U.S. Pattern 1858 Forage Cap - Inventory Number: UNI 145
The iconic cap of the Union Army. This regulation issue Union army forage cap bears its original paper maker's label on the underside of the top reading, "Size / No. 3, / 7 / U.S. Army / L. J. & I. Phillips." Lewis J. and Isaac Phillips of New York had huge army contracts for caps every year of the war, furnishing some 35,000 in 1861, 175,000 or more in 1862, 251,000 in 1863, 330,200 in 1864, and 50,000 on a contract of January 1, 1865. Extant caps from this company appear in two main variants with some minor variations exhibited on others. This variant is known by collectors as the “Type II” variant, having a larger crown disc and squarer brim. Most union soldiers were issued several of these in the course of his service. The color on this example is excellent and the fabric is good. There are some scattered moth holes that have been professionally restored with a matching fabric stitched. The chinstrap and buckle are in place, are the correct form, and appear original to the cap. The visor has good color, finish, and is firmly attached, as is the goatskin sweatband inside that shows significant wear. The brown polished cotton lining is complete and in excellent condition. The label is fully legible. An original infantry hunting horn insignia is affixed to the front of the cap. This would make a great centerpiece to an infantry display and a fine addition to any Civil War collection.
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