I am sure this has been addressed here on the forum at some point but looking through the search engine no direct hits came up. First and foremost I am a subscriber to the whole concept of "less is more" in the hat brass realm of authenticity but the reality is some hat brass was worn especially back east and early in the war. So if I am doing an impression that requires hat brass I want to get it right. So getting to my point. My understanding and research is the letters designating companies were 1" tall stamped brass with an attachment loop. And numbers were 5/8" tall with an attachment loop. It has also been my understanding that the "attachment wires" that are most common on the repros are a safe indication that they are reproductions because of that type of attachment arrangement.

In searching for originals on-line several CW relic dealers have "original" hat brass letters and numbers but most seem to have "attachment wires" rather than loops. So needless to say I am leery of purchasing them as originals. Some of the dealers claim that after the war original hat brass surplus was soldiered with wires rather than loops. In an effort to clear the muddied waters I purchased "The 1865 Quartermaster Manuel". Granted this was published I believe in 1866 but the information was gathered from procurement contracts and regulations of 1863-65.

Any way in the 9th Chapter page 179 listed as "Clothing Trimmings' it says this about "Brass letters- A to M, Roman capitals, one inch long; each letter to be made of sheet brass, No. 28, and to have on its back two small brass wires 1/2" long, strongly soldered on the letter to fasten it on the hat, except letters A and F, which have three wires each for this purpose."

"Brass numbers-- No.1 to 0, inclusive, 5/8" inch long; and each number to be made of sheet brass, No. 28, and to be provided with one small iron loop, strongly soldered on the back of the number, except the 0, which has two of these wire loops."

So in conclusion have any of the members here that have seen originals what have you encountered?