Confederate Uniforms As Depicted in Prints by William L. Shepard

James N.

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The recent thread on postcards of Civil War subjects reminded me of these, purchased on vacation sometime around the time of the Centennial or shortly afterward, ca. 1960's - 1970's. They reproduce three famous paintings of Confederate "types" by veteran William L. Shepard who was a member of the Richmond Howitzers during the war and also illustrated the "classic" Detailed Minutiae Of Soldier Life In The Army Of Northern Virginia written by fellow artilleryman Carleton McCarthy. Somewhat romanticized and looking a bit too natty, they nevertheless provide a look at how veterans wished to be remembered, like the infantry private above, calmly lighting his pipe.

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The other two subjects are the artillery officer, a captain commanding a battery, with his field glasses above, and the cavalryman below preparing to bridle his horse. Notice the left-hand gauntlet casually tucked into his belt, the way the fronts of his high-topped boots are turned down, and his saddle, blanket roll, and saber lying on the ground behind him.

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Kurt G

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Very interesting . I noted that the officer's holster has the pistol butt facing to the rear unlike most holsters you see in illustrations .
 

major bill

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Four or five years ago I seen the large prints of these at a thrift store They were well framed and in great condition. The store wanted $65 for the set and I only had $60 in my wallet. I could have used my debit card but hate to do that. I kick myself for not buying them.
 

major bill

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View attachment 393025

The recent thread on postcards of Civil War subjects reminded me of these, purchased on vacation sometime around the time of the Centennial or shortly afterward, ca. 1960's - 1970's. They reproduce three famous paintings of Confederate "types" by veteran William L. Shepard who was a member of the Richmond Howitzers during the war and also illustrated the "classic" Detailed Minutiae Of Soldier Life In The Army Of Northern Virginia written by fellow artilleryman Carleton McCarthy. Somewhat romanticized and looking a bit too natty, they nevertheless provide a look at how veterans wished to be remembered, like the infantry private above, calmly lighting his pipe.

View attachment 393024

The other two subjects are the artillery officer, a captain commanding a battery, with his field glasses above, and the cavalryman below preparing to bridle his horse. Notice the left-hand gauntlet casually tucked into his belt and his saddle, blanket roll, and saber on the ground behind him.

View attachment 393023
As far as uniform accuracy goes they are not bad for the time period they were painted.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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The artillery officer's kepi looks more like a US M1872 pattern than Confederate one.

I'm not familiar with this artist or his work, but I seem to recall a place in Jefferson, TX selling some framed postcards very similar to this. I mainly remember because I got a bunch of Cherokees who want to reenact CW, but refuse to wear uniforms, (or anything period Cherokee wise to be honest), and one print was of a member of the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles in uniform and I thought of buying a couple to gift to the Cherokees for fun.
 

James N.

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Very interesting . I noted that the officer's holster has the pistol butt facing to the rear unlike most holsters you see in illustrations .
 
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James N.

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Very interesting . I noted that the officer's holster has the pistol butt facing to the rear unlike most holsters you see in illustrations .
Yes - that's certainly not the "norm". But it must've been something that Shephard actually saw, else he wouldn't picture it that way.
 

James N.

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The artillery officer's kepi looks more like a US M1872 pattern than Confederate one.

I'm not familiar with this artist or his work, but I seem to recall a place in Jefferson, TX selling some framed postcards very similar to this. I mainly remember because I got a bunch of Cherokees who want to reenact CW, but refuse to wear uniforms, (or anything period Cherokee wise to be honest), and one print was of a member of the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles in uniform and I thought of buying a couple to gift to the Cherokees for fun.
You, especially, NEED to check out McCarthy's Detailed Minutiae - it's short, well-written, and a treasure trove on information on the Confederate common soldier, especially while in camp.
 

James N.

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Four or five years ago I seen the large prints of these at a thrift store They were well framed and in great condition. The store wanted $65 for the set and I only had $60 in my wallet. I could have used my debit card but hate to do that. I kick myself for not buying them.
You can sometimes dicker with thrift or second-hand store owners. I once purchased an entire 7-volume set of Douglas Southall Freeman's Pulitzer Prize winning biography George Washington at a local HalfPrice Books store priced at an actually reasonable $300 for half of that - $150! - because it had been there for a year taking up considerable shelf space and I asked if they would take less.
 

Kurt G

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Yes - that's certainly not the "norm". But it must've been something that Shephard actually saw, else he wouldn't picture it that way.
Keith Rocco shows the same style holster in one of his prints of a Confederate officer.
 
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