Gold forage cap insignia that belonged to Major General William Power Burnham, worn during the Indian Wars.
This finely made gold infantry insignia, patterned after the Model 1875, was jeweler made sometime during his career with the 6th U.S. Infantry. This may have been a gift from his father, David Roe Burnham who was a career army officer as well.
Crossed rifles extend a three inch length, and have fantastic detail showing trapdoor rifle parts such as lock plate with applied hammer, rear sight, breech blocks, side plate, applied barrels, and checkered wrists on the stocks. The rifle slings in this case are gold chains suspended from the swivel forward of the trigger guards, and upper band swivels. The the reverse side is a heavy gold “T” bar pin with long one inch barb for holding down the insignia. The silver applied “6” also has a smaller barb behind it, for firming up the insignia to cap. No markings.
William Power Burnham, was born in 1860, at Scranton, PA. He attended the USMA 1877 to 1880, but left prior to graduating; later enlisting and quickly rising to the rank of sergeant in Company “E,” 14th U.S. Infantry, and later obtained a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th infantry in 1883.
His first duty assignment began with the 6th U.S. Infantry, at Fort Douglas, Utah, and served with several other regiments up to the Spanish American War. Promoted to Colonel of US Volunteers, he took command of the 4th Missouri Infantry, After the war he was in the Philippines, Panama, out west again, etc.
At the start of WWI, Burnham was promoted to Brigadier and given the command of the 164th Infantry Brigade, and at the same time took command of the 82nd Division during the period of organization as a major general. He is created with naming of the “All-American” Division. He commanded the unit in combat in France in several offensives, and later replaced, taking the assignment as Military Attache in Athens, Greece where he served until July of 1919.
I can count on one hand with fingers left over, how many jeweler made quality pieces such as this that I have owned or seen for sale. A truly remarkable piece of Indian Wars officer’s cap insignia.