Uniforms Jackson Michigan Civil War uniforms?

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major bill

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I was going though some history books on Jackson Michigan. The caption says "The Jackson Grey entraining for volunteer service April 29, 1861, Captain Wm. H. Withington in command". I have my doubts.

greys.jpg


Because the image came from an old book the image does not show much detail. However the spiked helmets give me pause. Not the enlisted men appear to wear tail coats and the officer a double-breasted frock coat. I have seen several newspaper articles about the Jackson Greys and no newspaper article talks about spiked helmets. Do the hats worn by the civilians in the rear of the company look like Civil War ea hats?
 

Lampasas Bill

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I agree with your doubts. I think we're probably looking at post 1870-71, when the spike-helmeted Prussians whipped the kepi-wearing French. After that most armies wanted to emulate German military fashion.
 
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major bill

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I agree with your doubts. I think we're probably looking at post 1870-71, when the spike-helmeted Prussians whipped the kepi-wearing French. After that most armies wanted to emulate German military fashion.
Also the white shirt collars seem to be too tall for Civil War uniforms.
 

Lampasas Bill

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In the close-up, It looks like the man on the left is wearing a forage cap. Perhaps the spiked helmets were only worn on full dress occasions. That might account for the newspaper articles not mentioning them. The articles might have been written before the helmets were adopted. Also, I don't see the woman in the rear, but may be if I stare at it long enough . . . .
 

major bill

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This is what I have of their pre Civil War militia uniforms. The dress coats in post #1 do not match what the newspaper says and do not match a photo of their which show their pre War dress coat. One photograph shows a double-breasted tail coat and the photo in post #1 shows a single- breasted tail coat.

The Michigan Adjutant General Report of 1860 only indicates that the Jackson Greys wore gray uniforms but the following period accounts tells us that The Jackson Greys wore grey coatees faced with red or crimson and trimmed with lace. Their trousers were gray with red stripes. For full dress occasions the company wore Bearskin shakos. For fatigue duties, the Jackson Greys replaced their grand full dress uniforms with a more simple dress consisting of grey jackets and gray trousers with red stripes. For fatigue duties blue caps replace their bearskins.

The local newspapers describe the Jackson Greys uniforms differently and to get a clear understand of what they wore the various accounts must be studied. An article from the American Citizen stated that they adopted grey dress coats with red trimming and facings and “tastily ornamented with gold lace and buttons’ and grey pants with stripes and bearskin shako or grenadier hats with a very stylish top. The Detroit Daily Advertiser article published in September of 1860 gives the uniforms of the Jackson Greys as being gray dress coats[ii] with crimson facings, trimmed with lace. The article goes on to say that the Jackson Greys wore gray pants with red stripes.[iii] According to a Detroit Free Press article of September 1 1860 the Jackson Greys wore gray dress coats and pants trimmed with red. Bearskin shakos were worn with their dress uniforms. For fatigue duties gray jackets and gray pants were worn. Blue caps replace the bearskins for fatigue duties.[iv]
Their uniforms were probably could be mixed to provide several optional dress options, for example, their blue caps likely replaced the bearskins during disagreeable weather.
The photograph shows a dark gray nine button double breasted jacket with dark colored collar with open gold lace button holes with the underlying dark color showing in the center. There are gilt buttons on each button hole lace. The sleeves have a rectangular black slash without points. The slash has 4 gilt buttons. The sleeves also have a dark turnback. The epaulettes are black with white semi-circle of white cord. The fringe on this is white. The cross strap and belt are white and the belt plate and cross strap have standard U.S. types. The trousers are gray with a watch chain tucked into a watch pocket. The headgear shown is a black bearskin with two light colored tassels. In a reconstructed uniform on display the dark color is shown as black. Why this does not match period accounts of red trim unknown.


Jackson Light Infantry. The American Citizen (Jackson), December 15 1859, p. 3, col.1.
[ii] This newspaper article is probably is referring to coatees.
[iii] “The Encampment at Jackson”, Detroit Daily Advertiser, August 30, 1860, p. 2, col. 1.
[iv] “The State Encampment”, Detroit Free Press, September 1 1860, p. 1, col. 2-4.
 
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major bill

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This is a photo of Captain Wm. H. Withington before he was elected captain. To believe the photograph in post #1is the Jackson Greys departing in 1861 they would either be wearing their fatigue jackets,or need to purchase new dress coats. Also need to have had spiked helmets.

I have a feeling the photo in post #1 is one of the post Civil War militia companies of Jackson: The Emmett Rifles, Jackson Guard Cadet, Jackson Guard, or Jackson Rifles. Possible the Jackson Calvary, but they do not look like cavalry.
gray jackson.jpg
 
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major bill

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The 50 plus year old book this appeared in listed a private owner. Perhaps when they die they passed the photo on to a descendant or perhaps the local library or history society.

A friend has recently purchased a photo of a militiaman and I spent some time looking at Jackson Michigan militias to help them. Unless they think this photo matches the uniform in their photo, Iam not sure it worth the time to try to locate the image from the book. Perhaps I will check with the Jackson Library, Michigan Archives, and Jackson Historical Society. If I do much more than this, my friend with the photo will owe me a favor.
 
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Package4

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The 50 plus year old book this appeared in listed a private owner. Perhaps when they die they passed the photo on to a descendant or perhaps the local library or history society.

A friend has recently purchased a photo of a militiaman and I spent some time looking at Jackson Michigan militias to help them. Unless they think this photo matches the uniform in their photo, Iam not sure it worth the time to try to locate the image from the book. Perhaps I will check with the Jackson Library, Michigan Archives, and Jackson Historical Society. If I do much more than this, my friend with the photo will owe me a favor.
In addition to the above, the low collar jackets and low crown on kepi are very indicative of IW period militia.
 
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