OFFICER’S CAP INSIGNIA OF CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT JOHN M. DEANE, 29th MASSACHUSETTS, LIEUTENANT, CAPTAIN, AND MAJOR

$950.00

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Item Code: 1164-37

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This is a smaller size infantry officer’s hat insignia, probably from a low crown, chasseur style cap, and is part of a significant trove of artifacts preserved by John M. Deane and his family that we are offering in separate sales. This is the regulation insignia using gold bullion embroidery and sequins on a black velvet background to form the looped bugle indicating infantry and has two small false embroidered numerals fastened inside the loop indicating the 29th regiment.

This was obviously worn in the field and removed from a hat. The background fabric has good color, but does show some wear, a small tear on the upper edge and some loose threads. The edge is uneven. It may or may not have had a wire border. The back is open, showing the embroidery thread and bent over pins of the numerals on the web interior. The bullion and numerals show as a muted gold. This is a nice piece of insignia, worn in the field by an officer with an impressive record. It was contained in a paper wrapper with another hat insignia, labeled “Bugles worn by / John M. Deane / 29th Regt. Mass. Vols. / in actual service.” The handwriting appears to be that of Deane himself.  A copy of the wrapper accompanies your purchase.

A 29-year old teacher when the war broke out, Deane had been in the Massachusetts militia and was one of the “Massachusetts Minutemen of 1861,” joining the 3rd MVM in going to Washington on news of Fort Sumter. They served three months, evacuating and firing the Gosport Navy Yard and garrisoning Fortress Monroe. Deane mustered out 22 July 1861 and in June 1862 was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 29th Massachusetts, making 1st Lt. 12/29/62; Adjutant 11/1/63; Captain 6/8/64, and Major 5/15/65 with a later brevet to Major of U.S. Vols to date 3/25/65. He was mustered out 8/8/1865 and in later years lived in Freetown, Mass., where he was a member of Richard Borden G.A.R. Post #46, and died 9/2/1914.

The 29th Mass. served in the Irish Brigade in the Peninsula Campaign and at Antietam, fighting at the Sunken Road. Transferred to the 9th Corps, they served in  Mississippi and Tennessee in 1863, returned east and were briefly in the 5th Corps before rejoining the 9th again for Grant’s overland and Petersburg campaigns. Seeing action at Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, and Fort Stedman, where Deane was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for helping to man an artillery piece under heavy fire and aiding in the repulse of the Confederate attack. The regiment lost 4 officers and 53 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded during their service. Deane penned several of the regiment’s official reports for 1864 and 1865, and his letters have been published. He was credited with participation in twenty battles.    [sr] [ph:L]

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