“McDowell” style forage cap worn by an officer of the 10th Massachusetts Infantry. This style of cap with extra-tall crown and crescent shaped visor was popularized by General Irvin McDowell early in the war. The cap rises 5” tall at the front and has a black silk lining and oxblood leather sweatband. The quilted crown lining bears the maker’s mark “M.H. STEVENS/ Washington D.C.” The gold bullion chinstrap is tied at the front to remove slack and secured by two cuff sized staff officer’s buttons with blank back marks. The front of the cap bears a black velvet patch with embroidered gold bullion and sequin infantry horn with “10” embroidered in the center. Sewn to the center of the crown is a 6th Corps badge made of white wool with embroidered bullion edges. The cap remains in very good condition with a deep blue color and several widely scattered moth nips. A wonderful example of the classic Civil War McDowell cap.
TENTH REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
The 10th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was composed of companies from the Connecticut Valley and the western part of the State. Five of these companies were in existence before the Civil War broke out, and five were recruited in May and 1861. The regiment rendezvoused at Hampden Park, Springfield, Mass., and Henry S. Briggs, a Pittsfield officer who had commanded a company in the 8th Regt. Mass. Vol. Mil., was made its colonel. The regiment was mustered into the service June 21, 1861. On July 10 it was reviewed by Gov. Andrew, and on the 15th received its colors presented by the ladies of Springfield. July 16 it entrained for Medford, Mass., where it remained at Camp Adams until the 25th, when it proceeded to Boston and took boats for Washington. Arriving at the capital on the 28th, it first encamped at Kalorama Heights, Georgetown, where it remained until August 6, when it was brigaded with the 7th Mass., 2d R. I., and 36th N.Y. Inf., and two days later removed to Brightwood. Col. Darius N. Couch, formerly commander of the 7th Mass., now commanded the brigade. At Brightwood the regiment spent most of the winter of 1861-62. Here it assisted in building Fort Massachusetts, later known as Fort Stevens.
On March 27, 1862, the regiment left Washington by boat for Hampton Roads. On the 29th it disembarked at Hampton, Va., and soon joined in the advance toward Yorktown. During the succeeding weeks it participated in the Peninsular campaign, losing heavily at Fair Oaks and Malvern Hill. Here it formed a part of Devens' Brigade, Couch's Division, Keyes' (4th) Corps. Recalled from Harrison's Landing the last of August, on Sept. 1, it arrived at Alexandria and united with Gen. Pope's army at Chain Bridge on the following day. About the middle of the month, it joined in the advance toward South Mountain and Antietam but did not reach these fields until the fighting was over. Later in the fall it became a part of the 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 6th Corps, and remained with this corps until its termination of service. It was present without loss at Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862, then went into winter quarters between Falmouth and White Oak Church.
Early in 1863, it took part in the operations of the 6th Corps near Fredericksburg in cooperation with Hooker's flank movement to Chancellorsville. On May 3, it assisted in the capture of Marye's Heights, and had a part in the battle at Salem Heights on the same afternoon. Its loss in these engagements was very heavy. Its colonel, Henry L. Eustis, now became commander of the brigade. The 10th participated with the rest of the 6th Corps in the Gettysburg campaign, suffering only slight loss. After being present at the battle of Rappahannock Station, Nov. 7, and participating in the Mine Run campaign during the latter part of the same month, the regiment retired to Brandy Station and went into winter quarters. It now belonged to Eustis' (4th) Brigade, Getty's (2d) Division, Sedgwick's (6th) Corps. Colonel Parsons now commanded the regiment.
On the first day of the battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864, Getty's Division, detached from its corps, held the crossing of the Plank and Brock roads and performed most gallant service, the 10th suffering severe loss. On the 8th, 10th, 12th, and 18th of May it was engaged at Spotsylvania, suffering very severely on the 12th, when it helped to support Hancock's assault on the Bloody Angle. Between May 5 and May 18, the regiment lost 220 officers and men, 45 of these being killed or mortally wounded. After participating with slight loss in the operations around Cold Harbor, the regiment crossed the James River, June 16, and advanced toward Petersburg, being engaged for the last time June 18 with slight loss. On the 19th it was withdrawn from the front, and its recruits and re-enlisted men were transferred to the 37th Regt. On June 21 it began its voyage homeward. Washington was reached June 22, and Springfield, Mass., on the 25th. On July 1 and 6, 1864, the regiment was mustered out of the United States service.
Source: Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors & Marines in the Civil War
Inventory Number: UNI 132 / SOLD