Kepi Uniform Help

Terminal99

Cadet
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Hello everyone. I have this kepi that I was trying to find out some information on. The band around it is very faded, but I can see that at one time it was yellow. I'm inclined to think that it is cavalry, but the buttons on the side have the letter I on them which would be infantry? Thanks
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7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
That´s definitely an old reproduction hat; it´s not original. The brim is too thick and the chin strap doesn´t have a buckle. It doesn´t extend either, but not all originals do. That chin strap isn´t intended to be decorative, though, so it should be adjustable. The embroidered sabers are extremely uncommon if not downright wrong, as is the light blue star. Those details just scream reproduction to me. The construction looks pretty good. Someone took their time on it. I think it´s from the mid-1980s, when we thought the the ¨right¨ caps had those thick brims on them and the ones that were made with thin ones in the 60s and 70s were ¨farby.¨
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Hello everyone. I have this kepi that I was trying to find out some information

Welcome aboard @Terminal99 !

I have to agree with the others, your kepi is not original.

The embroidered sabers are extremely uncommon if not downright wrong, as is the light blue star. Those details just scream reproduction to me.

My first thoughts as well.
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Welcome From THE Heart Of Dixie. I agree with all of the above and @Package4 will be able to give you all the reason its a repop and some insight to what an original would look like.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Unfortunately, what others have said is true, this is an older reproduction, for the following reasons:

  1. The brim is made of thick "shoe leather" and the underside shows evidence of tin snip cutting. Actual war date leather brims were cut from dies. The thickness doesn't bother me as much as the type of leather and cutting.
  2. The lining is of a more modern polished cotton and not that of the period.
  3. The embroidered cross sabers are very suspect as this type of embroidery, especially in the South was rare to nonexistent. They also do not show evidence of wear for a 155+ y/o cap.
  4. The chin strap is entirely too thick, though not having a brass adjuster buckle is not that problematic. Many Confederate pieces of headgear do not have brass adjusters, if they have an adjuster it is many times made of this leather. Many pieces of Confederate headgear do have a simple piece of tarred cloth running from button to button with no attempt at being a true chin strap.
  5. I have attached a picture below showing what I am referring to, the more beat up kepi/forage cap is from the 5th VA (found at a Kernstown field hospital) and the other is a Louisiana kepi. Notice the adjusters are both leather and the brims are die cut:
IMG_0284 (2).JPG
 

Terminal99

Cadet
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Unfortunately, what others have said is true, this is an older reproduction, for the following reasons:

  1. The brim is made of thick "shoe leather" and the underside shows evidence of tin snip cutting. Actual war date leather brims were cut from dies. The thickness doesn't bother me as much as the type of leather and cutting.
  2. The lining is of a more modern polished cotton and not that of the period.
  3. The embroidered cross sabers are very suspect as this type of embroidery, especially in the South was rare to nonexistent. They also do not show evidence of wear for a 155+ y/o cap.
  4. The chin strap is entirely too thick, though not having a brass adjuster buckle is not that problematic. Many Confederate pieces of headgear do not have brass adjusters, if they have an adjuster it is many times made of this leather. Many pieces of Confederate headgear do have a simple piece of tarred cloth running from button to button with no attempt at being a true chin strap.
  5. I have attached a picture below showing what I am referring to, the more beat up kepi/forage cap is from the 5th VA (found at a Kernstown field hospital) and the other is a Louisiana kepi. Notice the adjusters are both leather and the brims are die cut:
View attachment 414648
Thanks for taking the time to let me know. I just purchased this Saturday and will be returning it.
 

Terminal99

Cadet
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Unfortunately, what others have said is true, this is an older reproduction, for the following reasons:

  1. The brim is made of thick "shoe leather" and the underside shows evidence of tin snip cutting. Actual war date leather brims were cut from dies. The thickness doesn't bother me as much as the type of leather and cutting.
  2. The lining is of a more modern polished cotton and not that of the period.
  3. The embroidered cross sabers are very suspect as this type of embroidery, especially in the South was rare to nonexistent. They also do not show evidence of wear for a 155+ y/o cap.
  4. The chin strap is entirely too thick, though not having a brass adjuster buckle is not that problematic. Many Confederate pieces of headgear do not have brass adjusters, if they have an adjuster it is many times made of this leather. Many pieces of Confederate headgear do have a simple piece of tarred cloth running from button to button with no attempt at being a true chin strap.
  5. I have attached a picture below showing what I am referring to, the more beat up kepi/forage cap is from the 5th VA (found at a Kernstown field hospital) and the other is a Louisiana kepi. Notice the adjusters are both leather and the brims are die cut:
View attachment 414648
I'm probably just trying to put lipstick on a pig here, but what if the brim was trimmed during or after the war? What if some kids grandmother pulled this out of a trunk and "fixed" it up for them by adding a new liner and embroidering the crossed swords and star on the top and adding a leather chin strap with incorrect buttons. There are holes in the hat which have been patched. To me, that adds to the authenticity. If someone was trying to deceive, why make some glaring mistakes but add some subtle touches?
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
I'm probably just trying to put lipstick on a pig here, but what if the brim was trimmed during or after the war? What if some kids grandmother pulled this out of a trunk and "fixed" it up for them by adding a new liner and embroidering the crossed swords and star on the top and adding a leather chin strap with incorrect buttons. There are holes in the hat which have been patched. To me, that adds to the authenticity. If someone was trying to deceive, why make some glaring mistakes but add some subtle touches?
IMHO, your "what if's" are not reality.
No offensive.

I'm not sure if this point has been addressed, but most Confederate rank & file didn't even wear kepis.
Not all, but many/most troops that were issued kepis from the CSA clothing depots, discarded these little caps very quickly.
The reason ? A kepi was virtually worthless as practical headgear.

The kepi did not provide protection from the elements, so most guys preferred their comfortable civilian brimmed hats
of whatever style.

Sure, some wealthy CSA officers purchased very elaborate gold braid kepis, but that didn't apply to the common soldier.

But, if you are happy with your purchase ... enjoy it !

That's all that really matters.

:smoke:
 
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Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I'm probably just trying to put lipstick on a pig here, but what if the brim was trimmed during or after the war? What if some kids grandmother pulled this out of a trunk and "fixed" it up for them by adding a new liner and embroidering the crossed swords and star on the top and adding a leather chin strap with incorrect buttons. There are holes in the hat which have been patched. To me, that adds to the authenticity. If someone was trying to deceive, why make some glaring mistakes but add some subtle touches?
Trust me unless you would like to reenact, return it. The piece is at oldest, 60 years old. A wise man once told me, if you need to make up a story to justify a purchase, don’t walk, run away.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I'm probably just trying to put lipstick on a pig here, but what if the brim was trimmed during or after the war? What if some kids grandmother pulled this out of a trunk and "fixed" it up for them by adding a new liner and embroidering the crossed swords and star on the top and adding a leather chin strap with incorrect buttons. There are holes in the hat which have been patched. To me, that adds to the authenticity. If someone was trying to deceive, why make some glaring mistakes but add some subtle touches?
I do not believe anyone is trying to deceive, just a reenactor’s cap that is old enough to look real to those not versed. A real cap sells for between $8,000-$15,000, even in a down market.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I'm probably just trying to put lipstick on a pig here, but what if the brim was trimmed during or after the war? What if some kids grandmother pulled this out of a trunk and "fixed" it up for them by adding a new liner and embroidering the crossed swords and star on the top and adding a leather chin strap with incorrect buttons. There are holes in the hat which have been patched. To me, that adds to the authenticity. If someone was trying to deceive, why make some glaring mistakes but add some subtle touches?
I collect these and if I saw it on a table, I would not even bother to stop and inspect it, please take it back unless you paid less than a happy meal for it.
 

7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Ya gotta admit, in spite of it´s obvious flaws, it´s pretty well constructed. Something says ¨film costume¨ to me.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Ya gotta admit, in spite of it´s obvious flaws, it´s pretty well constructed. Something says ¨film costume¨ to me.
Usually, but not always, movie props are marked as such, as belonging to a costumer or studio. When filming “Gods & Generals“, our uniforms for the Harper’s Ferry scene, Morgan Guard, were from the movie “The Patriot” and had studio markings.

I once had an original Sharps carbine, that was used in “Birth of a Nation” and had the studio name cartouche In the stock.

I think it is a Centennial recreation and someone had access to an original and did the best they could, with what was available
 
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