69th Infantry Officer Embroidered Hat Insignia
This Infantry hat patch is complete with the 69th Irish Regiment numerals in the center of the embroidered horn. This is the large version intended for Slouch hats.
Civil War embroidered insignia were made in high relief of gold bullion embroidery with the regimental number added in small false embroidered silver metal numbers. The back of the insignia had two wire loops through which it could be pinned to the hat.
The horn device was borrowed from European armies where it was used as a badge of light infantry. These units were often drawn from experienced huntsmen and foresters. The hunting horn became their symbol. In 1875 the U.S. Army replaced the horn with crossed rifles. About 80% of the Union Army was infantry and the infantry horn is the most commonly encountered of Civil War hat insignia.
The 69th Infantry Regiment was known as the "Fighting Sixty-Ninth", a name said to have been given to it by General Robert E. Lee during the Civil War. The 69th is also nicknamed the "Fighting Irish", immortalized in Joyce Kilmer's poem "When the 69th Comes Home". Prior to the civil war, the 69th was originally created in 1849 as the 9th Regiment New York State Militia. A. Company can trace its roots back to the American Revolutionary War.
During the Battle of Marye's Heights on 13 December, 1862. The 69th NY suffered 545 casualties of it 1,400 men, including losing all of its 16 officers. Following Gettysburg in July 1863, the Irish Brigade ceased to exist as a functioning unit and was disbanded in June 1864. The depleted ranks of the 69th Regiment were filled with new volunteers and draftees from New York's Irish ghettos. At the end of the summer of 1864, the 69th rejoined its Irish comrades as the 1st Regiment of the 2nd Irish Brigade. The Irish Brigade suffered the third-highest number of battlefield casualties of any Union brigade. Of the 7,715 men who served in its ranks, 961 were killed or mortally wounded, and approximately 3,000 were wounded. The number of casualties was more men than ever served in its ranks at any one time. As a testament to the Irishmenâ€™s bravery, 11 of the unitâ€™s members were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Original Civil War Embroidered Insignia of 1st Lieutenant Gideon Wells of the 46th Massachusetts Infantry.