Framed set of American military buttons (51) excavated at West Point
Brass, bronze, lead
largest: 7/8 in. ( 2.2 cm )
stamped: (81-82), front of button at bottom: "EXCELSIOR" (perching eagle on branch in center; worn by New York State soldiers) stamped: (83-103), front at bottom: "CORPS" (eagle perched atop cannon; Corps of Artillery, c. 1820-21) stamped: (105), front:
Brass, bronze, or lead buttons; military buttons have the number, emblem, or symbol of their regiment on front: twenty-four buttons have an eagle perched atop a cannon in center, with an inscription below at bottom; three buttons have an eagle grasping a banner, and flying over a castle; two buttons have a regiment number above a bugle in center, encircled by a border of stars; another button has an inscription encircled by a horn in center, surmounted by thirteen stars at top; one button has an eagle with an inscription inside a shield on its breast, grasping an olive branch with one claw and three arrows with the other; three lead buttons have a foliate inscription in center, above a star enclosed inside an oval at bottom; another lead button has an eagle in center, above an oval at bottom; two buttons have an eagle perched atop a branch in center, above an inscription at bottom; three buttons have a foliate inscription above a number in center, encircled by a border of stars; three other buttons have a foliate inscription in center, above an arrow enclosed inside an oval wreath at bottom; two buttons are decorated with a basket pattern, and have no regiment numbers or symbols.
These buttons were excavated by the Field Exploration Committee from a refuse deposit near a nineteenth-century barracks at West Point, a series of forts and barracks built in Orange County, New York by the Continental Army. The military buttons were worn on the uniforms of United States Army soldiers stationed at West Point, which became the seat of the United States Military Academy in 1802.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.