Author Topic: US Army Belt Buckle  (Read 4126 times)

Offline triple w

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US Army Belt Buckle
« on: March 11, 2010, 07:12:47 pm »
What is the proper US army buckle for the 1868-1870m time period, Civil War oval?
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Online Drydock

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Re: US Army Belt Buckle
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2010, 08:55:49 pm »
It depends: For waist belts, infantry often were issued the 1856 waist belt with the classic oval US plate.  Mounted troops more often than not had the 1851 plate, a rectangular plate with eagle and applied wreath.  The latter was attached to the belt far more securely than the simple hooks of the oval plate, better for the heavier loading of the mounted soldier.

 Sabre belts all had the 1851 plate, as did officer belts though the officer plates were one piece, gold washed.  The 1851 plate was favored by most over the plainer, cheaper 1856 oval, and was not replaced in regulations until 1874, and even then could be found in the field for another 20 years.  Most postwar 1865-early 1870s show the 1851.

For what we do, you probably want the 1851 style belts and plate.  If you look to your left, I'm wearing the 1851 plate.

All data taken from "American Military Belts and related equipment"  R. Stephen Dorsey, Pioneer pres
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Offline triple w

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Re: US Army Belt Buckle
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 09:31:24 pm »
Thanks for the info Drdock. I'll have to pick up another 51 plate. 

Tw  ;D

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Offline Trailrider

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Re: US Army Belt Buckle
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2010, 11:45:59 pm »
Let me add one small point to Drydock's post...  While it is very true that the Officer's Pattern 1851 Eagle Belt Plate had the integrally-cast wreath and was gold washed, most of them fit waist belts that were 1-5/8" wide. These belts were, mostly privately purchased by the officers.  They were often made of thin leather, doubled over in thirds length-wise, like a business letter, and stitched in either straight or fancy patterns.  They didn't wear well, especially under field conditions.  The Pattern 1851 Enlisted Belts, waist, saber, etc., had the wreath silver and separately applied.  These belts are 1-7/8" wide, made of a single thickness of heavier leather, and because of the way the belts adjust you can't fit the wider, heavier belt to the Officer's plate.  As a result, at least in the field many officers wore the wider enlisted belt, with the silver wreath belt plate. Personally, I think the silver wreath is fancier.  Modern-made Officer's Belt Plates are obviously simply polished brass, not gold-plated (unless you have a jeweler who does gold-plating...and have the dinero to match!!).

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Re: US Army Belt Buckle
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2010, 07:39:23 am »
Yep!  Great points, thats why I'm wearing the enlisted plate in my photo.
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Re: US Army Belt Buckle
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:25:26 pm »

Offline triple w

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Re: US Army Belt Buckle
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2010, 06:39:17 pm »
Thanks guys, like this one?

BOLD# 986, STORM# 352,   The Winchester 1876 Society,
 1860 Henry Rifle Shooters Roster #123, Spencer Shooting Society #318

 

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