Early 1 pc US Uniform Button, "Artillery"

Wyatt Earp

Well-Known Member
#1
Looked through lots of pictures of buttons and never found this one. I don't know anything about these, other than to say that with the brazed "footed" shank ... I'm assuming it pre-dates the civil war. Its the size of a trouser button.

The back mark reads "William H Smith" (not W H Smith) and "New York".

The eagle faces (his) left and most face right.
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Dug it in a farm field in Greensboro, Pa.

Thanks in advance for any assistance that might be offered.
 

KRose

Well-Known Member
#3
Mr. Earp, a Hewge Congrat's to you on a nice Artillery Button. Very nice. This will display well. Search this area hard there could be more relics in this area. did you find anymore artifacts in this area? This could possibly have been an encampment. You can also research this area to see if any action took place here, troop movement, or again maybe a campsite. Continued success to you.
 

Wyatt Earp

Well-Known Member
#4
The only thing that ever happened here, militarily speaking ... was the whiskey rebellion. It got serious enough in Western Pa that George Washington dispatched 12,950 troops to the area. There's a short article here:

https://www.nps.gov/frhi/learn/historyculture/whiskeyrebellion.htm

I think the button's newer than that ... but older than the civil war. I'm not sure though. Always take what you read on the 'net with a grain of salt....becase anybody can post information ... even if it's wrong. I'm hoping that somebody here is really "into" this stuff and can shed some light on it.

The cast buttons with a brazed shank lacking "feet" pre-date the "footed" variety, and from what I have been able to find, they date to somewhere between 1820 and 1845.

I've dug General issue CW buttons here in Greensboro. There were soldiers that hailed from here, but no action ever took place here. Those same soldiers brought their uniforms home after the war, and some of those ended up in "Granny's button tin" ... so they can turn up in very unusual places.

Earp
 

fyrffytr1

Well-Known Member
#5
From The book "American Military Button Makers and Dealers: Their Backmarks and Dates" by William F. McGuinn and Bruce Bazelon, William H Smith & Co. was in business from 1830 to 1858. Being one piece dates it to the early part of that time period as two piece buttons were introduced in the early 1840s. I would date it between 1830 and 1840. There is one example of a 1 piece button with the eagle facing left in the "Record of American Uniform and Historical Buttons" by Alphaeus H. Albert but it doesn't list your backmark. But, Albert's book was first published in 1971 if memory serves me correct and many backmarks have shown up since then. Anyway, it is listed as AY-68; Artillery, convex 1-piece.
 

Wyatt Earp

Well-Known Member
#6
Thanks ....... I errantly omitted the "& Co" when I posted this. I knew there was a distinction between Willam H and W.H. ... and forgot the "& Co" in the description. If you look at the picture showing the inside of the button ... at the 3 o'clock position ... you can see it.

I wish I could find a pic of a well preserved one. Seems there's a lot of room above the eagle's head, and I'm wondering if a field of 13 stars doesn't appear there on one not in the ground for 150 years.

Earp
 

Wyatt Earp

Well-Known Member
#8
Thanks. That's the button alright. I appreciate you taking the time to scan the book and posting the scan. The field where I dug this is adjacent to the town founder's property. Albert Gallatin is known to have frequented that home ... and I'd bet Jefferson (since Gallatin was Secy of State under Thomas Jefferson) and maybe even Washington.

I have to figure out how to get the owner to let me hunt those acres of fields. He's never allowed anybody to detect there. Probably bullets and wire bits like all the other previously cultivated land hereabouts.

Thanks again.

Earp
 

KRose

Well-Known Member
#9
That sounds good Mr. Earp. Best of Luck to you in getting permission to hunt those fields. Sounds promising.
 

Gregory

Well-Known Member
Administrator-Site Founder
#11
Nice find indeed Wyatt. I'll get you permission to hunt that land one way or the other Lol, after all I do have a silver toung :)
 

Wyatt Earp

Well-Known Member
#12
I'll be ready when you do ... I just put fresh batteries in all of my detectors. I still have the 6000 I got from you. The box is wobbly on the shaft ... needs new rivets. It still works perfectly though. I bought a back up 6000, then I got a pro xl. It wasn't working ... and I thought it needed to be serviced. One of the 4 "C" cells was bad. That's all that was wrong with it.

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

Earp
 

Wyatt Earp

Well-Known Member
#14
I probably recovered at least 25 dollars face value in silver with that machine. I've been using the pro xl lately and am starting to get used to it a little. The 6000SL I got from you has seen so much use now that the box is loose on the shaft. Its now got its 3rd trigger switch in it. :D

We'll have to get together for a hunt before it snows.

Earp
 
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