1st United States Volunteer Cavalry “Rough Riders” Model M 1895 ‘Undress’ Tunic, of a 1st Lieutenant upgraded to M 1902 Army Regulation




1st United States Volunteer Cavalry “Rough Riders” Model M 1895 ‘Undress’ Tunic, of a 1st Lieutenant upgraded to M 1902 Army Regulation. Gorgeous, Flawless, Ex-Museum Piece, Black Mohair Tunic belonging to an Officer of the 1st U.S.V. Calvary (a.k.a. the “Rough Riders”). Formed and Raised by Colonel Leonard Wood and Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (later Colonel and Commander), the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry needs no introduction.

The Tunic was acquired from the Collection of a Texas Museum as part of a deaccessioning group purchase. Provenance of a Museum Letter is included.

Description : A Custom made M 1895 ‘Undress’ Tunic constructed of fine black mohair which belonged to a 1st Lieutenant (U/I) who served in the 1st United States Volunteer (U.S.V.) Cavalry. It is adorned with matching sets of M 1902 Cavalry Officer ‘Crossed Sabre’ Collar Insignia with the Numeral ‘1’ atop denoting the Regimental Affiliation as well as matching pair of “U.S.V.” Collar Insignia sewn into both sides of the ‘Standing’ Collar.  Complete with a fine and handsome matching pair of Cavalry Officer Epaulettes in appropriate branch color of Yellow with 1st Lieutenant Rank uniquely attached to shoulders of the tunic. All in incredibly fine condition.

The Tunic has been Inspected and Verified by two of the most credible and renowned authorities on military uniforms of this period in the United States with over 90 years of full time experience between the two of them. Their inspections are documented and annotated, in writing, in the accompanying Letter of Provenance with exerts from their comments listed herein below : (Appraiser 1) “All United States Volunteer and 1st Cavalry Insignia and the Private Purchase Tunic are 100% Original. The sewn on Brass Collar Insignia is correct as per the 1902 Regulations. All Buttons are Correct and Present. There is no mothing to the Cloth. Shoulder Straps are Post-1898 and correct for the period. All insignia, including the strap hooks were applied with the same thread. This is very important.” (Appraiser 2) “{Shoulder Straps} Although unusual, they are correct for the uniform. Officers of those days did what was easiest {and} the ‘Hook-and-Eye’ would make a rank change easy without messing with the uniform or to quickly and easily convert the Coat to Dress.”

As References ;

(Reference 1) in Dr. J.C. Stewart’s Book, “Cowboys in Uniform : Uniforms, Arms and Equipment of the Rough Riders” (Rough Rider Printing, Show Low, AZ., First Edition 1998) Page 17 depicts the full-page Portrait of 2nd Lt. Joshua D. Carter of A Troop in his Model 1895 Officer’s Undress blouse {this M 1895 Tunic is EXACTLY as this rare example up for Auction. In addition, on Page 18 ‘Officer’s Uniforms’ are described in detail and the Model 1895 was the authorized officer’s service dress and extremely popular among the ‘Rough Riders’.

(Reference 2) in Dr. Howard G. Lanham’s Books, “Straps – The Evolution of the United States Army Shoulder Straps” (Freehold Enterprises, First Edition 1998) States on Page 98, “Devices for attaching Shoulder Straps were common during the 1872 – 1902 period. Others have small hooks or snap catches set in the four corners”. Page 97 shows Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. wearing a similar strap on his khaki field uniform as the one on this M 1895 ‘Undress’ Tunic. (National Archives 111 SC 89739).

At the date of their ‘Mustering Out’ on September 15, 1898 at Camp Wikoff, New York (119 Years Ago) the 54 Officers and 1,209 Enlisted Troopers who Served in the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry made history. Only in existence for 133 days these men became immortals in American service and history. An exceedingly rare opportunity to obtain this martial relic of Americana.