An early war view of an unidentified sleepy-eyed private armed with Hall Patent Rifle, reversed bayonet, and belted M1849 Colt revolver. Under magnification the short collared uniform coat with pleated front appears to be of coarse texture secured by plain metal or bone buttons. Note the oil cloth cap protector that was quickly dispensed with during 1861. The distinctive “Virginia” characteristic of the uniform is the light colored cotton webbing that was issued by the Commonwealth “from October 1859 through October 1861 for making up cartridge box, bayonet and waist belts” in lieu of insufficient and costlier leather. The webbing is documented in numerous period photographs of identified early war Virginia soldiers along with the plain egg-shaped breast plate. The rectangular waist belt plate appears to be of a raised pattern that cannot be further discerned. The Hall rifle is either a converted M1819 or M1841 percussion version without the band springs that were replaced by pin fasteners in 1832. Virginia issued “1,220 Hall rifles” from stocks through October 1861.
Condition: The unvarnished plate shows numerous swipes and hairline scratches concentrated on the lower third with strong clarity and contrast. Overall, a VG Southern image housed in a complete composition case.