38th NY & US Volunteer Officer’s Headgear MOLLUS Medal & Photo -UPDATED


A Massachusetts native who served in the 38th New York Vols, then service in United States Volunteers.

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I recently sent this group out to be restored, and the moth issue has been taken care of.

This is a nice Civil War headgear lot for Brevet Major Frederick Wooster Owen, a Massachusetts native, born at Vineyard Haven (Martha’s Vineyard) on October 6, 1840.

The cap shown in this collection may not have been his first, it all the signs show this to be a cap always conforming to the rank of captain, and a volunteer officer at that as evidenced by the stitching that indicates a “U.S.” in wreath insignia for US Vols officers was once front and center on the cap.  The lining looks a bit used, with the maker or retailer’s name unable to be read. Sweatband looks like it went through a war.  Overall the cap is faded in color, mothing is sporadic with the heaviest concentration in the front.

The other cap and slouch hat are from Owen’s G.A.R. days. A forage cap appears to be the same one in the photo of Owen, with a different chinstrap (not the fold running to the rear of the cap starting at the side of the crown is the same as on this GAR cap). Post numbers are missing, the interior is rough with partial sweatband, and liner and mothed as well overall.

The Stetson slouch hat is in great condition inside and out,  with bullion G.A.R. post insignia once sewn to the front, but removed.  The retailer and Stetson markings are stamped prominently to the sweatband.

Now, to address the corps badges on the caps. I am nearly certain that the  2nd Army Corps badge with bullion trim around white cotton show good age, is Owen’s Civil War corps badge, either worn on a slouch hat or uniform, The white thread used to sew it down does not glow under black light indicating a threat that is pre WWII era at the latest.  The other corps badges are cut felt, which have also passed the black light test are original to Owen’s use in post war years.  Both badges are glued down on the caps, and in the case of the Civil War cap, was never there in the period, but a post war application.  In the photo of Owen, close up inspection shows a slight hint of white on the crown of the cap.

Included with these caps, are Owen’s MOLLUS Medal No. 17339. The condition of the medal is excellent.

The photo measures 4 x 8 approximate; in its original gilt frame showing Owen in G.A.R. uniform.


This officer mustered as a 2nd Lieutenant of the 38th NY Vols on November, 1861 and assigned to Co. “I” and was discharged for promotion on Feb. 27, 1863.  Owen was promoted to Captain on the previous date and was a US Volunteer officer in the Commissary Dept. until he resigned in Nov of 1864.  

For most of the time he was with the 38th New York, he was detached to the Signal Corps on the Lower Potomac in Feb. 1862. He acted in that capacity during the siege of Yorktown, Va.  On the Gunboat  “Sebago” in the engagement at West Point, Va., and at Fort Powhattan on the James River. He was in hospital at Fortress Monroe for six weeks with Chickahominy Typhoid.  He was again a signal officer at the battle of Antietam and Fredericksburg, Va. and took part actively as captain and C.S. of Vols in Campaigns of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Po River, and Petersburg where his military service terminated in division hospital at City Point.  Soon after the close of the war he was recommended by Genl. O.O. Howard with a brevet rank to major of US Vols, for gallant and meritorious service during the war.


There is some new research material with this lot; records from archives, etc.

A great lot, from an old collection.



Additional information

Weight 6 lbs