A Mystery General Officers Cap
I have no idea my title is accurate or not? Yes the pattern of the hat is the 1895 garrison hat. The blue velvet and bullion do suggest quite soundly that this is indeed a general officer’s full dress cap, despite the undress nature of the 1895 pattern to begin with. The wreath is similar to General Miles’ pattern 1902 hat, but he used the spread winged eagle in place of this star, placed within the wreath not atop it.
Now we have staff buttons which do correspond to the staff wreath, so could this be a general officer of the staff corps? Full dress for staff officers, generals included, call for the chapeau de bras; so where does that leave us?
General officers sometime have the notion to depart from regulation to suit their personal needs or in the case of uniform …style. Nelson A. Miles is the main example in this period, as Douglas MacArthur would be in the mid 20th Century with is bullion bedazzled tan visor hat worn on all occasions.
To sum it all up, I would venture a guess and call it a brigadier general of staff, possibly in the 6 month period before all had to conform to the new regulation. This officer probably did not much care for the chapeau, and may not have liked the idea of wearing the new 1902 pattern, and or preferred to wear the comfortable 1895 garrison cap in leisure moments. Beyond all that, a most interesting variant of a general officers hat of the late 19th- early 20th Century garrison cap. Made by M.C. Lilly & Co., Columbus, Ohio.
The condition overall is excellent, with most of the wear in the lining, showing mostly on the leather sweatband. Bullion is bright, showing very little toning. The visor leather shows the typical effects of heat from storage, but still has a fine look.
This one may be a one of a kind.