Uniforms Early colored Civil War uniform prints.

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Aug 25, 2012
In 1956 most people only knew civil War uniforms from black and white drawings but in the early 1950s some artists started to bring out color prints showing uniforms. Not all artists produced prints with accurate uniforms depictions. One of the artist putting out uniform prints was French artist Raymond Desvarreux Larpenteur who was born in Paris in 1876. He is best known for his American Revolutionary War uniform prints but did put out at least 4 color plates showing Confederate uniforms and 2 color plates showing Union uniforms. Here is a 1956 print from Alfred B. C. Bason publishing.
CSA Navy.jpg


Larpenteur was good artist and by the standards of the day and not really to bad with some prints such as the one above. Some of his other Civil War uniform prints were less accurate. Still he did help help lead the way in showing Civil War uniforms.
 

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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So let us look at another 1956 Larpenteur uniform print.
cas inf.jpg

This kind of looks like the proposed Confederate infantry uniform. It looks kind of like a Austrian style uniform and I am not sure many Confederate infantrymen wore this uniform. What do we think of the short double-breasted short frock coat and jack boots? Did Confederate infantrymen wear their rifle bayonets under their frock coats like this?
 
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May 12, 2018
I think I agree with you that the last one doesn’t look quite right... it makes me wonder what reference he was using, because clearly he was decent at copying depiction that were more accurate like his navy print. The set up of the bayonet suggests he was following other artistic depictions and didn’t have any good references for the suspension of equipment.

I’d never say never thanks to the profusion of uniforms during the civil war. Some of the uniform pieces, like the trousers and boots, look pretty close to stuff the Union wore. Sky blue trousers and short “artillery” boots were out there during the war. I know that the Confederacy did also have blue trimmed gray uniforms and kepi early in the war. So I suppose some unit out there could have cobbled together something similar at some point? But I don’t know of any that did.
 

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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When an artist helps lead the way, later research will update the available knowledge. If Larpenteur had waited until addition research had been done, he would have died before he published any fully accurate plates. This week I purchased four of Larpentuer Civil War uniform plates. I like them for the historical value and not for fully accurate uniform information. Artists Larpenteur encouraged additional study on the subject of Civil War uniforms.
 

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Aug 25, 2012
I wonder if Larpenteur based the infantry uniform plate off the Confederate regulations, it does in a way look like the regulations drawing.
reg uniform .jpg


Where Larpenteur came up with the tall boots on the infantryman in his plate is a mystery.
 
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