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Steve Rogers

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  1. Since the battle is taking place at night and one or both ships are on fire, it might be John Paul Jones and the Bon Homme Richard fighting HMS Serapis, although they were locked together for most of the fight and it looks here like they are some distance apart. The ship at left firing toward US vessel might back this up. Pierre Landis, captain of the Alliance, part of Jones' squadron actually fired into the Bonhomme Richard during the engagement.
  2. I would be hesitant about the corps badge. Some suspect the pie crust and scallop edged sandwich badges are misinterpretations by modern makers of GAR badges with stamped semicircles around the borders that were imitations of some Civil War types that had actually had more detail.
  3. Hi Mike, There are several books out there that include good material on accouterments, along with various articles and some specialized studies on specific things like Mann's accouterments by Fred Gaede. A good start is Todd's American Military Equipage. The first three volumes have been reprinted as one. But you will want to go to O'Donnell and Campbell for the ins and outs of the plates. On this one you can see the hasp is retained by a single rivet. A cavalry, artillery or NCO belt will have it just stitched on or will have two rivets added to reinforce the stitching. On the other end the adjusting hook is taken from something else, likely a knapsack. On CW belts the adjusting hook is a single flat piece of brass, usually with a flaring triangular base riveted in place. After the war they used brass wire, so the hook is rounded in cross section. I think this was what skypilot was getting at. But the form on this one is not correct in either case. You can see they narrowed the end of the belt to wrap around it. On CW belts the end will taper, but the hook is riveted in place. The page that skypilot posted from Philips shows two such hooks from a knapsack (the right shoulder strap has a hook and triangle to make it easy to unsling the pack,) the next two are hooks like I am talking about, though the narrow bases suggest these are from shoulder support belt or rifle sling. You can also see what is likely part of an inspector's stamp on the leather. I am guessing this is an infantry belt that has been reused. The leather and inspector's stamp look CW, but it is not a cavalry, artillery or NCO rig. Officers purchased their own gear. The belts would not be made specifically for them, but were part of the general stock of military goods dealers. (I suppose one could a belt specially made.) NCOs would be issued their belts and plates, though they might get away with a privately purchased version. This would be more common with members of the NCO staff, though: sergeant majors, QM sergeants and the like. I don't think there is any way to tell when that belt was put together. You could come up with various scenarios where a sergeant might have to cobble together a replacement belt, but it could be done a lot later. The photos are not good enough to guess the date of the rivet.
  4. The belt seems to be made from a CW infantry waist belt for an oval plate.
  5. The plate looks fine. The only problem with the pattern is dating them precisely since they were used widely by not just the army from 1874, but by National Guard units, cadets, etc., etc., and remained in use for full dress right up to WW2.
  6. This type of insignia, a stamped brass wreath with numbers or letters, goes quite late, well into the 1890s, and shows up on caps for various organizations that adopted uniforms of some sort. My guess would be that the last letter stands for "Band" and it represents civilian marching band of some sort 1870s-1890s.
  7. To better read the inscriptions, I would try blacklighting it or look at the pinned post at the top of this section regarding the use of nightvision devices. I notice the canteen throat seems to have a carved "G" so I would wonder if there is an other initial there and whether it lines up with what you can make out of the inscription on the cover. As for use, I would assume the canteen was hung up as a memento of military service by the Civil War soldier and was added to by a son who did some service in the Spanish American War, not that he carried it, but that he too served in the military. It seems more likely that the Civil War inscription would read "Vt" as does the Spanish American inscription, but you are in a better position to judge that. It is a bit surprising there is no regimental number. If you can make out the two initials of the CW soldier it might be possible to nail it down by cross referencing men with those initials who served in a company A.
  8. Loops per se are not disqualifying. Metal backed insignia, that it is: bullion badges like this wit a tinned iron plate inside to stiffen it, usually had loops, but they were smaller and brass. These look like someone used loops from a catridge box plate as a pattern. There are issues with the fabric on the back, etc., as well.
  9. Here's a poor photo of an officer's hat badge and some other pieces that belonged to 2nd Lt Adolph Reutlinger of the 5th KY. He was in, and out, pretty early. Note the use of the "LL" in the loop of the hat insignia.
  10. These seem pretty clearly to be nineteenth or early twentieth century equivalents of hot water bottles that are curved to fit the body. Their Civil War connection is less certain. I don't know of any listings among hospital or medical stores or period photos of them. There might be, but I simply can't think of any offhand. If they are of the period and civilian, they still might have made their way into a general hospital or something like that in the same way that various other civilian items might for the comfort of patients. They have been accepted as "medical canteens" since their publication in the first volume of Lord. He illustrates one with what seems to be a standard bracket for a strap showing on one side (P.166.) That strikes me as earlier than the wire loops shown on this one. Whether it is wartime is another question. Another illustrated in the same photo has no brackets, is said to be pewter and marked "Compton & Co., C & M, 1861." That marking would indicate British manufacture. Dammann in Vol. 2, p69, of Medical Instruments shows one he describes as "kidney bean," with no brackets or loops showing, and painted "U.S. / M. Dept." I would have my doubts about the paint, but even if real the markings seem postwar. All the canteens noted above have spouts on top. I suspect the spout on the side might be an innovation to keep it from spilling if the person wearing it is lying down. I don't know about the screw top and swiveling wire loops. They strike me as much after the CW, but I know there were some early screw tops on things. I don't think they pass muster as canteens to carry water to the wounded or anything like that. A simple issue canteen would do as well and probably carrying a lot more water.
  11. They are from a fraternal organization, not military.
  12. The screw at the throat of the scabbard marks it as an import 1840 style, likely German made.
  13. Thanks very much guys! I now suspect that he was in the unit in the 1930s when it was part of the VA national guard and did not have active service in the unit in WW1 or WW2. I checked his 1918 and 1942 draft registration cards and he had lost four fingers on his left hand. I guess that pretty much disqualified him for field service!
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