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Object Record

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Object Name Breastplate, Armor
Catalog Number 0985.10.00100
Description Body armor plate for left side of body. Circular raised area (probably a dent) on center front. Attached label reads, "Lt. Rives June 30, 1896".
Dimensions H-18 W-9 inches
Owned W. H. Rives; unidentified Union soldier
Owner Regiment 12th South Carolina Infantry, Co. D,
Event Battle of Bristoe Station
Provenance "Breastplate worn by a Federal soldier (cavalry) and found on his person at Bristoe Station by Lt. W.H. Rives of Co. D, 12th South Carolina Infantry."

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 Rives, W. H.
unidentified Union soldier