18 April 2018

Relic Hunting Post #173 - British Cartridge Box Plate: Circa 1775


Just a tease for a longer post/video coming up later . . . I recently recovered this Revolutionary War era British brass cartridge box plate with the GR cypher for George III from a site here in the Shenandoah Valley. This image is right after I recovered it and before I cleaned it up. Though known primarily for its Civil War history, the Shenandoah Valley has a fair amount of history related to America's War of Independence as well. More to come later.

Some of these box plates are stamped brass but others,  like this one, are the rarer cast version. I'm hoping that the other part of this one is in the vicinity and I can locate it at some point in the future. Below is what a complete one looks like.

Don Troiani

11 comments:

Mark Snell said...

Lucky Ba----d. Not familiar with any British troops in the Valley during the War of Independence. Can you enlighten us without revealing where you excavated it?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Ha! Good to hear from you Mark. Yes, most definitely one of my best finds ever. Somewhere in my research I've come across references to POW camps in the Valley and, of course, the men who were from the Valley and served in the Continental army. I'm thinking that could be the source of this find - a "souvenir" taken off a dead British soldier and brought home to the Valley. All I can say about the location is that it's in the S/W part of Augusta County and that I've found other Colonial era artifacts at the same location. I've traced the ownership back to the 1850's and plan to go to the court house within a few days to look at land records to see who owned it prior to that. That will provide more clues. Thanks for commenting!

Mark Snell said...

I was going to guess it came from a POW compound. I have a cartridge box plate from the Napoleonic Wars that I found some 3 1/2 decades ago during a trip to the Caribbean with Don Troiani. Found quite a few relics, both British and French. Is there anyway I can post an image of a few of them on your site?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I believe Winchester was a hub for handling/holding British POW's. Of course, that was a lot further North of where this badge was found. But I don't think this particular spot was a POW camp. Best guess is a returning Continental soldier brought it home. Something did go on at this site though - lots of tombac buttons, colonial shoe buckle pieces, Spanish silver, etc. All concentrated in an area about 30'x40". Yes, I'd love to post some photos of your finds. Commenters can't do that, but I'd be glad to do it in a separate post with whatever commentary you'd care to add. Email to: mr.rgwilliams_at_gmail.com

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

PS - when I say commenters can't do that, I mean blog comments aren't set up via blogger to allow. I didn't mean I was preventing it. Just to be clear. ;-)

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

PS: No luck. Just hours of research followed by hours in the field. ;-)

Jubilo said...

Dear Old Dom.,
An amazing find ! Congratulations.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks David. Yes, one of my best to date; that's for sure! I've got video of the live dig I'll be posting soon.

Rapscallion said...

This may be a dumb question, but, how did you find it? Metal detecting? While planting taters?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Raps - no, not dumb at all. With a metal detector.

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Alfred Daw