|Description and Photograph||
This gorgeous Confederate waist belt is known as the Virginia style because it is the only belt plate bearing the letters C.S.A. found on the Virginia battlefields in any quantity. The centrally located letters, C.S.A. and thinner casting easily distinguish it from the Atlanta Arsenal variation. Other prominent features inherent to this style are the three raised bumps on the face created when the integrally cast spades were bent over to form the hooks.
Though called a “Virginia Style” they originated in Tennessee. In the fall of 1863 General Longstreet’s 1st Corps was sent to the Western Theatre in time to smash through the Yankee lines at Chickamauga, inflicting the most serious defeat the Yankee’s received in the west. The 1st Corps spent the rest of their western sojourn in fruitless sufferings through the fall and winter.
While in Tennessee thousands of his men were issued belts utilizing this pattern of plate, and of course when Longstreet returned to the Army of Northern Virginia, so did these plates. Hence their being primarily found in Virginia sites. So the name is apropos, though born in Tennessee, they fought and died in the Old Dominion.
One could never find a more pristine and attractive example of the Virginia style plate than that shown here, and it certainly appears to be on its original russet Confederate belt, as witnessed by the heavy “ghost” on both plate and belt and the unusually heavy verdigris. Its belt is perfect except for the mouse meal taken out, which the pictures show. The belt is somewhat stiff, but is still easily flexible and is super strong.