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    CIVIL WAR OFFICER'S HARDEE HAT OF MAJOR JOHN S. STEVENSON 3RD PENNSYLVANIA HEAVY ARTILLERY. Generically the rarest of all the Civil War Union officers' headgear, the Hardee is also the most rakish and romantic in appearance. This example was originally included with, and subsequently broken away from the uniform grouping of Major Stevenson with substantial provenance and photographs of the grouping intact included, along with his service records. Stevenson mustered into service on January 15, 1862, as a captain in command of Company A , Naval Artillery, Pennsylvania Volunteers. The unit's designation was subsequently changed to Company A, Naval , 1st Battalion Marine and Fortifications Artillery and finally Company "A" 3d Regiment Pennsylvania heavy Artillery. The unit was stationed, with its heavy guns at Ft. Delaware until April 1863. In May of 1863 Stevenson's company was at Suffolk, Virginia where he was captured by Rebel guerillas on the 16th and sent to Libby Prison. He was promptly paroled, apparently due to severe injury suffered when he was captured and in June was stationed at Fortress Monroe near Suffolk. Stevenson was promoted to major on August 5, 1863 and participated in a joint army/ navy expedition to destroy Rebels operating on the rivers of Matthews County, Va.. There were four army gunboats under Stevenson's command that participated in the expedition and he reported: "Succeeded in capturing 4 Rebel Navy officers, some of the crew, some 75 head of cattle. Destroyed large number of boats of all descriptions..."

    Wool felt body with ¼" black silk stitched edging and 1" high black silk hatband. Heavy, stiff backed black velvet insignia on front with brass wire border, bullion crossed cannons and separately affixed silver false bullion numeral 3. Hardee officer's side plate with stiff backing, probably tin, of black velvet with bullion embroidered eagle with wings highlighted with sequins. Both pieces of insignia unquestionably original and attached with flat leather strips through heavy brass wire loops. Original heavy officer's hat cord of interwoven silk and gold bullion thread with very heavy acorns. The black ostrich feather plume is attached on the back of the eagle A button which passes through the black silk cockade to the inside of the hat. 2 ½" maroon Moroccan leather sweatband w/gilt embossed decoration along the top edge. Hat completely original and untouched. An exceptional example of this extremely rare and most desirable piece of Civil War Union officer's headgear with superb history.

    Condition: Body of the hat is perfect, no holes or breaks with silk edging and hatband just showing some minor wear. Both pieces of insignia about perfect, just the slightest edge wear on the side plate. Hat cord with just a couple of frayed threads on the edges of the adjusting loop, otherwise also about perfect. Plume and cockade perfect with the eagle A button displaying a nice patina over the original gilt. Sweatband excellent showing just the slightest wear, no cracks or breaks.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,437

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