Original U.S. Model 1892 2nd Infantry Regiment New York Guard Officer’s Dress Summer White Pith Helmet
Original Item: One Only Available. Much like our European cousins in the 1880s, the U.S. Army started to adopt spiked pith helmets, often in white, with all brass mounts and occasionally plumes. These saw active service in the Spanish American War of 1898 especially in the tropical climate in Cuba. While often referred to as "pith helmets" in the broad sense, it was made from cork, like many European variants, such as the Wolseley pattern used by the British.
This helmet dates to the 1880s, and it really is quite striking. This is not the type of helmet that was worn in the field, but instead one intended for use with the "dress" uniform for ceremonial occasions. It is beautifully made from cork covered with brown fabric, without any maker marks visible. The green lining on the brim is mostly detached and missing.
The Helmet plate displays the New York Guard Seal helmet plate; an Eagle perched atop a shield, wings spread, the number 2 in front and a flag below marked Excelsior. The plate is in excellent condition. There are no cockades present on the sides, nor is there any evidence of them being present.
The overall condition of the helmet is fantastic given its age. There is staining present on the exterior, which is expected on a white cloth covered item, there are also a few moth nips present exposing the cork. There is no size label present but it is approximately 6 ⅞.
Very nice, great condition for age, ready to display.
2nd Regiment Infantry New York Volunteers Spanish-American War
The 2nd Infantry Regiment was one of twelve New York State National Guard infantry regiments that were federalized for service in the Spanish-American War. The 2nd Regiment was created using components from the old 3rd Brigade of the New York National Guard. To create the 2nd Regiment, the 14th, 15th, and 16th Battalions of the 3rd Brigade were merged into one unit and put under the command of Colonel E.E. Hardin, formerly a captain of the 7th U.S. Infantry who had been promoted to Colonel of volunteers. The 13th Battalion fielded Companies A, B, C, and D, all of which were recruited from Troy except Company B, which was formed in Cohoes. Companies E, F, G, and H were provided by the 15th Battalion, and drew their membership from Schenectady (in the case of both companies E and F), Mohawk, and Amsterdam. Companies I, K, L, and M were drawn from the 14th Battalion and were recruited in Whitehall, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, and Hoosick Falls respectively. On May 17th, 1898 the entire regiment was mustered in and the new unit was designated the “2nd Regiment Infantry, New York Vols.”
Following its federalization the 2nd Regiment was ordered to Chickamauga, TN where it was brigaded with the 5th Maryland and the 2nd Nebraska and attached to the First Division of the First Army Corp. On June 1st the regiment broke camp and departed via rail to Tampa, FL. The regiment began arriving in Florida in pieces on the 3rd of June, and immediately took up quarters in Fort Brooke on Hillsborough Bay. During its stay the 1st Regiment, District of Columbia replaced the 2nd Nebraska and the brigade itself was shifted to the Third Division of the Fourth Army Corp. The 2nd Regiment was supposed to join the U.S. forces in Cuba, but was kept in state because of an initial lack of transport ships and then because of an outbreak of Typhoid among the soldiers already serving in Cuba. On August 21st the regiment was relieved from duty with the Fourth Corp. and sent to a camp at Sand Lake, ten miles away from Troy, NY. The 2nd Regiment spent a little over a month at Sand Lake, during which time the unit was mustered out by companies. On November 1st, 1898 Company H was mustered out of federal service, completing the process. During its time in federal service the 2nd Regiment lost 32 men, all to disease.
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