A great identified 17th Invalid Corps belt with numbered cap box for a NCO.
This identified non commissioned officer’s belt rig is composed of a black buff belt with the Model 1851 belt plate with applied silver wreath, and a Gaylord cap box that has affixed the original numerals further indicating use by a member of this unit.
Stamping on the inside of the white buff is “Co.g. 17th REGt. I.C. No. 37.” The one inch brass numbers with there single loops are most definitely original to this E. Gaylord, Chicopee, Ma cap box.
The buckle does not match the keeper, but fit perfectly together. The buckle is missing a portion of the upper right point of the wreath, otherwise showing normal wear. The buff belt still retains good color. The cap box shows heavy wear to the lower flap (with some tearing on either side below the finial slot. Wear on the edges of flap and box. No wool fleece remaining within the compartment for the musket caps.
Established in 1863, the Invalid Corps (later changed to Veteran Reserve Corps) was formed to utilize wounded and unfit soldiers in non combat rolls, thus allowing healthy soldiers to perform in that capacity. The served as guards for fortifications, military installations, prison camps, etc. This unit was formed in January of 1864 to November of 1865.
“On duty during the year at Indianapolis, Ind., patrolling the city, guarding U.S. arsenal, State arsenal, and Government store-houses, and conducting men to the front. Forwarded 1,300 conscripts, 1,335 deserters, 3,400 recruits, 3,062 stragglers, 1,040 convalescents; total, 10,137; escapes, 56. Nineteen of the escaped men were lost by one officer, who was court-martialled by the commandant of the regiment, but permitted to send in his resignation. General duty very severe; men sometimes on guard for sixty hours. During one period of eight days the average detail for guard was one-half the regiment. Officers generally on double duty.”
All in respectable condition, and a great wartime identified unit item.