Five Civil War Buttons

Value (2004) | $2,250 Retail

GUEST:
I brought in buttons. I had a tackle box, and when I opened the box, this is what you guys pulled out and found in there. And there are a lot of things in the tackle box that I brought in, and you found these buttons, so...

APPRAISER:
Right. What you have is a nice assortment of original Civil War buttons. We'll just start on this end. This is a general service, Union eagle button. The Union army had three million soldiers during the war, so it's one of the most common buttons during the war. There are a lot of them out there. This one as a "C" in the center of the eagle's chest, which denotes the cavalry branch of service.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
It's a little bit tougher to get. It was an officer's version instead of an enlisted man's. This one... besides central government like the U.S. and C.S. government, they also had state buttons. Each state had their own uniform buttons. This one is from the state of Georgia and has the Georgia state seal on the face of it. This one is a Confederate infantry button. It's made in Richmond, Virginia. It has the Roman style "I" on the face of the button, which denotes the infantry branch of service. And on the end, we have a Mississippi militia button, and this button was actually made in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the state of Mississippi militia. It was made by a company by the name of Rouyer. He was one of the premier button manufacturers in New Orleans. New Orleans fell very early in the Civil War, and there's not a lot of them that have been able to survive over the years.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
Have you ever had them looked at?

GUEST:
Oh, no, not at all.

APPRAISER:
Did they come down through your family?

GUEST:
Mm-hmm. My great-uncle was dispersing items and he called my dad and said, "Would you like this box of... stuff?" And he said sure, so...

APPRAISER:
A button like this today would usually sell about ten dollars. This one, the cavalry eagle "C," is about a $40 button. The Georgia, being Confederate-- Confederate stuff usually brings a little bit more than Union pieces-- it would bring about $250.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
The Confederate "I" would run about $450.

GUEST:
(laughs)

APPRAISER:
And this one, the Mississippi infantry, even though it has the push to it...

GUEST:
Yeah, there is a dent in it.

APPRAISER:
Right, and that happens from general wear. This button would probably bring $1,500.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh. (laughing)

APPRAISER:
The buttons as a group, you're looking at about $2,500.

GUEST:
Whoa. That's so cool.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Shiloh Civil War Relics
Savannah, Tennessee
Appraised value (2004)
$2,250 Retail
Event
Omaha, NE (July 10, 2004)
Form
Button
Material
Metal

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