View Full Version : Early war vs. mid-late war forage caps
06-19-2012, 12:10 AM
I need some information on forage caps. The L. J. & I. Phillips Co. seems to have been the largest manufacturer of federal style forage caps during the war. I know they produced a Type I which had a smaller disk, and a Type II that had a larger disk and more of a flat bill. I would like to know which type was an early war style, and which was a later style. It would help if someone could give me an approximate time frame for each (like 1861-1862), and which was more common. Thanks.
Ross L. Lamoreaux
06-19-2012, 08:40 AM
First of all, understand that the terminology "type I" and "type II" are modern terms assigned by collectors/historians to describe the variations and are not terms used during the period. There were several more styles and variations that do not follow under this classification (such as the "McDowell style", etc. That being said, period images provide the best evidence as to which were earlier/later, but the simple answer is that you will find both variations throughout the war. Some say one or the other was earlier, however I continue to find known early war images with the small disk as well as the larger disk. I've become to see a pattern however that the smaller disk/taller cap started to decline in usage later in the war, while the larger disk/shorter cap's usage rose slightly. You must also keep in mind that not only were caps issued, but a number were purchased privately, and depending upon the vendor could have traits of either type. Clear as mud isn't it?
06-21-2012, 10:47 PM
I was aware that type I and type II are modern terms. Thanks for the info.
06-21-2012, 11:06 PM
Some folks once tried to explain by assigning "models" instead of types, calling the "Type I" a Model 1858 and the "Type II" a M1861 forage cap.
If photographic evidence is to be weighed, "Type I's" are seen to dominate through 1863ish, and the larger share of the Type II's fall thereafter.
Hat researcher and author Edgar Howell's studies of images showed that Type I's outnumber the Type II's overall by a 2:1 ratio.
This would seem to make some sense if the Federal supply system was initially heavily invested in the so-called M1858 (Type I) and then found the "war time" shift to the so-called
M1861 (Type II) slowly phasing them out. Plus the artifact pools tends to be slanted in favor of late War Type II's because of the greater survival rate of "late War" unissued/unused stuff.
PS... Oh, Phillips made BOTH Type I's and Type II's due to early War and late War contracts.
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