the famous slouch hat

LT.J.H.McDaniel

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
2,363
Location
Covington,Tennessee
#1
A slouch hat is a wide-brimmed felt or cloth hat with a chinstrap, most commonly worn as part of a military uniform. It is a survivor of the felt hats worn by certain 18th century armies. Since then, the slouch hat has been worn by military personnel from many nations including Australia, Britain, India, New Zealand, Southern Rhodesia, France, the United States, Germany and many others. Australia has had a slouch as standard issue headwear since the late Victorian Era. Today it is worn by military personnel from a number of countries, although it is primarily associated with Australia, where it is considered to be a national symbol. The distinctive Australian slouch hat, sometimes called an Australian bush hat or digger hat, has one side of the brim turned up or pinned to the side of the hat with a Rising Sun Badge in order to allow a rifle to be slung over the shoulder. In the United States it was also called the Kossuth hat, after Lajos Kossuth, and was a common article of both the Union and Confederate Armies officer's uniform.
The name "Slouch Hat" refers to the fact that one side droops down as opposed to the other which is pinned against the side of the crown. This style of hat has been worn for many hundreds of years, especially during the English Civil War during the 17th century when it became associated with the forces of King Charles I, the Cavaliers, but it was also fashionable for the aristocracy throughout Europe during that time until it was superseded by the cocked hat which in modern times has been referred to as the tricorn or bicorn depending upon the depth of the forward peak.
Despite being primarily associated with Australia, the slouch hat style did not originate in Australia; it was created in Nepal. It was introduced into Australia around 1885, and was sometimes described as a "Tyrolean" import, derived from the black "Corsican hat" (Korsehut) with a feather and a leather chinstrap; this hat with an upturned brim was worn by the fifteen battalions of Austrian light troops formed in 1801 after the French Revolutionary Wars. A contemporary painting dated 1884 (in the regimental museum) of the pipe band of 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in service dress, crossing the veldt in Zululand, shows them wearing khaki slouch hats.
A shortage of cork helmets led to the widespread use of the slouch hat amongst British Empire forces during the Second Boer War,[2] where it was used by units such as the City Imperial Volunteers (CIV), Imperial Yeomanry, and King Edward's Horse. After the war, however, many armies rejected the once-popular headwear (as the British Army did in 1905), although it came back into fashion briefly during World War II during the Burma campaign and amongst troops serving in India and Southeast Asia at this time.
The slouch hat in gray felt was worn by the Schutztruppe (protection force), the colonial armed force of Imperial Germany, as an alternative to the pith helmet, especially in South West Africa. Different coloured puggarees were worn by the Germans in South West Africa, German East Africa, German West Africa (Togo and Cameroon) and China. The hat had its brim pinned up on the right side with a cockade in the national colors and was worn with the home uniform as well. German colonial police units in South West Africa wore a khaki slouch hat with a small national cockade on the front and the right side pinned up by a metal Imperial crown device.
The slouch hat was frequently worn throughout Africa and in motion pictures about Africa such as Jungle Jim and safari films.
It became associated with the Australian military around the end of the 19th Century and since World War I it has been manufactured in Australia by the Akubra company for the Australian Army. This slouch hat is still worn by the Australian military today and it has become a national symbol in Australia. A Unit Colour Patch is also worn by members of the Australian Army on their Slouch Hat to indicate which unit they are from.
The slouch hat or Terai hat is also associated with the Gurkha regiments of the British Army and Indian Army (formerly the British Indian Army) and is still worn by the Gurkhas; the hat is no longer worn on active service. The 2nd Gurkha Rifles became the first Gurkha regiment to adopt the slouch hat when they were issued with the Australian variant in 1901. The Gurkha terai hat is created by fusing two hats into one to make the hat more rigid and is worn at an angle, tilted to the right.
The Chindits and other units of Field Marshal William Slim's British Fourteenth Army, who fought against the Japanese in the Far East during World War II, also became associated with the slouch hat (also known as the bush hat in the British Army).[4] The slouch hat was also used by colonial units of the British Empire, including the Royal West African Frontier Force, the Canadian Yukon Field Force, Canadian Pacific Railway Militia, the Kenya Regiment and troops from Rhodesia.
 

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LT.J.H.McDaniel

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
2,363
Location
Covington,Tennessee
#4
It is great you are explaining the hats. Since I don't reenact, good to know what is worn and what they are.
Thank you Donna.Im very glad I could help. I know reenactors and historians are on two total different levals and theres always miscomunication betewan the two. Ive been in arguments here on CWT due to my calling a certain item one thing,and someone esle refering to it as another. I figured i could touch base with every one on a few of the most famous hats of the war and possibly spark an intrest in a fer people. Thanks for reading Donna, If you have anymore questions,ill be glad to help you with them.:thumbsup:
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Messages
3,408
Location
Living in Kilmore in Victoria Australia
#12
A slouch hat is a wide-brimmed felt or cloth hat with a chinstrap, most commonly worn as part of a military uniform. It is a survivor of the felt hats worn by certain 18th century armies. Since then, the slouch hat has been worn by military personnel from many nations including Australia, Britain, India, New Zealand, Southern Rhodesia, France, the United States, Germany and many others. Australia has had a slouch as standard issue headwear since the late Victorian Era. Today it is worn by military personnel from a number of countries, although it is primarily associated with Australia, where it is considered to be a national symbol. The distinctive Australian slouch hat, sometimes called an Australian bush hat or digger hat, has one side of the brim turned up or pinned to the side of the hat with a Rising Sun Badge in order to allow a rifle to be slung over the shoulder. In the United States it was also called the Kossuth hat, after Lajos Kossuth, and was a common article of both the Union and Confederate Armies officer's uniform.
The name "Slouch Hat" refers to the fact that one side droops down as opposed to the other which is pinned against the side of the crown. This style of hat has been worn for many hundreds of years, especially during the English Civil War during the 17th century when it became associated with the forces of King Charles I, the Cavaliers, but it was also fashionable for the aristocracy throughout Europe during that time until it was superseded by the cocked hat which in modern times has been referred to as the tricorn or bicorn depending upon the depth of the forward peak.
Despite being primarily associated with Australia, the slouch hat style did not originate in Australia; it was created in Nepal. It was introduced into Australia around 1885, and was sometimes described as a "Tyrolean" import, derived from the black "Corsican hat" (Korsehut) with a feather and a leather chinstrap; this hat with an upturned brim was worn by the fifteen battalions of Austrian light troops formed in 1801 after the French Revolutionary Wars. A contemporary painting dated 1884 (in the regimental museum) of the pipe band of 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in service dress, crossing the veldt in Zululand, shows them wearing khaki slouch hats.
A shortage of cork helmets led to the widespread use of the slouch hat amongst British Empire forces during the Second Boer War,[2] where it was used by units such as the City Imperial Volunteers (CIV), Imperial Yeomanry, and King Edward's Horse. After the war, however, many armies rejected the once-popular headwear (as the British Army did in 1905), although it came back into fashion briefly during World War II during the Burma campaign and amongst troops serving in India and Southeast Asia at this time.
The slouch hat in gray felt was worn by the Schutztruppe (protection force), the colonial armed force of Imperial Germany, as an alternative to the pith helmet, especially in South West Africa. Different coloured puggarees were worn by the Germans in South West Africa, German East Africa, German West Africa (Togo and Cameroon) and China. The hat had its brim pinned up on the right side with a cockade in the national colors and was worn with the home uniform as well. German colonial police units in South West Africa wore a khaki slouch hat with a small national cockade on the front and the right side pinned up by a metal Imperial crown device.
The slouch hat was frequently worn throughout Africa and in motion pictures about Africa such as Jungle Jim and safari films.
It became associated with the Australian military around the end of the 19th Century and since World War I it has been manufactured in Australia by the Akubra company for the Australian Army. This slouch hat is still worn by the Australian military today and it has become a national symbol in Australia. A Unit Colour Patch is also worn by members of the Australian Army on their Slouch Hat to indicate which unit they are from.
The slouch hat or Terai hat is also associated with the Gurkha regiments of the British Army and Indian Army (formerly the British Indian Army) and is still worn by the Gurkhas; the hat is no longer worn on active service. The 2nd Gurkha Rifles became the first Gurkha regiment to adopt the slouch hat when they were issued with the Australian variant in 1901. The Gurkha terai hat is created by fusing two hats into one to make the hat more rigid and is worn at an angle, tilted to the right.
The Chindits and other units of Field Marshal William Slim's British Fourteenth Army, who fought against the Japanese in the Far East during World War II, also became associated with the slouch hat (also known as the bush hat in the British Army).[4] The slouch hat was also used by colonial units of the British Empire, including the Royal West African Frontier Force, the Canadian Yukon Field Force, Canadian Pacific Railway Militia, the Kenya Regiment and troops from Rhodesia.
Great post, really enjoyed the read !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

RNMCSA

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
552
Location
Virginia
#14
ISSUE AND NON ISSUE SLOUCH HATS
IN THE
ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA


The most important part of any Confederate Army Soldier's Kit was his hat, favoured almost universally over the regulation kepi, for its comfort, and ability to keep the elements at bay. This article intends to look at a couple of the most popular styles of slouch hat, issue and non-issue used by the troops in the Army of Northern Virginia (ANV).

A Hungarian patriot named Louis Kossuth in 1852 introduced the Slouch Hat into the U.S. He toured America seeking support for Hungarian liberties after Hungary had become dominated by the Czar of Russia. At first the slouch hat was defined as a soft hat with a low crown and medium brim. But over time the term "Slouch Hat" became to be a generic term to describe most hats.

By the time of the Civil War the term "Slouch Hat" had come to be associated with hats with different types of crowns and brim widths with the most popular colours being black, grey, brown and tan. Unlike European inspired kepis and forage caps, slouch hats were one of the only all-American articles of clothing used during the war.

A.N.V. veteran Frank H Foote stated, "Slouch Hats are peculiar to the South and affected a great deal".

Another veteran remembered, "A man who has never been a soldier does not know the amount of comfort there is in a good soft hat".

One of the most popular hat styles was the Beehive. This style was a product of wartime economy. This hat is almost unique to the Civil War with very few photos showing this style afterwards. This hat was rushed through production by local hatters to meet demand by being rushed through the blocking process. The brim would dish up in a concave fashion normally the brim would lie flat. This brim would be 3 to 3 1/2 inches wide and the crown would be 5 to 7 inches or more. After the conflict the makers would go back to the more time consuming way of producing hats, hence this style was rarely seen after the war.

This hat, as were most hats of the time, was trimmed with Grosgrain (pronounced Grow-Grain) ribbon. Grosgrain ribbon had been around hat brims for a long time and the sewing machine made adding ribbon to the brim much faster and less expensive than handwork. The sewing machine that enabled the ribbon to be sewn on the brim became popular with hatters in the 1850's. More hats produced just before and during the war had this option.

This type of civilian hat and many other civilian style hats were used by the troops either brought from, or sent from home.

One soldier Valerius Giles of the 4th Texas, upon his enlistment purchased himself, "The Best Hat in the House" from a local store. This hat, a large top hat, waterproofed with Goose Grease lasted him until Gaines Mill in 1862.

Soldiers would also "swap hats" with unsuspecting civilians. During the Gettysburg campaign some troops often found themselves with hats with holes in, with hair sticking out, they looked like scarecrows and they knew it. As they entered Pennsylvania the men would swap hats with unsuspecting civilians watching them pass.

Sometimes hat badges or regimental number and letters were used, although this practice was fairly rare. One soldier was photographed in 1864 wearing a hat with a white badge marked 'AL4' suggesting the 4th Alabama Inf. which did serve in the area the image was made. Also sources noted seeing soldier of the 18th and 21st Georgia with Hat Insignia, but for the most part hats were left unadorned with any ornamentation or hat cords.

As slouch hats became the prominent headgear and the men themselves preferred this type of headwear over the regulation kepi, were these hats issued by the quartermasters? It appears the answer is yes. From July 1st 1864 through January 31st 1865 the Quartermasters themselves issued 27,000 hats and caps to the ANV.

In a report written by Q.M. General Alex R Lawton dated August 15th 1864 noted, "Our entire supply of blankets has to be drawn from abroad. The same is true of hats for which a cap is a poor substitute." The report asked for 300,000 hats and $450,000 was set aside for this purpose.

Thousands of hats were imported from England to meet the demand; one of these worn by T.V. Brooke 3rd Co Richmond Howitzers still exists. It is a hat with a rounded crown with a rolled brim. It is a medium brown colour. The rolled brim was a fashion of the time. The brim would extend straight then upturn at the end to look similar to a saucer. This stopped the brim falling into the eyes.

But even at the beginning of the war the Central Government, and certainly individual states, including Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina issued Slouch Hats to the soldiers.

Several States had pre war militia that adopted the U.S. 1858 Army Hat as a regulation. This hat was known by several names including the Hardee, Jeff Davies Hat, and even Fra Divolo Hat, after a character from Comic Opera. Two cavalry regiments originally used the hat in 1855 and authorised for use by all branches in 1858.

The inability of the Central Government in 1861-62 to clothe these volunteer troops and the introduction of the commutation system led several afore-mentioned States to adopt a black felt hat to be "looped up" on one side, thus copying the 1858 style headgear.

Two hats survive that were issued either by the Central Government or by the State of North Carolina itself. Both of these hats are black civilian hats, which have been altered to mimic the 1858 army hat.

The first belonged to Theophilus Frank who served in the 48th N.C., which served in Hill’s Corps ANV from October 1863 to October 1864. This hat shows evidence of being 'militarised'. The crown when domed is 6 inches at its apex, and the brim measures 3 inches. It is edged with 1/4 in Grossgrain Ribbon on the top only. A 7/8 wide band encircles the base of the crown that is made of double play thickness cotton that has been blackened and is now a medium grey colour. This has been applied over the original hat bank. Applied under this hatband are two pieces of cord approximately 3 inches long that look like they represent hat cords, and lastly the brim has been looped up on one side by use of a button and corresponding slit in the brim.

The second hat that surfaced in 1991 is different to the first in the fact that it has a smaller brim but it has been 'militarised' in exactly the same way.

Judging by this evidence it seems likely that some States and maybe the Central Government itself issued civilian hats to the men from the beginning of the war and some of these at least were altered to mimic the 1858 army hat. Some of these were still being issued in late 1863 (T Frank enlisted in October 1863).

Conclusions

The birth of the Confederate Slouch Hat stems from the war's outset. Due to the Confederate Government's inability to provide the regulation kepi in enough numbers. This led the States and the Government itself to issue civilian hats. Some of these were 'militarised' to copy the pre war US 1858 army hat. It is unknown how many of these hats were altered. It may have been a few, it could have been thousands. As the war progressed any style of Slouch Hat that could be made into the South was pressed into service. By 1864 hats like so many other badly needed items, had to be imported from England to meet demand. Hundreds of thousands were ordered and imported. Thanks to the soldier's reluctance to wear anything else but his beloved 'Old Slouch'.

Vendors

  • Clearwater Hat Corn, Newnata Arkansas
  • Dirty Billy's Hats, Gettysburg, Penn.
  • Tim Bender Hats, Birdsboro, Penn.
  • Tim Adams Baltimore Md.

Sources:

  • Bob McDonald - C.S. Slouch Hats, North South Traders Magazine
  • Clearwater Hat Catalogue
  • Don Troiani - Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War
  • Philip Katcher - A.C.W. Armies - C.S. Troops
  • Echoes of Glory - Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy

And here is a picture of an original worn by a soldier in the 6th Va. Inf.
cs-slouch-6th-va-inf.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2011
Messages
472
Location
Arizonian living in New Jersey
#18
ISSUE AND NON ISSUE SLOUCH HATS
IN THE
ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA



The most important part of any Confederate Army Soldier's Kit was his hat, favoured almost universally over the regulation kepi, for its comfort, and ability to keep the elements at bay. This article intends to look at a couple of the most popular styles of slouch hat, issue and non-issue used by the troops in the Army of Northern Virginia (ANV).

A Hungarian patriot named Louis Kossuth in 1852 introduced the Slouch Hat into the U.S. He toured America seeking support for Hungarian liberties after Hungary had become dominated by the Czar of Russia. At first the slouch hat was defined as a soft hat with a low crown and medium brim. But over time the term "Slouch Hat" became to be a generic term to describe most hats.

By the time of the Civil War the term "Slouch Hat" had come to be associated with hats with different types of crowns and brim widths with the most popular colours being black, grey, brown and tan. Unlike European inspired kepis and forage caps, slouch hats were one of the only all-American articles of clothing used during the war.

A.N.V. veteran Frank H Foote stated, "Slouch Hats are peculiar to the South and affected a great deal".

Another veteran remembered, "A man who has never been a soldier does not know the amount of comfort there is in a good soft hat".

One of the most popular hat styles was the Beehive. This style was a product of wartime economy. This hat is almost unique to the Civil War with very few photos showing this style afterwards. This hat was rushed through production by local hatters to meet demand by being rushed through the blocking process. The brim would dish up in a concave fashion normally the brim would lie flat. This brim would be 3 to 3 1/2 inches wide and the crown would be 5 to 7 inches or more. After the conflict the makers would go back to the more time consuming way of producing hats, hence this style was rarely seen after the war.

This hat, as were most hats of the time, was trimmed with Grosgrain (pronounced Grow-Grain) ribbon. Grosgrain ribbon had been around hat brims for a long time and the sewing machine made adding ribbon to the brim much faster and less expensive than handwork. The sewing machine that enabled the ribbon to be sewn on the brim became popular with hatters in the 1850's. More hats produced just before and during the war had this option.

This type of civilian hat and many other civilian style hats were used by the troops either brought from, or sent from home.

One soldier Valerius Giles of the 4th Texas, upon his enlistment purchased himself, "The Best Hat in the House" from a local store. This hat, a large top hat, waterproofed with Goose Grease lasted him until Gaines Mill in 1862.

Soldiers would also "swap hats" with unsuspecting civilians. During the Gettysburg campaign some troops often found themselves with hats with holes in, with hair sticking out, they looked like scarecrows and they knew it. As they entered Pennsylvania the men would swap hats with unsuspecting civilians watching them pass.

Sometimes hat badges or regimental number and letters were used, although this practice was fairly rare. One soldier was photographed in 1864 wearing a hat with a white badge marked 'AL4' suggesting the 4th Alabama Inf. which did serve in the area the image was made. Also sources noted seeing soldier of the 18th and 21st Georgia with Hat Insignia, but for the most part hats were left unadorned with any ornamentation or hat cords.

As slouch hats became the prominent headgear and the men themselves preferred this type of headwear over the regulation kepi, were these hats issued by the quartermasters? It appears the answer is yes. From July 1st 1864 through January 31st 1865 the Quartermasters themselves issued 27,000 hats and caps to the ANV.

In a report written by Q.M. General Alex R Lawton dated August 15th 1864 noted, "Our entire supply of blankets has to be drawn from abroad. The same is true of hats for which a cap is a poor substitute." The report asked for 300,000 hats and $450,000 was set aside for this purpose.

Thousands of hats were imported from England to meet the demand; one of these worn by T.V. Brooke 3rd Co Richmond Howitzers still exists. It is a hat with a rounded crown with a rolled brim. It is a medium brown colour. The rolled brim was a fashion of the time. The brim would extend straight then upturn at the end to look similar to a saucer. This stopped the brim falling into the eyes.

But even at the beginning of the war the Central Government, and certainly individual states, including Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina issued Slouch Hats to the soldiers.

Several States had pre war militia that adopted the U.S. 1858 Army Hat as a regulation. This hat was known by several names including the Hardee, Jeff Davies Hat, and even Fra Divolo Hat, after a character from Comic Opera. Two cavalry regiments originally used the hat in 1855 and authorised for use by all branches in 1858.

The inability of the Central Government in 1861-62 to clothe these volunteer troops and the introduction of the commutation system led several afore-mentioned States to adopt a black felt hat to be "looped up" on one side, thus copying the 1858 style headgear.

Two hats survive that were issued either by the Central Government or by the State of North Carolina itself. Both of these hats are black civilian hats, which have been altered to mimic the 1858 army hat.

The first belonged to Theophilus Frank who served in the 48th N.C., which served in Hill’s Corps ANV from October 1863 to October 1864. This hat shows evidence of being 'militarised'. The crown when domed is 6 inches at its apex, and the brim measures 3 inches. It is edged with 1/4 in Grossgrain Ribbon on the top only. A 7/8 wide band encircles the base of the crown that is made of double play thickness cotton that has been blackened and is now a medium grey colour. This has been applied over the original hat bank. Applied under this hatband are two pieces of cord approximately 3 inches long that look like they represent hat cords, and lastly the brim has been looped up on one side by use of a button and corresponding slit in the brim.

The second hat that surfaced in 1991 is different to the first in the fact that it has a smaller brim but it has been 'militarised' in exactly the same way.

Judging by this evidence it seems likely that some States and maybe the Central Government itself issued civilian hats to the men from the beginning of the war and some of these at least were altered to mimic the 1858 army hat. Some of these were still being issued in late 1863 (T Frank enlisted in October 1863).

Conclusions

The birth of the Confederate Slouch Hat stems from the war's outset. Due to the Confederate Government's inability to provide the regulation kepi in enough numbers. This led the States and the Government itself to issue civilian hats. Some of these were 'militarised' to copy the pre war US 1858 army hat. It is unknown how many of these hats were altered. It may have been a few, it could have been thousands. As the war progressed any style of Slouch Hat that could be made into the South was pressed into service. By 1864 hats like so many other badly needed items, had to be imported from England to meet demand. Hundreds of thousands were ordered and imported. Thanks to the soldier's reluctance to wear anything else but his beloved 'Old Slouch'.

Vendors

  • Clearwater Hat Corn, Newnata Arkansas
  • Dirty Billy's Hats, Gettysburg, Penn.
  • Tim Bender Hats, Birdsboro, Penn.
  • Tim Adams Baltimore Md.

Sources:

  • Bob McDonald - C.S. Slouch Hats, North South Traders Magazine
  • Clearwater Hat Catalogue
  • Don Troiani - Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War
  • Philip Katcher - A.C.W. Armies - C.S. Troops
  • Echoes of Glory - Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy


And here is a picture of an original worn by a soldier in the 6th Va. Inf.
View attachment 5319
Nice post.
You would be a great host
I think "uniforms and relics" lacks a host. I'd recomend you pm mike about it!
 
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
52
Location
Dallas,TX/W. KY
#20
Lest the uninitiated formulate the wrong idea about how fur felt hats are made when the use of the term "pelts" is used in the conversation:

Fur felt refers to removing fur fibers, usually beaver, nutria, or rabbit (particularly European), from the skin/pelt itself, and matting the resulting fur fiber in the manner of wool to make the felt blank from which the hat is formed/blocked. This is what is alluded to in the description of Forrest's "black beaver hat".

This is in no way referencing anyone engaged in this conversation, who all appear to be at the very least more than adequately familiar with nineteenth century material culture. I mention this only because you would be truly gobsmacked at what the imagination of some today who ARE NOT familiar with the process assume the term "beaver fur hat" to truly mean. :rolleyes: I've heard just about every conceivable interpretation over the years.
 



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