FORAGE CAP OF JOHN HAVEN, CO. D 124th INDIANA: ATLANTA CAMPAIGN, FRANKLIN AND NASHVILLE

$2,950.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-5899

This privately purchased Civil War forage cap comes with a 2018 letter of provenance from a respected Civil War dealer. It was purchased from descendants of the soldier who wore it, John D. Haven 124th Indiana. The cap is in very good condition and follows the general lines of the issue forage cap in having a top of medium height with outset crown and interior with a polished cotton lining and wide sweatband in place. It differs from the army issue cap primarily in having a leather visor that is fairly flat, has a green colored underside, and a bound edge, indicating a better quality piece of headgear. A brass infantry hunting horn is in place on the top, secured on the inside by simply bending over the brass loops. The small side buttons and chinstrap are there. The chinstrap has broken near the side button on the wearer’s left, but could be repaired or the end held in place behind the button for display. There is not much of the leather missing. It is constructed like the issue chinstrap, though a tad narrower, with a standing loop on the end of each half of the strap, which act as a stop against the floating flat brass friction buckle.

The condition is very good, and the body solid, with the fabric showing scattered, small moth nips, but good color and tight seams. The lining is complete and in place, as is the sweatband, though it shows some rubbing from use and a small, short triangular piece, about an inch wide at the bottom and just half the height of the band is missing at the front center. It is solid, able to be handled, and displays very well. No repairs are needed other than dealing with the one loose end of the chinstrap.

Haven enlisted 1/21/64, giving his residence at Indianapolis and mustered into Co. D of the 124th Indiana as private and survived to muster out on 8/31/65 at Greensboro, NC. The regiment had been organized in December 1863 by combining companies from the 5th and 6th senatorial districts, who rendezvoused at Richmond, mustered in March 10, 1864, and left the state for Louisville on March 19 and joined the 23rd Corps, Army and Department of Ohio, with which it served until March 1865, when it became part of the Department of North Carolina.

The regiment saw its first combat a Buzzard Roost, and in skirmishes around Resaca and Kingston, with sharp fighting at Lost Mountain and Kennesaw Mountain. “The Union Army” notes its history thereafter as, “a constant skirmish until Atlanta was reached; was in the battle of Atlanta on the 22nd took part in the siege of Atlanta, fought at Jonesboro, and then remained in camp at Decatur until Oct. 4, when it accompanied the column in pursuit of Hood; had a sharp skirmish at the Oostanaula river; continued the pursuit as far as Gaylesville, Ala. moved via Cedar bluffs and Dalton to Nashville, where it joined Gen. Thomas' command.

It next moved for Pulaski, reaching there on the 15th and proceeding thence to Columbia, where it was in a brisk skirmish for two days.  On the march toward Franklin it was in a brisk fight at Spring Hill, where Co. C was captured. It was in the battle of Franklin, Nov. 30, repelling every assault, was next engaged in the battle of Nashville, and joined in pursuit of Hood as far as Columbia whence it moved to Clifton, embarked for Cincinnati, moved thence to Washington, which was reached on Jan. 30, 1865; then sailed for Morehead City, N. C., which was reached Feb. 27.

From New Berne, it marched towards Kinston, being engaged at Wise's Forks, and aiding in repulsing an assault.  From Kinston it marched for Goldsboro, where a junction was effected with Sherman's army on March 21. It was stationed at Lenoir institute for a short time, moving for Greensboro May 3, thence to Charlotte, where it went into camp.  It returned to Greensboro July 13, remained there until Aug. 31, when it was mustered out.”

Fox, Regimental Losses, lists 2 officers and 24 men killed in action or mortally wounded in the regiment. Losses in wounded might typically be seven times higher. Fox also lists another 128 deaths in the unit from disease, accidents, and other causes.

We have not developed much on Haven’s personal life, so there is room for further research.  Company D largely had men from Marion and Hendricks Counties, so Indianapolis as a place of residence may be accurate, though some records may be disguised by alternative last names such as Havens. He does not show up in the 1890 veteran census or pension card file, so he had likely passed away by that date. His cap is very nice example of Civil War forage cap with a good identification to a soldier with some active campaigning in the climactic battles of the western theatre.  [sr] [ph:L]

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