Solid cast brass or white metal. This hatpin was used by engineers as well as a number of military schools of the period that taught engineering. Approximately 1 3/4″ wide and 1 1/8″ tall, with 2 lapel style pin backs. Made by Parsley Brass here in the U.S.A.
At the onset of the Civil War the Regular Army Corps of Engineers had only one company of enlisted soldiers stationed at West Point. The force size was gradually increased to eight companies, but even this force was small relative to the needs of the service. Several volunteer regiments were designated as Engineers. The best known of these were the 1st, 15th, 50th New York Engineer Regiments, the 1st Michigan Engineer Regiment and 1st Missouri Engineer Regiment (Bissell’s Engineer Regiment of the West). There were also a number of independent companies designated as Engineers.
The apparent lack of engineers was compensated for by the fact that West Point was as much an engineering school as a military academy and its graduates regardless of branch were capable of detailing their own troops to build common structures, such as bridges, shelters or fortifications. Also, entire infantry regiments were detailed for larger projects. Such labor was not popular with soldiers who believed they joined the army to fight, but most of them had worked in farming and the tasks were familiar ones.
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