An exceedingly rare piece of headgear insignia in excellent condition. When the wide-brimmed “Hardee” or “Jeff Davis” hat was adopted for universal wear as a dress hat in the U.S. Army in 1858, states followed suit. Virginia, like many others, modified the U.S. general staff pattern by substituting its own initials within the gilt wreath on a black oval ground. The 1858 Virginia regulations for generals and field officers, quartermasters, surgeons and paymasters specified, “a gold embroidered wreath in front, on black velvet ground, encircling the letters VA in silver old English characters.” This insignia precisely matches those regulations and, to give an idea of how rare this particular insignia is, when Frederick Todd assembled his encyclopedic, “American Military Equipage,” he could not find an example. This one comes from the well-known collection of Lewis Leigh and we are proud to offer it here.