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Damaged Breast Plate recovered at Antietam

$170.00 $115.00
(You save $55.00)

Product Description

This is truly a unique piece being offered, it a Civil War Eagle Breast Plate. It is near complete however it is in two pieces (no hooks on back). This piece was recovered many years ago in the area where the 11th Connecticut Infantry was fighting at Antietam.

The 11th Connecticut made the first assault on Burnside's Bridge. It was commanded by Colonel Henry Kingsbury, who received four wounds and was carried from the field to the Rohrbach house, where he died later in the day. Lieutenant Colonel Griffin Stedman took command of the regiment and remained on the field even though he was badly wounded in the leg. Major John Ward then took command. The regiment lost 36 men killed and 103 wounded.

A bronze plaque for the 11th Connecticut near the Burnside Bridge reads as follows:

“This Regiment opened the engagement on this part of the field on the morning of September 17. It was partially deployed in skirmishing order and preceded Crook's Brigade, Kanawha Division, in an attack on the stone bridge. It descended the hill on the east and passed over this ground under a severe fire of Confederate Artillery on the high ground west and Infantry concealed in the woods, in pits and behind stone fences, loose rocks and rails commanding the bridge and its approaches. The left and center reached the banks of the stream, the right, the level ground between this and the bridge. Colonel Kingsbury was mortally wounded a few feet northwest of this. Captain John Griswold was killed in the stream opposite the end of Rohrback Lane, and after a severe contest in which the Regiment suffered a loss of 139 killed and wounded, it retired to the shelter of the wooded ravine running north past this spur”.

It is obvious that the condition of this plate is not from normal use or age. Could it be from farming machinery? I kind of doubt it because my understanding is that the area it was recovered in is not really suitable for farming. My guess would be it had something to do with the enemy artillery. The plaque reads in part “…..passed over this ground under a severe fire of Confederate Artillery….”

How this piece actually got so damaged will never be known for sure, but it is my feeling that the plate was struck by a piece of artillery shell. Like I said, this is truly a unique piece and a fantastic relic from one of the most important battlefields in history. It comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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