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Did the chin straps on Civil War caps fit under the chin?

Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by major bill, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. major bill

    major bill Colonel Forum Host

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    Civil War caps and kepis had chin straps, but did the actually fit under the chin? There are few photographs where the chin straps were worn under the chin and in most cases they did not seem to properly fit under the chin. I will use this image of the University of Michigan militia to illustrate this.
    me me mich.jpg

    In this image it does not appear any of the chin straps could go under the chin. So what percentage of the chin straps would actually fit under the chin? It almost seems like the chin straps were for decoration and not really functional. If this is true, could have both sides saved money and time by making caps without chin straps?
     

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  3. Kurt G

    Kurt G Private

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    I think this image may show a style popular at the time . There are images from the war that show the chin strap under the chin.
     
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  4. captaindrew

    captaindrew 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Some Confederate caps were made with no straps or just a short decorative strap sometimes made of tarred canvas. You can adjust a Federal cap shin strap to fit under the chin but it's a pain in the neck.
     
  5. major bill

    major bill Colonel Forum Host

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    A pain on the chin?
     
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  6. captaindrew

    captaindrew 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Yup, something like that
     
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  7. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    Hey, I saw it in Glory. So it must be true.
     
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  8. Carronade

    Carronade 1st Lieutenant

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    I've always thought that style of the chin strap across the point of the chin looked silly, and it doesn't seem very functional either.
     
  9. zburkett

    zburkett First Sergeant

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    Isn't it amazing how many fashion fads look silly with the with the test of time?
     
  10. Southern Volunteer

    Southern Volunteer Private

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    I've been told by more than one fellow that the "purpose" of the chin strap was for you to be able to use the kepi as an improvised bucket. While I'm not sure that was the purpose I don't doubt that it happened.
     
  11. major bill

    major bill Colonel Forum Host

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    I don't think those people knew what the are talking about. It would seem extremely unlikely the Army would design a cap that the Army intended to also have been used as a bucket.

    Would have not the Army kept the leather shakos as a cap as the leather shakos would make a much better bucket.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  12. zburkett

    zburkett First Sergeant

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    Many a Texas Stetson was used as a horse bucket.
     
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  13. johan_steele

    johan_steele Colonel Retired Moderator

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    The chin straps do work. Chin strap as a bucket handle... I dunno.
     
  14. major bill

    major bill Colonel Forum Host

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    I also do not think the strap was used as a handle to carry items in the cap a soldier foraged for. Nor do I believe the Army designed the forage cap to carry foraged items in.
     
  15. ucvrelics.com

    ucvrelics.com 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Looks like 3 goobers to me. The only chine strap I ever wore was on my steel pot and my Kevlar.
     
  16. major bill

    major bill Colonel Forum Host

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    The company commanders of the University of Michigan student militia companies were "goobers"?
     
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  17. NH Civil War Gal

    NH Civil War Gal Sergeant Major

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    It looks like they are going to get a blister on their chins or lower lips from the straps and the middle fellow looks like he is going to bite someone!
     
  18. Banjo Pete

    Banjo Pete Private

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    Hi Major Bill.

    The chin straps on those kepis/caps are of more or less the same design as the one on the USMC cover from your avatar photo. Sort of a doubled over leather strap that could be extended as needed.
     
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  19. major bill

    major bill Colonel Forum Host

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    I am wearing an Army uniform and not a Marine uniform.
     
  20. Banjo Pete

    Banjo Pete Private

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    Ah, sorry, apologies !
     
  21. major bill

    major bill Colonel Forum Host

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    When the image was taken I was a squad leader at Military Police Advanced Individual Training. My squad had 1 Regular Army soldier 3 National Guard soldiers and 7 Marines. Marine Military Policemen trained at the Army Military Police School at that time.
     

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