1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

Confederate undyed uniforms

Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by Forrest, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Forrest

    Forrest Sergeant

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Messages:
    610
    I've read about the undyed uniforms, but never seen an example. They are mentioned by Union soldier(s) in their observations of Confederate soldiers they saw when they entered Vicksburg after the siege.

    I'm curious what they looked like both new and well-worn. Perhaps it was just white and dirty white?
     

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. Rebforever

    Rebforever Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,638
    tbuckley likes this.
  4. Malingerer

    Malingerer First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,630
    Location:
    Cullowhee, NC
    Forrest, try this site by Frederick Adolphus (one of the gurus of Confederate clothing) IIRC, he talks quite a bit about undyed fabric as well as "drab". http://adolphusconfederateuniforms.com/free-article-downloads.html
     
    Klaudly likes this.
  5. Klaudly

    Klaudly Corporal

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    289
    Location:
    Italy
    L. Cormier, Boone's Louisiana Battery L. Cormier, Boone's Battery, Louisiana.jpg
     
    tbuckley likes this.
  6. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,842
    Location:
    Texas
    See these two previous threads:
    http://civilwartalk.com/threads/texas-white-fatigue-uniforms.122361/
    http://civilwartalk.com/threads/texans-in-white-uniforms.126872/

    The 1st Missouri Brigade was issued undyed wool uniforms prior to Pea Ridge. They were manufactured at the Little Rock Penitentiary, originally intended for Albert Pike's Indians though later procured by Sterling Price for his men.

    Our regiment was uniformed here; the cloth was of rough coarse texture, and the cutting and style would have produced a sensation in the fashionable circles: the stuff was white, never having been colored, with a goodly supply of grease--the wool had not been purified by any application of water since it had been taken from the back of the sheep. In pulling off and putting on the clothes, the olfactories were constantly exercised with a strong odor of that animal. Our brigade was the only body of troops that had these uniforms issued to them, and were often greeted with a chorus of ba-a-as.... Our clothes, however, were strong and serviceable, if we did look and feel sheepish in them.
    - Anderson, Ephraim M. Memoirs: Historical and Personal; Including the Campaigns of the First Missouri Confederate Brigade, p. 161

    The 2nd Texas Infantry was also issued undyed wool uniforms prior to Shiloh, as described by Col. John C. Moore:

    When my regiment, the Second Texas Infantry, was organized, at Galveston in 1861, not being able to procure Confederate gray, the men were supplied with Federal blue uniforms captured at Texas military posts. When, in March, 1862, we were ordered to report to Gen. A. S. Johnston, then at Corinth, we marched across the country to Alexandria, and thence were conveyed by steamer and railroad to our destination.

    Not believing Federal blue a life prolonging color for a Confederate's uniform in battle, I sent an agent with a requisition on the quartermaster at New Orleans for properly colored uniforms. He met us at Corinth a few days before marching for the Shiloh (or Pittsburg Landing) battlefield. When the packages were opened, we found the so-called uniforms as white as washed wool could make them. I shall never forget the men's consternation and many exclamations not quoted from the Bible, such as "Well, I'll be d-----!" "Don't them thing's beat h---" "Do the generals expect us to be killed, and want us to wear our shrouds?" etc. Being a case of Hobson's choice, the men cheerfully made the best of the situation, quickly stripped off the ragged blue and donned the virgin white. The clothing having no marks as to sizes, articles were issued just as they came hit or miss as to fit. Soon the company grounds were full of men strutting up and down, some with trousers dragging under their heels, while those of others scarcely reached the tops of their socks; some with jackets so tight they resembled stuffed toads, while others had ample room to carry three days' rations in their bosoms. The exhibition closed with a swapping scene that reminded one of a horse-trading day in a Georgia county town. A Federal prisoner at Shiloh inquired: "Who were them hell-cats that went into battle dressed in their grave clothes?"

    - Confederate Veteran, Vol. 12, March 1904, p. 116.
     
  7. Forrest

    Forrest Sergeant

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Messages:
    610
    Fantastic stuff - thanks everyone! The above reminds me of the 'natural' wool sweaters I found on the west coast of Ireland many years ago. One of these, and a fisherman's knitted wool cap, and you did smell pretty much like a sheep.
     
    tbuckley and AUG351 like this.

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Loading...

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)