Original Confederate “CS” Egg Buckle
Original Confederate “CS” Egg Buckle: This unique die-stamped, belt plate is nicknamed “egg” because of the oval egg-like design and its thin, eggshell-like, stamped brass construction. This excavated example has a clear “CS” stamping and is in top-notch, dug condition, exhibiting a nice, even, dark chocolate patina. On the reverse side of the buckle, the majority of the original, thin wire hooks remain. Recent research into Confederate requisition documents indicate that Confederate manufacturers utilized heavy gauge, telegraph wire to make the belt hooks for this style of plate. Significant traces of the original lead solder, used to attach the belt hooks, remain on this example.
These crudely stamped oval belt plates were broadly used by the Confederacy. This style is noted for its weakly stamped, simple lettering and its thin border around the edge of the plate. The plate was stamped on thick sheet brass, using a primitive die. The backs of thinner brass, sheet egg buckles were originally filled with a poor quality solder; this type of plate was generally used in the eastern theatre of the war. This particular example is representative of the more crudely stamped, thicker sheet type, that was not filled with lead solder, usually attributed for use in the western theater, believed to have been issued to Mississippi troops, although use by other Confederate troops may have occurred.
This plate was excavated in the mid-1950s and has been in an old, established collection for many, many years. Still attached to the face of the plate is an old label that says “Mission Ridge”, in an apparent reference to the location where the plate was dug, the Battle of Missionary Ridge, in Tennessee. The Battle of Missionary Ridge was fought on November 25, 1863, as part of the Chattanooga Campaign. Following the Union victory at the Battle of Lookout Mountain, on November 24, 1863, Union forces, under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, assaulted Missionary Ridge and defeated the Confederate Army of Tennessee, commanded by Gen. Braxton Bragg. SOLD