Need help identifying uniform

May 20, 2017
Hello. I am hoping someone will recognize the frock and kepi this soldier is wearing. At first glance it appeared to be some type of early Confederate uniform but I'm not sure that is the case, he could be Militia? Thanks!
Image 1.jpg

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James N.

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Feb 23, 2013
East Texas
He's definitely an artilleryman - note the crossed cannon insignia on his kepi (which looks a lot like a Confederate example I've seen somewhere) and the either French 1820's light artillery saber or its M.1840 U. S. copy made by the Ames Mfg. Co. He has a regulation U.S. sword belt plate, but those were commonly worn by Confederates as well. The shoulder scales were also U. S. regulation enlisted men's items worn in full dress on the short artillery shell jackets or infantry or foot artillery frock coats, but might also have worn early in the war by Confederates.

major bill

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Aug 25, 2012
I am not sure he is wearing any rank. Can anyone tell if he has Confederate style lieutenant rank on his collar?
Mar 30, 2018
Tucson, Arizona
Given the difference in shade between the Kepi and the Frock Coat, I present the following deductions for consideration:

First, an assumption can be made that the Kepi is dark blue in color. Oftentimes, thanks to the way in which the photo-sensitive emulsions of that time reacted to certain hues, red would have appeared rather light, and washed out, eliminating red as the kepi color, HOWEVER... one can also notice that the collar of the frock is distinctively darker than the body of the jacket, AND a faint row of piping between the two is lighter than both the collar AND the jacket.

This leads me to believe that this soldier is wearing a grey or light-blue frock coat with medium to dark blue collar and kepi with red piping. The branch of service is supported by the sword, shoulder scales, and the diminutive crossed cannons on the Kepi, lending support to the idea that the piping is red, washed out by the photographic limitations of that time period.

Dating this pic is a bit more difficult, but based on the rather long hair and uniform embellishments (particularly the shoulder scales and Kepi brass) I would lean heavily toward an early or even pre-war timeframe. Such 'fancy' hat brass was replaced by the standard issue crossed cannons in the Federal army relatively quickly, whereas such 'pieces of flare' were often times eliminated in Confederate service early in the conflict. Also, its quite probable that a Kepi such as this one would have been replaced by a Forage Cap or Hardee Hat in Federal Service... or a gray-ish kepi or slouch on the Southern side of the fight. Finally, such a 'fancy' uniform would have succumbed to the necessities of the conflict fairly early on, being replaced with a Federal Shell Jacket or Sack Coat in the north, or a simple Shell Jacket south of the Mason-Dixon.

As to exactly what unit this uniform represents, alas I have no real idea, nor do I feel it prudent to offer an opinion beyond that which I have already shared. So many of these 'fancy' uniforms were poorly recorded, and fewer still saved, that all-too-often their origins will remain lost to history.

Good luck, hope this helps.
Sep 28, 2013
Am I the only one seeing the hat badge as Post-war Crossed Rifles?
I can understand how one may see that, but I agree with the others . . . I'm seeing crossed gun tubes.
I vote this gentleman is an officer in an early War artillery unit . . . North or South is almost impossible to tell unless we had a high resolution close up of the the buttons or buckle. And I doubt that would be a positive ID

Plus . . . the cut of his uniform doesn't have the 'look' of post war.

Only IMHO.

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