The familiar brass U.S. plate was used as a belt buckle and also cartridge box plate with different sets of attachments in the back. The plate was made of die stamped brass and the back filled with lead. When used as a belt plate a hook and two studs were set in the lead of the back. When used as a cartidge box plate two loops of iron were set in the lead. Although this is among the best known of Civil War artifacts, it is not mentioned in the regulations. It was mentioned in various Ordnance Manuals of the period. During the pre-Civl War period smaller plates were used. Similar plates with state initials were in use by various states. The belt plate was worn by soldiers who did not wear a sword belt, mostly infantry.