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Sashes

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by timewalker, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. timewalker

    timewalker Cadet

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    Another question, if I may, to help with painting my civil war miniatures.

    I have noted in my books that some of the officers/cavalrymen have red sashes, some yellow sashes. Is the color significant? How did one decide which color sash to wear?

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  3. gary

    gary 1st Lieutenant

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    Colors are significant. Branch of service. AFAIK, red for artillery, yellow for cavalry and blue for infantry. Someone else can point out other distinctions.
  4. timewalker

    timewalker Cadet

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    Thanks. I figured there was some rhyme or reason, I just hadn't come across it yet.
  5. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Speaking from absolute ignorance here, but Gary's color suggestions are the piping and trouser-stripe colors. Infantry officers wore red sashes. Don't recollect seeing cavalry or artillery officers with sashes.

    ole
  6. blue_zouave

    blue_zouave Sergeant

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    May I refer you to Howard Lanham's excellent site for the Revised Regulations of the Army, 1861 (Union.) I believe the Confederate sash colors were the same.

    http://howardlanham.tripod.com/unireg.htm

    Click on "sash" and you'll be taken to a discussion with pictures of various colors.

    Zou
  7. timewalker

    timewalker Cadet

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    Thanks. Very helpful.

    But it lists buff, crimson, red, and green. Nothing about yellow or gold. I guess what looks like yellow or gold could be buff.
  8. 5fish

    5fish 2nd Lieutenant

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    Question!!

    I have a question: What color was Lee's sash when he met Grant and surrender his AoNV. I assume like everyone else that a sash's color means something..
  9. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Dear List Members;

    Officers wore in the Infantry Sky Blue Shoulder strap, Crimson sash, Dark blu trouser welt.

    Artillery Officers wore Scarlet Shoulder Straps, Crimson Sash and Scarlet Trouser Welt.

    Cavalry Officers wore Yellow shoulder strap, Crimson sash and Yellow Trouser Welt.

    Staff Officers were to wear Dark Blue Shoulder Straps, Crimson sash, Gold
    Trouser Welt. The Staff officers then had changes in their Straps from Dark Blue to sky blue; their trousers sky blue then required dark blue trouser welts

    Medical Officers wore Dark Blue Shoulder Strap, Green Sash and gold trouser welt

    Ordnance Officers wear Dark Bllue Shoulder Straps, Crimson Sash and no trouser welts.

    Enisted --
    Infantry wore sky blue welt on collars, sky blue Hat Cord, sky blue Chevron and if NCO wore a dark blue pant stripe

    Artillery, Scarlet welt on collar, scarlet hat cord, scarlet Chevron, scarlet stripe on pants if NCO

    Cavalry, Yellow welt on collar, yellow hat cord, yellow chevron, yellow NCO pant stripe

    Engineers shared same 'color code' as Cavalry.

    Ordnance has crimson welt on collar, crimson hat cord, crimson chevrons and NCO wears crimson pant strip.

    Hospital Steward wears crimson welt on collar, Buff/Green hat cord, Greey/Yellow Chevron and NCO wears crimson pant stripe.

    Note- The Officer of the Day is known by the manner in which he wears his sash. It is passed over the right shoulder, and tied at the belt, under the left arm, and crosses the body diagonally. No other officer wears his sash in this way. The Officer of the Day is considered on duty for the twenty-four hours of his tour, until he is relieved. Any offense, such as drunkenness, is the more serious when committed by him during his tour of duty.

    -----------------------
    -------------------
    Confederates

    Army officers indicated Confederate officers -
    Red - Artillery
    Yellow - Cavalry
    Light Blue - Infantry
    Black - Medical

    Regimental officers wore their respective colors on the outer seam of their trousers on I 1/4-in. stripes.

    The Generals wore 2 5/8-in, stripes on each leg.

    The adjutant, quartermaster, commissary, and engineer officers wore 1 gold 1 1/4-in. outer-seam stripe.

    Noncommissioned officers were expected to wear on their outer seams a 1 1/4-in. cotton stripe or braid of colors appropriate to their army branch.

    Privates wore no stripes or facing, but their trousers and those of non-commissioned and regimental officers were to be sky blue. All others were to wear dark blue trousers.


    Hope this helps.

    M. E. Wolf
  10. CSSURGEON

    CSSURGEON Cadet

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    Cs Medical Officers Wore A Green Sash ( hope that is a help if i can find my book i will send what the gov prescribed as the medical officer uniform )
  11. blue_zouave

    blue_zouave Sergeant

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    Honestly, the only yellow sash I can ever recall seeing was the one Scarlett gave Ashley in Gone With the Wind... not a particularly accurate source document. :D

    Zou
  12. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Dear List Members,

    I recalled, when watching Gods and Generals in the scene where Lee was gathered with his staff in the home of the Beales -- I do recall seeing General Lee wearing a 'buff' or 'cream' color sash. The uniforms in this scene was 'formal' or 'high formal' and dress uniform. One who may have the 'formal' or 'ceremonial' dress code for Confederates may have the alternative sash. I'm sure General Lee had many sashes.

    Oh, Zou/Blue_Zouave -- At least Scarlett didn't wrap a window curtain sash of green around Ashley's waistline. [Chuckles]. Now, when Ashley went to enlist- he was mounted, so most likely he was in the Cavalry. I wager his family stable was thrown into the cause as well.

    Sincerely (with a smile)
    M. E. Wolf
  13. timewalker

    timewalker Cadet

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    I have several books which show drawings of officers with what are clarly yellow sashes, including Stonewall Jackson. One I am looking at right now is William C. Davis' "The Commanders of the Civil War."

    Knowing what I have gotten off this thread, however, I question the accurancy in that it has several current photos of officer gear from the time and shows red (crimson) sashes with general officers' gear but notes them only as "officers silk sashes" and while clearly implying that they are part of the uniform for the general officer, they do not specifically so state.

    Now some people have told me that the cavalry wore yellow sashes while others say they wore the crimson sashes, the same as the infantry and artillery.
  14. timewalker

    timewalker Cadet

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    Oh great and knowledgeable Mr. Wolf,

    In your list, you do not mention a different color sash for General Officers. Was it indeed the case that they wore buff sashes?

    Further, when you say

    "Confederates

    Army officers indicated Confederate officers -
    Red - Artillery
    Yellow - Cavalry
    Light Blue - Infantry
    Black - Medical"


    This is for the piping, not the sashes, correct? Did they use the same color sashes as the Union or are these the sash colors as well?



  15. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Dear Timewalker,

    If you go back to my initial post (1st one) I put the trouser color code for the Confederates, right under the Sash color designation.

    IN the meantime -- being curious how 'buff' came into the picture and or questions, I see in Confederate Reenactor supply, they list 'buff.' They also designate the Black sash for chaplins.

    I have also found at this site:
    http://www.civilwarpreservations.com/catdet.asp?TargetItem=UR326&CategoryType=uniforms

    I think I was a bit excited -- It is Maj.General Fitzhugh Lee's presentation gauntlets, gold sash at this site. [Note: although silk, it is not a strong yellow gold, so it could be considered buff, if in a different material. I have seen silk sashes and wool sashes.]

    Here is what the information is listed as:
    Item # UR326 - Presentation Gauntlets & Sash OF Gen’l. Fitz. Lee
    Major General Fitzhugh Lee, C.S.A. Price: US $90,000 Qty Required 1

    These are original Gauntlets presented to General Fitzhugh Lee. The last cavalry commander of the Confederacy. General Lee's gold General Officer sash is also included in this prized grouping. The Gauntlets are both inscribed:

    "Gen'l. Fitz. Lee, from his friend Mr. Collie, October 22nd, 1864". This is likely the last pair of Gauntlets worn by General Lee. A very rare chance to own a personal item from a Confederate General Officer. They come with a letter of authenticity from Russ Pritchard SR. formerly Adm. at the Civil War Library & Museum in Phila.

    Major General Fitzhugh Lee – The Nephew of General Robert E. Lee and also the nephew of General Samuel Cooper, both top Confederate Generals. As a graduate of West Point class of 1856 he served in the 2nd U.S. Cavalry. He was wounded fighting Indians in Texas and later, resigned his commission in the Union Army in May 1861 to remain loyal to
    his native state of Virginia. He participated at Bull Run, J.E.B., Stewart's ride around McClellan's army, Seven Days Battle, South Mountain, Antietam, Kelly's Ford, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Spotsylvania.
    At Appomattox, he busted through Union defenses to avoid surrendering with Robert E. Lee's Army. He surrendered two days later.

    In the Spanish American War he again served his country in a Blue uniform, as a Major General of Volunteers.

    Please enjoy!

    Sincerely,
    M. E. Wolf
  16. timewalker

    timewalker Cadet

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    The Buff comes from the following site:

    http://howardlanham.tripod.com/usreg7.htm

    It lists "buff" as the color for general officer sashes from the 1861 uniform regulations.

    See also:

    http://www.usregulars.com/reguni1.html

    which lists the general officer's sash as "buff."
  17. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Dear List Members,

    I have sent an E-mail to The American Civil War Center in Richmond, Virginia about these colors, ranks, sashes, etc.

    I'll share when I get some good information and in asking my questions, I have asked for were references to this information would be, e.g. uniform regulations, etc.

    Sincerely,
    M. E. Wolf

    PS -- You know this interesting discussion is de-railing my project [Grins];
    My father was a railroad buff and left many fine photos from 1939-1960s; so assembling and making a photo album of all the Virginia RRs --It is very interesting to find 18 known railroads operating in Virginia during the Civil War. [Smiles]
  18. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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    Dear Timewalker,

    Hurray! Good research Timewalker.

    I hope the American Civil War Center can answer what color sash General Robert E. Lee at the time of surrender. It is one of many questions asked.

    Sincerely,
    M. E. Wolf
  19. timewalker

    timewalker Cadet

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    I have to give the credit to blue_zouave. He is the one who first led me to the regulations.
  20. 5fish

    5fish 2nd Lieutenant

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    So where does Gen. Lee's uniform fall under and what was the color of his sash at the surrender of his army?
  21. blue_zouave

    blue_zouave Sergeant

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    Uniform variations

    While enlisted men wore what the Army provided for them, officers were responsible for providing their own kit. This lead to some wild variations in what was worn, such as G. A. Custer's velvet coat. Officers, as "gentlemen," would have their uniforms made up by a tailor, as their civilian clothes were. That's why the officers tend to look so dapper in CDVs. Since there was no color photography at that time, we don't know what colors they actually wore, and you can't put much faith in paintings, either contemporary or modern. You don't know what kind of research the artist did, if any.

    Zou

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