| There are distinct
differences between the
US Indian War Kepi
At the time, it was usually a state or volunteer item purchased from manufacturers of private enterprise. US Commissioned offices were required to go to establishments called military furnishers to make their purchase within the guidelines of the US War Department. Great latitude was afforded in the details of manufacturer but all fit into a defined bracket of construction. A kepi consisted of a stiff band of paste board (no reeds or welts); a lacquered, stiff, flat, square visor, and a disc top made of fullers board.
| Few had bodies that were
generous as to
flop over the visor. The Kepi was a French effort to make a more easy
produce version of the shako. Americans in the south preferred the
over the forage cap and it became a predominate enlisted piece of
Union officials displayed their rank via the "Austrian knot," a hat
braid that was of either gold or black, silk, soutache.
| Visors were almost
leather that could either be unbound or have the more expensive
the edge. As a rule, they were nearly always flat and square-shaped.
were also "glazed" with lacquer to make them waterproof and very
| In the case of the
vs. the officer, even in volunteer regiments, the differences depended
in details of manufacture. A cap for a private soldier of a volunteer
usually be less expensive than that of an officer. The interior
wouldn't have a
quilted lining, cheaper materials would be used, and the visor would be
unbound. However, having said this it
depended largely upon the economy of the state and the desire of the
to show his ability to purchase, as in the case of an officer.
| Some volunteer groups
also used soutache or welts to elaborate uniform distinction. Colors
details depended upon state or rank military tradition.
14th Brooklyn Officer