This is a tintype of an armed, fully uniformed Confederate Civil War soldier holding a model 1861 Springfield with bayonet. This soldier looks Creole and could possibly be from the Louisiana area. The gutta-percha, complete with closing latch, case is intact and compete, the two half’s are still connected. The gold foil boarder is in excellent condition. The tintype it self is in excellent condition and extremely sharp and clear.
The belt plate is known as a NCO plate and belt. Luckily the image is pretty clear and you can make out the eagle in the center surrounded by the applied silver wreath - that's why there is that white color. In case you don't know what NCO means, it's stands for Non-commissioned Officer. During the Civil War this constituted the Corporals, Sergeants (1st, 2nd, 3rd...), Quartermaster Sergeants, Commissary Sergeants, Ordnance Sergeants and Sergeant Majors. I listed them in basically ascending order. I do not see any chevrons - the strips denoting an NCO, which were "V"s on the sleeve of the coat. The number denoted the rank: 2-Corporal 3- Sergeant The First sergeant had a diamond above the V's, the Ordnance Sgt. a Star, the Commissary Sgt. one horizontal line connecting the V's across the top, Quartermaster Sgt. 2 lines connecting the V's, the Sgt. Major 3 lines connecting the Vs in an arch across the top. He doesn't have any chevrons on, but that doesn't mean that he was not an NCO. I have seen several other images where this is also the case. Many times a soldier was promoted on the spot and hadn't yet had a chance to received chevrons. Or the chevrons were not available at the time and he simply was given what they had at the time to help denote him as an NCO. He is wearing a standard issue dress coat (also referred to as a frock coat). It has 9 buttons and is trimmed in the color of the branch of service, in this case infantry. This coat was many times put aside and the soldier was issued a 4 button fatigue blouse (aka sack coat). His cap is also a standard issue forage cap. I believe that style is a "Type II" made mid to late war. I'd have to check on that to be sure, but it most definitely is a forage cap. Also he is holding a model 1861 Springfield with bayonet.
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