Uniforms Alabama Militia Accoutrements: Montgomery True Blues

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lelliott19

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The Montgomery True Blues was an independent militia company organized in 1836. This painting by Joseph Thoits Moore hanging in the Alabama Department of Archives and History depicts the Montgomery True Blues on parade down Market Street (now Dexter Avenue) in Montgomery, Alabama.

I had a meeting in Montgomery today. During the lunch break, I made a quick run through the Alabama Department of Archives and History's "Alabama Voices" exhibit and took some quick pictures of a few of the most interesting items in the collection. If you happen to be in Montgomery AL, its definitely a "don't miss" exhibit - some really neat items on display. My apologies in advance for picture quality, lighting, and reflections on the glass - I did the best I could under the circumstances.

Up first, artifacts of the "Montgomery True Blues" of the Alabama Militia.
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Antebellum US Military Shako worn by a member of an Alabama Militia unit.
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Not labeled - my description highly decorated Cartridge box with striped strap. Since its in the case with other artifacts of the the Montgomery True Blues, I assume cartridge boxes of this type must have been used by some Alabama militia companies?
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Labeled as: Model 1841 Mississippi rifle pouch, flask and belt.
Source OP image: Collection of the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Montgomery, AL. Link
 
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ucvrelics

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Great photos and glad to see you took some time for yourself :D Thanks for sharing. Here is a great thread we had on these Ala Militia units.
 
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FedericoFCavada

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Is the item with the crossed cannons on it a "sabretache"/ Säbeltasche/ tarsoly rather than a cartridge box?

In the painting of the True Blues marching, I note that the musicians appear to be wearing Model 1825 "pinwheel" fatigue caps, or perhaps one or another wheel cap like the Model 1839? Great shako!
 
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bdtex

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I had a meeting in Montgomery today. During the lunch break, I made a quick run through the Alabama Department of Archives and History's "Alabama Voices" exhibit and took some quick pictures of a few of the most interesting items in the collection. If you happen to be in Montgomery AL, its definitely a "don't miss" exhibit - some really neat items on display. My apologies in advance for picture quality, lighting, and reflections on the glass - I did the best I could under the circumstances.
During my one CW sightseeing swing through Montgomery,we only had a few hours and the main destination was the First White House Of The Confederacy. I think even my spouse kinda enjoyed that. Oakwood Cemetery was a bonus,but I didn't have the time I wanted to thoroughly explore it. It was hot and my spouse stayed in the truck during my short hikes. I wanted to go where you did but didn't have time. Reason to go back. Thanks for the pics. Good stuff.
 

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Thanks for your replies. Now that I look at it more closely - that middle item that I labeled as a highly decorated cartridge box? It has crossed cannon on it - so is it something used by artillery instead of infantry? Maybe not a cartridge box at all? @ucvrelics @Package4 James N. @johan_steele @Jobe Holiday or anyone else who may know?
Is the item with the crossed cannons on it a "sabretache"/ Säbeltasche/ tarsoly rather than a cartridge box?

In the painting of the True Blues marching, I note that the musicians appear to be wearing Model 1825 "pinwheel" fatigue caps, or perhaps one or another wheel cap like the Model 1839? Great shako!
The answer to both highlighted questions is NO - this item IS a cartridge box, but one for full-dress purposes as worn by an officer of MOUNTED artillery. (NOT by so-called foot or garrison artillery.) As should be expected, this is from a European and probably French prototype, similar to the one below displayed on this mannikin in the Musee de l'Armee in Paris showing an officer of light cavalry ca. 1800-1815:

Off5Hussard.jpg


The red strap across his chest is the strap for the pistol-cartridge box; the reproduction below shows what the complete unit looks like:

11433[1].jpg


Since this one's for a French cavalry officer it has a big Napoleonic eagle on it; artillery officers often used the crossed cannons of their branch-of-service. The RED is tanned so-called Russian leather.

Sabretache.jpg


A SABRETACHE (translates as "saber-pocket") like the original above is essentially a purse for an officer wearing fashionable breeches so tight they have no pockets! It's suspended by three straps from a waist sword belt; below is another modern reproduction showing how one looks:

11435[1].jpg


Note there are FIVE straps attached to the belt, three for the sabretache and two for the sabre. Frippery like this was copied by many well-to-do militia units, North and South, in both the antebellum and postwar years, though relatively little of it found its way onto Civil War battlefields. it was sold by retail "outfitters' like Schuyler, Hartley, and Graham and Tiffany's in New York and others in Washington, D. C., Philadelphia, etc.

11433[1].jpg


11435[1].jpg
 
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lelliott19

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I had to go out to the garage to the file cabinets to get this.
Whoa! That's awesome!
Is the item with the crossed cannons on it a "sabretache"
Thanks. I had never heard of a sabretache before.
Reason to go back
Let me know when and we will meet you. I drove over to historic Oakwood cemetery with the intent of at least locating William C Oates' and Tennent Lomax's graves and taking some pictures for a friend who had requested some. Wow! The place is huge; no one was on duty in the office; a work crew was cutting grass and some of the roads were blocked off for that purpose; and I had no map. Overall it was an epic fail!
this item IS a cartridge box, but one for full-dress purposes as worn by an officer of MOUNTED artillery. (NOT by so-called foot or garrison artillery.)
Thanks for the clarification James. The items in the displays are not numbered to match the descriptions. Does this description match the item I photographed? "Militia ordnance pouch, circa 1840."
 
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James N.

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… Thanks for the clarification James. The items in the displays are not numbered to match the descriptions. Does this description match the item I photographed? "Militia ordnance pouch, circa 1840."
Probably, but it's a pretty cr*ppy description! The idiot who wrote it was no doubt going by the so-called flaming bomb which IS the current device for U.S. Army ordnance department, but was historically used for (naturally) artillery, infantry grenadiers (who used to actually throw flaming bombs in the 1600's!), and other elite units including even some types of cavalry. The supposed date he was no doubt merely guessing!
 
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