Original U.S. Pre-Civil War Era US Army 1st Artillery Regiment Model 1832 Beaver Pelt “Stovepipe” Shako
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely example of a Pre-Civil War era, US Model 1832 Beaver Pelt Shako, offered in wonderful condition.
In 1846, The United States of America went to war with Mexico, eager to annex Texas and California to expand the Union from sea to shining sea. For the next two years, the American Army would fight increasingly dispirited Mexican forces, until eventually, they reached Mexico City itself. Artillery would play a major role in the defeat of Mexico.
Before the Army could march to the halls of Montezuma, they first needed to defeat the Mexican forces in the field. For General Zachary Taylor, that meant securing the Texas border.
General Taylor’s forces, sent to the disputed Mexican-American border, found himself engaging Mexican forces commanded by General Mariano Arista in early May of 1846. The bulk of General Arista’s Army consisted of cavalry, and General Taylor, though outnumbered, endeavored to put to the test his new flying artillery.
Developed by Major Samuel Ringgold, lighter guns were mounted on carriages and pulled by specially trained crews and teams of horses. Artillery proved to be the decisive force of the battle, with both sides engaging in artillery duels to silence their opponents.
Despite their courage, the combined effect of American artillery and cavalry devastated the Mexican forces at the Battle of Palo Alto. The battle proved a resounding success for artillery, a lesson the US Army would see again and again throughout the war, especially by a future Rebel general by the name of Thomas Jackson.
The uniform regulations of 1833 included the replacing of the “Bell Crown” Shako with a “Stovepipe” Shako, and the introduced of stripes for officers and non-commissioned officers on sky-blue trousers. The tall “stovepipe” shako was adopted by infantry and artillery in 1832. It featured brass or white metal badges and fittings, either crossed cannons for artillery like this example or bugle-horn for infantry. Also featured was a tall plume that varied in height from 8 inches for enlisted men to 12 inches for senior NCOs. This example measures approximately 8 inches tall and was more than likely worn by an enlisted man.
The rigid shako stands at approximately 7 inches tall, with a beaver pelt covered pasteboard body, this shako follows the lines of the US regulation 1832 pattern shako with a flat, bound leather visor that flares slightly from side buttons forward. The flat crown is about 7 ½ inches in diameter and is pierced at the forward edge for the 8 inch red “feather duster” plume, the size and branch color for Enlisted Artillerymen. Below this on the top front is an 1833 regulation gold stamped federal eagle above the number “1” with the artillery crossed cannons beneath. Branch insignia was also introduced although the metal color continued to be yellow for mounted soldiers and white for foot troops. The new branch insignia authorized in 1833 included an eagle with a hunting horn for infantry and an eagle with crossed gun tubes for artillery. The Regiment of light dragoons received a bi-metal insignia consisting of a yellow federal eagle on a white metal sunburst. The thin leather chinstrap is in place and secured on either side with a small General Service “A” Shield button for Artillery use.. The interior is lined with a brown paper type material on the sides with brown polished cotton visible on the crown. The blackened leather sweatband is also present, complete and firmly in place.
A wonderful example of an extremely hard to find early US Army shako. Comes more than ready for further research and display.
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