Cavalry Sergeant

U.S. ARMY CAPS / INSIGNIA

The Civil War Era/USA

Infantry Private

 

Caps and Badges

  The forage cap or 'kepi' was the basic headdress for the United States Army in the field. For full-dress ocassions, there were fancier caps and hats and regulations recognized campaign (slouch) hats for sun protection. As with the uniform jacket, kepis were Dark Blue. The 1858 model specified a band of branch color worn around the base for Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry. This policy was abondoned in 1861, in favor of a uniform, all blue cap.

  Officers wore black braid up the front, back, and sides and quatrefoils on the top to loosely signify rank. General Officers wore four braids, Field Grade Officers wore three braids, Captains wore two, and Lieutenants wore one. Enlistedmen wore no braid.

 


Enlistedmen


Enlisted Sharpshooters


Lieutenants

Captains
     


Sharpshooter Captains


Field Grade Officers


General Officers
 

  Regulations called for officers to wear the badge of their corps (branch insignia) and enlisted the letter of their company on the front of the cap. In a vast war, enforcement of uniform wear regulations often seemed of minimum importance. These regulations were not honored and many more insignia were worn.
 
  Officers purchased their own uniforms and insignia and could be inventive. Their cap badges were embroidered with silver and gold wire, sometimes following Army dictates and sometimes not.
 
  Enlisted troops were issued their uniforms and insignia. Their cap badges were of stamped brass. In some cases, they included their regiment number and company letter. Although of less frequency, they were also prone to imaginative substitutions.

  The following are the badges you would be most likely to encounter and are not always according to regulations:

 
 
 

 



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