Original U.S. Army Indian Wars 4th Infantry Chasseur Pattern Kepi

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This wonderful totally genuine United States Army 4th Infantry kepi used during the Indian Wars. This U.S. Army Model 1875 Chasseur Pattern Kepi features fabric of dark blue wool broadcloth. The crown stands 2.25" high at the front, 4.25" 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. The leather sweatband is 1.5" wide. The sweatband is only retained in the front half of the cap.

The flat visor is original to the hat, and composed of black patent leather. It is not edged which indicates that this is an early production kepi. The kepi has a bullion embroidered number 4 insignia with crossed rifles at front center, a braided gold strap with brass eagle buttons.

History of the United States Army 4th Infantry:
Civil War
In 1861 with the secession of a number of Southern states to form the new Confederate States of America, the regiment moved from its dispersed posts in the Department of the Pacific to Southern California to suppress any secessionist uprising. Charged with the supervision of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Santa Barbara Counties, on 14 August 1861, Major William Scott Ketchum made a rapid march on 26 August and encamped near San Bernardino, California, with Companies D and G, later reinforced at the beginning of September by a detachment of ninety First U.S. Dragoons and a howitzer. Except for frequent sniping at his camp, this move stifled a secessionist uprising and prevented secessionist political demonstrations during the September California gubernatorial elections in San Bernardino County.

In late October 1861 the regiment was relieved by California Volunteer units and marched to San Pedro harbor where they waited for the balance of the regiment to gather before being transported to Washington D.C. to become part of the garrison in defense of the capital. The regiment was organized with other Regular Army units in the Volunteer Army as the First Brigade of George Sykes's "Regular Division" of the V Corps. The regiment's first Civil War engagement was in April and May 1862 during the Siege of Yorktown. By quick action at the Battle of Gaines Mill in June 1862, the Regulars saved Wood's and Tidball's artillery batteries from capture by Confederate infantry.

It participated as a part of the Army of the Potomac in the Second Battle of Bull Run and then the subsequent Maryland Campaign. At the Battle of Antietam, the regulars held the Middle Bridge over Antietam Creek, guarding the vital passage. They advanced towards the Confederate-held town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, late in the afternoon of 17 September 1862, before being recalled to their lines.

After seeing limited action at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862, the regiment went into winter camp and saw no further combat for months. It formed part of Joseph Hooker's rear guard at Chancellorsville. Throughout the Gettysburg Campaign, the regiment served in the Regular Division under its newly promoted commander, Romeyn B. Ayres. During the Battle of Gettysburg, it was part of the fighting on the Second Day, helping push back Confederate infantry near Devil's Den and the Wheatfield.

Heavily depleted by battle casualties, the much-reduced regiment nevertheless continued to participate in the major campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, by 1864 under the command of Ulysses S. Grant during the Overland Campaign. The remaining men participated in the battles of Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, and the Siege of Petersburg. By the time the regiment manned the breastworks around Petersburg, a lieutenant, George Randall, was in command as the senior officer still present for duty.

On 22 June 1864, with less than 150 men left, the 4th Infantry reported to City Point, Virginia, to become Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's headquarters guard. The greatly reduced regiment was present at Appomattox Courthouse for Robert E. Lee's surrender. Grant, then commanding the armies of the Union, never forgot the 4th Infantry, with which he had served as a lieutenant in Mexico and on the frontier. As recognition of its valor during the Civil War, he designated it as the guard unit during the formal surrender ceremony.

Post-Civil War
After the Civil War, the 4th Infantry regiment returned to the West, now to Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory in 1866. In 1867 the 4th Infantry built Fort Fetterman near present-day Douglas, Wyoming, completing it in July, garrisoning it, and making the new fort the regiment's headquarters. On 31 March 1869 the 4th Infantry was consolidated with the original 30th United States Infantry Regiment, and the resulting consolidation retained the 4th Infantry's designation. Companies A and B of each organization were carefully blended together to retain their original status.

On 9 December 1869, Private Jonathan Schewen of the regiment was killed in an Indian attack at the Horse River, in Wyoming Territory, and in 1871, a detachment of the 4th Infantry was sent to Louisville, Kentucky and split into small groups to chivvy moonshiners in Kentucky until 1872. On 4 March 1876, Sergeant Patrick Sullivan of the 4th was ambushed and murdered by outlaws at Fort Fetterman. In March 1876, Companies C, and I of the 4th Infantry accompanied Brigadier General George R. Crook's Big Horn Expedition, and on 5 March 1876, participated in the Fort Reno Skirmish near the abandoned Fort Reno, in Wyoming Territory.

In May and June 1876, Companies D, and F of the 4th Infantry Regiment were with General Crook's southern column and fought at the Battle of Prairie Dog Creek on 10 June 1876, and at the Battle of the Rosebud on 17 June 1876, where Crook ordered the five Infantry companies that were present to advance to bluffs overlooking Rosebud Creek in support of his Indian scouts. The men of Company D, 4th Infantry, under Captain Avery B. Cain, were first to reach the crest of the ridge north of the Rosebud, where they opened fire. Company F, of the 4th Infantry, and Companies C, G, and H, of the 9th United States Infantry Regiment, supported Company D's charge. The success of these five Infantry companies was critical to the outcome of the Battle of the Rosebud. Their enhanced firepower kept the Sioux and Cheyenne warriors at bay, while soldiers of the 2nd United States Cavalry Regiment, and 3rd United States Cavalry Regiment fought in support.

On 29 September 1879, Major Thomas T. Thornburgh of the 4th Infantry, and 12 other soldiers were killed by Indians in the Meeker massacre at the Milk River, in Colorado.

In 1892 and 1893, the 4th Infantry under the command of Colonel Robert Hall escorted Coxey's Army through Washington and Idaho to guard the Northern Pacific Railway from Coxey's men.

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