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Reference Items
California Militia Button - CF1

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California State Seal Staff Button. Known as Albert’s CF1, and as CF001 in Warren Tice’s Uniform Buttons of the United States - 1776 - 1865, this is a button from the California State Militia and the only known California button style used during the American Civil War. CF1, which is a general use three piece button, is distinguished from later specimens by Minerva’s staff passing through the E in Eureka. Its size is 22.45 mm, with a "SCOVILL MF’G CO,/WATERBURY.” depressed text backmark between two rings of dots. This button retains all of its original gilt and is in excellent condition with a perfect upright shank.

The button bears emblems from the California state seal, including an image of the goddess Minerva, symbolizing the quick movement of California to the status of statehood, without the usual period of territorial status. Also depicted is the California bear, sheaves of wheat and grapes, representing California’s agricultural interests, and a small schooner and miner portraying industry and commerce. The Greek term "EUREKA” or "I have found it,” rests above the other emblems, possibly alluding to the discovery of California’s beauty and wealth.

The first California militia unit was the First California Guard of San Francisco which was formed around the time California gained statehood in 1850. Militia units gradually evolved into volunteer companies who served in the west and to some degree in the east during the Civil War.

Member - Wayne Sherman
Item #: CIV-156

CSA Block I Button - local manufacture

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This is a non-dug Confederate Block I Infantry button of local manufacture as listed in Albert's Book on U.S. Military buttons, CS-182. This is an outstanding example of a Confederate Block I with a sharp, well defined raised block letter "I", much more clearly defined than the poorly stamped specimens more commonly seen where the "I" is not differentiated from the background. Rim is well defined with no crimping flaws (also commonly seen on this style of button.) Back is equally nice with perfect upright shank in oval shaped opening typical of this button. The brass back displays a circular row of dots. Mirror-like face is near mint.

These buttons were made only during the wartime years of 1861-1865 and were used to fill the void caused by the Union naval blockade which prevented the import of buttons and other supplies from Europe. This is an immaculate non-dug Confederate button.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-136

CSA staff button

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Known as a Confederate General or General Staff Button, Tice's CS201A2, this convex two-piece button is in excellent condition. Easily recognized by its large 26mm size and superb design. Center device is right facing eagle with wings pointed down, CSA on shield surrounded by eleven six-pointed stars on a lined field. Regarded by many as the most aesthetically pleasing of all Confederate buttons. This example is in superb condition with sharp untouched edges and full gilt with only miniscule wear on high points of eagle's wings. Depressed mark backmark "S. ISAACS CAMPBELL & CO/LONDON/ST.JAMES.ST" with somewhat weak strike. No pushes or bumps and perfect shank.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-135

Arkansas state issue button

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Arkansas State Button. This is a rare and outstanding button. Device is the Arkansas State Seal on lined field, made for general use by Arkansas troops during the Civil War. High convex and three piece manufacture, 23mm. Arkansas outfitted only one regiment of troops with buttons of state designation. Backmark is "HORSTMANN & ALLIEN/N.Y." listed as Albert's AK1 and Tice's AK200A-1. This button retains 99% gilt, brilliant untouched patina. Back is untouched, perfect upright shank, no rim bumps or pushes.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-126

CSA Manuscript I button

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Confederate Manuscript Infantry two piece button as listed in Albert's Book on U.S. Military buttons, CS-175A-2. It has a clear " Halfman and Taylor Montgomery " depressed mark backmark with a perfect upright shank, 95% gilt remaining on its face. The button's face shows very fine detail,with virtually no wear. All of the horizontal lines inside the I and the flourishes around the I are crisp and well defined. The button has no damage or flaws.

This is an excellent example of an imported button as used by the South early in the Civil War. As the Union naval blockade gradually took effect, the availability of these European buttons diminished and use of the crude local manufactured buttons became more prevalent.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-114