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Brogans or Jefferson booties?

Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by major bill, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    I was wondering the most common term Civil War soldiers used for their foot wear. When I have read letters it seems the term shoes or Army shoes were used, I do occasionally see the term booties. Modern reenactors use the term Brogans but was this term commonly used during the Civil War?

    Was the term Monticello used much? Was the term Balmoral shoe used?
    I have seen books that use the term Blucher booties used.
    Also tall boots without laces were called Wellington boots, and top boots.
     

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  3. Package4

    Package4 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    I find that they refer to them as shoes; the attached picture is from the 1863 CSA Regulations of Major Mason Morfit and the official term, in the CSA, was Bootees, Infantry. Also note that for cavalry, Boots, Cavalry. Tall infantry boots were for the most part private purchase, I believe.
     

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  4. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    I mostly study Michigan and the term "shoes" is what the men use. The newspapers and contracts let out say Army Shoes or Army Style Shoes or Heavy Army Shoes. I have not seen the term Brogans used at all.
     
  5. Pvt.Shattuck

    Pvt.Shattuck Sergeant Major

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    From a contemporary regimental price list.

    mss133img.jpg
    OK?
     
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  6. Package4

    Package4 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    It appears as if Bootee is the official term for inventory and requisition, but almost all contemporary soldier references I have seen, plainly call them shoes.
     
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  7. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    A common term for these from a uniform person's view would be Blucher boots or booties or Jefferson Boot or boot. So it seems like Brogans is not very period and is a term used more by reenactors. This is important because I am keeping a data base on uniforms issued by Michigan during the Civil War and I will have to decide if I should use period terms for the items or more modern terms. I believe Army Shoes or Booties would be a good term to use in this case.
     
  8. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    To help our forum members who are less into uniform study, I thought I would post a general image of Civil War era boots and booties. Military foot wear of the era usually fall into one of four basic types. Napoleon boots, Wellington boots, top boots and Blucher boots. Top boots not show had a leather extension up over the front of the knee (some with a strap to go around the leg) and were fairly popular as private purchased boots with officer of cavalry men

    boots.jpg
     
  9. Frederick14Va

    Frederick14Va First Sergeant

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    The term used most often in records and quartermaster receipts & invoices is normally listed simply as "Shoes"... most all knew which and what this was referring too... Variations in the terminology utilized is not uncommon depending on who, what, and where...

    The term "Brogan" was also part of the period lexicon... not just a reenactorism...
    Brogan-invoice-2.jpg
     
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  10. James B White

    James B White Captain Trivia Game Winner Honored Fallen Comrade

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    Like negro cloth was an alternate name for the jeans that soldiers wore in the south, one also sees "negro brogans" for both real negroes and soldiers. See the quartermaster report below:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=vXpHAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA1-PA199&dq="negro+brogans"

    That's the US Quartermaster, I'm pretty sure, and not CS. Nor is it civilian stuff because the shoes are in between military clothing, even brass letters. I'm guessing they're just describing the shoes and don't mean something uniquely different from Jefferson boots/booties, or surely not shoes just for the USCT.

    For comparison, the following is definitely civilian, for real negroes, long before the war:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=yoooAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA456&dq="negro+brogans"

    Edited to add: Grr... I can't get the yellow highlighting to show up. Hopefully you can find negro brogans on the page, but it would have been a lot better if it was highlighted. Maybe it'll highlight for some of you. Otherwise, sorry.

    Edited again: I want to look for CS Quartermaster records and see if I can find an order for 10,000 negro brogans. Proof of black Confederate soldiers! :bounce:
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  11. James B White

    James B White Captain Trivia Game Winner Honored Fallen Comrade

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    The Online Etymology Dictionary says "type of coarse shoes, 1846, from Irish and Gaelic brogan, diminutive of brog 'shoe' (also see brogue)."

    Surely it's older than that. I think the link in my previous post was 1849, and it's already traveled to the south and lost any Irish connection.

    If you go to the entry for "brogue,' as they suggest, you get this:

    Type of Celtic accent, 1705, perhaps from the meaning "rough, stout shoe" worn by rural Irish and Scottish highlanders (1580s), via Gaelic or Irish, from Old Irish broce "shoe," thus originally meaning something like "speech of those who call a shoe a brogue." Or perhaps it is from Old Irish barrog "a hold" (on the tongue).

    Not sure what to make of that. Let me see how far back I can find brogan as a work shoe in the US.

    1838, Indian goods sent to St. Louis--maybe to trade with Indians farther west? Don't know, looks like it has something to do with the Department of Indian Affairs.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=1...fBQCLA4ChDoAQg3MAU#v=onepage&q=brogan&f=false

    So there it is earlier, even before the potato famine or much Irish immigration, used in a non-Irish context. I don't know when or where to think its etymological background is from now...
     
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  12. Ranger753

    Ranger753 Cadet

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    Actually the Brogan did come from the British Isles but it was Thomas Jefferson who added the laces to them and had them made into more of a bootie. That is where the Jefferson Bootie comes from. The Negro's wore a brown sweet potato colored one which was called the Ga Bootees and that is what most of the Confederate Troops wore where Federal Forces wore the Jefferson.
     

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