Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Know anything about these items brought up during CSS Georgia salvage?

(Julie Morgan, USACE, Savannah)

A five-finger grapple has pulled up more fascinating items from the CSS Georgia salvage site in Savannah, Ga.

This recently recovered belt buckle and sword hilt appear to have been made for the Federal government.

“(It was) very common for Confederates to wear pre-war U.S. equipment, especially items that the Confederates had difficulty manufacturing,” said Charlie Crawford of the Georgia Battlefields Association.

Update: Gordon Jones, senior military curator at the Atlanta History Center and an expert on such items, says: "Definitely Federal, and yes, commonly used by Confederacy. U.S. Model 1832 artillery short sword and U.S. Model 1851 sword belt plate. Very cool!"

Russell Wicke, spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- which is removing the Confederate ironclad from the Savannah River -- said officials don’t currently have further details on the two artifacts. That will commence after field work is completed and the items have been cleaned at a Texas A&M University conservation lab.

Do you have any thoughts on manufacturer, type or service branch use for these items? Please comment below.


  1. This from Bobby Hughes, active living historian in Savannah area: Buckle is a pretty common US sword belt plate or NCO plate.. Sword is an 1839 Artiilery short sword, often used in lieu of cutlasses.

  2. Yes. Federal belt plate (either officer's or NCO with the silver plate worn from the wreath. The hilt is from an 1832 artillery short sword (as mentioned, known to be used frequently as CS cutlass for the navy.

  3. Just updated blog post with info. from Gordon Jones of the Atlanta History Center.