Button - Scripted or Foliated “I” Button - Second Fort Crawford
This scripted or foliated “I” button was found during the 1999 excavations at Second Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Buttons of this type were first issued during the War of 1812 when the number of Infantry regiments was increased from seven to 18. Regiments 1 through 7 presumably wore an earlier style button with an eagle design on the face. The newer type was first issued between 1812 and 1813, for Regiments 8 to 18. As additional regiments were added, button manufacturers had a hard time producing individual buttons for each regiment, so the regiment number was left out, and the oval was left blank. Eventually a star, sometimes with more than five points, was added to the inside, apparently to give the buttons a more pleasing appearance. Variations on this idea also include a mullet, or a star with a hole in the center. The scripted or foliated “I” buttons with a star and mullet in the oval were issued between 1813 and 1816, and were used in great quantities long after the War of 1812 (Wyckoff 1984: 6-7). Six scripted or foliated “I” buttons found at Second Fort Crawford all have a five-pointed star in the center of the oval. Four of the buttons were found in the Enlisted Men’s Quarters, another one came from the boardwalk outside those quarters, and the sixth was found in the Officers’ Quarters. All six were one-piece pewter buttons with no back marks.
Wyckoff, Martin A.
1984 United States Military Buttons of the Land Services 1787-1902. McLean County Historical Society, Bloomington, Illinois.