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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Mechanicsville, Va.

    General Jackson's VMI Forage Cap

    Has anyone here had an opportunity to examine General Jackson's blue forage cap, located in the Museum of the Confederacy? I've had the opportunity to view it in its case, but not to examine it closely. I was wondering if anyone had any details such as construction, lining material, etc. One interesting detail is that the buttons are civilian "flower" style buttons rather than either Virginia or VMI military buttons.

    Most references call it a "VMI cadet cap" and VMI certainly did purchase forage caps for its cadets. These were apparently high crowned at first, but later the lower-crowned kepi style. However, it occurs to me that Jackson's cap may simply have been an officer's McDowell style cap. (For that matter, the caps worn by the Corps of Cadets may have been also, rendering this a moot point). As far as I know there are no blue cadet forage caps in existence, though there are photographs of both the high and low crowned styles being worn.

    So, the questions are:

    • Did General Jackson simply acquire a cadet cap for his own use, or was it specially made for him?
    • Did other faculty members wear similar caps, or was this simply a peculiarity of General Jackson?

    I'm also pursuing the topic through the VMI Museum, but was just wondering if anyone here had any direct experience with General Jackson's cap.

    Bill Reagan
    23rd Reg't
    Va. Vol. Infy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Lynchburg, Virginia

    Re: General Jackson's VMI Forage Cap

    The only thing I can offer is measurements, at one point the MoC measured it for me when I was making the repops for Jackson in GaG.

    I'd sure like to know what its lining is, let me know if you find out.

    Greg Starbuck

    PS- Knowing Jackson's lack of regard for his dress, my vote would be that he picked up a 'cadet' cap and wore it.
    The brave respect the brave. The brave
    Respect the dead; but you -- you draw
    That ancient blade, the ass's jaw,
    And shake it o'er a hero's grave.

    Herman Melville


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