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  1. Having been an archaeologist who has worked on Civil War battlefields, a museum curator who's worked with Civil War collections, and a Park Ranger who's worked at Civil War battlefields with associated national cemeteries attached, all I can say is - I've never seen one of these from a bonafide context. That they're apparently starting to surface recently in the market causes me to question why that is they haven't been well documented yet. And that the few I see doing a quick internet search are marked to Confederate states and have a year stamped on them, also makes one wonder just why that might be.
  2. What's the size? (specifically, the round piece in the center). The center piece looks like a federal cartridge box shoulder strap plate- which would measure around 2 3/8" give or take. The roughness makes it look cast though?
  3. At least one of the clutch fasteners has been replaced though- the one visible in the facing image has 8 dimples- those post date about 1947. ( No impact on the EGA dating).
  4. Do you know what the back marks are on the buttons and/or what they look like? It does have some characteristics of a seemingly enormous collection being sold right now of mostly high end items, including a lot of headgear. Two seller IDs supply most. Many exhibit similar patterns of their apparent age, damage, and wear. For me, the eye opener was seeing both front and back of a button on one piece, yet it still went for over $800.
  5. The style looks correct for Civil War, but I've only seen these in hats (think Hardee). I suppose they might show up in a forage cap or kepi (and the photo looks like one of those), but I've never seen one. Without seeing the rest of the piece here, hard to say what that means. These labels are being reproduced also, so they're readily available. There's been a LOT of very suspicious looking Civil War headgear sold on eBay lately, so as always be mindful of where it comes from.
  6. Also consider NARA states: "About 35% of the electronic WWII Army Enlistment Records have a scanning error. Most of these errors are because of the poor condition of the microfilm and the scanning mechanism could not properly “read” various characters on the punch cards." This is why I always look at a reasonable block of numbers immediately before and after-- it can often be very informative.
  7. Use caution with those NARA enlistment records as far as hard dates. They're sometimes missing data. My own grandfather shows an enlistment date of 1945, but he entered service in 1943 and was in combat in the Pacific by 1944. Searching the service numbers before and after his all have hits of 1943. I searched one number before and one number after the one in the helmet, and both showed enlistment dates as 1945-- and both enlisting in Richmond, VA just as this one.
  8. While all wood is vulnerable to UV damage, firearms aren't overly light sensitive. As long as you avoid direct sunlight, in normal conditions, the UV damage will be fairly negligible. UV filtered or LED lighting can pretty much make that something not needing to be overly worried about. The greater risk is probably theft, followed by humidity and temperature fluctuations. But if you enjoy viewing it, put it on the wall and accept any risk as a trade off to enjoying your collection. (And make sure it's not too easy for guests or kids to take down and mess with. Not much chance of accidentally firing a flint mechanism- but dry snapping the cock is no good).
  9. The cap looks like a M1895. I'd guess the jacket (without looking more closely at details ) as M1885/1887.
  10. The artillery projectile patch for a gunner is also upside-down, and was authorized in this form from 1896-1907. The single red chevron under the gold SGT chevron seems peculiar there in that position too.
  11. The chevrons are applied in the wrong direction for the 19th century. Until 1902 they should have pointed down, not up. I'm assuming these were applied later by someone more familiar with modern uniforms?
  12. A R Smith shows up on scads of boxes from this arsenal. It's safe to assume an inspector mark. The W McD stamp also shows on a few others, but not as prolific as Smith, I presume also an inspector mark.
  13. Looks like he was in the USMCR. At least his component on the casualty list says Reserves.
  14. Here's some food for thought. I know a Marine (still living) who witnessed the flag raising on Iwo Jima. About a week later he was severely wounded, spending the remainder of the war in hospitals. He was given a Purple Heart at a hospital in Hawaii. He was handed another in a hospital in California. After discharge, he got a third one in the mail. Years later he had a local jeweler engrave his name on them. So here we have duplicate medals and non-conforming engraving. What a world of difference provenance can make...
  15. The top is a Civil War era box plate. The Eagle I button has an interesting backmark- R&W Robinson went out of business in 1848, but this button looks later. Several sources say their dies, including backmarks, were used by D Evans into at least the 1860s. Hard to tell on the other buttons without better shots of the backmarks. I don't feel any of these are reproductions though, just not sure of the remaining dates of the buttons without seeing the backmarks.
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