Forage Cap

  • Historical Clothing
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

With it’s lineage traced to The Pillbox Hat, the traditional Forage Cap is sometimes misidentified with it. Derived from the need to replace the often heavy and unwieldy Shako, Bearskin and related Hats and Helmets, it was used when Soldiers (particularly Cavalry) “foraged” or searched for supplies and needs in The Field, when in Campaign. Designed similarly to The Pillbox in shape, the heavy cloth reinforced Cap covered the entirety of the Head, sitting slightly higher at 4 to 5-inches. A front leather brim or visit was attached. The general slope (or lack thereof), was based of the particular Army using them. Color also was dependent of The Army. Solid coloring to multi-coloring was used, as were specific shades to denote Branch affiliation. Most often, a leather Chin Strap was used to stabilize it on the head.  Unit or National identifiers were used, attached to the front of the Forage Cap. These were often much smaller than what was used on combat headgear. Most late 19th Century Armies adopted a Forage Hat. They were used up to the early 20th Century and were the initial pattern used for the Service Hat, used by most Modern Armies today as their standard Formal Dress Uniform Hat.