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IDENTIFIED 1890’s OFFICER’S CAMPAIGN HAT WITH BULLION OFFICER’S HAT CORD – NAMED TO CIVIL WAR VETERAN AND COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE NATIONAL GUARD MAJOR GENERAL JOSEPH M. CLOUGH – VERY NICE PIECE:  Having served with gallantry during the Civil War, and being brevetted to the rank of Brigadier General at the end of the war, Major General Joseph Messer Clough continued his military service as a brigade commander in the New Hampshire National Guard, and this officer’s campaign hat dates from those years of later service.   

Gen. Joseph M. Clough was born in New Hampshire in 1828, and was raised in New London where he would spend the majority of his life.  He attended Norwich University in Vermont and returned to New London in 1857, assumed the role of military instructor at Colby Academy, and commanded the City Guard at Manchester, and was a member of the City Guard at Lowell. 

On April 26, 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted as a private in the 1ST  New Hampshire Volunteers and was appointed as a lieutenant in Company H.  He re-enlisted in the 4Th New Hampshire Infantry and was promoted to captain of Company H.  He participated in numerous battles to include: Pocotaligo, Morris Island, Siege of Forts Wagner and Sumter, Petersburg, Bermuda Hundred, Drewry’s Bluff, Weir Bottom Church, Cold Harbor, Hatcher’s Run, Deep Run, Petersburg Mine, Fort Stedman and the capture of Petersburg in March of 1865.   During his service he was wounded twice.  Wounded in the mine explosion at Petersburg, July 30, 1864, he was discharged the following September, but after less than a one month convalesce, he accepted a commission as a Lt. Colonel of the 10Th New Hampshire Infantry Regiment.  He was wounded again at Ft. Stedman in March of 1865, but remained on active duty until he was mustered out of service on July 29, 1865.  Upon mustering out he was brevetted to the rank of Brigadier General of Volunteers for brave and meritorious service.  He was recommended for appointment to the rank of 1ST Lieutenant in the regular army, passed the military examination, but his health would not allow him to accept the commission.  

Clough returned to New London and for the next 13 years was employed by the United States Railway Service running out of Boston to Lancaster and St. Albans, VT. 

From 1877 to 1884 he was served as a brigadier general, commanding the 1ST Brigade of the New Hampshire National Guard, and in 1909 he was appointed to the rank of major general by Governor Quinby.  He represented the town of New London in the New Hampshire State Legislature in 1866 and 1897, and in the 1881-82 session he represented his district in the state senate.  After a lifetime of service to his country and his home state, Gen. Clough died at home in May of 1919.  

This, the General’s officer’s pattern campaign hat, is very similar in style to the one worn by Gen. Nelson Miles and shown on page 131 of Hats Off – Head Dress of the US Army 1872-1912, by John Langellier.  Identified to the General by his last name, which is fully legible and written in ink in his own handwriting on the inside of the front of the leather sweat band.  His signature is confirmed through an autograph card that accompanies the hat, but was acquired through a separate source, signed by Clough in 1902, which documents his service:

“Gen. Joseph M. Clough

1 ‘ Brigade …………..

74 years of age weight 220 lbs

Served in 3 regt 1’ NH 4’ NH and

10’ NH  Residence New London NH” 

As indicated by the gold embossed maker’s mark on the sweat band, this hat was sold through Allen B. Currier Hat Shop, which is listed in the 1885 and 1905 Boston, Massachusetts City Directory as having a hat and cap shop at 709 Washington Street.  

Stitched to the inside of the hat, under the sweat band, is a complete and legible union maker’s label, indicating the hat was manufactured by members of the United Hatters of North America, a union established in New York in 1896 as the result of the merger of the Hat Makers Union and the Hat Finishers Union – both affiliated with the Knights of Labor.  The United Hatters of North America ceased to exist as an independent union in 1934 when it merged with the Cloth Hat, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union and the United Hatters Cap and Millinery Workers International Union was formed. Using the dates of the formation of the United Hatters of North America and the date of Gen. Clough’s passing, this hat can be dated to have been made between 1896 and 1919. 

The hat has survived in very good condition, though having obvious signs of being worn.  Having a definite pinched creased crown, and a sloping brim, the hat has retained the shape in which it was worn and has not been crushed.  The wool felt is in excellent condition with no hard spots, no cracks or tears and no mothing.  There are a few small spots of soiling, but nothing more than would be expected in any hat that has seen wear.  The leather sweat band is still completely attached to the body of the hat, with some wear to the front upper edge of the band, and some light staining around the bottom of the band.  The union maker’s label and the hat size sticker are still both present, full form and legible.  Finishing the hat is the original officer’s black and gold bullion hat cord that is complete with the bullion slide and both acorn tips.  The bullion is aged and adds a nice appearance to the hat.   

Accompanying the hat is the souvenir autograph card signed by Gen. Clough; copies of  photographs of the general - taken of during the Civil War and one during his tenure with the New Hampshire National Guard; New Hampshire State archive records detailing the history of Clough and his family; a data sheet on his grave in New Hampshire with a photo of the headstone; and a photocopy of his death certificate.   

This is a very attractive officer’s campaign hat that has survived the passage of time in remarkable condition, with the significant added value of being identified to a Civil War veteran of some note.  $2495

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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