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Original Civil War Id’d Union Officer’s Slouch Hat and Belt


Original Civil War Id’d Union Officer’s Slouch Hat and Belt – This fine example of a Civil War officer’s slouch hat was discovered, in an old house in Pennsylvania, over 25 years ago. At the time, the direct descendants of the original owner told the collector we obtained the hat from, that it was worn by Lord B. Richards, of the 1rst Pa. Light Artillery. The belt, which we obtained separately and serendipitously, several years late, is stenciled, in white paint: “L B RICHARD…BA   1 ST   PENNA. ART.” We could not believe it when were able to find Richards’ belt, after obtaining his slouch hat from a completely different collector.

The hat is a typical, Civil War period slouch hat, in this case, constructed of a beaver felt that is the consistency and stiffness of a Hardee hat. The hat retains its original, wide leather sweatband, hand sewn into the hat’s interior. Around the crown of the hat is the original, wide, black grosgrain, silk ribbon, tied in a large, flat bow. The edges of the brim evidence the original presence of grosgrain binding; the stitching impressions are still readily visible. On the front of the crown, the original, embroidered U.S. staff officer’s insignia badge remains; the original, fine, gilt officer’s hat cord surrounds the base of the crown. Overall, the hat is in fine condition, with some minor evidence of early creasing.

The belt, once a light artillery, enlisted man’s sword belt, has had the sword hanger straps removed, apparently during the period of use, perhaps when Richards was promoted to a Lieutenant, then Captain. The belt plate is a typical, mid-war, M1851 Eagle belt plate, with an applied silver wreath. The numbers on the keeper and belt plate do not appear to match, so the plate may have been replaced, but a long, long time ago, perhaps even during the war. The belt and plate are in good condition.

Lord B. Richards enlisted, as a Private, in August of 1861, into the Battery H, of the Pennsylvania 1rst Light Artillery. He was promoted to the rank of 1rst Lieutenant in September of 1864, then to the rank of Captain, in June of 1865. He was mustered out of service on June 27, 1865. Battery H saw action in Virginia during the Peninsula Campaign; it would later  serve in Washington, DC at Camp Barry, Fort Marcy near the Chain Bridge, then to Edwards Ferry.

This is a fine example of a Union Officer’s slouch hat and belt, identified to a Pennsylvania artillery officer who served throughout the entire war.

Lord B. Richards

Residence Philadelphia PA;Enlisted on 8/1/1861 as a Private.On 8/1/1861 he mustered into PA Batty H 1st Light Artillery He was Mustered Out on 6/27/1865 at Philadelphia, PA

Promotions:* 2nd Lieut 5/25/1864  * 1st Lieut 9/19/1864  * Capt 6/5/1865

1st LA Batty H PA Light Artillery Battery ( 3-years )

Organized: Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, PA on 8/5/61  Mustered Out: 6/27/65 at Philadelphia, PA  Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 0; Officers Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 1; Enlisted Men Killed or Mortally Wounded: 1; Enlisted Men Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 18

PENNSYLVANIA 43RD INFANTRY (First Light Artillery)

     First Light Artillery.-Cols., Charles T. Campbell, R. M. West, R. Bruce Ricketts , Lieut.-Cols., H. T. Danforth, Edward H. Flood, James Brady, Majs., A. E. Lewis, James Brady, R. M. West, E. W. Matthews James H. Cooper, Robert B. Ricketts, Theodore Miller.  The 1st artillery the 43rd regiment of the line and the 14th reserve, was composed of four companies, who volunteered under the first call for troops, and four that were added later when the reserve corps was organized.  The first eight companies were organized at Philadelphia in June, 1861, and mustered in for three years, service. Battery I was attached to the regiment on March 2, 1865.  Battery E, with the 5th and the Bucktails, was sent to West Virginia on June 21, 1861, but returned to Harrisburg after a month with that expedition.  The regiment was ordered to Washington in August, equipped and quartered at Camp Barry, from which camp the batteries were assigned to different points and never served as a united body.

Battery A was ordered to the camp of the reserves at Tennallytown; was engaged at Dranesville in December; wintered at Langley; continued with the reserves, and took part in the battles of Gaines, mill, the second Bull Run South mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg.  When the reserves were relieved and ordered to Washington, the battery was temporarily attached to the 3rd division, 1st corps, but was soon assigned to a new command, the Army of Virginia, which it supported for a considerable period.  When Richmond was evacuated it was on duty in the city until July, 1865, when it was mustered out at Harrisburg on the 25th.  The original members who did not reenlist, were mustered out, May 29, 1864

Battery B was ordered to Tennallytown on Aug. 14, 1861, and attached to the 1st brigade.  It was with the reserves at Mechanicsville, Gaines, mill and Glendale, and was also in action at the second Bull Run, South mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg.  It shared the difficulties of the “Mud March”, remained near Fredericksburg during the winter of 1862-63 and the next summer its guns boomed at Gettysburg.  It then moved south with the Army of the Potomac, was with it in the Mine Run campaign , and finally went into winter quarters at Paoli’s mills, where a number of the men re-enlisted.  The remainder were mustered out on June 28, 1864.  The battery remained with the Army of the Potomac in the Wilderness campaign, taking part in numerous engagements, and then proceeded to Petersburg, where it arrived on June I7.  Here it remained during the siege, participating in the attack on the Weldon railroad and being often in active service during the winter of 1864-65.  In the final assault in April, 1865, the guns of Battery B did good execution.  After the fall of Petersburg the battery was ordered to City Point and remained there until May 3, when it left for Washington.  On June 29, 1865, the men were mustered out at Harrisburg.

Battery C took part in the skirmish at Chain bridge on the Potomac in the early autumn of 1861; was attached to the artillery brigade of Buell’s division, defenses of Washington, and on March 1O, 1862, was assigned to Couch’s division, 4th corps.  It participated in the campaign on the Peninsula, including the operations before Yorktown, the battle of Seven Pines and an engagement with cavalry at Glendale.  With the 6th corps it was in action at Antietam and was  posted on Stafford heights during the battle of Fredericksburg.  Early in 1863 Battery C was united with Battery D.

Battery D was first assigned to Buell’s division; took part in the campaign on the Peninsula with Couch’s division, 4th corps, being engaged in the siege of Yorktown, the battle of Seven Pines and the short action at Glendale.  On July 4 it was selected to fire a national salute.  During the remainder of the year it continued in company with Battery C and after they were consolidated, it shelled the works on Marye’s heights during the battle of Chancellorsville.  After Gettysburg, Battery D was ordered to join the Army of the Shenandoah at Harper’s Ferry and was engaged at Cedar creek. It was posted on Maryland heights during the rest of its term of service with a detachment of new recruits who composed a new Battery C.  On June 29, and 30, 1865, at Harrisburg, these two batteries were mustered out of service.

Battery E was assigned to duty at Chain bridge with Battery C; then to Buell’s division; next to Couch’s division, with which it took part in the same movements on the Peninsula as Battery D.  With Battery H it covered the rear after the battle of Gaines’ mill, but was not engaged with Batteries C and D at Glendale.  After the Peninsular campaign Batteries E and H garrisoned Yorktown and Gloucester.  In 1863, Battery E was in action at Drewry’s bluff with the Army of the James. It was present at the siege of Petersburg and was assigned to duty in Richmond after the evacuation of the city.  On July 4, 1865, it was ordered home and was mustered out at Philadelphia on the 20th.

Battery F was ordered to Tennallytown in August, 1861,but in September joined Gen. Banks’ army at Darnestown, Md., which ended its connection with the reserves.  On Dec. 20, adetachment under Lieut. Ricketts was engaged at Dam No. 5 on the Upper Potomac and again in Jan., 1862, at Hancock.  On Feb. 20, 1862, the battery was united at Hagerstown; in March it moved up the Shenandoah valley with Gen. Banks and was engaged at Bunker Hill and Newtown.  On March 21, it was assigned to Abercrombie’s brigade and part of the battery joined in a reconnoissance to Rappahannock Station, where it engaged the enemy.  Gen. Hartsuff succeeded Abercrombie on May 1, and took the brigade to Front Royal, hoping to connect with Gen. Fremont and cut off Stonewall Jackson.  Failing in this the force returned to Warrenton.  The battery was engaged at Cedar mountain, the crossing of the Rappahannock the next day, and a section fought at Thoroughfare gap.  It then moved to Bull Run, in which battle it met with disaster, as after that day only one gun in possession of a handful of men remained. In reserve at Chantilly and South mountain, the battery opened the battle at Antietam, after which, in spite of some additions, it was in sad condition from its continued hard service.  It was in action at Falmouth for several days after ts arrival there in December, and went into winter quarters at Belle Plain, where, in Jan., 1863, it was assigned to the 3rd division, 1st corps.  After taking part in the battle of Chancellorsville, the battery was attached to Gen. Tyler’s reserve artillery and started for Gettysburg.  Battery G was attached to Battery F on June 1, and together they were engaged at Gettysburg, in a heroic resistance of the Louisiana Tigers in their historic charge.  The losses were terrible but the guns were saved.  On July 12 the battery was transferred to the 2nd corps, with which it joined in the pursuit of the enemy, the Mine Run campaign, the Wilderness campaign, and the siege of Petersburg.  It was mustered out at Harrisburg, June 29, 1865.

Battery G was ordered to join the reserves at Tennallytown; participated with the reserves in the battles on the Peninsula, the second Bull Run and Fredericksburg.  The loss at Bull Run was 3 men killed and 21 wounded, besides 4 guns, 2 caissons, 2 lumbers and 27 horses captured.  The battery returned to Washington for a new equipment and was in condition for effective service at Fredericksburg.  It shared in the battle of Chancellorsville in the spring of 1863 and then became a section of Battery F until April 3, 1864, when it was ordered to Washington, newly equipped and posted at Arlington.  On July 3, it was ordered to Point of Rocks, where it was stationed, the men armed with muskets, until Dec. 12. The muskets were then exchanged for 6 guns and the battery was stationed on Maryland heights until April 16, 1865, when it turned in its guns and joined the defenses of Washington. Again armed with muskets the men were stationed at Fort Foote during the remainder of their service.  They were mustered out at Philadelphia June 29, 1865.

Battery H was associated with Batteries D and E during the Peninsular campaign.  In July it was made a reserve battery of the 4th corps.  In June, 1863, it was ordered to Washington and posted at Camp Barry as a reserve battery.  In May, 1864, it was dismounted and posted at Fort Whipple.  In the winter of 1864 it was sent to Fort Marcy near Chain bridge on the Potomac, and later to Edwards, ferry.  It was mustered out of the service at Philadelphia, June 27, 1865.

Battery I, added to the regiment on March 2, 1865, was ordered to the defenses of Washington and remained there until mustered out at Philadelphia on July 1.

 Battery H, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery

Battery H lost 1 enlisted man killed and 18 enlisted men to disease.


1861 August  - Organized at Philadelphia under Captain James Brady and First Lieutenants Frank Amsden and William Park.

August 5 – Ordered to Washington, D.C. and attached to Defenses of Washington

October – Attached to Buell’s Division, Army Potomac

1862 March- Attached to Artillery, 1st Division, 4th Army Corps, Army Potomac

March 10-15- Advance on Manassas, Va.

March 12 – Andrew Fagan promoted to first lieutenant and Second Lieutenant Thomas Thornton died at Washington

April – Ordered to the Virginia Peninsula.

April 5-May 4 – Siege of Yorktown

May 5 – Battle of Williamsburg

May 31-June 1          Battle of Fair Oaks (Seven Pines)

June 25-July 1           Seven days before Richmond

June 28-29    Bottom’s Bridge

June 30          Glendale

July 1  Malvern Hill

July     At Harrison’s Landing. Private Edwin Harvey died on the Peninsula.

July 19            Captain Brady promoted to major.

August 1         First Lieutenant Andrew Fagan promoted to captain

August 16      Moved to Yorktown, Va. and assigned to Department of Virginia, Yorktown

November 12            First Lieutenant Frank Amsden promoted to captain of Battery E

December 29 William McLaughlan promoted to first lieutenant


January 23     Private Samuel Nagle died at Yorktown

February        Private William McLaughlin died at Yorktown and Private William Donnelly was executed by sentence of the Military Commission

March 2          Private Charles Clark was executed by sentence of the Military Commission

June    Ordered to Washington, D.C.

July 1  Arrived Washington D.C.

July 1-4          March to Gettysburg

July     Return to Washington, and duty at Camp Barry, 22nd Army Corps,

October 12     First Lieutenant McLaughlan resigns


May     Garrison duty at Fort Whipple assigned to 1st Brigade, DeRussy’s Division, 22nd Corps

May 25           Second Lieutenant Joseph Cogan promoted to first lieutenant

June 22          Provate Bartholomew Allen died at Washington

July 27            First Lieutenant Cogan discharged

September 19       Second Lieutenant Lord Richards promoted to first lieutenant

September     Private Samuel Boyd died in Philadelphia

November 12            Private Charles Hentis died at Great Falls, Maryland

December      At Fort Marcy


February        Outpost duty at Edward’s Ferry, Md.

March 8          Second Lieutenant Horace Templeton promoted to first lieutenant

May 1 Captain Fagan dismissed

June 5 First Lieutenant Lord Richards promoted to captain

June 27        Mustered out under Captain Richards, First Lieutenant Horace Templeton




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