General Grant's Uniforms and Equipments...

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RedRover

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Hello,

I thought it would be interesting to discuss the dress and equipment of General Grant.


Here's a clipping of Grant on Lookout Mountain in late 1863. He appears to be wearing a blue jacket. Someone told me he frequently wore a pre-war dragoon or mounted rifles jacket, but I do not know if that is the case. If anyone has seen that reference, please do chime in.
1578000123854.png


During the Campaign against General Lee in 1864 we see more formal dress... Here at Massaponax Church, on May 21, 1864, he is wearing his regulation frock coat and "heavy top-boots."

1578058578772.png


1578002285880.png


In mid-June, 1864, according to Horace Porter, the weather was too hot to wear the uniform coats, so General Grant, and most of his staff, ordered “thin, dark blue flannel blouses to be sent to them to take the place of the heavy uniform coats which they had been wearing.” After trying them on, Porter noticed:

“the general’s blouse, like the others, was of plain material, single-breasted, and had four regulation brass buttons in front. It was substantially the coat of a private soldier, with nothing to indicate the rank of an officer except the three gold stars of a lieutenant general on the shoulder straps. He ware at this time a turn-down white linen collar and a small, black “butterfly” cravat, which was hooked on to his front collar button. The general, when he put on the blouse, did not take the pains to see whether it fitted him or to notice how it looked, but thought only of the comfort it afforded, and said, “well, this is a relief,” and then added: I have never taken as much satisfaction as some people in making frequent changes in my outer clothing. I like to put on a suit of clothes when I get up in the morning, and wear it until I go to bed, unless I have to make a change in my dress to meet company. I have been in the habit of getting one coat at a time, putting it on and wearing it every day as long as it looked respectable, instead of using a best and a second best. I know that is not the right way to manage, but a comfortable coat seems like an old friend, and I don’t like to change it.”

At the same time, he received a pair of light, neatly fitting calfskin boots, “to which he seemed to take a fancy;” and wore them most of the time thereafter, except in bad weather when he put on his old “heavy top-boots.”

From Porter's book, "Campaigning with Grant", it would appear the general was wearing that thin flannel blouse, and his top boots, etc. at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.


Finally, this comes from the "Scrap Book" magazine, 1908:
1578001888957.png
1578001926497.png




Best,

Jesse Marshalll,
Hernando, FL.
 
Last edited:

Cavalry Charger

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Here is a thread you might enjoy reading related to Grant's appearance and uniform. I'll have another item to add as well.

James N. is one of our resident and very knowledgeable uniform experts, so I'm sure he might have something to add.

 
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Cavalry Charger

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Here is the other item which I thought you might enjoy:


James N. added this comment in relation to the video:

"I perused this without the sound and would like to point out a flagrant FAKE photo included in the lot: a "portrait" of General Grant wearing the M. 1902 U. S. Army Dress uniform! (Kind of hard since he died in the 1880's!) Of course, after he was President there was NO reason for him to ever wear uniform again, and this is an engraving - NOT a photograph - based on a post-Presidential photo and the portrait of someone else, likely Nelson Miles."
 

Canadian

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Hello,

I thought it would be interesting to discuss the dress and equipment of General Grant.


Here's a clipping of Grant on Lookout Mountain in late 1863. He appears to be wearing a blue jacket. Someone told me he frequently wore a pre-war dragoon or mounted rifles jacket, but I do not know if that is the case. If anyone has seen that reference, please do chime in.
View attachment 340850

During the Campaign against General Lee in 1864 we see more formal dress... Here at Massaponax Church, on May 21, 1864, he is wearing his regulation frock coat and "heavy top-boots."

View attachment 340956

View attachment 340856

In mid-June, 1864, according to Horace Porter, the weather was too hot to wear the uniform coats, so General Grant, and most of his staff, ordered “thin, dark blue flannel blouses to be sent to them to take the place of the heavy uniform coats which they had been wearing.” After trying them on, Porter noticed:

“the general’s blouse, like the others, was of plain material, single-breasted, and had four regulation brass buttons in front. It was substantially the coat of a private soldier, with nothing to indicate the rank of an officer except the three gold stars of a lieutenant general on the shoulder straps. He ware at this time a turn-down white linen collar and a small, black “butterfly” cravat, which was hooked on to his front collar button. The general, when he put on the blouse, did not take the pains to see whether it fitted him or to notice how it looked, but thought only of the comfort it afforded, and said, “well, this is a relief,” and then added: I have never taken as much satisfaction as some people in making frequent changes in my outer clothing. I like to put on a suit of clothes when I get up in the morning, and wear it until I go to bed, unless I have to make a change in my dress to meet company. I have been in the habit of getting one coat at a time, putting it on and wearing it every day as long as it looked respectable, instead of using a best and a second best. I know that is not the right way to manage, but a comfortable coat seems like an old friend, and I don’t like to change it.”

At the same time, he received a pair of light, neatly fitting calfskin boots, “to which he seemed to take a fancy;” and wore them most of the time thereafter, except in bad weather when he put on his old “heavy top-boots.”

From Porter's book, "Campaigning with Grant", it would appear the general was wearing that thin flannel blouse, and his top boots, etc. at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.


Finally, this comes from the "Scrap Book" magazine, 1908:
View attachment 340853View attachment 340854



Best,

Jesse Marshalll,
Hernando, FL.
Horace Porter wrote very well. I’m always struck by his readability.
 
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contestedground

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Here is the other item which I thought you might enjoy:


James N. added this comment in relation to the video:

"I perused this without the sound and would like to point out a flagrant FAKE photo included in the lot: a "portrait" of General Grant wearing the M. 1902 U. S. Army Dress uniform! (Kind of hard since he died in the 1880's!) Of course, after he was President there was NO reason for him to ever wear uniform again, and this is an engraving - NOT a photograph - based on a post-Presidential photo and the portrait of someone else, likely Nelson Miles."
That's Fred Grant.
 

wausaubob

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While he was in the west, Grant was frequently in rifle range of the enemy, and was moving about in southern cities full of citizens of varying loyalty. He was cautious about his appearance.
In the east he was usually not at the front, though there were exceptions. And in the east, he had to fit in with eastern officer corps, and those guys cared about spit and polish.
 

RedRover

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While he was in the west, Grant was frequently in rifle range of the enemy, and was moving about in southern cities full of citizens of varying loyalty. He was cautious about his appearance.
In the east he was usually not at the front, though there were exceptions. And in the east, he had to fit in with eastern officer corps, and those guys cared about spit and polish.
Hello,
This seems reasonable, but being the general-in-chief of the armies of the United States (after March, 1864) I reckon the officer corps of the eastern armies rather had to fit in to his expectations rather than the other way around.

Best,

Jesse Marshall,
Hernando, FL
 
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Cavalry Charger

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There is also something that has come up recently in relation to Grant's appearance and him being within shot of Confederate pickets where they were told not to fire at him as he was basically nobody important, or so it was thought at the time. Grant escaped death on numerous occasions very fortuitously, but on this occasion it was definitely due to his 'dress'. I'll see if I can locate the story of the incident.
 
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James N.

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There is also something that has come up recently in relation to Grant's appearance and him being within shot of Confederate pickets where they were told not to fire at him as he was basically nobody important, or so it was thought at the time. Grant escaped death on numerous occasions very fortuitously, but on this occasion it was definitely due to his 'dress'. I'll see if I can locate the story of the incident.
You're probably thinking of how Bishop Polk told his men not to bother taking potshots at the lone Federal officer whose troops were retreating from the Battle of Belmont, Mo. in late 1861. Another potentially close call came at Chattanooga soon after he arrived there when he blundered within range of some of Longstreet's pickets at the base of Lookout Mountain while inspecting the lines. Supposedly they knew who he was but just saluted!
 

Cavalry Charger

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You're probably thinking of how Bishop Polk told his men not to bother taking potshots at the lone Federal officer whose troops were retreating from the Battle of Belmont, Mo. in late 1861.
That's the one! I know I saw the story only recently, but for the life of me can't remember where :unsure: Thanks, James N.

Another potentially close call came at Chattanooga soon after he arrived there when he blundered within range of some of Longstreet's pickets at the base of Lookout Mountain while inspecting the lines. Supposedly they knew who he was but just saluted!
Yes! I remember this one, too :smile: Great story.
 
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wausaubob

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You're probably thinking of how Bishop Polk told his men not to bother taking potshots at the lone Federal officer whose troops were retreating from the Battle of Belmont, Mo. in late 1861. Another potentially close call came at Chattanooga soon after he arrived there when he blundered within range of some of Longstreet's pickets at the base of Lookout Mountain while inspecting the lines. Supposedly they knew who he was but just saluted!
I doubt anyone was going to shoot Grant after Vicksburg, at least in the west. To many Confederates Grant had to look like the person that could end it so they could all go home.
 

Cavalry Charger

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Another potentially close call came at Chattanooga soon after he arrived there when he blundered within range of some of Longstreet's pickets at the base of Lookout Mountain while inspecting the lines. Supposedly they knew who he was but just saluted!
I found a thread I started about this one :smile:

 

Yankee Brooke

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I always found General Grant and his "un-officer like" appearance to be quite fascinating, myself. It fit his personality, rugged and got the job done. Like Han Solo said, "She(He) may not look like much, but she's(he's) got it where it counts kid."
 
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moreb

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RedRover

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The attached link has a picture of Col B W Grover (1861). It is said that the uniform coat he is wearing in the picture belonged the Gen Grant. Grant gave him his coat when Grover was promoted to Col.. I read where Grant had also been promoted and did not need the coat anymore. I believe coat was given to Grover in Mexico MO.

Great! Yes, there is the photo of Grant in his brigadier General's regulation dress, which evidently replaced the coat in the above post. He was colonel of the 21st Illinois Regiment, and received appointment as brigadier general on July 31, 1862. In the image, he wears a very regulation outfit: brigadier's coat, with the buttons spaced in twos. Here his hat is decorated per the regulations, with the right side looped up, and ostrich feathers on the left, and the "US" in wreath insignia in front, etc. In the 1863-64 images his hat is undecorated, except for the cord, which would be gold for a general.

1578320533919.png


Best,

Jesse Marshall,
Hernando, FL
 
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