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Union Army Uniforms and Insignia of the Civil War

Officers' Buttons

Engineer Officer's Button
Engineer Officer's Button Original Engineer Officer's Button

The origin of the corps of engineers button is lost in obscurity. Early examples are attributed to officers serving just after the War of 1812. The regulations of 1821 make a vague reference to a branch button "with only the device and motto heretofore established." This must be the motto "Essayons" since no other is known to have been used or can be found in large button collections. A variation of this button is still regulation and is the oldest U.S. Army button in continuous service. The motto translates as "Let us try." The backmark on the original button is "SCOVILL MFG CO.*WATERBURY*."


MORE: Other Buttons
Artillery Officer Cavalry Officer Enlisted Man Infantry Officer Ordnance Officer Staff Officer Topographical Engineer

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