Uniforms Early U.S. Artillery Button

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Tom Hughes

Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
IMG_1488.JPG

This early U.S. eagle Artillery button with a letter "A" on the breast shield dates to around 1830-1840.
Even though the backmark is unknown, you can tell it's an early one because of the position of the eagle's feet
and the gaping mouth.
I dug this button in a camp near Champion Hill, MS. I assumed it was lost by a Union soldier. But the early nature of the button begs the question: If it was a Union artilleryman's button, why was he wearing an old style button? Wouldn't he be issued a current style button?
Of course, it's possible that this belonged to a Confederate since it is antiquated.

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As you can see, the backmark either isn't present or it's simply too light to make out.

Early U.S. buttons are commonly found on civil war battlefields. It just deepens the mystery
behind their use and adds to historical discussion.
 

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Great post, Tom! I imagine plenty Confederates wore these type buttons. When the States’ seceded, they took over arsenals and used whatever equipment they found in them, including buttons.

I don’t know if you have shared your story on this site about being one of the persons who found the Unknown Confederate soldier many years ago, but I recall you telling me that the soldier y’all recovered had nothing but Federal buttons.
 
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Tom Hughes

Sergeant
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May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
Great post, Tom! I imagine plenty Confederates wore these type buttons. When the States’ seceded, they took over arsenals and used whatever equipment they found in them, including buttons.

I don’t know if you have shared your story on this site about being one of the persons who found the Unknown Confederate soldier many years ago, but I recall you telling me that the soldier y’all recovered had nothing but Federal buttons.
Thanks Alan. Yes, the Unknown soldier had eagle buttons.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Great post, Tom! I imagine plenty Confederates wore these type buttons. When the States’ seceded, they took over arsenals and used whatever equipment they found in them, including buttons.

I don’t know if you have shared your story on this site about being one of the persons who found the Unknown Confederate soldier many years ago, but I recall you telling me that the soldier y’all recovered had nothing but Federal buttons.
Agree completely, that older buttons would indicate Southern use as the Northern machine was able to produce regulation buttons at the various manufactories. This button could have come off a Mexican War uniform and sewn to a Southern commutation jacket when the need arose. What a great find!
 
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Tom Hughes

Sergeant
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May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
Thanks Alan. Yes, the Unknown soldier had eagle buttons.
That soldier's remains always aroused my curiosity as a young man. Back then, I had visions of Confederate soldiers being clad in gray with Confederate buttons, buckles, etc. in great supply.
For the Unknown Soldier - the 17 year old Southern boy - who was killed at the battle of Port Gibson in 1863, his discovery opened a whole new perspective for me. He had a box full of Enfield rifle cartridges, a canteen, and U.S. eagle buttons.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
That soldier's remains always aroused my curiosity as a young man. Back then, I had visions of Confederate soldiers being clad in gray with Confederate buttons, buckles, etc. in great supply.
For the Unknown Soldier - the 17 year old Southern boy - who was killed at the battle of Port Gibson in 1863, his discovery opened a whole new perspective for me. He had a box full of Enfield rifle cartridges, a canteen, and U.S. eagle buttons.
Surprising that he would be buried with his accouterments, I wonder if he was buried by civilians or maybe Union troops. Are there articles about the find?
 
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Tom Hughes

Sergeant
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May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
Surprising that he would be buried with his accouterments, I wonder if he was buried by civilians or maybe Union troops. Are there articles about the find?
Because of where he was found we think he was in a Confederate artillery unit. He did not have a weapon but yet his half empty cartridge box of Enfields was with his body. He was certainly hurriedly buried.
A case shot ball was embedded in the back of his skull.
 
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alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Because of where he was found we think he was in a Confederate artillery unit. He did not have a weapon but yet his half empty cartridge box of Enfields was with his body. He was certainly hurriedly buried.
A case shot ball was embedded in the back of his skull.
Why would an artillerist have a cartridge box full of musket ammunition? My inference would lean strongly to him being infantry. You were part of the recovery though - what factors cause you to think he was in artillery? Very interesting!
 

Tom Hughes

Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
Well, not to speak for Tom, but the soldier would have been hastily buried by Federal troops once they had possession of the battlefield at Port Gibson. I have encouraged Tom to write an article on this site explaining the young soldier’s recovery. Hopefully he will!
I’ll write it up soon. I have some pictures from the site but they are in slides.😂😂
 
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