Is it Civil War? YES

Georgia Mintzer"

This Georgia state button is one of the few military buttons that includes a date, in this case 1861. When a date appears on an item not commonly dated, it should make the viewer suspect a fake, but as mentioned I am not including fakes in this quiz. This button is an original. The firm of William G. Mintzer was an old Philadelpia military outfitter whose buttons for the most part were manufactured by the firm of Steele and Johnson. For reasons unknown the date 1861 was included on the die for the backmark of this button. We can only assume that it had something to do with the fact that the state of Georgia was either soon to become or had become the enemy. Northern military outfitters had strong commercial ties with the south and it is known that many of them resented a little thing like a war interfering with their business relationships. In 1870 the Mintzer firm became R. M. Robinson.

  1. McGuinn and Bazelon, American Military Button Makers and their Backmarks and Dates p. 72
  2. Bazelon and McGuinn, A Directory of American Military Goods Dealer and Makers 1785-1915 p. 120
  3. Tice, Uniform Buttons of the United States p. 271