Federal Contract Forage Caps

L. J. & I. Phillips Co. (New York)
Contract Type One
L.J. & I. Cap image

    Lewis J. & Issac Phillips of New York manufactured approximately 800,000 forage caps during the Civil War. Two principal shapes are type I and II as shown. We'll call Type I the Early War cap. It has a smaller disc and a crescent flat visor. Type II has a larger disc and a more cylindrical body with a flat squarish visor.

front view of L. J. & I. cap   side view of L. J. & I. Cap  inside view of L. J. & I. cap

Contract Type Two

picture of type two L.J. & I. cap

front view of L. J. & I. type two cap   side view of L. J. & I. type two cap   inside view of L. J. & I. type two cap

Geo. Hoff & Co. (Philladelphia)
image of McDowell cap 
    George Hoff & Company contracted
approximately 620,000 forage caps from 1861 to 1865. This form failed just prior to the Civil War, but recovered with Army Contracts. This cap is characterized by a larger disc and a more cylindrical body. For some unexplainable reason, there are several original caps with Hoff labels in them of styles similar to those of other contractors. These caps can be divided into Type I (McDowell) and Type II, which has a flat, yet slightly flared, square visor.

front view of McDowell cap   side view of McDowell cap   inside view of McDowell Cap

Type Two

picture of Geo. Hoff type two cap 

front view of type two George Hoff cap   side view of type two George Hoff cap
   inside view of type two George Hoff cap

Murphy & Griswold (New York)
Hosptial Steward (Green Band)

M & G Hosptal Steward Forage Cap  Thomas Murphy and William Griswald and Company manufactured 583,000 forage caps from 1862 to 1865. The characteristics of these caps are a larger disc, a flat crescent visor, and a peculiar chin strap with the buckle attached to one end of the sliding chin strap. Some relic specimen are found with the standard free-floating buckle chin strapp, but it is believed that these are replacements and not original to the makers' version. Hospital Steward's wreath and white metal US are normally on the dress hat. Sometimes, as with other hat brass, it can be found on the forage cap.
*These caps are not recommended for early war impressions.
 M & G hospital steward front cap image  
side view of M & G hospital steward cap   inside image of M & G hospital steward cap   M & G hat with device

G. & S. (New York)
image of G & S cap 

    Although little information is known about the contractor, G. & S. (possibly Griswald and Son), the caps are very similar to those of L. J. & I. Phillips and Geo. Hoff. Several specimens of originals have been examined with this label. It is uncertain whether these hats are considered to be early or late war.
front view of G & S cap   side view of G. & S. cap  inside view of G & S Cap

M. Brooks  (Philladelphia)
picture of M. Brooks cap

    Brooks, Matthew of Philladelphia manufactured 26,000 contract caps for the US Army during 1862 through 1865. The cap resembles the caps produced by L. J. & I. Phillips so closely that it is difficult to tell them apart except for minor variations in the discs and visors.
front view of M. Brooks cap   side view of M. Brooks cap
   inside view of M. Brooks cap

Thompson, Goodrich, & Co.
T. G. & C. McDowell Cap 

M. Thompson and Charles Goodrich of Cincinnati, Ohio, with distributors in New York produced approximately 86,000 forage caps of various styles of visor and disc shape. This company is a late war (1864) cap maker. It is noted that these caps are taller specimens.
* The hat shown is a McDowell style cap.
front view of T. G. & C. McDowell Cap   side view of T. G. & C. cap   inside view of T. G. & C. McDowell Cap

Ordering Information

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