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Welcome To General Staff Buttons


Welcome to,  a website dedicated to the study and collection of the U. S. Army staff button  1832-1902.  The intention of this site is to provide information and  resources, as well as a public forum for discourse and discussion related to these buttons.  The absence of a concise record, dedicated to these historical relics,  prompted me to initiate this effort.  I will utilize a photo gallery to detail as many of the numerous die faces and backmarks as possible.  Specific classification of each button, with pertinent details will be provided, with the intent of a resourceful catalog of graphics and data for the collector and curious visitor alike.  I profess no authority of expertise here, but approach this work as an interested collector and novice historian of the period in which they were used.    I have collected and handled these buttons since childhood, and still retain that particular fondness associated with holding a piece of history in the palm of my hand.  “If only that button could talk”.  There exist many collectors  with far greater knowledge and collections of buttons.  It is my hope to enlist their aid and assistance in identifying and analyzing these devices.  The purpose of this website will be far better served with such participation.   I welcome all comments, corrections, and critique.

A narrow and specialized area in the field of military relics,  the staff button provides for a unique and rewarding array of collectability.  These buttons have an interesting history of use, a multitude of manufacturing/back-marks, and  distinctive die faces that set them apart from other Army buttons of their historical era . They were worn by Army officers from 1832 through the Civil War, where they adorned the uniforms of both Northern and Southern armies.  R. E. Lee,  J. E. B. Stuart,  U. S. Grant, and  William T. Sherman wore these buttons. The fact that they were used by both sides, adds to their collectability and historical mistique.  They remained in use through the Indian Wars and the Spanish – American War, until replaced by the Great Seal buttons of the modern era.  These beautifully made “spread eagle”  devices were constructed of a three piece design with exceptional workmanship. Most were finished in gold gilt and some of  silver plating.  They were meant to adorn the uniform of a General Staff Officer and reflect the rank and prestige of his position, as well as his social refinement and bearing.  These buttons were used by some of the most capable and educated men of their time, and were witness to some of America’s most historical events.


The photo gallery will detail the general staff button die faces and back-marks.  Each photo will have a specific listing and classification, along with pertinent historical information.  I will use Albert’s GS , and Robert Edmondson’s specific staff classifications .  Hopefully the photo gallery will aid in the recognition, verification, and identification of these staff devices.   Many of the buttons are from my collection, however, I will gladly welcome photos from other collectors to fill in the gaps and display the scarcer buttons and back-marks.  The increasing rarity and expense of many of theses buttons, prevents many of us from ever being able to visualize them.

I have also included a ” For Sale or Trade” gallery.   Feel free to browse the collection and add any interesting facts or comments.  Offers and trades are welcomed .  If you would like to purchase a button or have a specific question feel free to Contact Us.

W. M. (Bill) Stafford