Lt. Gideon Wells
Infantry Officer's Hat Insignia
First Lieutenant Gideon Wells
46th Massachusetts Infantry
This insignia is typical of the period. It is made in high relief of gold bullion embroidery. The regimental number is added in small false embroidered silver metal numbers. It was worn on the front of the Jeff Davis (Hardee Hat). The back of the insignia has two wire loops through which it could be pinned to the hat. The 46th Massachusetts was a nine month regiment, organized as a result of the August 4, 1862 call to the states to provide 300,000 militia troops to serve nine months. The regiment was organized September 25 to October 30, 1862 and sent to North Carolina. It was involved in minor skirmishes at Deep Gully and Newberne. In June and July of 1863 it was moved north and sent to reinforce the Army of Potomac in pursuit of Confederates after the battle of Gettysburg. Following that it was returned to Massachusetts and the men mustered out on July 29, 1863. Gideon Wells originally enlisted as a sergeant and was commissioned as a first lieutenant on February 6, 1863. In 1864 he returned to duty as an officer of the 8th Volunteer Militia Infantry Regiment, which was mustered into federal service for three months.