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Object Record

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Object Name Breastplate, Armor
Catalog Number 0985.13.00076
Description Body armor breastplate, for left side of body. Shoulder strap broken; only small portion still attached to plate. Old paper note adhered to back: "U.S. Brest Plate / Jas J. Brogain (?) 1861-65".
Dimensions H-18 W-9 inches
Owned unidentified Union soldier; James J. Grogan
Provenance Breastplate worn by a Federal soldier. Possibly found by James J. Grogan.

"A part of the U.S. breast plateā€¦. This is the piece intended to protect the right breast, and that the broken part of the joint at the back indicates that the part of the left side has become detached. It was found by the writer (James J. Grogan) about a mile S.W. from Leeland [near Fredericksburg] South Westly from the school house which on the old R. Rd. Right of way."

Steel vests were not standard issue during the Civil War, but were sold by private sutlers that followed the armies on their campaigns. However, the armor was heavy, hot, ineffective at close range, and likely to elicit ridicule or charges of cowardice from fellow soldiers.
People unidentified Union soldier
Grogan, James J.
Search Terms found on battlefield
Battle of Fredericksburg