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A wide variety of covers for the head were worn by the Confederates. Official uniform regulations called for officers and men to wear a French style cap called a kepi, with the officers' cap festooned with gold braid befitting his rank. Many soldiers, however, officer and elisted man, alike, preferred a soft crowned, brimmed hat known generically as a slouch hat. It proved more comfortable than the stiff kepi, while keeping the sun out of your eyes and the rain off your neck.
The museum's collection contains more than 50 pieces of military headwear including kepis, slouch hats, forage caps, shakos, and a chapeau bras, a bicorn style hat to be worn by officers on formal occasions. Also in the collection are a variety of havelocks—cotton covers that went over the kepi with an extension down the back to protect the neck—and rain covers made of vulcanized rubber and waterproof canvas.
One of J.E.B. Stuart's famous plumed hats is in the museum's permanent collection, as well as "Stonewall" Jackson's blue forage cap worn at the battle of First Manassas (Bull Run) and Robert E. Lee's gray slouch hat.