|Description and Photograph||
Few Southern belt plates can be attributed to a specific maker and fewer still to a specific unit. This exceedingly rare die-struck Virginia State Seal Cross Belt Plate is an exception. By comparing the die-strike with waist belt plates marked James Smith & Sons, New York, it can be identified as a circa 1860 Smith product.
There are several images of "Southern Guards" wearing this distinctive Cross and Waist Belt configuration. These Cross Belt Plates are exceedingly rare and there are no known links to any other unit. Other Virginia units did however use the James Smith & Sonsí Waist Belt.
In the first months of 1860 men from Campbell County, Virginia organized the "Southern Guard" for local defense in response to the Northís support of the criminally insane John Brown.
In May of 1861, the "Southern Guards" joined with other Virginia units in Lynchburg and became Company B, Eleventh Virginia Infantry.
The Eleventh fought in nearly all the major engagements of the Army of Northern Virginia from Bull Run to Saylorís Creek where they were virtually wiped out. Only one officer and twenty-eight men surrendered at Appomattox.
(Ex-Turner collection). Belt and Plate are flawless!