Buttons of this type were first used in 1854 by all branches of the United States Army. Buttons with the seals of individual states were also in use by militia units and on uniforms issued by those states to troops mustered into Federal service. Prior to the adoption of the general service button enlisted
men of the Regular Army wore the same type of eagle button as their officers with the letter of the branch inside the shield.
The general service button made the quartermaster's job much easier. Uniforms, such as the
sack coat or overcoat, could be made up and issued to any branch. This is the most common Civil
War button. Civil War period buttons have a shield level with the rest of the eagle, while those
made after 1875 have a raised shield. After 1902 modern style uniform buttons with the Great Seal of the United States,
replaced the Civil War type eagles. The cuff button was also worn on either side of the kepi's chin strap, on capes
and down the front of mounted man's jacket as the main closure. The
backmark on the original button is "WATERBURY BUTTON CO."