|Answer to Quiz #79 - October 1, 2006
|Many thanks to Polly Kimmit for submitting this week's quiz photo.
|What war did these soldiers fight in?
What specific branch of the service did they serve in?
(eg infantry, cavalry, artillery, etc.)
How can you tell?
|Answers: Spanish American War Infantry.
The crossed-rifle insignia of the infantry was used after 1878.
The style of cap was adopted in 1895.
Typically, the hat insignia features two crossed rifles. Usually above the rifles is the a
number, which is the number of the regiment. Below the rifles is a letter, indicating the
company within the regiment. In the quiz picture, the crossed rifles show a 5 on top for
5th Infantry and K on bottom for company K.
Crossed muskets were first introduced into the Army as the insignia of officers and
enlisted men of the Infantry on 19 November 1875 (War Department General Order
No. 96 dtd 19 Nov 1875) to take effect on or before 1 June 1876. Numerous attempts
in the earlier years were made to keep the insignia current with the ever changing styles
of rifles being introduced into the Army. However, in 1924 the branch insignia was
standardized by the adoption of crossed muskets and the 1795 model Springfield
Arsenal musket was adopted as the standard musket to be used.
Note that if we could discern the type of rifle used on the quiz photo's infantry pin, we
might be able to date the picture more precisely.
wearing forage hat
In 1895 the US Army introduced a new style forage cap, replacing the previous style,
which had been worn since 1858. This new style was 3 1/4 inches high and was
cylindrically cut, resembling a railroad conductor's cap of the period. This style of cap
is often called the "pillbox" cap. It had metal side buttons and a leather chin strap with a
metal buckle. The 1895 cap was official issue for 7 years until superceded by the
Model 1902 dress cap. http://1-22infantry.org/history/pillbox.htm
|Other Parts of the Uniform
Some of the troops during the
Revolutionary War wore half gaiters, while
others had breeches made gaiter fashion
held down by a strap under the bottom of
the shoe; others wore leggings of buckskin
and other skins, but not until about 1885
were leggings adopted for general use in the
service. Many of the soldiers on the march
and in campaign tied pieces of cloth around
the bottoms of their trousers or tied the
trousers with a piece of cord at the bottom
to keep out dust, etc., and to make it easier
to pass through fields, underbrush,
swamps, and rocky places. From this came
the canvas leggin adopted about
|A Case of Mistaken Identify
|Dear Mr. Schmidt,
I am writing to give you some information on Shiawassee County Civil War soldier
images at the State Archives of Michigan...The image you have on the web page [http:
//www.shiawasseehistory.com/civil.html] is very nice but unfortunately he is not a
soldier of the Civil War period. Your soldier is wearing the model 1895 forage cap with
crossed rifle insignia. The crossed rifle insignia was not adopted by the US army until
the year 1876, before this it was a hunter’s horn. Your soldier is from the 1895-1898
period and with the 8 on his hat and collar my guess is that he was with a Michigan
National Guard regiment.
PS, Do you have access to the book, “A Distant Thunder: Michigan in the Civil War”
by Richard Bak? If you do you may recognize my name from there. The website for
the state database is: http://haldigitalcollections.cdmhost.com/cdm4/browse.php?
Thanks for your sharp eye. My web page history of the civil war is pretty lame, but I
will correct the photo description or delete it.
Note: The image that they are discussing has been removed from the Shiawassee Co.,
The Spanish-American War took place in 1898 and resulted in the United States gaining
control over the former colonies of Spain in the Caribbean and Pacific. The US lost 379
troops in combat and over 5,000 to disease. As a result of the war, Cuba would be
declared independent in 1902.....Read more.
|Some of you received a bonus question: "What is the contraption in the door of the tent
in the background to the left?"
A treadle sewing machine
|Comments from Our Readers
Thanks for featuring my fellas this week. Note that one of the guys is wearing a belt
buckle which says Mass. on it. All of my ancestors were in Mass., so unlikely that it's
Penn [as you have suggested]. I have found a company K in Mass, and there is a
Joseph Barnes listed, he could be a distant uncle. I haven't done much else with it. Got
distracted by the rest of my life! I love that everyone is putting their brains to work on
my behalf! Thanks again! Polly Kimmitt
Looks just like the [sewing machine] I learned to sew on! I do understand having lived
with men why they needed the machine and it would have been superior choice over
what I use as it needed no electricity. I sold my old Underwood upright typewriter for
a hefty price for the same reason -- a writer going into a country where electricity was
not available. Not that I want the treadle back, mind you! Kitty Huddleston
If in fact these are soldiers from the Spanish-American War, I found it interesting that
the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base (located on Cuba) was a result of the Spanish-
American War. It just seems so odd that we occupy 45 sq miles of Cuba (a country
that isn’t exactly a friend of the USA). Great quiz this week! Evan Hindman
|Congratulations to our winners!
Fred Stuart Mary Fraser Eva Royal
Jim Kiser Rick Mackinney Kitty Huddleston
Frank Nollette Sandy Fahrnbruch Bill Hurley
Lynda Snider Stan Read Kelly Fetherlin
Evan Hindman Maureen O'Connor Pam Rien
Pam Rein Carol Phillips Elizabeth Mackey
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
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