SLOUCH HAT WITH CORPS BADGE OF CAPT. J.G. PARR 139 PA, WIA COLD HARBOR & PETERSBURG, CITED FOR PERSONAL GALLANTRY, PROMOTED LT. COLONEL BREVETED COLONEL

$3,500.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1179-324

Formerly in the collections of the Texas Civil War Museum, this officer’s black slouch hat bears a simple blue Sixth Corps badge on the front and has the officer’s name and unit handwritten in ink in individual letters inside the sweatband: “Capt. J. g. Parr” over “139 Pa.” Parr saw hard service with the regiment, losing his right hand and forearm at Cold Harbor, but returning to command it as Lieutenant Colonel at Cedar Creek gaining a citation for personal gallantry, recommendations for brevets, and another wound at Petersburg, that still did not sideline him, surviving to lead the regiment in the June 1865 grand review of the Sixth Corps. Given the third division badge, the hat would have been appropriate though March 1864, when the regiment joined the second division of the corps, though unit pride sometimes overrode such considerations.

The period when the badge would have been applied covers the regiment’s service under fire at Fredericksburg and Salem Church in the Chancellorsville Campaign, losing 11 killed, 59 wounded and 34 missing, and at Gettysburg, where his name is on the state monument, indicating he was actually on the field. The regiment reached the field on the afternoon of July 2 after a forced march of 36 miles and a few hours later advanced from the northern slopes of Little Round Top in support of the Pennsylvania Reserves as the U.S. Regulars were being driven back from the Wheatfield. Moving up on the right of the 6th PA Reserves, they helped retake Wolcott’s battery rear the Weikert Farm and drive Wofford’s Georgia brigade back through the Trostle woods. On July 3 they moved forward along the Wheatfield Road and claimed credit for recovering a cannon and three caissons of Bigelow’s 9th Mass Battery, losing 20 men in over the two days. Following this they took part in the Fall 1863 campaigns of the army, seeing action at Rappahannock Station and Mine Run.

Parr had been born in Pennsylvania in 1823 and moved to Illinois prior to 1843, the purported date of his marriage there, working as a surveyor and painter in the Freeport area. His wife died in 1859, leaving him with two children, one of whom died a short time later, and he returned to Pennsylvania to live with a sister at Leechburg. In late summer 1862 he organized a company in Armstrong County that mustered into the 139th Pennsylvania as Company C, with Parr as Captain, on 9/1/62, with his rank dating to 8/22/62. The regiment was rushed to Washington, but arrived too late to fight at Second Bull Run, receiving instead a grim introduction to war by being assigned to bury the Union dead left on the battlefield under a flag of truce. They were not engaged at Antietam and in reserve at Fredericksburg, though under artillery fire.

The regiment saw its heaviest combat in Grant’s Overland 1864 campaign, with significant losses at Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg, both before and after a stint fighting Early at Fort Stevens outside Washington and in the Shenandoah Valley while under Sheridan. On June 3 at Cold Harbor Parr was severely wounded by artillery round that shattered his right forearm and required amputation of part his forearm and hand. He was later recommended for a brevet to Major for meritorious services in the battle, but while recovering from that wound was commissioned Major of the regiment on June 28 and Lieutenant Colonel on July 18, with his muster in at the latter rank to date July 6, but both ranks given effective dates of June 6 (thus obscuring his promotion to Major in some sources.) Parr returned to the regiment on August 25, before the wound had fully healed, but had recovered sufficiently to command it at Cedar Creek, 10/19/64, and author the regiment’s official report of the battle, a near-run victory that put an end to Early’s hopes in the Valley. He returned with the regiment to the Petersburg lines in December and on March 25, 1865, was wounded again, suffering a contusion in the hip from a shell fragment in the fighting in front of Union Fort Fisher on the southwestern tip of the siege lines in the fighting following the Confederate attack on Fort Stedman. The brigade carried the enemy picket line in a charge and then moved to the crest of a hill, driving the Confederates into their main works. Parr was wounded near dark and was mentioned by his brigade commander first among his commissioned officers who, “displayed personal gallantry in leading their respective commands.” To what degree he was incapacitated by this wound in unclear: he was well enough for his name to appear on the official report of the fighting and he is recorded as leading the regiment in the final grand review of the corps on June 8, 1865. His recommended brevet for services at Cold Harbor caught up with him on April 20, and he received his commission in early June, before his discharge on June 21. Since he had already attained the regular rank of Lt. Colonel, he was promoted to Brevet Colonel, U.S. Volunteers, with rank from August 1, 1864.

After returning to Leechburg, Parr remarried and fathered four more children, three of whom survived to adulthood. The census gives his occupation in 1870 as prothonotary, a court clerk. This must have been a challenge for a man with one hand, but he had trained himself to write with his left hand and a county history makes a point of showing before and after signatures (both in script, where the name in the hat is printed in individual letters.) By 1874, however, his injury had worsened. His arm was subject to uncontrollable spasms and he even submitted to a second amputation in hopes of solving the problem. An 1874 appeal for an increase in his pension to reflect his rank of Colonel was approved in 1876, but by 1880 he was hospitalized for “melancholia” and deemed suicidal. He died in a Philadelphia hospital in 1881.

The hat is supple, black in color, with a 3 -1/3 inch wide brim bound with a grosgrain black ribbon about 3/8 inch wide on the top and bottom and held by a single line of stitching. The base of the crown circled by a narrow ribbon with knot on the wearer’s left, black in color, oxidizing toward brown. The officer’s hat cord is woven from gold and black strands, with the bullion slide and tops of acorn ends netted in black. The cord has oxidized, with the black elements shading brown the gold bullion thread turning a pale green. The bullion thread used on the slide and acorns retains more of its gilt finish, but is muted. The corps badge measures 2 1/8 by 2 1/8 inches, is made of a light blue wool, and has a jaceron wire border about 1/16 inch from the edge of the fabric. It shows dirt and some fading, along with a half-dozen moth bites that show a soiled cream color backing underneath. The top of the hat is rounded and if fully pushed up measures about 5 inches tall, but would naturally be worn with the top pushed in slightly. The sweatband is a red Morocco, now a purplish hue, 1 3/8 inches wide, in place, and complete, with just one short tear about ½ inch long at the back. The lining is missing. There are a few small, pencil point moth nips on the upper left front that are not very noticeable, and some light, expected wear to the edge of brim binding.  [sr] [ph:L]

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

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

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS.

THANK YOU!

Inquire About SLOUCH HAT WITH CORPS BADGE OF CAPT. J.G. PARR 139 PA, WIA COLD HARBOR & PETERSBURG, CITED FOR PERSONAL GALLANTRY, PROMOTED LT. COLONEL BREVETED COLONEL

should be empty

featured item

ELABORATE PRESENTATION GRADE OFFICER’S SWORD WITH SCABBARD INSCRIBED TO CAPTAIN AUGUSTUS HOELZLE OF BATTERY K ARTILLERY OF THE 1ST DIVISION OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

This sword was probably sold by Schuyler, Hartley & Graham of New York. The pattern is pictured in their 1864 catalogue in figures 13 and 16. Rather than have a standard blade, the lightly curved 32 inch blade has "B.K." (Battery K) on the left… (870-447). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

07
Feb

67th ANNUAL BALTIMORE ANTIQUE ARMS GUN SHOW; March 18 - 19, 2023 Learn More »

Instagram