MINT EMBROIDERED ENGINEER OFFICER’S HAT INSIGNIA FROM THE COLLECTION OF DUNCAN CAMPBELL

$1,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 480-187

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This very well done embroidered insignia for an officer of Engineers has its black backing untrimmed and measuring about 2 3/8 inches by 3 inches. A slightly smaller rectangle of paper, mostly intact, but showing some stains, was pasted to the reverse, not so much for stiffening, we suppose, as to keep the embroidery threads from being snagged on the reverse.

The turreted castle as the corps insignia was adopted in 1839/40 and this is the regulation pattern for officers, showing an embroidered silver castle with gold wreath. This is a super example, plainly unused, and likely early and wartime. It shows the wreath correctly differentiated as crossed palm and laurel branches. Emerson, Encyclopedia of U.S. Army Uniforms, shows a very similar example as Fig. 12-13, stating that some collectors believe it to be late Civil War. This exact insignia is featured in Campbell and O’Donnell, Headgear Insignia, who note that the background color changed to dark blue in 1872 (pg. 191.)

The Corps of Engineers has always been small and elite. Before the Civil War officers were usually drawn from the top of each class, Lee and McClellan among them. The Civil War expanded the corps from one regular company of enlisted men to four, with volunteer units supplying the bulk of the manpower and requisite officers. After the war the organization shrunk back to a battalion of five companies. Any of their officer’s material is consequently scarce.  [sr]

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