Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Civil War Ring Returned: Private Schlegel's Ring-- Part 3: Identifying Yourself

By the time Private Schlegel's new regiment got to the front lines, it was a time of trench warfare.

Identity rings like his were one of several ways soldiers used to identify themselves in case they were killed.  Their name, company and regiment would be etched on the outside and was probably worn on the pinky finger.  Soldiers could also wear identity discs around their necks, much more like today's dogtags.

Private Schlegel's appears to be made of silver.

Some soldiers simply wrote their names on a piece of paper that they pinned to their uniforms.

Considering the large numbers of unidentified soldiers buried on both sides, especially after battles, identification was a major issue during the war.

Old Secesh

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