Cap Badge, 1st Regiment of Riflemen, 1814

 Die struck brass, 3.57 inches dia., .375 inch rays; solder for attachment wires visible on reverse (below). 

  This organization was raised in 1808, as the Regiment of Riflemen (Heitman, V. 1, GPO, 1903). In 1813, 3 more rifle regiments were raised and the regiment became the 1st Regiment of Riflemen. Distinguishing numbers were therefore added to the cap badges. The regiment was engaged from Tippecanoe (1811) throughout the War of 1812. In May, 1815 all regiments were consolidated and redesignated the Regiment of Riflemen. The regiment was disbanded in 1821. According to American Military Headgear Insignia (Campbell and O’Donnnell, 2004) many soldiers of the regiment were incorporated within the 6th Infantry upon its disbanding. A distinguished alumnus of the regiment was Bennet Riley whose military career began in the Rifles in 1813 and ended with his death in 1853 as Colonel of the 1st Infantry and by brevet, a major general. Info on the Rifles may be found in Military Collector and Historian 1 (1949) and 50 (Spring, 1998) as well as  Green Coats and Glory: The United States Regiment of Riflemen by John C. Fredriksen (Youngstown, NY: Old Fort Niagra Association, 2000). 

Photos by permission of Heritage Auctions. 

Major James B. Ronan II is a Fellow of the company of Military Historians


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