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Antebellum Warriors

Rainy Day Wheel Cap

Sixth-plate tintype by an anonymous photographer. Dan Binder Collection.

Sixth-plate tintype by an anonymous photographer. Dan Binder Collection.
Detail.
Detail.

This Pattern 1839 “wheel” cap worn by an unidentified rifleman is unusual for an add-on not typically seen: The glazed linen rain cover and the accompanying cape which extends just over the top of the militiaman’s ears. He holds a .54 caliber Mississippi rifle. His uniform includes Model 1851 shoulder scales. Also of note, his waist and shoulder belts appear to be made of fabric instead of white buff leather. His clip-cornered waist belt plate has what may be an unadorned surface, and the shoulder plate is of the 1826 pattern. Owner Dan Binder dates this portrait right around 1861, on the eve of the Civil War.

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