Confederate Brass Belt Buckle
It's a Confederate belt buckle. It's part of a collection that my grandfather had. He grew up on Missionary Ridge, in Tennessee, and he found most of the items in his collection. He would find things on his way to school. Family lore says that he found a Confederate rifle with full... with full bayonet on his way to school one day.
The Battle of Missionary Ridge was the second part of the Battle of Chattanooga. The Confederates had pushed the Yankee Army into Chattanooga after they had won at Chickamauga, and they took a position on the heights around the city, trying to blockade it and starve the Union Army out. They came out November of '63, fought the Battle of Lookout Mountain, pushed the Confederates away, and then the next day, the Battle of Missionary Ridge. It really was the beginning of the end for the Army of Tennessee. You got a neat, Confederate, egg-shaped belt buckle. They're fairly cheaply made. They're just made out of stamped brass with a very high copper content. And instead of being lead-filled on the back with studs or hooks, they just soldered telegraph wire onto them, and that's how they created the belt hooks. It's not uncommon to find them without that telegraph wire. It was not real sturdy. Obviously, this rusted away and disappeared. The telegraph wire hooks, the lack of them, hurts the value of the belt buckle. These belt plates were made mid-war. They got issued a lot to the Army of Tennessee circa 1862, '63, and you do find a lot of them related to being found at Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. In today's market, at auction, this buckle is worth somewhere between $1,200 and $1,800.
That's all right-- amazing.
If this still had the telegraph wire, $3,000...
Maybe up to $4,000.
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