The Civil War Relicman,
Harry Ridgeway
.

Winchester, Virginia, USA.
Civil War buckles & plates.

relicman.com.


Ridgeway Reference Archive, Civil War buckles & plates.
Riflemen buckles, regulation 1855.

This is the "Ridgeway Reference Archive", a research tool for educational purposes only, and is provided at no cost to the reader.   Some of the relics listed are retained in the author's collection, most reside in other collections and are not owned by the author.  None of the items listed in this section are for sale, please refer to relicman.com sales listings for items offered for sale.  This is a work in progress, I list items as I get to them, there are many patterns that are not listed yet, this list will be regularly updated as I get pictures and descriptions for more items.  I will also correct mistakes, so if you see any please tell me.  All  items listed are believed to be authentic to the Civil War or as otherwise described.   Any excavated relics have been recovered from private property with owners permission.    This information is available for research purposes, pictures may be used by permission only.



Rifleman two part clasping belt plate, regulation 1855.
This plain buckle was authorized by regulation in 1855 and was used to fasten the infantryman belt from which a saber bayonet could be hung when not in use.  The saber bayonet was carried like a sword and it could either be used as a sword or be affixed to the musket and used as a bayonet.  Use of this belt rig was short lived, the new socket bayonet, adopted for the Regulation 1855 and 1861 muskets was carried on the end of the musket and no longer needed to be hung from the belt.  The clasping buckle was made in four parts, the clasp on the back is brazed, the two keepers were designed to adjust the slack.  Plate measures 73mm, keepers are longer.       
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, Plates 903.

P1500.     Rifleman two part clasping belt plate, regulation 1855.
 This plain buckle was authorized by regulation in 1855 and was used to fasten the infantryman belt from which a saber bayonet could be hung when not in use.  The saber bayonet was carried like a sword and it could either be used as a sword or be affixed to the musket and used as a bayonet.  Use of this belt rig was short lived, the new socket bayonet, adopted for the Regulation 1855 and 1861 muskets was carried on the end of the musket and no longer needed to be hung from the belt.  The clasping buckle was made in four parts, the clasp on the back is brazed, the two keepers were designed to adjust the slack.  Plate measures 73mm, keepers are longer.  Dug buckle, all 4 pieces matched from different buckles, fastener bar is missing from tongue.  Recovered: not known     
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, Plates 903.

P1528.     Rifleman two part clasping belt plate, regulation 1855.
 This plain buckle was authorized by regulation in 1855 and was used to fasten the infantryman belt from which a saber bayonet could be hung when not in use.  The saber bayonet was carried like a sword and it could either be used as a sword or be affixed to the musket and used as a bayonet.  Use of this belt rig was short lived, the new socket bayonet, adopted for the Regulation 1855 and 1861 muskets was carried on the end of the musket and no longer needed to be hung from the belt.  The clasping buckle was made in four parts, the clasp on the back is brazed, the two keepers were designed to adjust the slack.  Plate measures 73mm, keepers are longer.  Dug buckle, parts may have been put together from different buckles.  Recovered: Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, Plates 903.

P1588.     Rifleman two part clasping belt plate, regulation 1855.
 This plain buckle was authorized by regulation in 1855 and was used to fasten the infantryman belt from which a saber bayonet could be hung when not in use.  The saber bayonet was carried like a sword and it could either be used as a sword or be affixed to the musket and used as a bayonet.  Use of this belt rig was short lived, the new socket bayonet, adopted for the Regulation 1855 and 1861 muskets was carried on the end of the musket and no longer needed to be hung from the belt.  The clasping buckle was made in four parts, the clasp on the back is brazed, the two keepers were designed to adjust the slack.  Plate measures 73mm, keepers are longer.  Dug buckle, all pieces found together, keeper bar is missing on one side of the buckle.  Recovered: Wilderness Va, camp of New York Excelsior Brigade. These riflemen buckles and early style Shako hatpins were a gift from France, that ended up in the hands of this New York unit. This unit was awarded these special uniforms following their performance at a review. A number of sets of these accoutrements was found at the site, along with ID pins confirming the presence of the unit at this site. Digger is Dennis Irvin.         
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, Plates 903.

P1847.     Rifleman two part clasping belt plate, regulation 1855.
This plain buckle was authorized by regulation in 1855 and was used to fasten the infantryman belt from which a saber bayonet could be hung when not in use.  The saber bayonet was carried like a sword and it could either be used as a sword or be affixed to the musket and used as a bayonet.  Use of this belt rig was short lived, the new socket bayonet, adopted for the Regulation 1855 and 1861 muskets was carried on the end of the musket and no longer needed to be hung from the belt.  The clasping buckle was made in four parts, the clasp on the back is brazed, the two keepers were designed to adjust the slack.  Plate measures 73mm, keepers are longer.  Dug buckle, bar is broken off but was recovered with the buckle, one section, other parts were not found.  Recovered: Winchester Virginia,  East Boscawen St, behind Winchester Star office, near the cemetery, November 1998, by Steve Ritter.  
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, Plates 903.
Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia, collection of Steve Ritter.

P1907.     Rifleman two part clasping belt plate, regulation 1855.
This plain buckle was authorized by regulation in 1855 and was used to fasten the infantryman belt from which a saber bayonet could be hung when not in use.  The saber bayonet was carried like a sword and it could either be used as a sword or be affixed to the musket and used as a bayonet.  Use of this belt rig was short lived, the new socket bayonet, adopted for the Regulation 1855 and 1861 muskets was carried on the end of the musket and no longer needed to be hung from the belt.  The clasping buckle was made in four parts, the clasp on the back is brazed, the two keepers were designed to adjust the slack.  Plate measures 73mm, keepers are longer.   Plate measures 74mm approx.  Dug plate all four pieces from different buckles, but all correct and good match.  Recovered cerntral Virginia, each piece recovered separately.
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, Plates 903.


Rifleman two part clasping belt plate, regulation 1855, and shako infantry hatpin issued to New York Excelsior Brigade, or Pennsylvania, or Massachusetts units.
The Federal government purchased a quantity of French "Chaussier" style uniforms from France that apparently included these large shako hats as well as cast white metal buttons (Albert PA48) and Regulation 1855 riflemen buckles.   These uniforms were issued to New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania units during the Brandy Station campaign.  The rifleman buckle is Regulation 1855 and probably was manufactured in the United States.  The large shako hatpin bears patriotic eagle, and infantry horn modeled after the French style and it, along with the uniform hat and buttons, likely originated in France.  The very large hatpin is stamped, attachment pins were stiff wire and soldered, pin was originally gilded and portions lacquered with blue and red paint of poor quality.  Many parts of these accoutrements were found at camps in the region of Brandy Station thought to be attributed to these units, apparently having been discarded.  Most of buckles, consisting of four parts are separated and most of these large flimsy hatpins were broken into pieces or badly bent.  Plate measures 74mm, (height only), keepers measure 80mm, hatpin is 105mm X 103mm. 
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, plate 903 (buckle),  Ref: Crouch Artifacts pg. 150 item 1 (hatpin).

P1545.     Rifleman two part clasping belt plate, regulation 1855, and shako infantry hatpin issued to New York Excelsior Brigade, or Pennsylvania, or Massachusetts units.
P1545.jpg (21994 bytes) P1545B.jpg (22613 bytes) 
P1545C.jpg (27755 bytes) P1545D.jpg (28712 bytes) The Federal government purchased a quantity of French "Chaussier" style uniforms from France that apparently included these large shako hats as well as cast white metal buttons (Albert PA48) and Regulation 1855 riflemen buckles.   These uniforms were issued to New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania units during the Brandy Station campaign.  The rifleman buckle is Regulation 1855 and probably was manufactured in the United States.  The large shako hatpin bears patriotic eagle, and infantry horn modeled after the French style and it, along with the uniform hat and buttons, likely originated in France.  The very large hatpin is stamped, attachment pins were stiff wire and soldered, pin was originally gilded and portions lacquered with blue and red paint of poor quality.  Many parts of these accoutrements were found at camps in the region of Brandy Station thought to be attributed to these units, apparently having been discarded.  Most of buckles, consisting of four parts are separated and most of these large flimsy hatpins were broken into pieces or badly bent.  Plate measures 74mm, (height only), keepers measure 80mm, hatpin is 105mm X 103mm.  Digger is Dennis Irvin, both pieces found together, keeper bar is missing on one side of the buckle, hatpin was folded but is intact, most examples found were broken. 
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, plate 903
(buckle),  Ref: Crouch Artifacts pg. 150 item 1 (hatpin).

P1747.     Rifleman two part clasping belt plate, regulation 1855, and shako infantry hatpin issued to New York Excelsior Brigade, or Pennsylvania, or Massachusetts units.

 The Federal government purchased a quantity of French "Chaussier" style uniforms from France that apparently included these large shako hats as well as cast white metal buttons (Albert PA48) and Regulation 1855 riflemen buckles.   These uniforms were issued to New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania units during the Brandy Station campaign.  The rifleman buckle is Regulation 1855 and probably was manufactured in the United States.  The large shako hatpin bears patriotic eagle, and infantry horn modeled after the French style and it, along with the uniform hat and buttons, likely originated in France.  The very large hatpin is stamped, attachment pins were stiff wire and soldered, pin was originally gilded and portions lacquered with blue and red paint of poor quality.  Many parts of these accoutrements were found at camps in the region of Brandy Station thought to be attributed to these units, apparently having been discarded.  Most of buckles, consisting of four parts are separated and most of these large flimsy hatpins were broken into pieces or badly bent.  Plate measures 74mm, (height only), keepers measure 80mm, hatpin is 105mm X 103mm.  This rifleman buckle and hatpin were found by digger Paul Irvin at a camp believed to have been specifically used by the New York Excelsior Brigade, and included is all four parts of the buckle and pin, each with minor damage only, this is one of the better examples recovered.    
Ref: O'Donnell & Campbell, plate 903 (buckle),  Ref: Crouch Artifacts pg. 150 item 1 (hatpin).
Old Court House Civil War Museum collection.