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    Description

    Historic Battle-Scarred Officer's Slouch Hat Worn by a Distinguished General who Won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Showing signs of its use in numerous campaigns, including his wounding at Second Manassas, this classic soft black felt officer's hat was worn by General John P. Hatch, a Mexican War veteran who began the Civil War as a Captain in the 3rd U.S. Cavalry but quickly rose to command as a Brigadier General of Volunteers. The 3½" wide brim is bound in faded dark blue, ribbed silk and the crown rises almost 6". Around the base is a black ribbed silk ribbon. The center of the right side shows signs that it may once have been looped up with an embroidered, detachable, "eagle" device as per regulations, but that insignia has long been removed. The interior of the hat features a sweatband that is almost 3" deep with practically all the original purple silk lining intact. This lining is loose and shows wear, but clearly bears the gold imprint of "Warnock and Co" at the company's "519 Broadway" Civil War address. General Hatch has altered his hat by punching nineteen very small holes through the crown and lining to aid in ventilation, along with a pair of ventilation holes of similar size in the front, rear and left side. Of special significance, with the hat is the original note that has always accompanied it stating that it is the "Hat worn by General John P. Hatch at/ the first Battle of Bulls Run, where he/ was wounded in the head, and had/ two horses shot under him." Hatch was actually wounded in the head at Second Bull Run but there is little doubt he was wearing this at the time. An intriguing small hole enters the brim near the left rear and pierces the crown and interior sweatband but goes no farther; stopped, it can be presumed, by Gen. Hatch's head. The hole is consistent in size with a small piece of metal from an exploding shell or perhaps buckshot from a "buck and ball" cartridge; certainly not a serious injury, but more than enough for the wearer to know they were "wounded in the head." His 1901 obituary states that the wound occurred when "he led a charge against the railroad embankment behind which were a large force of Confederates." With the hat is the original hat cord of twisted gold and black thread which can simply be placed back on the hat if desired. Also with the hat is his service record and a carte de visite of Hatch as a general beautifully framed along with an 1862 dated document from "Head Quarters Cavalry, Dept. Shenandoah" bearing his signature. The hat is folded flat, as was done at the time, but easily opens to full size and is extremely sound and pliable.

    John Porter Hatch was a fearless career military officer, graduating West Point in 1845 and breveted several times for gallantry in the Mexican War. After serving in the West, at the start of the Civil War Hatch found himself in command of Bank's cavalry in the Shenandoah Valley and later commanding the First Division, I Corps at Second Manassas, Chantilly and South Mountain where he was severely wounded, winning the Congressional Medal of Honor "for gallantry" there. After recovering, Hatch was assigned to the Department of the South where he saw additional action including Sherman's "March to the Sea." A photograph of him taken in Charleston, South Carolina with his staff shows him holding what appears to be this exact slouch hat in his hand. He continued in the service until 1886. This is a particularly sought-after piece of headgear truly touched by some of the most dramatic moments in America's history.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    25th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,749

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