View Full Version : US Belt Plate Upside Down
06-22-2009, 06:22 PM
For a long time now I have been wearing a US belt with my Confederate impression and I always have the belt facing the up, but this seems to upset many Confederate reenactors who tell me the soldiers would flip it over. Now, many years ago when I first started reenacting I would do this, but then when I joined a hardcore unit they told me it was wrong, that a soldier would not turn a US belt plate upside down and that it was a reenactor myth. Since then I have been trying to do research on this but can't really find anything. Anyone else ever look into this?
06-22-2009, 06:54 PM
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06-23-2009, 06:29 PM
Yeah, sorry, didn't even see the search button until after I posted.
06-23-2009, 07:36 PM
You can modify your US plate into a CS plate by pounding down the corners of the "U" to make it look like a "C". There are several surviving original plates that had this done to them.
Just one option.
06-24-2009, 12:56 PM
I personally have never liked the norm, or doing what everyone else does. I do Confederate, but don't like wearing gray. I never did the upside down U.S. because I saw too many people doing the same and actually have never owned a C.S. buckle, but prefer a brass roller buckle that is vintage and would have been brought from home. Haversack is homespun material, made by mother, same with a number of other items I carry.
My advice, don't follow the herd. Do some research and find instances of trappings that weren't so common, but not so unusual to be considered unrealistic or hokey or an absolute oddity to the hobby.
My humble opinion,
06-24-2009, 01:06 PM
I would focus my research on Austin's Btln of La sharpshooters, and the Army of Tennessee. there is another thread with a whole discussion on the inverted US plate. I can think of 2 period images showing an upside down US on a Johnny. One is the dead CS soldier on the Rose farm near Spotsy. The other was on a CW calender and an unknown soldier had on an over shirt, kepi, and was pointing a pistol at the camera.
personally, I would rather me and my pards "over play" what is right, than go with what we can't back up. IE the western CSA plate and clipped corner CS may be more common in say the WIG, than in the real 10th Texas/8th Arkansas/20th Tenn. However, you can document those plates to use in the AOT on more than one occaision.
just one mans opinion.
06-24-2009, 03:51 PM
In a previous thread on this topic, somebody posted an image of a Federal soldier in a posed portrait with his US buckle upside-down. I rather doubt that he was subtly declaring his devotion to the "Southern Nation".
That discussion in an earlier thread was actually quite thorough, and short of seeing more evidence, I've been convinced that the Confederate soldier, if he did wear a US plate upside-down, wasn't doing it for any of the reasons many reenactors wear them upside-down. I use a US oval right side up in my CS impression because I personally find it easier to buckle and unbuckle that way.
06-24-2009, 09:04 PM
I've have to agree that it seems easier to work the belt with it right side up and I have to guess that a soldier would probably have done whatever was the easiest or the most comfortable since they had to do it everyday.
Kind of wish I had figured out the whole search button before asking this question (should have read the forum guidelines first), because it seems like it has been talked to death already and from what I gather there really is no right or wrong answer.
06-26-2009, 10:25 PM
I Have a Question....Do photographs show the upside down buckle craze or is that just something that we living historians have come up with? Cause Iíve never seen any pictures of this.
07-12-2009, 10:50 AM
I would like to say that the upside down US belt plate is not a myth. I have a couple of orginal phots with the belt plate worn upside down. I wish i could figure out how to post them.
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