Officer Rank Cuff Insignia c1867 – 1st Lieutenant – Cavalry
A brief background of the rank circlet
This style rank insignia first appeared around 1863 in the Civil War, though never regulation the insignia circlet never went above the rank of Captain. It was made of pressed brass and had an enamelled background with one or two bars in the centre and was worn on the Breast of the Fatigue coat instead of his shoulder boards so he would become less of a target on the battle fields
The circlet reappears around 1867 in the Indian Wars on the Frontier though these also do not appear in the U.S. Army Regulations and photos show that they were worn on the sleeve of the Sky Blue Great Coat just above the cuff. The rank does not go above the rank of Captain and was probably made of embroidered cloth for flexibility with a gold embroidered rim and a yellow, blue or red centre with one or two silver bars in the centre to identify his rank.
After 1874 the new regulation overcoat was issued with braid forming the rank on the officers sleeves.