Non-Excavated Forked Tongue

Waist Belt Buckle  


Description and Photograph




     The Confederate States General Issue, Forked Tongue Waist Belt Buckle is made of sand cast brass and measures 69 x 103 mm.  It is the largest of the three sizes and was produced as early as 1861 by Confederate Governmental contract.

     Because this plain buckle was so easy to make and use, they saw widespread use, much more so than the buckles with the letters CS found thereon.  In excavated condition these buckles are one of the most commonly found Confederate general issue buckles, but because they had not the “magic CS” letters they were not often put away by their owners or captors as souvenirs.  These were so useful on the farm to repair harness or to strap something together that their belts were used up and the buckle set aside or discarded.  I once excavated one along the base of a collapsed barn where it had been hung on the wall of the barn prior to its disintegration.

     This particular buckle came from the Jerry Reams Collection.  Jerry has passed away, so we cannot ask him where he got it, but he amassed his collection primarily from attending estate sales and talking to the locals in the Sharpsburg, Maryland area.  So while I cannot guarantee that it is so, it is most likely that one of Lee’s men left it through loss or death during that famous campaign.

     Though common in excavated form, this is the only the second non excavated example that I have seen during my long career that I was certain was original.

     It is in perfect condition.




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