This is a very nice example of the arrow head stud oval belt plate as issued to New York troops during the American Civil War. It has a pleasing unmolested patina and retains most of the original lead solder filler on the reverse. By oral history, this plate was picked up in the 1890s on a farm near the main Antietam (Sharpsburg) battlefield near the position of the 34th New York Infantry but the original finders are long deceased, as are their nearest kin. These plates were used in every theater of battle where New York infantry, cavalry and artillery regiments went and dug examples are not often encountered.
“At 7:30 on the morning of September 17, 1862, the Thirty-fourth New York Infantry Regiment left camp near Keedysville, Maryland and crossed the Antietam Creek marching westward into the East Woods, now no longer there. Facing Westward and being on the extreme left of Brigade line, it emerged from the East Woods and soon became heavily engaged with the Confederate forces in its front. Crossing the open field and the Hagerstown Pike, it entered the West Woods, now also gone, with the line extending North and South of the Dunkard Church. The left of the Regiment, being unprotected, was in danger of being enveloped by the enemy and a hasty retreat became necessary with the Regiment reforming near the East Woods with its organization intact. In a very brief time, 43 men had been killed and 74 wounded with the killed being 13 percent of all engaged.”