost appears to be a non-excavated example.   I believe this to be the second best example of this rare pattern in existence.  Flawless!  



We buy high quality Confederate items.