|Description and Photograph||
The cap shown here is the rarest of all Confederate headgear. It is that of a Confederate General Officer, be he Brigadier, Major, or Lieutenant General. There is no distinction in the regulations between the different grades. The Confederate regulations simply directed that the Generalís cap have four rows of gold braid adorning the dark blue body and top of a French style kepi. The surfaces of this cap that have been exposed to light for these 150 years remain distinctly blue, but are no longer a deep, dark blue, whereas the protected areas remain as dark as when the cap was made.
The capís owner and maker are unknown. Almost certainly the makerís name, and quite possibly the ownerís name were recorded on the now missing silk liner. However the liner being gone has done some small amount of good; it allows us to see features not seen in lesser quality caps. Usually a cap has an outer body, and if an officerís, an inner liner, but this cap has a layer of canvas between the liner and the body which rendered it waterproof. It also has a stiff braid mesh fitted to the inner front of the cap. This stiff braid was to keep the front of the crown from sagging towards the brim. Notwithstanding the extremely high quality design and construction adopted by the maker, the hat band is made of painted cloth rather than leather. The cap retains its ornamental chin strap and South Carolina buttons, one of which at some time was jerked so hard as to pull it through the body material so that it had to be reset. There is strong evidence that the band and buttons are original to the capís use, i.e., the body material remains dark blue under the chinstrap, which confirms that it has been in place since that time. The blue pasteboard crown stiffener has the word ďGeneralsĒ written across it in pencil and a small ďC2Ē is painted on the underside of the bill.
Surviving Confederate Generalís headgear is extremely rare in any condition, but the extremely good condition in which this cap has survived places it in a category by itself. There is not the slightest hyperbole in stating that this is probably the finest condition Regulation Confederate Generalís Cap in private hands.