Uniforms Clothing for Confederate prisoners.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
I just read that Confederate prisoners held at prisoner of war camps were issued captured and irregular uniforms. Captured uniforms is easy to understand but I am not sure what 'irregular' uniforms were. Were they uniforms the Federal government had purchased that were not standard uniforms types or were they uniforms that had some irregularities. I thought that uniforms being purchased were inspected and any uniform not up to standards were rejected and not paid for. When at look at images of Confederate prisoner I do not see federal uniforms being worn.
 

lupaglupa

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Hey @Gary Morgan, do you know anything about this?

From what I've read they stayed in their own clothes, ragged though they were. But maybe that's only true for the times/places I've looked at.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
It's a new one on me.

I know that in the Second World War, German POWs who were captured were (at least some times) issued leftover uniforms from the First World War with "PW" painted on the tops and pants. I happen to have such a uniform upstairs, and that's what I was told when I hauled it into the Antiques Road Show in Providence (I won't be getting rich off of it, but I can tell you that the man who wore it was a German soldier captured in North Africa).

The only Confederate prisoner who I've read wore something other than his own clothing was a POW at Castle William, who was captured while swimming and was given a suit of clothing by Confederate chaplain Father Peter Whelan (who would later be known as "The Angel of Andersonville"), who was also a prisoner there. But then again, I'm new-ish to Confederate prisoners.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I just read that Confederate prisoners held at prisoner of war camps were issued captured and irregular uniforms. Captured uniforms is easy to understand but I am not sure what 'irregular' uniforms were. Were they uniforms the Federal government had purchased that were not standard uniforms types or were they uniforms that had some irregularities. I thought that uniforms being purchased were inspected and any uniform not up to standards were rejected and not paid for. When at look at images of Confederate prisoner I do not see federal uniforms being worn.
Being from Maryland and participating in living histories at Point Lookout and Fort Delaware as well as Fort McHenry, federal clothing was not issued for the simple reason that it could facilitate escape. I’m not saying it never happened, but there was recently a shell jacket sold, that was Southern supplied to a prisoner at Johnson’s Island. There are countless accounts of clothing supplied to Fort Delaware prisoners from civilians of Delaware City and visiting family members.

Case in point, all federal gear was confiscated at the prison upon arrival of each prisoner, this meant canteens, knapsacks, haversacks, clothing and mess gear.

All of this was dependent of course on the commandant of that particular prison.

Irregular uniforms could quite simply be stocks of stable gear, gray or other state militia uniforms no longer needed, etc.

I’ll look in my prisoner diaries to see what comes up.
 
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