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Object Record

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Object Name Breastplate, Armor
Catalog Number 0985.06.00019, a
Description Four-piece breastplates (or cuirass) of sheet iron with hinged sheet iron tassets. On left shoulder strap, stamped, "Patent applied for". On right shoulder strap, stamped, "Atwater Armor Co. New Haven Conn". Each piece stamped, "3CC", except the hinges are stamped, "3". Complete set of armor, with one lower hinge broken and two upper hinges bent.
Material metal (steel)
Dimensions H-25.5 inches
Owned unidentified Union officer; unidentified Confederate soldier
Owner Regiment 5th New York Cavalry
Made Atwater Armour Company, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Event First Battle of Winchester
Provenance The breastplate was taken from a Major with the 5th New York Cavalry on May 24, 1862 during the battle of Winchester. The armor was brought to then Colonel Bradley T. Johnson by one of his men. This armor was captured during Jackson's Valley campaign.

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 officer
unidentified Confederate soldier
Johnson, Bradley Tyler
Search Terms First Battle of Winchester
found on battlefield
items captured by Confederate soldiers
items captured from Union soldiers
items taken by Confederate soldiers
items taken from Union soldiers
Shenandoah Valley Campaign, 1862
United States Army
Subjects Armor