Original U.S. Army Indian Wars 1st Cavalry Chasseur Pattern Kepi by Hortsmann Brothers

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This wonderful totally genuine United States Army 4th Cavalry kepi used circa the Indian Wars. This U.S. Army Model 1875 Chasseur Pattern Kepi features fabric of dark blue wool broadcloth. The crown stands 3" high at the front, 4.5" at the rear seam and the top is 4 3/4" in diameter, stiffened with a pasteboard beneath the lining. The body of the cap meets a band of wool seamed only at the back and stiffened with leather. The cap's interior is lined with black cotton at the crown, the oilcloth liner is missing. The leather sweatband is 1 3/8" wide. There is a silver maker logo to the center of the interior crown which reads HORTSMANN BROS. & CO. PHILADELPHIA.

The flat visor is original to the hat, and composed of black patent leather. The visor has separated from the kepi wool body for about 2/3 of the length. Its totally fine for display but wearing it would be an issue. The kepi has a gorgeous bullion embroidered 4th cavalry crossed swords insignia at front center, a braided gold strap with correct eagle buttons.


1st Cavalry after the Civil War

Snake War
From 1866 to 1871, various companies from the 1st Cavalry Regiment were involved in numerous skirmishes involving Indians during the American Indian Wars throughout the west. From 1866 to 1868, they operated in Oregon, Idaho Territory, Nevada, and California fighting the Snake War. Although not defined by one large battle, this series of guerrilla skirmishes and frontier clashes across the high-desert sagebrush plains would be the deadliest Indian War in the West, with 1,762 fatalities.[7][circular reference] These skirmishes included an expedition from Fort Bidwell, California, during 22–29 October 1866, when Company A killed 14 Indians, three women, four children, and captured an entire camp. Later that year, LTC George Crook led an expedition of one company of the 1st Cavalry to pursue the Indians in their winter quarters. On 26 December 1866, at the Battle of Owyhee River in Malheur County, Oregon Crook's men caught the Paiutes asleep in their camp.[8] However, after the first shots were fired, Chief Howluck determined to stay and fight. The native warriors taunted the soldiers, who returned a deadly accurate fire on the warriors. Quickly into the fighting almost every mounted warrior was shot down. The rest sought refuge behind rocks, remaining there until mid-day when they retreated.[9] Continuing his pursuit Crook again encountered the Chief Paulina's Paiute village at Steen's Mountain (named after an early officer of the 1st Dragoons). As Crook ordered the charge his horse bolted and carried him through the native village.[10] Nevertheless, his men followed. Despite several close calls for Crook personally, his troopers' fire was accurate and inflicted heavy casualties. A month later Crook's men engaged in one final skirmish before Crook ended the expedition due to bad weather.

On the nights of 7–8 February 1867, 25 men of Company B on a patrol were attacked by hostile Indians near Vicksburg Mines in Nevada. On 5 April 1868, Company F killed 32 Indians and captured two near Malheur River, Oregon. Following the Indians south into California, Crook's 1st Cavalry troopers, along with infantrymen from the 23rd Infantry Regiment and 15 Warm Springs and Shoshone scouts encountered a large band of them in an entrenched position. The Native American warriors had made a fortress out of lava rocks in the Infernal Caverns of northern California near the town of Likely.[8] From there they were able to pour a steady fire upon the soldiers commanded by Lt. Col. George Crook. Crook's men attacked on the second day. Despite heavy casualties they managed to scale the cliffs and take the fortifications. Colonel Crook reportedly shot down Chief Sieto himself.[11] Fighting continued into the night as the Native warriors withdrew deeper into the caverns. Crook commented "I never wanted dynamite so bad as I did when we first took the fort and heard the diabolical and defiant yells from down in the rocks". On the third day the Natives had fled the caverns.

They also fought in the Apache Wars in Arizona Territory from 1866 to 1872. On 29 January 1867, Company M encountered a band of 90 warriors at Stein's Mountain in New Mexico Territory; 60 Indians were killed and 27 captured. From 26 to 31 May 1868, eight men of Company M killed 34 Indians. At Fort McDowell in Arizona on 9–11 December 1869, 20 men from Company E killed an entire band of 11 Mojave Apaches.

On 15 December 1870, Colonel Blake was retired from active service on his own application, and Colonel Alvan C. Gillem of the 11th Infantry was transferred to the First Cavalry in his stead.

Modoc War
The Modoc Indians were a small tribe living in northern California near Tule Lake and Lost River. Through the intercession of interested civilians, orders were issued for the Modocs removal to the Klamath Indian Reservation. They went on the reservation, but, on account of ill treatment, left it, and the War Department was then directed to enforce the orders. The Indians at once commenced hostilities and one of the most protracted and obstinate Indian wars of later years followed.

Company B left Fort Klamath, on 28 November 1872, for the purpose of arresting "Captain Jack" and the leaders of his band of Modocs, and at daylight on 29 November surprised the Indians in their camp near the Lost River. The Indians refused to surrender and an engagement followed in which eight Indians were killed and many wounded, and the camp, squaws, and property were captured. The company lost two men killed and six wounded, two of them mortally. The company then went into camp at Crowley's Ranch on Lost River opposite the Indian camp.

Company G from Fort Bidwell took station on 13 December at Land's Ranch, Tule Lake, near the Indian stronghold. The Indians attacked this camp on 21 December, and were repulsed, but not until two men and five horses had been killed. Company B now joined Company G and the two companies marched against the Indians on 16 January 1873 in conjunction with General Wheaton's column, with which Company F and a detachment of Company H were also serving at this time. The Indians attacked Companies B and G the same afternoon, but were repulsed, the companies losing three men wounded. The general engagement took place on 17 January, and lasted from 7.30 A.M. to 9.30 P.M., when the troops retired, going finally into camp at Applegate's Ranch near Clear Lake. The regiment lost two men killed and two officers, – Captain Perry and Lieutenant Kyle, – and eight men wounded, one mortally.

The Indians attacked a wagon train on 22 January, driving away the escort. However, Captain Reuben F. Bernard, 1st Cavalry, came up with reinforcements and the Indians were repulsed, losing one killed and many wounded. Company K from Fort Halleck, Nev., joined the battalion on 18 February. The battalion now consisted of Companies B, F, G and K, under Captain Biddle, who was soon succeeded by Captain Bernard. Colonel Gillem, 1st Cavalry was commanding the expedition, and Company H joined the column on 10 February.

During the night of 14 April, the companies of the 1st Cavalry moved with the rest of the command to invest the Modoc stronghold, and in the Second Battle of the Stronghold, 15–17 April, drove the Indians out of their position and into the rocks and mountains. The 1st Cavalry lost two men killed and two wounded. On 26 April, Companies B and F went to the scene of the "Thomas massacre" and brought off a number of the wounded and dead. The same companies were attacked by Indians on 10 May, at Sorass Lake, California, but repulsed them with the loss of one warrior killed and two wounded. The command lost one killed and six wounded, two of them mortally. On 17 May, Companies B, G and K, with a battery (serving as cavalry) of the 4th Artillery, all under Major John Green, came upon a band of Modocs, which they drove five miles, killing one and capturing several squaws and children. The troops followed the trail and on 22 May, 70 Indians – men, women and children – surrendered. "Boston Charlie" was captured on 29 May, and on 31 May "Sconchin", "Scarfaced Charlie", and 27 other Indians surrendered.

Companies F and H were sent from Applegate's Ranch on 31 May to follow up on those Modocs who had eluded Green's command, finding them on 1 June, when the whole party surrendered. With the capture of "Captain Jack", the Modoc war ended, and by the end of June the companies that had been engaged in it had returned to their proper stations.

The companies left in Arizona were moved north, and by the end of October 1873, headquarters with Companies A and D were at Benicia Barracks; B at Fort Klamath; C at Camp McDermitt, Nev.; E at Fort Lapwai, Idaho Territory -, F, L and M at Fort Walla Walla, Wyoming Territory; G at Camp Bidwell, California.; H and K at Camp Harney, Oregon.; and I at Camp Halleck, Nevada.

Colonel Gillem died at his residence in Nashville, Tenn., 2 December 1875, and was succeeded by Colonel Cuvier Grover, promoted from the 3rd Cavalry.

1877 Nez Perce War
On 15 June 1877, Companies F and H, under Captain Perry, were ordered to proceed to Camas Prairie to the assistance of the settlers of Mount Idaho, I. T., who were threatened by the Nez Percé Indians under Chief Joseph. Learning that the Indians were crossing Salmon River and could be taken at a disadvantage, the march was given that direction and Chief Joseph's camp was found and taken by surprise, but the Indians quickly rallied and repulsed the troops with severe loss, Lieutenant E. W. Theller, 21st Infantry (attached), and 33 men being killed and two wounded.

All the companies of the regiment, except M at Fort Colville and A at Camp Harney watching the Piutes, were now ordered into the field against the Nez Percés. Companies E and L joined General Howard's command on 21 June; and on 1 July they surprised and attacked the camp of "Looking Glass" on the Clearwater, I. T. The village was entirely destroyed, several Indians killed and about 1,000 ponies captured. On 2 July, the same command attempted to form a junction with Company F, which was on its way from Lapwai. On 3 July, the Indians ambushed the advanced guard, consisting of Lieutenant S. M. Rains, ten men of the battalion and two civilian scouts, killing them all, and were then found to be in such force and so strongly posted that it was considered imprudent to attack them. The junction with Company F was effected, however, on 4 July, and the same afternoon the Indians attacked, the fight lasting until sunset. The battalion (E, F and L) joined General Howard at Grangerville, on 8 July. Company H had joined on 2 July, and the battalion was commanded by Captain David Perry.

On 11 July, General Howard crossed the Clearwater with his whole command and moved down that stream with Company H in advance. The Indian camp was discovered and at once attacked, the fight lasting two days and ending with the retreat of the Indians. Company B joined in time to take part in the fight on 12 July. The regiment lost three men killed and four wounded. The battalion made a reconnaissance on 18 July of the Lo-Lo trail, and the Indian scouts accompanying it were ambushed and met with considerable loss. One Nez Percé was killed.

Major Sanford's battalion, consisting of Companies C, D, I and K, joined General Howard on the Clearwater, on 28 July, and the expedition across the Lo-Lo trail began on 30 July. Companies B, C, I and K, under Major Sanford, accompanied it, and Companies D, E, G and L, with other troops under Major Green, constituted the "Reserve Column", which remained at Camas Prairie until 5 August, when it moved near to Mount Idaho, and established a permanent camp called Camp Howard. Companies F and H were stationed at Fort Lapwai.

In the Indian attack at Camas Creek on 20 August, Companies B and L were engaged, losing one man killed and one wounded. At Judith Basin, the battalion was detached from General Howard's command and directed to return, and all the companies had reached their stations by the end of November. Company K and a detachment of C, attached to General Sturgis' command, took part in the engagement with the Nez Percés at Canyon Creek, Montana, on 13 September 1877.

At the outbreak of the Bannock War in May 1878, Company G was the first body of troops to reach the scene of hostilities, and Captain Bernard reported that the Indians numbered from 300 to 500. They were moving towards Steens Mountain (named after Enoch Steen, a former member of the regiment). The whole of the First Cavalry was at once ordered into the field and Colonel Grover sent to Fort Boise to take charge of operations there. Companies D, I and K, were with him. Companies F and L joined Company G on the Owyhee, 17 June, and the three companies reached Camp Harney on 21 June, where they were joined by Company A. These four companies were designated the "Left Column" by General Howard.

On the morning of 23 June, the Left Column struck the main camp of the hostiles on Silver Creek, and drove the Indians out of it and on to a cutbank, made by the creek, which had been prepared for defense. The action lasted into the night and in the morning it was found that the Indians had gone. Many Indians were killed and the camp was destroyed. The battalion lost two killed and three wounded. Company K joined the battalion on 27 June, and on 28 June the cavalry cut loose from the foot troops and pushed forward on the trail of the Indians. The fertile John Day Valley was saved in great part by this vigorous pursuit, and on 5 July General Howard overtook the command, arriving with it at Pilot Rock on 7 July. Here, it was joined by Companies E and H. The Indian camp was located and at sunrise on 8 July Captain Bernard moved his battalion to the attack.

About 300 Indians occupied the crest of the high and steep hills near Birch Creek, and were at once attacked. Captain Bernard fought his cavalry on foot without separating the men from the horses. All the companies, except A with the pack train, were deployed and used in the engagement, and the Indians were driven from three successive positions and finally four or five miles further into the mountains. Four men were wounded, one mortally, and probably 20 horses were killed. The enemy's loss is unknown; their women, children and best horses were sent off, seemingly towards the Grande Ronde, before the action began.

Lieutenant C. E. S. Wood, A. D. C., wrote: "The entire fight was closely watched by the general commanding, who desires to express his opinion that no troops ever behaved better or in a more soldierly manner than did the officers and men engaged in this encounter." The command camped for the night among the rough cañons adjacent to the battle-field.

Captain Bernard was then ordered to take his command, except Company K, to Fort Walla Walla to refit. Company K was sent to join the infantry column and with it moved to the Umatilla Agency, near which the hostiles were reported to be. Here the Indians attacked on 13 July. In the ensuing fight, Company K held the right of the line and took part in the final charge by which the Indians were driven off the field and for three miles into the hills. At the request of the Indian Agent, the command moved back to the agency that night, but two days later seven dead Indians were counted upon the battle-field.

Companies A, E, F, G, H and I, now under Lieutenant-Colonel J. W. Forsyth, 1st Cavalry, left Fort Walla Walla on 13 July – the day of the fight at Umatilla Agency – in search of the Indians, who were found to be travelling in the direction of John Day River. On 20 July, Forsyth's scouts were ambushed, which caused a halt and deployment of the command, but when the line moved forward the Indians had gone. On 22 July, the battalion reached 11 Burnt Meadows, where it was joined by Companies D and I, under Major Sanford, and on 27 July it went into camp at Malheur Agency to await supplies. The hostiles had now split up into many small parties, which were followed up and nearly all ultimately captured.

During the months of September and October, the companies were sent to their permanent stations, and the return for 30 November shows Companies A and E at Camp Harney, Oregon; B, D, F, K and M, at Fort Walla Walla, W. T.; C at Camp Bidwell, California; G at Fort Boise, L T.; H at Fort Colville, W. T.; I at Camp Halleck, Nevada, and L at Fort Klamath, Oregon.

In 1881, Companies C, G, I and M were sent to Arizona, and on 2 October, Company G, with other troops, was in action near Cedar Springs against Apaches. The hostiles fought with great boldness and desperation and the fight lasted until 9 P. M., when the Indians escaped. Company G had two men wounded and 12 horses killed. On 4 October, Companies G and I had a running fight near South Pass of the Dragoon Mountains, in which the hostiles were followed into Sonora, Mexico.

In October 1881, the "companies" began to be designated "troops" on the Regimental Return. Troop G returned to Fort McDermott on 9 November; Troop I to Camp Halleck on 27 December; Troop M to the Presidio of San Francisco on 20 January 1882; and Troop C to Fort Bidwell on 16 April.

In June 1884, the regiment was transferred to the Department of Dakota, after a tour of nearly 30 years on the Pacific coast, during the greater part of which time its stations were remote from civilization and its duties of a most arduous and thankless character. On 5 June 1885, Colonel Grover died at Atlantic City, New Jersey and was succeeded by Colonel N. A. M. Dudley, promoted from the 9th Cavalry.

During this time, the headquarters and troops D, G, I, K and M, went to Fort Custer; A, C and F went to Fort Maginnis; E to Fort Ellis; H and L to Fort Assinniboine; and B to Fort Keogh.

From 1886 to 1918, Company M, 1st Cavalry was stationed at Fort Yellowstone.

Conflict with the "Crows" came in the fall of 1887, and on the morning of 4 November, Colonel Dudley left Fort Custer with Troops A, B, D, E, G and K, and Company B, 3d Infantry, with a section of Hotchkiss guns, to arrest "Sword Bearer" and the Indians who had fired into the agency buildings on the night of 30 September.

On 5 November, a demand was made upon the Indians for the surrender of these men, and they were given an hour and a half to comply with the demand. At the end of that time, the battalion of the 1st Cavalry, with Moylan's troop of the 7th Cavalry on the right, moved out in front of camp. At the same time, a 'great commotion was observed in the Indian camp, and "Sword Bearer" and another chief dashed out leading from 120 to 150 warriors equipped for battle. The Indians charged, but were repulsed and fell back into the timber alongside the river, where they had dug many rifle pits from which they now kept up a constant fire. This fire was returned, and "Sword Bearer" was seen to fall, whereupon all fighting quickly ceased. All the Indians whose surrender had been demanded and who had not been killed were at once brought in and delivered to the Department Commander, who sent them to Fort Snelling. The cavalry battalion returned to Fort Custer on 13 November.

Colonel Dudley was retired from active service on 20 August 1889, and was succeeded by Colonel J. S. Brisbin, promoted from the 9th Cavalry. On 31 December, Headquarters and Troops B, D, E, G and M, were at Fort Custer; A and L at Fort Maginnis; C, F and H at Fort Assinniboine; I at Fort Leavenworth; and K at Camp Sheridan, Wyoming.

In April 1890, the Cheyennes assumed a threatening attitude and their agent called on the commanding officer of Fort Custer for protection, who sent Major Carrol with Troops B, D and M to the Tongue River Agency, where they established Camp Crook. In September, a white boy was murdered by "Head Chief" and "Young Mule", and every attempt to arrest the murderers failed. On 11 April, the Indians sent word that they would attack the agency and on 12 April made their appearance on a hill commanding the agency buildings, where they opened fire upon them. They were soon dislodged and killed. The regiment took part in the operations against the hostile Sioux in the winter of 1890–1891, but was not brought into actual contact with them.

In December 1890, word having been received that a troop of cavalry was surrounded by hostile Indians at or near Cave Hills, Montana, Troop A made one of the most remarkable marches on record in going to its relief. It marched 186 miles, 95 of which were made in 25 hours, and 170 in 53½ hours. The report that caused such tremendous exertion proved to be without foundation.

On 22 April 1891, Colonel Brisbin was transferred to the 8th Cavalry with Colonel Abraham K. Arnold who had been the lieutenant colonel and now became the colonel of the First. In 1892, the regiment was transferred to the Department of Arizona, relieving the 10th Cavalry. Headquarters and Troops C, E, F, H and K, going to Fort Grant, Arizona.; B and I to Fort Bayard, New Mexico; D to Fort Apache, Arizona; and G to San Carlos. Troop A was at Fort Myer, Virginia, and was not moved.

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal & Sezzle


Cash For Collectibles