Excavated large US oval regulation waist belt plate with lead fill backing, keeper and both arrow style hooks present. Plate also has a small segment of the original leather belt attached. This belt plate is similar to Figure 32 of Plates & Buckles of the American Military by Sydney Kerksis.
Scratched on the lead back and under the patina caused by ground action are, "T.M. Nixon’ and "Co A.” The Civil War Research Data Base shows only one Federal soldier with this name and company: Pvt. Thomas M. Nixon of Company "A,” 106th Pennsylvania Infantry.
National Archives military and pension records indicate that Pvt. Nixon was a 19 three year old tool maker when he enlisted in the 106th PA in Philadelphia on August 17, 1861. He mustered out on September 10, 1864.
The 106th PA was one of four regiments that comprised the famed Philadelphia Brigade, and was an active participant in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, as well as the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. Pvt. Nixon is listed as present during all of these battles. Total losses for the regiment were:
Killed or died from wounds – 9 officers; 90 enlisted men
Died of disease or other causes – 1 officer; 94 enlisted men
Wounded, not mortally – 24 officers; 373 enlisted men
Captured or missing – 5 officers; 152 enlisted men
Pvt. Nixon survived the war, married and ultimately collected a US pension. He died on May 26, 1898 at the age of 56.