The M1883 to M1904 Campaign Hats

rayg
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I think I have a sickness [:(]as I can't seem to pass up any of these early campaign hats when I find them at a reasonable price. Here's one I just got at a local military show a couple of weeks ago for a reasonable price. I now have ten of them, (6)- 1883/89's, (1)- 1899, and (3)-1904's. and would you believe that I actually had parted with a couple of others a few years back. Most of these hats are on manikin displays, I just took them all off for a "Group Photo" [:D], Here's my recent one, Ray

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rayg
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Thought the folks here might like to see the major differences between the three styles of hats.

The 1883/89 hat has air vents punched in the crown that somewhat resemble a snowflake and that is what it's called in collector's terms. That hat shown had the "snowflake" highlighted in colors by the soldier and it does show the pattern better. The brim has three lines of stitching, some pvt purchase ones may have two lines. The hat ribbon bows have loose ends.

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The 1899 hat has a large screen vent and the three lines of stitching on the brim.

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The 1904 hat has a five pointed star vent and the end of the brim is turned under and has two lines of stitching.

All of them have about 2" wide sweatbands.

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RayG/Wisconsin
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Very nice, Ray.
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I agree with Rick, very nice.

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I'm going to repost some text from an archived thread, as I'm curious about some of the details of these hats.

Specifically, does anyone have the specs for them?

What motivated the switch from black to dull tan? This is an intersting example of an early Army item reaching a neutral color, before the rest of the uniform obtained it.

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Originally posted by rayg
I think I have a sickness [:(]as I can't seem to pass up any of these early campaign hats when I find them at a reasonable price. Here's one I just got at a local military show a couple of weeks ago for a reasonable price. I now have ten of them, (6)- 1883/89's, (1)- 1899, and (3)-1904's. and would you believe that I actually had parted with a couple of others a few years back. Most of these hats are on manikin displays, I just took them all off for a "Group Photo" [:D], Here's my recent one, Ray

Image
Image
Image


RayG/Wisconsin
Originally posted by rayg
Thought the folks here might like to see the major differences between the three styles of hats.

The 1883/89 hat has air vents punched in the crown that somewhat resemble a snowflake and that is what it's called in collector's terms. That hat shown had the "snowflake" highlighted in colors by the soldier and it does show the pattern better. The brim has three lines of stitching, some pvt purchase ones may have two lines. The hat ribbon bows have loose ends.

Image



The 1899 hat has a large screen vent and the three lines of stitching on the brim.

Image

The 1904 hat has a five pointed star vent and the end of the brim is turned under and has two lines of stitching.

All of them have about 2" wide sweatbands.

Image


RayG/Wisconsin

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I have looked through the regulations from 1872 through 1902 regarding the fatigue hats. They are rudimentary at best. G.O. No. 92 dated October 26, 1872 states: "FATIGUE HAT. For Officers and enlisted Men: Of black felt, according to pattern, to be worn only on fatigue duty and on marches or campaigns". A somewhat better description is given in MILITARY HEADGEAR IN THE SOUTHWEST, 1846-1890 by Sidney B. Brinckerhoff, published by Arizona Pioneers' Historical Society in 1967. "In 1875 the government published a detailed description of the field hat, and under what is known as the 'Contract of 1875,' civilian companies contracted to manufacture the design as detailed. This hat was specified in the Regulations of 1881, and by General Order 64, 1882, each enlisted man was allowed one campaign hat a year as issue. They cost the government 67 cents each; later improved versions of the hat cost nearly $2.00. The brim was about three inches wide. On the enlisted man's model a thin welt of felt was sewn around the edge. The crown was five inches high as issued. Half way up the crown, on both sides, mounted through the felt, was a small metal disk with several openings cut through it. This served as a ventilator, permitting air to circulate in and out. Around the base of the crown was a one inch wide black ribbon, with a flat bow on the left side."

From the 1882 Regulations: "FATIGUE HAT. 2776. For Enlisted Men - Of black felt, according to pattern; to be issued only to troops on the frontier or in active campaign, at the rat of one per year-[G.O. 64, 1882]." From the 1888 Regulations: "FATIGUE HAT. 2776. For all Enlisted Men - Of black or drab-colored felt, according to pattern in the Office of the Quartermaster-General; to be worn in garrison only on target practice, fatigue duty, and on marches and campaigns; the color to be uniform in each troop, battery or company.-[G.O. 72, 1887]"

From the 1897 Regulations: "FATIGUE AND STRAW HATS. 43. ALL ENLISTED MEN.- Of drab-colored felt, according to pattern in office of the Quartermaster-General; to be worn in the field, and in garrison only on fatigue and stable duty, at target practice, and when the rubber coat, blanket, or poncho is worn; the color to be uniform for both officers and enlisted men, in each troop, battery, or company." By 1899 there was one slight change. "Of drab-colored felt, with worsted hat cords, conforming in color to arm of service,..."

As you can see, the regulations didn't get very specific as to the pattern or material, referring to the pattern in the office of the QM-General.
Dallas
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As Dallas states, the regulations are not very clear on the campaign hats. Within the collector field the basic pattern terms generally used are, The 1872 pattern. This is in black with a very wide floppy brim and it folds up to resemble a fore and aft style hat. The next is the 1876 pattern, generally found in black. It has a small brass "Bracher's patent" ventilator in the crown. The next pattern commonily referred to as a 1883/89 pattern. As I understand there was a slight modification of the sweatband and the material weight in 1889. Next was the 1899 pattern with the large screen ventilator and a corrogated material sandwiched under the sweat band for better air circlation. Probably for wear in the PI. The next is referred to as the 1904 pattern with the five pointed star vent. Then of course came the 1911 pattern. The 1872 pattern and 1876 pattern hats are very rare, I have only seen a couple of each in all my years of collecting, Ray

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Originally posted by dallas
I have looked through the regulations from 1872 through 1902 regarding the fatigue hats. They are rudimentary at best. G.O. No. 92 dated October 26, 1872 states: "FATIGUE HAT. For Officers and enlisted Men: Of black felt, according to pattern, to be worn only on fatigue duty and on marches or campaigns". A somewhat better description is given in MILITARY HEADGEAR IN THE SOUTHWEST, 1846-1890 by Sidney B. Brinckerhoff, published by Arizona Pioneers' Historical Society in 1967. "In 1875 the government published a detailed description of the field hat, and under what is known as the 'Contract of 1875,' civilian companies contracted to manufacture the design as detailed. This hat was specified in the Regulations of 1881, and by General Order 64, 1882, each enlisted man was allowed one campaign hat a year as issue. They cost the government 67 cents each; later improved versions of the hat cost nearly $2.00. The brim was about three inches wide. On the enlisted man's model a thin welt of felt was sewn around the edge. The crown was five inches high as issued. Half way up the crown, on both sides, mounted through the felt, was a small metal disk with several openings cut through it. This served as a ventilator, permitting air to circulate in and out. Around the base of the crown was a one inch wide black ribbon, with a flat bow on the left side."

From the 1882 Regulations: "FATIGUE HAT. 2776. For Enlisted Men - Of black felt, according to pattern; to be issued only to troops on the frontier or in active campaign, at the rat of one per year-[G.O. 64, 1882]." From the 1888 Regulations: "FATIGUE HAT. 2776. For all Enlisted Men - Of black or drab-colored felt, according to pattern in the Office of the Quartermaster-General; to be worn in garrison only on target practice, fatigue duty, and on marches and campaigns; the color to be uniform in each troop, battery or company.-[G.O. 72, 1887]"

From the 1897 Regulations: "FATIGUE AND STRAW HATS. 43. ALL ENLISTED MEN.- Of drab-colored felt, according to pattern in office of the Quartermaster-General; to be worn in the field, and in garrison only on fatigue and stable duty, at target practice, and when the rubber coat, blanket, or poncho is worn; the color to be uniform for both officers and enlisted men, in each troop, battery, or company." By 1899 there was one slight change. "Of drab-colored felt, with worsted hat cords, conforming in color to arm of service,..."

As you can see, the regulations didn't get very specific as to the pattern or material, referring to the pattern in the office of the QM-General.
Dallas
The item on straw hats is quite a surprise. Were they actually issued?



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The following are courtesy of Dusan Farrington. Thanks Dusan!

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Odd to see that it was 2 3/4 in the front and rear, and 3" on the side. I would have thought it would have been 3" all the way around.

The fur mix is extremely interesting. I'm surprised to see nutria at this time. I thought nutria had made their appearance in the US later.

Is this the same fur mix for the early M1911s?

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Pat: Both the 1897 and 1899 Regulations state: "...During the warm season department commanders may authorize an inexpensive straw hat, of such pattern as they may prescribe, to be worn by officers and enlisted men of their commands, on fatigue and stable duty, at target practice, and when not on duty." Brinckerhoff, in his MILITARY HEADGEAR IN THE SOUTHWEST previously quoted, states: "There appears to have been little use of the straw hat by soldiers in the southwest, but some individual officers and men wore them. One reason for the lack of use may have been that the regulation stated enlisted men must buy the hat out of their pay from a local merchant or post trader. It may also be true that there were few good straw hats available, since the cattlemen in Arizona seldom wore them in this period; merchants didn't stock them."

The 1902 Regulations stated (regarding the campaign hat): Of felt, according to sealed pattern in the office of the Quartermaster- General; with double hat cord 1/8 inch in diameter, of firm material, conforming in color to that of the corps, department, or arm of service; to be sewed fast to the hat. Letter of the company, troop, or battery, and number of the regiment, made of dull-finish bronze, to be placed on the front part of the crown. To have eyelets on each side for fastening a strap or cord, the use of which is authorized. The hat to be worn creased in the middle as issued."
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Originally posted by dallas
Pat: Both the 1897 and 1899 Regulations state: "...During the warm season department commanders may authorize an inexpensive straw hat, of such pattern as they may prescribe, to be worn by officers and enlisted men of their commands, on fatigue and stable duty, at target practice, and when not on duty." Brinckerhoff, in his MILITARY HEADGEAR IN THE SOUTHWEST previously quoted, states: "There appears to have been little use of the straw hat by soldiers in the southwest, but some individual officers and men wore them. One reason for the lack of use may have been that the regulation stated enlisted men must buy the hat out of their pay from a local merchant or post trader. It may also be true that there were few good straw hats available, since the cattlemen in Arizona seldom wore them in this period; merchants didn't stock them."

The 1902 Regulations stated (regarding the campaign hat): Of felt, according to sealed pattern in the office of the Quartermaster- General; with double hat cord 1/8 inch in diameter, of firm material, conforming in color to that of the corps, department, or arm of service; to be sewed fast to the hat. Letter of the company, troop, or battery, and number of the regiment, made of dull-finish bronze, to be placed on the front part of the crown. To have eyelets on each side for fastening a strap or cord, the use of which is authorized. The hat to be worn creased in the middle as issued."
Dallas
Interesting on the straw hats.

Quite a few straw hats were actually bought by troopers of the 7th Cavalry from a trader on the Yellowstone before they set off on their 1876 campaign. This would likely mean, contrary to our usual mental image, that more than a few straw hats were probably worn at Little Big Horn. According to the information earlier posted here, the hats were of the boater type. That is, they were of the type now we only see in political campaigns, or close to it. Odd to think of.

The item about straw hats amongst ranchers is interesting. Now you see straw hats everywhere in the summer. I finally broke down two years ago and bought one, and wear it sometimes during the summer. Still, a good felt hat can be worn in very warm weather, and I prefer them. In the 19th Century I can see why ranchers and cowboys did not favor them, as they don't last very long, and they only are useful in hot, dry, weather.

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Courtesy of Dusan. Thanks Dusan!

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Pat your last post just jogged my memory. The 1883 pattern had the small "dime" size brass wire mesh ventilator which was changed either in 85 or 89 to a series of small punch holes resembling a snow flake design. I had forgotten about the early 83 pattern with the mesh vent. They are pretty scarce as I have only seen one of those for sale in my collecting years. Of course what I only saw doesn't mean anything as who knows how many I didn't see. But either way, originals of the 83's are pretty scarce, Ray

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Re straw hats, here is an interesting offering with good pictures of an 1872 campaign hat:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Straw-Sutler-Copy-o ... dZViewItem

The seller is knowledgeable and might even be right!

Dušan
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Those are two very unique straw hats. Amen on that 72 hat Dusan. Had a chance to buy one about 8 yrs ago. Was tempted but at that time the seller wanted about $7000 for it but it was not in the best shape which kind of turned me off. But it was real and not many of them are around. Ray

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Ray,
The 1872 has got to be the rarest of all the campaign hats and I believe there are very few extant. They were made of all wool rather than a fur mixture as in the later hats. They were rather ugly, in my opinion, and certainly not popular with the troops!
Have you found a sling for your Win-Lee yet? The Jouster board is unobtainable for me.

Dušan
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I know they are super rare but that was a big chunk of change for me to put out at the time. I probably could have swung it if I sold a few things but alas, I wanted to buy other things also. Never an end to the things I want.
Haven't found the sling yet. As you probably know, I did find the cartridge belt complete with the suspenders and the correct bayonet but I think that the sling is going to be the hardest of all to find, Ray

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Originally posted by Trooper
Re straw hats, here is an interesting offering with good pictures of an 1872 campaign hat:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Straw-Sutler-Copy-o ... dZViewItem

The seller is knowledgeable and might even be right!

Dušan
Wow. That is one seriously ugly hat.

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Originally posted by Trooper
Ray,
The 1872 has got to be the rarest of all the campaign hats and I believe there are very few extant. They were made of all wool rather than a fur mixture as in the later hats. They were rather ugly, in my opinion, and certainly not popular with the troops!
Have you found a sling for your Win-Lee yet? The Jouster board is unobtainable for me.

Dušan
The 72 hat is an odd looking one. It's one of those Army items that appears to have been over thought.

On the other hats, am I correct in translating "coney" as rabbit?

Pat
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