Washington Artillery

Badges, Insignia, & Medals

over the ages...



As the Native American Artillery

Officer, Native American Artillery circa 1830s


Louisiana shako insignia (Louisiana Dragoons)

similar to what Washington Artillery wore- circa 1830s

A shako is a tall, cylindrical military cap, usually adorned with an ornamental designation plate on the front and a feather plume or pompon on the top. The word shako is derived from the Hungarian word meaning "peaked cap." See above image.


Washington Artillery badge- circa 1850s


Washington Artillery belt buckle- circa 1850s


Washington Artillery shoulder belt plate- circa 1840-50s or 1880s?

(This buckle belonged to Commander B. F. Eshleman)

Militia shoulder belt plates date from the 1830s-1880s. These embellished shoulder belt plates were used for both unit identification and ornamentation. The proliferation of state militias in the 1840s and 1850s sparked the proliferation of inexpensive plates with interchangeable identification motifs. Similar plates, in both look and construction to the above Washington Artillery plate, date this style plate to the 1840s. The Boston Light Infantry as well as the New York Light Guard of the 1840s had similar tiger motifs, all with clipped cornered rolled brass plates with a brass tiger head attached by wires clinched through the plate and with a soldered brass attachment pin. Antebellum examples were often silver-plated. This style shoulder plate had a resurgence in the 1880s along with the Baldric device and staff officer's dress cartridge box as seen in the 1880s photo of William Miller Owen below. To date, there is yet no document or picture to confirm whether this plate is of the 1850 or 1880 era. Considering that this WA plate is nickel-plated and not silver-plated,  the 1880 era is probably correct for this particular plate, unless it was nickel-plated at a later date. Only three are known to exist.

Ambrotype of artillerymen with shoulder belt plates and shako-circa late 1850s

Close-up view of artillery shoulder belt plate and shako


Washington Artillery commander's badge-William Miller Owen- circa 1860


Unique Washington Artillery badge of Third Company- circa 1860

(only known example & belonged to Captain M. B. Miller of Third Company)


Washington Artillery belt buckle- circa 1860s

(Louisiana buckle made by Thomas, Griswold of New Orleans,

documented to have been used by the unit,

including William Miller Owen)


Washington Artillery belt buckle- circa 1860s

(Louisiana "Pelican with Rays" buckle,

documented to have been used by the unit,

including Lieutenant Edward Owen)


Washington Artillery two piece sword belt buckles- circa 1860s

(etched "WA" & made from US model 1838 sword belt buckles)


Washington Artillery kepi insignia- circa 1860s

(brass crossed cannon & individual "Zouave"-style stamped brass letters)


Washington Artillery small label pin badge- circa 1870-80s


Washington Artillery veteran's badge- circa 1870-80s


1880s-era photo of William Miller Owen showing a shoulder plate Baldric device (a wide sash worn over the shoulder), a French design.

On the front of the shoulder sash, a die struck eagle within a shield is attached by chains to a brass lion's head.

circa 1876-1885

Artillery Baldric staff officer's dress accoutrements- circa 1855-1885

Washington Artillery kepi insignia- circa 1870-80s


Washington Artillery belt plate- Mills style- circa 1880s


Washington Artillery kepi insignia- circa 1880s


(LFA insignia courtesy John M. Fleming Collection)

The Louisiana Field Artillery of the 1880s used individual brass letters around crossed cannons

When the Washington Artillery became part of a volunteer artillery group for service in the

Spanish American War called the Louisiana (Volunteer) Field Artillery-circa 1890s-

the "LFA" letters were soldered to the cross cannon


United Confederate Veteran's badge

to Washington Artillerist

H. Dudley Coleman

presented by the United Daughters of the Confederacy

circa 1900-1913



Washington Artillery insignia World War I- circa 1917

(Unit designation changed to 141st Field Artillery on September 27, 1917.)


Washington Artillery collar insignia, Company C, World War I-circa 1917


Washington Artillery veteran's badge- World War I


Washington Artillery commander's badge- Allison Owen


Washington Artillery/141st collar insignia, pre-World War II


Washington Artillery/141st collar insignia, World War II


Washington Artillery insignia, World War II- circa 1940s

(a tiger head within a red shield, underneath the motto "Try Us")


Washington Artillery insignia patch, World War II- circa 1940s


Washington Artillery insignia, World War II- circa 1940s

773rd Tank  Destroyer Battalion

(a tiger head within a shield with motto "Fit Via Vi', Latin for "The way is forged by labor/strength")


Washington Artillery insignia patch, World War II- circa 1940s

773rd Tank  Destroyer Battalion

Batteries G & H of the Washington Artillery were assigned to a new anti-tank category and were later re-designated as Batteries A & B of the newly created 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion. No Tank Destroyer unit in Europe had a better combat record than the 773rd. Under the aggressive leadership of Colonel Frank G. Spiess, it destroyed 113 tanks, 25 SP guns, and 105 pill boxes. It fired 8,219 rounds in direct fire, took 1,970 prisoners, and spent 254 days in combat - a truly remarkable record. For this meritorious action, the battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.


Washington Artillery insignia - present day