TACWM logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object Name Breastplate, Armor
Catalog Number 0985.13.00421
Description Body armor for right half of body. Made of sheet iron with a bent metal shoulder hanger. Left side of metal pierced by projectile. Piece of paper with inked inscription adhered near front center.
Dimensions H-23 inches
Event Battle of Malvern Hill
Provenance This Federal breastplate was picked up by Mr. Nathaniel Burwell, of Glenvin, Clarke County, VA., in the rear of the Malvern House. Burwell found the breastplate at sunrise on the day after the battle of Malvern Hill, July 2, 1862.

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 Burwell, Nathaniel
Search Terms Peninsula Campaign
Seven Days Battles
Battle of Malvern Hill
found on battlefield
items pierced by bullets