IDENTIFIED ENLISTED ARTILLERYMAN’S FORAGE CAP WITH INSIGNIA FROM BATTERY E, FIRST PENNSYLVANIA LIGHT ARTILLERY

$4,500.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 33-268

This wonderful issue forage cap with original insignia is identified to First Sergeant Gustavus Reeling, Battery E Fourth Pennsylvania Artillery and is pretty much a textbook example of how you want a Civil War forage cap to look. The crown shows areas of light staining and some moth tracking that has take some of the nap of the fabric, but not penetrated, other than a small spot at top left and a couple of pencil point pricks near the upper left edge. The brass crossed cannon and battery letter E, have some rubbing, but an aged, undisturbed patina and are tight to the crown.

The cap is regulation issue, with a wide crown and flat visor. The chinstrap is in place, though one loop is loose from the end of its chinstrap half and the other loop is missing, the end being held in place by the friction buckle. Both side buttons are present.

The body of the cap rates very good, with just enough wear and moth tracking to show it was issued and worn, but not enough to be a problem for display. As is frequently the case, the back of the cap shows most of the tracking and loss of nap, but this shows up mostly as a slightly lighter shade of blue and there are only a half-dozen small holes that are not very obvious and need no backing for structural or even cosmetic reasons. The right side of the cap shows a couple of small holes. The left side none to speak of, though the lower edge of the cap has a few wear spots or moth nips that show up because of the light-colored buckram underneath.

The interior lining of the cap is very good. The polished cotton shows just some minor staining and some small holes from wear. The sweatband has suffered more and shows rubbing, crackling and chipping. The rear left quarter is missing, but that is all honest wear, deterioration from perspiration, and age. The previous owner put in some additional stitches to keep the visor in place and a small wood wedge in one of the insignia, also to keep it in place. Some small stains and impressions show where the original wedges, likely leather, were.

This is an excellent example of real, field-worn, issue cap with original insignia and is correspondingly rare. As an enlistedman’s cap, it certainly predates Reeling’s promotion to lieutenant in August 1864.   [sr]

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