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Confederate Forage caps

Discussion in 'Reenactors Forum' started by ConfederateVolunteer, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. ConfederateVolunteer

    ConfederateVolunteer Private

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    I've heard it said by a variety of people that the CS issued their own forage caps. According to C&D Jarnagin: "Little wonder that the Confederacy used US M1858 type forage caps! Of the eight officers on board which approved the design for the US Army in 1858, at least five became Confederate soldiers."

    Nevertheless, I've noticed a particular absence of period photos showing Confederate troops wearing Forage Caps, in general they tend to wear the Kepi or more commonly a slouch hat.

    This leads to my next question. How common would a Forage Cap be among early-war Confederate troops? Is the Forage Cap acceptable for these types of impressions?

    [​IMG]
     

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  3. Lee

    Lee 1st Lieutenant

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    Interesting question. One of the reenactors here will likely be along shortly and address your request for information.
     
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  4. ConfederateVolunteer

    ConfederateVolunteer Private

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    Alright, thanks.
     
  5. Dave Wilma

    Dave Wilma Sergeant Major Forum Host

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    I suspect that Confederate uniforms early in the war were relatively uniform and highly individualized by unit. One of the confusing factors of 1st Bull Run/Manassas was the presence of newly-mustered Confederate units attired in blue. As for headgear I imagine that that uniformity and military appearance gave way to whatever was available and the demands of campaigning. Hats with brims were more practical than kepis or forage caps. A general officer could afford to wear something stylish and dashing, but he didn't stand guard duty, didn't march through the rain, and didn't huddle with his mates through a Virginia winter.

    I am amused at the illustrations of uniforms in the Military Atlas of the Civil War.
     
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  6. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

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    Love the picture !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. Conor_B

    Conor_B Private

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    I would say that they would have been pretty common. I cant wear one because of my hair and head shape makes the hat stand up and wont block the sun that well! Here are some other examples of troops in forge caps. Look at Echoes of Glory (the cs edition) and there is a Lt. who fought under Jackson during the valley campaign and has a federal blue forge cap on.

    http://myloc.gov/_assets/Exhibitions/civilwarphotographs/confederate/Assets/27179u_standard.jpg

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5009/5228589281_e68f695d15_z.jpg

    http://www.vmi.edu/assets/0/430/438/935/84D827E5-1CC2-40BE-B4C1-604732B4B8F0.jpg

    http://www1.vmi.edu/archives/images/accnum/03884.jpg

    http://www.cowanauctions.com/itemImages/a2345.jpg

    http://moultrie.battlefieldsinmotio...harleston-Zouave-Tho-Butler-Gunn-p209_lrg.jpg

    http://images2.bridgemanart.com/cgi-bin/bridgemanImage.cgi/400wm.PNP.1330820.7055475/277152.jpg
     
  8. YankeeGrey

    YankeeGrey Private

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    I know that the kepi was popular and was originally a French design for their Army. I would have to dig it up, but I think I read something about them in Bell Wiley's Life of Johnny Reb and his Life of Billy Yank.
     
  9. ConfederateVolunteer

    ConfederateVolunteer Private

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    Yeah, the wide range of uniforms seen at the start of the war is really interesting and amusing to look at. They had some funny ideas. Thanks for the bit of information.

    Yeah, it did catch my eye while I looked through a few period photographs with Confederate soldiers wearing forage caps. It's an interesting portrait.

    Thanks for all the links, those were really interesting photos to take a look at. I still need to pick up Echoes of Glory, and I'll be sure to do so soon.

    According to what I've read in these past couple of months, the French style Kepi was the standard issue for CS Regulars.
     
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