VETERAN’S HAT FROM THE SECOND DIVISION, SECOND ARMY CORPS

$550.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 172-5342

This Civil War veteran’s slouch hat has the remnants of a white Second Army Corps badge on its left side. The badge is represented mostly by its white cardboard backing, which is still sewn to the side of the hat, but enough of the original thin fabric covering is left to show that it was certainly white. This has a special significance to Gettysburg collectors not only because the Second Corps was hard-fighting unit throughout the war, but because troops of the Second Division of that corps bore the brunt of the fighting in repulsing Pickett’s Charge.

The hat has a gold, officer’s style hat cord that appears on many G.A.R. hats, and an embroidered gold bullion wreath on a dark blue patch on the front of the hat. The wreath is likely just a fancier version of the standard G.A.R. wreath, but could possibly indicate the wearer had been an officer. On the right side of hat is a square blue patch with gold embroidered crossed sabers surmounted by entwined letter that seem to be a monogram of “NL.” Aside from small escorts and guard detachments cavalry was not usually affiliated with an army corps. Combined with the use of the monogram, the insignia probably indicates postwar membership in a militia or national guard cavalry troop. The National Lancers of Boston come to mind, but there are likely other candidates. If there is Boston connection, however, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that our man belonged to the 19th or 20th Massachusetts, both of whom were heavily involved in the fighting of July 3rd at Gettysburg.

The hat is in very good condition. There are no holes and it holds is shape well, just showing the slightly battered look of a real campaign hat. The hat was well made. The edge of the brim is reinforced by two lines of stitching. Any interior lining it had is gone, but the sweatband is complete and firmly in place. The leather bears the embossed trademark “The Cabinet Hat,” which may indicate it was made by the Maxim Hat Company of New York, which we find in business and advertising a hat by that name in 1907 and 1908.

This is a very good example of a Civil War veteran’s hat with some intriguing clues as to its original owner. [sr]

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