1870s New York National Guard Pill Box Cap
Item #: JSM 2017
The post-Civil War era witnessed a unique transition in American military headgear. European influence was seen in spiked helmets of a style used by Germany, kepis worn by the French, and the pillbox style popularized by the British for undress wear such as mess and leisure dress. The pillbox was adopted by a number of militia organizations but, like the spiked helmet, never really caught on. (A few even date to the Civil War.) This one is atributed to the 79th New York Highlanders--NY state seal buttons hold the chin strap and the cloth insignia on the front has the letters NGV which stood for Veteran National Guard. The 79th were honored to be the guard at Grant's funeral and the veterans selected for the honor wore these pillboxes for the event. Nice post-war item with neat history.
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