CIVIL WAR ENLISTED CAVALRY HARDEE HAT

$3,250.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1117-90

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

Based on the hats issued to the army’s new cavalry regiments in 1855, these dashing wide-brimmed hats became the regulation dress hat for all troops in 1858. Worn throughout the Civil War by regulars and volunteers, they are known by a number of nicknames, the most popular nowadays being the “Jeff Davis” and “Hardee” hat. Made of pressed and stiffened felt, the hat was intended to be worn with one side pinned up with a side plate showing the arms of the United States, and the front decorated with branch of service insignia, company and regimental designation, with an appropriately colored hat cord around the base and black ostrich plume. This one is outfitted for a cavalryman, with regulation yellow worsted wool hat cord, brass enlisted man’s side plate, and false embroidered crossed sabers on the front.

The exterior shows some scattered spots where drops of something altered the fabric color from black to brown. These spots might be colored to blend in, but we have left the hat as found. There is a little waviness to the front brim from dampness and a few age cracks at the back with one short tear to edge at the fold on the rear, but the edge shows the proper double line of reinforcement stitching all around. The sides and crown are good. Careless handling often pinches the sides or top. We see just one slight crease at left front. The narrow black hat band is in place at the base of the crown. Inside, the tall sweatband is full height and in place, showing just some scattered wear to the lower edge and some missing threads. As is correct, the hat is made without a lining. It retains the black stiffener on the underside of the crown embossed with an eagle, “US Army” and “Extra Manufacture.”

The side plate has the correct two loops on the reverse placed through slits in the hat to be fastened with small leather tabs, here missing. The crossed sabers are a popular version of the regulation insignia with serrated surface to suggest embroidery and fastened with short pins. The style shows up in Horstmann’s printing of the 1851 regulations and from 1851 to 1865 were often privately purchased for use by militia and state units, officers, etc. See Campbell and O’Donnell, American Military Headgear Insignia, Figures 452 and following for a number of variations. The brass shows a medium age patina. The hat cord shows good color. The sliding knot is a tad lighter than the cord, which is common from the use of different dye lots.

These hats met mixed reviews from the soldiers required to wear them, but show up in photographs throughout the war and were often modified into more comfortable slouch hats in the field, though units like the Iron Brigade took some pride in them. This would make a good companion piece to a regulation cavalry shell jacket, as both a regulation dress hat and one showing an individual or field adaptation in using the false-embroidered sabers and eliminating the regimental insignia. It would also dress up any cavalry display.  [sr]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS,

CLICK ON ‘CONTACT US’ AT THE TOP OF ANY PAGE ON THE SITE,

THEN ON ‘LAYAWAY POLICY’.

Inquire »

Inquire About CIVIL WAR ENLISTED CAVALRY HARDEE HAT

should be empty