Campaign hat worn by William T. Sherman

Physical Description
Gray wool felt with gold-cord trim. U.S. insignia.
Specific History
During the Civil War, officers wore many types of hats, more often non-regulation than regulation. This example of a regulation army hat was worn by General William T. Sherman. The hat is made of gray felt and has a gold general officer's hat cord as prescribed in the 1858 regulations for general officers; also in keeping with the regulations is a gold-embroidered wreath, encircling the letters "U.S." embroidered in silver, on a black-velvet patch sewn onto the front of the crown.
General History
Although a native of Ohio, William Tecumseh Sherman remains inextricably linked with Georgia and the burning of Atlanta. Sherman was a graduate of West Point. His first tour of duty was in Florida in a campaign against the Seminole Indians and later he was an aide during the Mexican War. After a failed attempt at banking, he commanded a military school. During the Civil War he sided with the Union. His first action was in the Battle of First Manassas in July 1861. In July 1863, Sherman was promoted to brigadier general. His fame came on May 5, 1864, when he marched his army of close to 100,000 men into Georgia. Within six weeks, Confederate casualties had doubled, and on September 1, 1864, Sherman occupied Atlanta. His plan was to burn the buildings used for military purposes, but his fires raged out of control, destroying much of the city. With Atlanta burning, Sherman launched his March to the Sea. 60,000 of his most seasoned soldiers cut a swath of destruction through the heart of Georgia. By December 23, 1864, Sherman's forces occupied Savannah. After the war, in 1869, he succeeded Ulysses S. Grant as General of the Army of the United States. Sherman retired from the army in 1884 with that rank.
Object Name
associated date
Sherman, William Tecumseh
Physical Description
wool (overall material)
cotton (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 5 in x 12 1/2 in x 13 in; 12.7 cm x 31.75 cm x 33.02 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Civil War
National Treasures exhibit
William Tecumseh Sherman
Civil War
Civil War and Reconstruction
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
National Treasures exhibit
William Tecumseh Sherman
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL

Visitor Comments

2/17/2016 9:18:29 AM
James Styka
Via telegraph, Sherman also gave the city of Savannah to Lincoln as a Christmas gift. Some historians say that with Sherman's victories in Georgia, Lincoln was re-elected President.
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