The One that Got Away, on eBay!

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Crazy as it may sound, one of the most rare pieces of ACW uniform is the Havelock. The Havelock was all the rage in the opening days of the war, largely due to the French & and this case English influence of mid 19th century military. They were issued by both the US Army and various states, but were an abysmal failure with the troops. Their intent was to keep the sun off the neck of the soldier who was wearing a forage cap, kepi or shako and at that it was very successful. Unfortunately it also trapped in the heat and quickly was turned into a gun rag, shoe rag or other utilitarian piece of cloth.

Due to their early issuance, the soldiers total disdain and their subsequent use, their survival rate is minimal.

John D billings in, Hard Tack and Coffee describes the infernal invention this way:

"One of the first supposed-to-be useful, if not ornamental stupidities, which some of the earlier troops took to themselves by order, was the Havelock. True its invention antedated the time of which I speak. It was a foreign conception and derived its name from an English general, who distinguished himself in the war in India, where they were worn in 1857. It was a simple covering of white linen for the cap, with a cape depending for the protection of the neck from the sun. They may have been very essential to the comfort of the troops in the Eastern climate, but while whole regiments went South with them, if one of the articles survived active service three months, I have yet to hear of it."

Well a listing for an under the cap Havelock showed up on eBay recently and it was dead real, most likely Pennsylvania State issue. The soldier Wm Hamilton was in the 8th Company 12th PA according to the inked inscription on the article. There was a private William Hamilton in Co H (8th Company) 12th PA and this was his Havelock, parade gloves and neckerchief.

Hopefully one of our members came away with it, the bidding was extremely low until the last few minutes. I would have bid more had it been an US issue piece with stamp and an over the cap Havelock, but I now have regret as the chance of ever seeing one of these for sale again, is slim to none.

I am no longer a fan of eBay as they allow fraudulent sellers and pieces on their site, but every once in a while...............
Havelock2.jpg


Havelock.jpg
 

Tony Z

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Location
DuBois, PA
Several decades ago I was very active in purchasing CW items on EBay (never sold). I bought mostly GAR items but also a few war items. About 20% of the time, descriptions were off, with a few really off. For the most part, there was mostly honesty. I have not actively purchased in sometime, mainly because of how high pricing has gotten.
 

DixieRifles

Captain
Member of the Year
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
What irks me about eBay is that the Military Collectibles are divided by periods of history or dates, such as WW1, WW2, Post-WW2, Vietnam War etc. Then some have two sub-categories: Original & Replica.

Sellers are always posting a Vietnam era helmet in the WW2 category. Or they know no one will see their replica WW2 item unless they post it in the Original category. Years ago, I would spend almost an hour clicking the Report button on these items but I dont think it mattered.
 

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Crazy as it may sound, one of the most rare pieces of ACW uniform is the Havelock. The Havelock was all the rage in the opening days of the war, largely due to the French & and this case English influence of mid 19th century military. They were issued by both the US Army and various states, but were an abysmal failure with the troops. Their intent was to keep the sun off the neck of the soldier who was wearing a forage cap, kepi or shako and at that it was very successful. Unfortunately it also trapped in the heat and quickly was turned into a gun rag, shoe rag or other utilitarian piece of cloth.

Due to their early issuance, the soldiers total disdain and their subsequent use, their survival rate is minimal.

John D billings in, Hard Tack and Coffee describes the infernal invention this way:

"One of the first supposed-to-be useful, if not ornamental stupidities, which some of the earlier troops took to themselves by order, was the Havelock. True its invention antedated the time of which I speak. It was a foreign conception and derived its name from an English general, who distinguished himself in the war in India, where they were worn in 1857. It was a simple covering of white linen for the cap, with a cape depending for the protection of the neck from the sun. They may have been very essential to the comfort of the troops in the Eastern climate, but while whole regiments went South with them, if one of the articles survived active service three months, I have yet to hear of it."

Well a listing for an under the cap Havelock showed up on eBay recently and it was dead real, most likely Pennsylvania State issue. The soldier Wm Hamilton was in the 8th Company 12th PA according to the inked inscription on the article. There was a private William Hamilton in Co H (8th Company) 12th PA and this was his Havelock, parade gloves and neckerchief.

Hopefully one of our members came away with it, the bidding was extremely low until the last few minutes. I would have bid more had it been an US issue piece with stamp and an over the cap Havelock, but I now have regret as the chance of ever seeing one of these for sale again, is slim to none.

I am no longer a fan of eBay as they allow fraudulent sellers and pieces on their site, but every once in a while...............View attachment 406651

View attachment 406650
Trivia: I think this was probably named for British General Sir Henry Havelock, who was very famous then for his victories in the Sepoy Mutiny in India 1857-59 (finally relieving Lucknow on his fourth try).
 

The Walking Dead

Corporal
Joined
May 19, 2021
What irks me about eBay is that the Military Collectibles are divided by periods of history or dates, such as WW1, WW2, Post-WW2, Vietnam War etc. Then some have two sub-categories: Original & Replica.

Sellers are always posting a Vietnam era helmet in the WW2 category. Or they know no one will see their replica WW2 item unless they post it in the Original category. Years ago, I would spend almost an hour clicking the Report button on these items but I dont think it mattered.
Some years ago sellers started listing items in multiple categories and wars.
 

DixieRifles

Captain
Member of the Year
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
Some years ago sellers started listing items in multiple categories and wars.
Of course. No one is policing it. Those who are know nothing on the subject matter.

After I obtained my pre-WW2 Italian Alpini hat, I got a laugh seeing several examples of a common fedora hat converted into a Cappello.
 
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