This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 09 July, 2009.
There have been many truly bad copies of this and the "type I" offered for sale, that have been so heavily padded that they look more like an stuffed animal that you win at a carnival than a piece of military headgear. We have found that in making them, that it requires extremely precise sewing, based upon precise patternmaking. To achieve this, all of the pattern work has been done by computer, to a tolerance of .001".
Borrowing the typology used in the Kloster and Howell Book, the "type II" forage cap varied slightly from the "type I", primarily in the shape of the visor. Paul von Ruehs examined several orignal caps in the late 1970's, among which was a "type II". He copied the shape fo the visor which we have used for this reproduction. The cap was lined with brown twilled silesia which was probably originally black. He also noted that the cape was finished by machine instead of by hand. The welt along the "duck bill" style visor is of wool, instead of thin leather of the "Type I".
This cap was in service through the Mexican war until about 1851, but issue until 1861 have been noted for auxilliary troops such as musicians. Augustus Myers, in his memoir Ten Years in the Ranks of the Army, as a musician in the 2nd US Infantry, was issued an 1839 forage cap in 1854, stating that it was...made of thick dark blue cloth. It had a large overhanging crown with a welt, a chinstrap with brass buttons on each side and a leather visor". Despite advice of review committees suggesting more frequent issue, one of these forage caps was issued every five years of service.