What is Hardee Hat?

The Hardee hat, also known as the Model 1858 Dress Hat and sometimes nicknamed the “Jeff Davis”, was the regulation dress hat for enlisted men in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The Hardee hat was also worn by Confederate soldiers.

Why it’s call hardee hat

The hat apparently was name after William J. Hardee, a career officer in the U.S. Army from 1838 until resigning his commission on January 31, 1861. Hardee was Commandant of Cadets at West Point from 1856 to 1860. He was lieutenant colonel of the 1st U.S. Cavalry until just before the war. In 1855, he published Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics for the Exercise and Manoeuvres of Troops When Acting as Light Infantry or Riflemen. Popularly known as Hardee’s Tactics, which became the best-known drill manual of both sides of the Civil War. He joined the Confederate States Army in March 1861 and eventually became a lieutenant general and corps commander.


U.cord denoting the branch of service of the wearer: sky blue for infantry, scarlet for artillery, and gold for cavalry. The brim was to be pine up on the right side for cavalrymen and artillerymen, and on the left for infantry soldiers. US. Army regulations specify that the hat should be adorned with a brass hat device and a wool hat.

The Hardee hat was briefly revive during the Vietnam War, worn by helicopter pilots as a tribute to their cavalry roots, though it soon fell out of place in the face of increased danger from Viet Cong small arms fire. They are still wor today by US Army helicopter pilots and crew members, usually as a ceremonial headgear.

The Hardee hat was a standard issue for Union Army men. However, many thought that it was too uncomfortable and instead reached for their forage cap or slouch hat. This Hardee hat is rife with military symbols, which denoted the soldier’s place in the army. The horn insignia, sky blue cord, and left upturned brim all signified that this hat belonged to an infantryman. The “A” above the horn stands for the Company to which the soldier belonged.

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