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    Major General William Mahone's Sash, Belt Set and Two-Piece Virginia Buckle This Confederate Major General officer's sword belt, two-piece Virginia buckle and sash were presented to Confederate General William Mahone who was honored by the people of Petersburg, Virginia as their gallant defender due to his tenacity during the ten-month siege of their city. General Mahone was there to thwart the attempts of Union General Ambrose Burnside as Burnside's troops affected one of the most famous maneuvers of the war, the subterranean explosion under the Confederate trenches that became known as the Battle of the Crater. After exploding a cache of gunpowder placed in the trenches, Union General James Ledlie's troops poured into the crater left after the explosion but were decimated by General Mahone's troops.

    In March of 1865 the people of Petersburg honored General Mahone with the presentation of this leather general officer's belt set and sash as an accompaniment to his Boyle and Gamble presentation sword given to him on the same occasion. Constructed of fine leather, possibly by Boyle and Gamble, with double rows of silk embroidering and gilt denoting his general's rank, the belt set is accentuated by the fine two-piece Virginia Confederate belt buckle bearing the Virginia state seal and the Latin motto "Sic Semper Tyrannis" at top with "Virginia" at bottom. Between is the standing figure of the Roman goddess Virtus dressed in Amazon garb with a sword in one hand and spear in the other. She is standing on a figure representing tyranny evoking the translation of the motto as "thus always to tyrants". The inner piece of the buckle includes an ornate wreath into which the Virginia seal disk is inserted completing the buckle.

    Accompanying the belt and buckle are General Mahone's red general staff officer's silk sash. This too was presented to the General by the citizens of Petersburg, at the same time as this belt as noted by the Richmond Daily Dispatch as follows: "The presentation took place in the presence of a large assemblage of officers, soldiers, citizens, and ladies, who gathered together to witness the pleasing event." These items are in excellent condition and were treasured by General William Mahone from the citizens of his native Petersburg, Virginia for saving their city.

    Provenance: The Tharpe Collection of American Military History

    Published: The Richmond Daily Dispatch - 1865
    North South Trader's Civil War - Volume XXIV, Number 6.

    Exhibited: The Liberty Heritage Society Museum *****

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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