Original U.S. Civil War Union Army McDowell Pattern Private Purchase M1858 Forage Cap Infantry Officer’s Kepi With “I” Shield Buttons

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This highly desirable article of Federal Civil War uniform cloth is a fine piece of private purchase regulation headgear commonly referred to as a M1858 forage cap. Issued to most Federal soldiers as part of their Civil War uniform, this all-original, dark blue forage cap is a nice complete specimen that was worn by an unknown Union soldier.

In worn original condition, forage cap is constructed of dark indigo blue wool and comes complete with its tarred leather visor (brim), leather chin strap, two original, eagle I ‘Shield’ brass side buttons for Infanrty, original leather sweatband, its entire original interior lining (unattached in places).

Cap measures 4.75” high when the crown is extended and features a 7½” wide, thin black bridle leather visor, a.k.a. brim. Visor lays flat and is strongly stitched to the cap brim. The narrow (½” wide) leather chinstrap measures approximately 11” long and retains its single original leather adjusters and its brass ‘slide’, 7/8” high and is made of #19 sheet brass. Secured to each end of the chinstrap is an original, vest-size, eagle “shield” brass button with back marks, both of which are in good condition.

The dark blue wool forage cap exterior is in very good original condition with just a few tiny moth nips. Original stitching is tight and strong along the brim, crown, front,
and back seam. The crown exterior features a sewn-in, wool-covered, stiff circular pasteboard disc that measures 5½” in diameter and slants or droops downward toward the face when cap is worn.

Crown exterior’s dark blue wool cloth surface is nearly completely free of any moth nips or damage but does show small areas of scuffing along the front outside edge.

Interior surface of the crown and cap feature a fine, polished, black cloth lining that no longer has any markings present.

Cap’s interior leather sweatband is made of thin, Morrocan leather and is in good condition with light to moderate edge scuffing. Band is 1½” high and is complete. Center seam of the sweatband is separated. Rest of the band is tight to the kepi’s brim save for a 3” section along the brim. Top and bottom sides of the leather visor exhibit just normal wear with light edge scuffing but no rips or tears.

Original Civil War Federal infantry forage caps are difficult to find in any condition in the collecting community.

Comes more than ready for further research and display.

  • This product is available for international shipping.
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