Framed set of American military buttons (44) excavated at West Point
Pewter, bronze, brass
largest: 1 in. ( 2.5 cm )
stamped: (9-17), front of button: "USA" (Continental Army buttons) stamped: (23), front: "3" stamped: (26), front: "3.C.R." (3rd Connecticut Regiment; coat button) stamped: (28), front: "2" (probably 2nd Connecticut Regiment) stamped: (29), front: "RM
Pewter, bronze, or brass buttons; military buttons have the number, symbol, or emblem of their regiment on front; one military button has a thin brass face with a cannon, and a flying flag with a Union Jack in the upper left corner; all other military buttons are of solid pewter: one has an anchor; one has two crossed swords below its regiment number; three have a skull and crossbones below their number; two buttons have a crown above their emblem; other buttons have no regiment numbers or symbols: one bronze and one pewter button are decorated with a basket pattern; another bronze button also has a decorative design; five buttons are undecorated.
These buttons were excavated in 1923 by the Field Exploration Committee from a refuse dump near the Revolutionary War 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 privates who garrisoned West Point. The button with the anchor was worn by a private in the Continental Navy, and the button with the cannon was worn by an artilleryman. Officers may have worn the decorated buttons.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.