Model 1861 forage cap

Although this dark blue forage cap looks like it might have belonged to a Union officer, it actually belonged to Colonel Robert Harper of the 1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles. The forage cap is French type and the color suggests that Harper most likely served as a staff officer before becoming colonel.
Before the war began, Harper owned a cotton plantation along the Arkansas River. In 1860 he was elected to the Arkansas State Legislation where he voted for the Act of Secession. In June of 1861 he was mustered into service. According to the museum file notes, Harper died in battle at Chickamauga, "his horse was killed, and he ran forward on foot to re-form the advance line which was broken, and while in the very front of his command was struck by a cannon ball and almost instantly killed, September 20, 1863."
Currently not on view
overall: 9 in x 6 1/2 in x 4 in; 22.86 cm x 16.51 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Robert B. Harper
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
Civil War
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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