7th INFANTRY CAPTAIN’S CHASSEUR CAP WITH VERBAL ID TO PENNSYLVANIA

$4,500.00

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Item Code: 1179-331

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This is a great example of a Civil War officer’s chasseur cap with Eagle-I infantry officer’s buttons on the chinstrap, an officer’s gold bullion embroidered hunting horn infantry insignia on the front with a false embroidered silver “7” in the loop, a strand of narrow gold braid along the top and bottom of the band around the base of the cap, and double rows of the same gold similar up the sides, front, and back, and in a quatrefoil on the top, indicating the wearer was a captain. The front of the cap rises about 3 inches and the rear of the inset top about 4 inches.

The cap is in very good condition, of medium blue color with just some dust, a few small moth nips and some superficial mothing to the nap that shows up as very slightly lighter blue. The largest moth nip is a mere 1/8 by 1/4 inch oval concealed on the lower front edge of the inset top by the roll-over of the front. The embroidered bullion insignia is about 2 ¼ inches wide and 1 ½ inches tall overall, with the top edge following the roll-over contour of the front. It is fixed in place by loops on the inside that are partly visible above the sweatband inside and appears to have been there forever. The hunting horn shows at least 60 percent of its gilt and the rest is subdued, but not oxidized to gray as so many are. The “7” is a muted silver, rounded, and showing some lines on the downstroke showing it was imitating embroidery. The backing is black, showing some dust and slight oxidation toward brown, and just a little rubbing along the top edge, which is right on the top edge of the front. Its original narrow jaceron wire border is in place and secure.

The visor black leather with a bound edge and is firmly in place. The chinstrap is ½ inch wide, secured at the sides by two small eagle-I buttons. It is full length and preserves the standing loop on one end, but only part of the loop on the other, and is missing the small floating friction buckle usually seen on this type of chinstrap. The sweatband is thin, light brown leather, 1 5/8 inches wide and firmly attached. It has a tear at the wearer’s right temple, but no leather is missing and the stitching is intact. The interior is lined with brown polished cotton, but not padded. There are tears over the wearer’s left and right eye, and a small one in the center of the top, exposing a little bit of the black stiffener of the top. The rear seam of the lining is open, but there does not seem to be any missing material.

This was formerly in the collections of the Texas Civil War Museum and had a verbal provenance to the 7th Pennsylvania, likely due to the regimental number and where it was found. This opens up the possibility of the officer serving in the three-month 7th Pa of 1861, the 7th PA Militia, serving less than a month in 1862, or the 7th Pennsylvania Reserves. Given that the chasseur style cap tends to be a later war style and the 7th PA Reserves served to mid-1864, this seems to be far more likely. The regiment was numbered by the state as the 36th Regiment of the Line, but period photos make clear they were wearing a “7” as the regimental designation within the Pennsylvania Reserves, fifteen regiments that were recruited over and above state’s quota and formed a division that served in the Eastern theatre. Dyer’s Compendium summarizes the regiment’s service as follows: Duty at Tennallytown, Md., August 2 to October 10, 1861, and at Camp Pierpont, near Langley, till March 1862. Skirmish at Great Falls September 4, 1861. Expedition to Grinnell's Farm December 6. Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15. At Fairfax Station till April 9. At Manassas Junction till April 17. At Catlett's Station till May 11, and at Falmouth till June 9. Moved to the Virginia Peninsula June 9-11. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Battles of Mechanicsville June 26; Gaines Mill June 27; Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale June 30; Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing till August 16. Movement to join Pope August 16-26. Battles of Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30, Maryland Campaign September 6-24. Battles of South Mountain, Md., September 14; Antietam September 16-17. Duty in Maryland till October 30. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. Ordered to Washington, D. C., February 6, 1863, and duty there and at Alexandria till April, 1864. Rapidan Campaign May. Battle of the Wilderness May 5-7. Regiment captured except Company "B." Spottsylvania May 8-12. Laurel Hill May 8.  Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. Harris Farm May 19.  North Anna River May 23-26. Jericho Ford May 25, Line of the Pamunkey May 26-28.  Totopotomoy May 28-31. Left front May 31. Mustered out June 16, 1864. Regiment lost during service 3 Officers and 80 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 135 Enlisted men by disease. Total 218.

This is a very nice looking officer’s cap that would look great in a headgear display or collection of officer’s uniforms and gear.  [sr][ph:L]

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