Old South Military Antiques

North Carolina Infantry Cap
Item #: OS-6903

The Confederate infantry cap shown here is one of the few that follow Confederate uniform regulations. The body is made of grey homespun and has a 1 5/8 inch blue band of broadcloth running around the circumference of its base. This color combination is strictly Confederate and is one of the few Confederate caps that actually has the prescribed branch of service infantry blue band. The materials used in the cap’s construction are quintessentially Confederate. The visor is made of a single layer patent leather with a beaded, painted canvas border; the chinstrap buttons are simple ball buttons. This liner is made from fine sateen. The 1 3/4 inch sweatband is made of pressed leather. The single row of flat brass braid coming down the four sides and the quatrefoil on top are that of a regulation Confederate 2nd Lieutenant, and affixed to the front of the cap is a numeral six. It is a locally made cast numeral, rather than the imported stamped numeral usually found.

Unbeknownst to me, or the seller when I acquired the cap more than a year ago, there was an inscription on the inside of the hat band that reads: "L- Wm G Guess over Oran--- ---”. I found William G. Guess in the famed 6th North Carolina State Troops. Guess, known to his friends as "Willie", was a 28 year old Orange County, North Carolina resident when he enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company C, 6th North Carolina State Troops on May 1, 1861 at Durham, North Carolina. He stood 5’11”, had sandy hair and grey eyes.

Lieutenant Guess was a bullet magnet, but apparently a charmed bullet magnet. He was wounded at Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862, wounded on September 17, 1862 at Sharpsburg, and wounded a third time at Chancellorsville on May 4, 1863.

After receiving the second wound at Sharpsburg, Willie Guess was promoted to Captain to date from the day of the battle, September 17, 1862.

On November 7, 1863 he was taken prisoner at Rappahannock Station and confined in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, DC and shortly thereafter transferred to Johnson’s Island, Ohio where he remained until June 13, 1865.

Certainly, no Confederate could have a more honourable record than William G. Guess.