Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hardee Hat

Model 1858 Dress Hat. Also known as the "Hardee Hat."

The Model 1858 Dress Hat was the regulation hat for enlisted soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War. The regulation states that the hat should have the brass badge of the branch of service attached to the front. The devices where a Bugle for Infantry, Crossed Sabers for Cavalry and Crossed Cannons for the Artillery branch. The hat was also  trimmed with a wool hat cord that also corresponded with the particular branch of service. The colors where, Sky Blue for Infantry, Gold for Cavalry and Scarlett Red for Artillery. The brim of the hat was pinned up to one side. Cavalrymen and Artillerymen wore the hat pinned to the right while Infantrymen wore the hat pinned to the left.
The hat itself was made of black felt that was very stiff. It was often considered to be too heavy and hot to wear in the summer months. Many soldiers preferred to wear either kepis or slouch hats.
Brigadier General U.S. Grant in Hardee Hat.
Picture Taken during his time in Ohio State Militia
at beginning of Civil War.
There are however, some units of the Civil War who were wearers of the hat. The famous Iron Brigade that consisted of the 2nd, 6th, and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, and the 24th Michigan Infantry Regiments. This Brigade served in the Army of the Potomac and were sometimes referred to as the "Black Hats."

The hat was named after William Joseph Hardee, a career officer in the U.S. Army and Commandant of Cadets at West Point. He published "Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics for the Exercise and Manoeuvres of Troops When Acting as Light Infantry or Riflemen." in 1855. This book was commonly known as "Hardee's Tactics"which became the best-known drill manual of both sides of the Civil War. Hardee was born in Camden County Georgia. Needless to say he resigned his U.S. Army commission and joined the Confederacy in 1861.

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