CIVIL WAR PRIVATELY PURCHASED FORAGE CAP WITH 23rd CORPS BADGE

$4,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1052-162

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

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

This is a very good example of an original Civil War, Union army, privately purchased, or commercial, forage cap. These were typically worn by officers, who had to purchase their own uniforms and equipment from military outfitters, but were available to enlistedmen who had some extra cash and wanted something nicer than the government contract caps issued by the army.

This is a nicer grade example showing the typical top with rolled edge (using an interior reed) and sides showing no line of stitching for an interior band around the base. It is fitted with a thick leather visor painted black on the top and green on the bottom, thought to ease eye strain, and has a bound edge. The glazed leather chinstrap and small general service eagle side buttons are in place and appear to be original to the cap. The chinstrap matches the top of the visor well. The interior of the body has its sweatband and is fully lined in black silk, with some broad quilting lines across the underside of the top.

The body of the cap has very good color. We see scattered pencil point moth nips, but just few spots of wear to the nap, which blend in, or spots where a piece of darkened cloth was inserted to camouflage them, but these were extremely well done and the cap shows off very, very well. The seams are tight outside and inside. The visor is firmly in place, as is the sweatband, which shows good color and just wear spots along the bottom edge, which is typical of a cap that was worn. The black silk lining is complete, but does show some stains and runs- again, typical of a cap that was actually worn 160 years ago.

The top of the cap is fitted with the shield-shaped badge of the 23rd Army Corps, with convex border and open center with a blue interior and brass number 1, indicating the first brigade (possibly a regiment, but more likely the brigade) of the second division. This was most likely added by a collector for display and is a matter of taste, but as we were reminded by a visitor recently: “show me a world war one or world war two aircraft that has not been decorated to represent a specific unit.” The cap itself is complete, in very good condition, and original, and we have left it as it came to us. The badge was officially adopted by the corps in September 1864, as part of the Army of the Ohio. It constituted pretty much the entire Army of the Ohio under Schofield in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign against Hood, took part in the Battle of Wilmington in February 1865, and joined Sherman in April at Goldsboro in April for the Campaign of the Carolinas, disbanding in August 1865.

This would make a nice addition to a headgear collection or a display of material relating to the 23rd Corps.  [sr] [ph:M]

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