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Civil War Saddle Shield from a water-recovery at City Point, Virginia in 1985

$85.00 $45.00
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Product Description

This is another nice piece being offered, it is an excavated saddle shield, also known as pommel shields. The M1859 and M1864 models of the McClellan Saddle had these shields on the saddles (see pictures). It is made of stamped brass and measures 2” x 1 ¾”. The brass pommel ornaments were often cut to allow a rider to thread a coat strap through the shield to attach a coat or other items he was carrying (see examples with saddle). This artifact was recovered at City Point, Virginia.

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 General U.S. Grant’s sprawling headquarters, (base of operations and supply base), during the Siege of Petersburg (see pictures).

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 debris all across City Point and the rivers, 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 is a nice piece with a lot of history behind it. I had several pieces from this water recovery collection and now have only one relic left after this piece. It remains just as it came out of the water and comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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