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Old South Military Antiques

Longstreet’s “Virginia” Style C.S.A. Waist Belt Plate
Item #: OS-7748

This non excavated Confederate waist belt plate 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, and to separate it from its close cousin, the Atlanta Arsenal variation. The centrally located letters, C.S.A. and thinner casting easily distinguish it from the Atlanta Arsenal variation as do the more subtle differences such as the hook shape. Another prominent feature inherent to this style is the three raised bumps on the face created when the integrally cast spades were bent over to form the hooks. The final finisher’s coarse file marks are found on both styles.

The name "Virginia” Style was hung on this plate because it was the only rectangular CSA that early relic hunters found in the track of the Army of Northern Virginia. Later scholarship, (I wish I could give credit where credit was due) which was published in North South Trader Magazine convincingly showed that it is a Tennessee manufactured, or at least issued plate, but went to Virginia with Longstreet’s troops.

When Lt. General James Longstreet took his Corp to Tennessee in the fall of 1863 to help with Braxton Bragg’s offensive he routed the Yanks at Chickamauga, after which, he remained through the winter at Bean’s Station, Tennessee. While there, many of his men were issued these plates, who wore them to Virgnia when they returned in the spring of ’64.

The non excavated plate is absolutely perfect, and has the perfect "look” for those who appreciate such niceties. The white square is where someone long ago used a cloth based tape to label it. It could be removed, but not easily. Sadly, you can see by the patina, and the "ghost” that a belt was its belt was with it until relatively recently.