MCDOWELL PATTERN FORAGE CAP WITH FOURTH ARMY CORPS BADGE

$4,250.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1052-146

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To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
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This is a great example of the “McDowell” style cap popularized early in the war by General Irwin McDowell (1818-1835,) who was perhaps a bit more inspiring in haberdashery than generalship. The style is characterized by the tall body, usually made without a band around the base, and downturned, crescent visor. This one is in excellent condition with good color, just a little dust, and a few tiny moth nips on the lower front and upper rear. The visor is firmly in place. The sweatband shows a little wear, but is completely intact, and firmly in place. The interior retains its full, black silk lining showing a broad diamond quilted pattern on the underside of the crown and just two or three wear spots exposing the lining. The narrow chinstrap with friction stop-buckle and retaining loops on each side is in place as are the two small general service eagle buttons, though a tad loose. The buttons show a little rubbing from handling, as does the underside of the brim.

These were commercially produced and privately purchased caps. Officers had to purchase their own uniforms and could indulge their fashion sense to a certain degree. Enlisted men sometimes affected the style as well, though perhaps more in “walking out” or privately purchased undress uniforms as opportunity might offer on leave or furlough. This one has a small, metal bordered triangular 4th Corps badge with a cloth red center indicating the first division of the corps. The eastern theatre incarnation of this corps was early war and did not have a badge. The western 4th Corps was organized in September 1863 as part of the Army of the Cumberland and officially adopted this badge in April 1864 until the corps was discontinued in August 1865. The frame has an impressed inner and outer border line, the latter with a row of dots along its inner edge, and appears to have a thin silver wash. This has a good look and appears to be period, but we have not attempted to remove the badge to look at the reverse or attempt to date it. It was likely added by a collector. By feel, it seems to be attached by metal tabs or wires at the corners that pass through the top of the cap and are bent over between the cardboard of the top and the inside lining.

This is a great example of a wartime cap in a desirable style that should find a prominent place in any collection of Civil War headgear. [sr] [ph:L]

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