A very fine example of the M1858 Infantry Hardee hat, F Co, 3rd regiment will be sold in the March 2018 Military & Wartime Collectibles Auction. This M1858 Hardee hat is manufactured by SWIFT, DICKINSON & Co, New York, and is offered within the military headgear session of the auction. The condition on this M1858 Dress hat is of significance
as it is well-above average when compared to other known examples of the period, retaining its original wool cord, brass device, and feather. Even the leather sweatband in intact.
The Hardee hat, nicknamed the “Jeff Davis” is the regulation Model 1858 Dress Hat for enlisted men in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The Hardee hat was also worn by Confederate soldiers. This being said, most soldiers found the black felt hat to be too hot and heavy, and thus shunned its use, preferring a kepi or slouch hat. The Hardee hat was most famously worn and easily identified as the hat worn by the Union Army's Iron Brigade, which became their trademark and were popularly known by the nickname, "The Black Hats". The unadorned, plain and often field-modified Hardee hat was worn by many Union troops, especially in the Western theater.
The hat is said to be named after William J. Hardee, a career U.S. Army officer, serving from 1838 until his resignation on January 31, 1861. Hardee was Commandant of Cadets at West Point from 1856 to 1860. He was lieutenant colonel of the 1st U.S. Cavalry until just before the war. In 1855, he published Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics for the Exercise and Maneuvers of Troops When Acting as Light Infantry or Riflemen. This book came to be popularly known as Hardee's Tactics, which became the best-known drill manual of both sides of the Civil War. He joined the Confederate States Army in March 1861 and eventually became a lieutenant general and corps commander.
As per U.S. Army regulations the hat should be adorned with a brass hat device and a wool hat cord denoting the branch of service of the wearer: sky blue for infantry, scarlet for artillery, and gold for cavalry. The brim was to be pinned up on the right side for cavalrymen and artillerymen, and on the left for infantry soldiers.
Bid now on this M1858 Infantry Hardee hat, F Co, 3rd regiment - Lot 28307 of the March 26th 2018 Military & Wartime Collectibles Auction. Bidding is open to floor, live telephone, absentee, and Internet. Everyone is welcome to register and bid.
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