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  • Washinton belt

    I just purchased a tin type at an auction. It looks to be a civil war union soldier with a leather belt with WASHINGTON in upper case letters across the belt. He is holding a muskit in his hand. He also has a knife tucked in behind his belt. I will try to post an image, but have never posted, so I am a work in progress. My question is: Has anyone seen or heard of a belt like this mentioned above? Thanks for any info.

    Fred F. Griffin

  • #2
    Re: Washinton belt

    Sounds like a New York fireman turned soldier. See this very nice site: http://www.myrtle-avenue.com/firezou/

    The fellows that put this website together also frequent this board and will no doubt add their vast knowledge about New York firemen to the discussion.
    Bob Williams
    26th North Carolina Troops
    Blogsite: http://26nc.org/blog/

    As [one of our cavalry] passed by, the general halted him and inquired "what part of the army he belonged to." "I don't belong to the army, I belong to the cavalry." "That's a fact," says [the general], "you can pass on." Silas Grisamore, 18th Louisiana

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    • #3
      Re: Washinton belt

      After looking more closely at the tintype. I notice the belt the soldier was wearing was upsidedown. Could this be a confederate soldier instead? The WASHINTON was reversed (due to the photo process). But why upsidedown? Any thoughts? I am trying to get a decent photo posted so thanks for being patient.
      Fred F. Griffin

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Washinton belt

        Here they are pards. Any comments or info? Thanks
        Fred F. Griffin

        Last edited by Fred F. Griffin; 04-05-2009, 10:41 PM. Reason: Photo does noy show

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        • #5
          Re: Washinton belt

          Yeah...where's the pic???
          Tom "Mingo" Machingo
          Independent Rifles, Weevil's Mess

          Vixi Et Didici

          "I think and highly hope that this war will end this year, and Oh then what a happy time we will have. No need of writing then but we can talk and talk again, and my boy can talk to me and I will never tire of listening to him and he will want to go with me everywhere I go, and I will be certain to let him go if there is any possible chance."
          Marion Hill Fitzpatrick
          Company K, 45th Georgia Infantry
          KIA Petersburg, Virginia

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          • #6
            Re: Washinton belt

            I have tried every posible way to post a photo, but it does not work. Help? Sorry
            Fred F. Griffin

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            • #7
              Re: Washinton belt

              http://fredfgriffin.dotphoto.com/CPV...517706&Page=1#
              Paul Boccadoro
              Liberty Rifles

              “Costumes are just lies that you wear.” –Stephen Colbert

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Washinton belt

                That's a really nifty image! There's nothing about it that particularly screams New York City to me, however, but the resemblance to a 19th century fire belt is very high. As with anything, I wish I could see a larger version of the picture (any chance of a flatbed scan?) to discern more details.

                As for the upside-down belt, you sometimes see wetplate images of soldiers in which they've purposefully switched their accouterments around to the "wrong" side so as to make them appear "right" in the final image. This is likely on this soldier's mind, since he's holding his rifle along his left side, such that it appears to be on his proper right in the final image. Suggestive of order arms, though of course not, but strange to keep your rifle by default along your left side unless you had this specific image-reversal in mind.

                Turning the belt around strikes me as one of those "oh, wait...DUH!" things that could have been done with the thought of "wear your stuff backwards for a photo" without considering that, oh yeah, lettering will appear upside-down, anyway.
                Marc A. Hermann
                Liberty Rifles.
                MOLLUS, New York Commandery.
                Oliver Tilden Camp No 26, SUVCW.


                In honor of Sgt. William H. Forrest, Co. K, 114th PA Vol. Infantry. Pvt. Emanuel Hermann, 45th PA Militia. Lt. George W. Hopkins & Capt. William K. Hopkins, Co. E, 7th PA Reserves. Pvt. Joseph A. Weckerly, 72nd PA Vol. Infantry (WIA June 29, 1862, d. March 23, 1866.) Pvt. Thomas Will, 21st PA Vol. Cavalry (WIA June 18, 1864, d. July 31, 1864.)

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                • #9
                  Re: Washinton belt

                  This is definately a fireman's belt. Many fire companies across the nation became the nucleus for companies going off to war. "Washington" was possibly the name of the fire company. Great early image, even his shirt is unusual, and something that would have been seen very early in the war.
                  Scott Cross
                  "Old and in the Way"

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                  • #10
                    Re: Washinton belt

                    As You look at the photo there is a reversed 4 tucked in the belt to the right of the knife on the other side of the gig line. So is this probably Union? Thanks so much for the photo help.

                    Fred F. Griffin

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                    • #11
                      Re: Washinton belt

                      It also looks to me that he is wearing a fed sack coat tucked into the trousers. This was somewhat common for zouave company recruits if the jacket had not been issued yet.
                      Eric Stephenson

                      [URL="http://www.military-historians.org/"]The Company of Military Historians[/URL]
                      [URL="http://lodge245.doylestownmasons.org/"]Doylestown Masonic Lodge No. 245 Free and Accepted Masons[/URL]

                      "Captain Dike is in the hands of some brother Masons, and to the Order he owes his life." OR s.I v.II

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Washinton belt

                        Can you cite a source for that?

                        Also, please, people...fire company membership didn't automatically mean zouave affiliation in the army.
                        Marc A. Hermann
                        Liberty Rifles.
                        MOLLUS, New York Commandery.
                        Oliver Tilden Camp No 26, SUVCW.


                        In honor of Sgt. William H. Forrest, Co. K, 114th PA Vol. Infantry. Pvt. Emanuel Hermann, 45th PA Militia. Lt. George W. Hopkins & Capt. William K. Hopkins, Co. E, 7th PA Reserves. Pvt. Joseph A. Weckerly, 72nd PA Vol. Infantry (WIA June 29, 1862, d. March 23, 1866.) Pvt. Thomas Will, 21st PA Vol. Cavalry (WIA June 18, 1864, d. July 31, 1864.)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Washinton belt

                          I know that. I would have to contact Mike Zitarga. He has done extensive research on the 9th NY and had a source stating that there was a new group of recruits that had been placed in the regiment, can't remember which company, just before Antietam that had not been issued the proper jackets yet. I will take Mike's research on that regiment as fact as he is in my mind the leading historian on the regiment. I would never jump to the conclusion that that photo is zouave, just using it as a reference point.
                          Last edited by estephenson; 04-08-2009, 11:56 AM.
                          Eric Stephenson

                          [URL="http://www.military-historians.org/"]The Company of Military Historians[/URL]
                          [URL="http://lodge245.doylestownmasons.org/"]Doylestown Masonic Lodge No. 245 Free and Accepted Masons[/URL]

                          "Captain Dike is in the hands of some brother Masons, and to the Order he owes his life." OR s.I v.II

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