|Description and Photograph||
This non excavated Confederate waist belt plate is known as the Virginia style because it is the only belt plate bearing the letters C.S.A. found on the Virginia battlefields in any quantity, and to separate it from its close cousin, the Atlanta Arsenal variation. The centrally located letters, C.S.A. and thinner casting easily distinguish it from the Atlanta Arsenal variation as do the more subtle differences such as the hook shape. Another prominent feature inherent to this style is the three raised bumps on the face created when the integrally cast spades were bent over to form the hooks. The final finisher’s coarse file marks are found on both styles.
This is the most beautiful example of this plate I have seen in many, many years, and its history is well documented. The following is taken from the letter of provenance that came with the plate:
“Just a little history-what I know about on the CSA Belt Plate. I will work back from the present. I have had it in my possession since 1994 or 1995, when my father Charles W. Alenbacher gave it to me. Before this it was in his possession, on display in his bedroom as far as I can remember.
He came to have it before I was born, perhaps in the late 1960s on a visit to my uncle Herbert M. Alenbacher, who was, at the time of the visit, renting in the Bucher Mansion.
The buckle was found in the attic of that house, and went home with my dad. That is where my knowledge of it ends, though we speculated on the proximity of Boiling Springs (location of the Bucher Mansion) to Gettysburg and supposed that it may have some connection.
Edward A Alenbacher.
Boiling Springs is located just off the York Road, between Gettysburg and Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
The plate comes with the original signed letter of provenance.