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Civil War False Embroidered Brass Infantry Insignia, City Point water-recovery, 1985

$275.00 $250.00
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Product Description

This is a fantastic piece being offered, it is a gilt stamped brass infantry insignia, measuring 3” x 1 ¾”. These faux insignias imitated bullion embroidery and became popular among militia units in the 1850s. They were often based on the illustrations of the 1851 regulations published in the Horstmann catalogue. The market expanded dramatically among the volunteers in the Civil War. They might be purchased by officers, who had to supply their own uniforms, and also by enlisted men who wanted something a bit nicer than the issued versions.

This is one of the artifacts recovered by divers in 1985, from the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers, near City Point, Virginia., City Point was the site of Gen. U.S. Grant’s sprawling headquarters, base of operations and supply base, during the Siege of Petersburg.

A successful blow was delivered on August 9, 1864, when a Confederate operative named John Maxwell planted a time bomb (which he called a "horological torpedo") aboard a munitions barge docked near the shore. The resulting explosion destroyed several large buildings, 180 feet of wharf, two million dollars of munitions and supplies, and killed more than forty workers. The blast rained potentially lethal debris all across City Point, including U. S. Grants headquarters. Grant was not injured, but one staff officer was struck, and an orderly killed.

River-recovered pieces have a distinct patina attained while submerged and covered by silt, creating an anaerobic environment, thereby preventing deterioration. This insignia is simply in beautiful condition, even having the attachment pins remaining on the reverse – never seen on excavated examples. This is the nicest example I have ever come across, and faux insignias are becoming very difficult to find. This is a nice piece with a lot of history behind it. It comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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