The Saddle of Major General John F Reynolds

This is the saddle in which Major General John F. Reynolds was sitting when he was killed in or near woods close to McPherson's Ridge during the Battle of Gettysburg. The general was hit in the head by a chance Rebel bullet on the first day of the battle. July 1, 1863, while trying to mount a holding action against the advancing Confederate forces. He was certainly wearing the sword-belt at the time of his death and may also have been wearing the sash, as well. He had been offered the command of the Army of the Potomac just days before he was killed, but he turned it down.

General John Reynolds

Right: Major General John F. Reynolds, shown here as a brigadier, was fighting the Confederates almost on his own soil when he was struck down early in the Battle of Gettysburg.

General John ReynoldsUnion Sword Belt Plate

1 Oval Maryland State seal plate

2 Maryland State seal sword-belt plate

3 Oval Mississippi State seal plate

4 Alabama State seal sword-belt plate

5 Oval Alabama State seal plate

6 Louisiana State seal plate

7 Oval South Carolina plate

8 Texas plate

9 Oval plate of the Alabama Volunteer Corps

10 Virginia State seal sword-belt plate

11 Oval Texas plate

12 Virginia State seal sword-belt plate

13 C.S.A. plate, Eastern Theater

14 Oval CS plate with beaded border, Western Theater

15 C.S.A. rectangular plate, silvered

16 C.S.A. plate, Eastern Theater

17 CS sword-belt plate

18 Oval CS plate. Eastern Theater

19 CS rectangular sword-belt plate

20 Oval C.S.A. plate

21 Pewter C.S.A. plate, Western Theater

22 Oval CS plate, Western Theater

23 C.S.A. plate, Western Theater

24 Oval CS plate

Southern State and Confederate

Buckles and Plates

During the decades before the war many states adopted distinctive accouterment plates for wear by their state militias, most of them consisting of the state seal in various configurations or the capital letters in the form of abbreviation of the state name. Out of expediency, many of these beautifully fabricated prewar plates were pressed into service at the beginning of hostilities. Original production was limited and hard service caused many to be lost or destroyed, so that today, all are scarce, most are considered quite rare and all are avidly collected.

The most prolific manufacturer was Emerson Gaylord of Chicopee,

Massachusetts, who is known to have produced the oval Maryland state seal plates for that state (1). The similarity suggests that he also made plates for Mississippi (3) and Georgia in the immediate prewar years. A very few such state plates were manufactured in the South during the war.

From the outset, Confederate forces were issued a bewildering array of distinctive central government accouterment plates, usually oval or rectangular in shape, made of brass, and bearing some variation of the letters "CS" or "C.S.A." These appear to have been issued primarily to Confederate forces in western and deep south areas.

Confederate Headgear

Confederate Headgear and Epaulettes

While regulations were quite specific, the Confederate officer wore whatever hat was available at the time. Replacements were difficult to obtain, so many pieces of equipment or clothing were used until they were little more than rags. Surviving material was used up after the war due to the desperate economic situation in the South during Reconstruction. As a result, specimens of Confederate hats are very scarce.

1858 Hardee hat of Colonel Francis S. Bartow, of the 7th and 8th Georgia Regiments

1858 Hardee hat of Capt. Paul Hamilton with North Carolina palmetto insignia and officer's hat cord Rubberized rain hat of Col. Bradflute Warwick, 4th Texas Infantry Full dress beaver skin chapeau of Capt. A. J. Grayson, Co. B (F), 45th Virginia Infantry

Civilian slouch hat of Lt. John Selden, i 2nd Co. Richmond Howitzers Forage cap of Henry Carter Lee, Army i of North Virginia, (A.N.V.) Cavalry Corps

Captains Forage Cap

Forage cap of Capt. Benjamin Chase, Co. B, 22nd Virginia Infantry Forage cap belonging to Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner

Wool headwarmer of Maj. Robert B. Taylor, 6th Virginia Infantry Cotton havelock of W. H. Kirkpatrick of Georgia

Non-regulation cap of Capt. David L. Smoot, Alexander Artillery, Va Forage cap of Brig. Gen. George

Wythe Randolph

13 Colonel's epaulettes of Brig. Gen. Alexander Gait Taliaferro

14 Captain's epaulettes of Maj. Gen. H. D. Clayton

15 Captain's epaulettes of Capt. James K. Lee, Co. B, 1st Virginia Infantry

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