Cloth Felt Corps Badges Corps
Badges were originally worn by soldiers of the Union Army on the top of
their army forage cap, left side of the hat, or over their left breast.
The idea is attributed to Major General Philip Kearny, who ordered the
men in his division to sew a two-inch square of red
cloth on their hats to avoid confusion on the battlefield. This idea was
adopted by Major General Joseph Hooker after he assumed command of the
Army of the Potomac, so any soldier could be identified at a distance. Major
General Daniel Butterfield, Maj. Gen. Hooker's chief of staff, was
assigned the task of designing a
distinctive shape for each corps badge. Maj. Gen. Butterfield also
each division in the corps should have a variation of the corps badge
in a different color. Division badges were colored as follows: Red â€” First division of corps White â€” Second division of corps Blue â€” Third division of corps These
were used in the United States' Army of the Potomac. For the
most part, these rules were adopted by other Union Armies, however it
was not universal. For example, the XIII Corps never adopted a badge,
and the XIX Corps had the first division wear a red badge, the second
division wear a blue badge, and the third division wear white. For Army
corps that had more than three divisions, the standardization was lost: Green â€” Fourth division of VI, IX, and XX Corps Yellow â€” Fourth division of XV Corps (reportedly Orange was also used for a Fifth Division Badge) Multicolor â€” Headquarters or artillery elements (certain corps) The badges for enlisted men were cut from colored cloth, while
officer's badges were privately made and of a higher quality. Metallic
badges were often made by jewelers and were personalized for the user.
The badges eventually became part of the Army regulations and a great
source of regimental pride. Original Forage Cap with 5th Corps, 3rd Division Badge.