New Confederate uniform book 'Never In Rags'

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#1
Hi
My latest book ‘ Never In Rags’, described by William Frassanito as “The most comprehensive study of Confederate uniforms, and their distribution, ever undertaken”, has recently been published. It is the first in a nine volume series. Each volume comprises over one thousand pages of uniform issue tables, photographs, color plates and eyewitness accounts. Volume one covers uniform issues to Confederate forces in the East (from Virginia, down through the Carolinas and Georgia to Eastern Florida in 1863).
All reviews have been excellent. The latest from Civil War News states “This book has considerable merit. As a reference tool, this book is well worth the cost. It is easy to read and has some of the best graphics I have seen”.
It is available in hardback from Military Book Publishing in the UK
Thank you
Jeff Dugdale
 

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AUG

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That's actually an image of Federal prisoners at Camp Ford, Texas, often mistaken for Confederate POWs. They were mostly Federal troops captured in the Trans-Mississippi, a lot from the Red River Campaign and Camden Expedition. If you do an image search you'll find a few other photographs.
 
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#5
Hi
My latest book ‘ Never In Rags’, described by William Frassanito as “The most comprehensive study of Confederate uniforms, and their distribution, ever undertaken”, has recently been published. It is the first in a nine volume series. Each volume comprises over one thousand pages of uniform issue tables, photographs, color plates and eyewitness accounts. Volume one covers uniform issues to Confederate forces in the East (from Virginia, down through the Carolinas and Georgia to Eastern Florida in 1863).
All reviews have been excellent. The latest from Civil War News states “This book has considerable merit. As a reference tool, this book is well worth the cost. It is easy to read and has some of the best graphics I have seen”.
It is available in hardback from Military Book Publishing in the UK
Thank you
Jeff Dugdale
Hello Jeff.

Welcome to Civil War Talk.

I'm looking forward to your book.
Please keep us informed when your future volumes are published.
 
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Pvt.Shattuck

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That's actually an image of Federal prisoners at Camp Ford, Texas, often mistaken for Confederate POWs. They were mostly Federal troops captured in the Trans-Mississippi, a lot from the Red River Campaign and Camden Expedition. If you do an image search you'll find a few other photographs.
Seems likely but couldn't find a source. No studio photos from Camp Ford, TX. It's a Corbis image.
 

AUG

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Seems likely but couldn't find a source. No studio photos from Camp Ford, TX. It's a Corbis image.
Well see here, and translate to English: http://www.storiamilitare.altervista.org/uniformisudiste1.htm

Its actually likely that the image was taken in New Orleans shortly after they were exchanged. Can't find that one on LoC, however there are several other images taken in New Orleans of recently exchanged Federal prisoners from Camp Ford (here, here and here). The last one of those three is a studio portrait similar to the one in question. Whatever the case I'm almost certain that they are not Confederate prisoners. The man on the left appears to be wearing a Federal sack coat, possibly the guy on the right as well, and they look very similar to the Camp Ford prisoners in the other photos.
 

Pvt.Shattuck

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I can certainly believe that from the extreme state of their appearance that these boys are more likely POWs than ragged veterans of Lee's army. If you and Matteo Fontana, whoever he is, recognize that remnant as a Union sack coat, OK by me, but still no source for the image.
 

AUG

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I can certainly believe that from the extreme state of their appearance that these boys are more likely POWs than ragged veterans of Lee's army. If you and Matteo Fontana, whoever he is, recognize that remnant as a Union sack coat, OK by me, but still no source for the image.
I believe Matteo Fontana is @Klaudly here on the forum, or at least he also contributes to that website. Perhaps he can tell up more about it.
 

Klaudly

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#11
I'm not Matteo Fontana, he is the creator of the site (http://www.storiamilitare.altervista.org/index.htm), I'm Claudio Auditore, and collaborate with some articles. Can I ask Matteo his opinion.
Personally I think they are Union prisoners. In all cases, the study of uniform, can not start considering the wretched conditions of the uniform of the prisoners. Any prisoner (Union or Confederate) after a few months had the uniform in poor condition. Many photos of just captured Confederate prisoners showed excellent uniform.
 
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#12
That's actually an image of Federal prisoners at Camp Ford, Texas, often mistaken for Confederate POWs. They were mostly Federal troops captured in the Trans-Mississippi, a lot from the Red River Campaign and Camden Expedition. If you do an image search you'll find a few other photographs.
Well see here, and translate to English: http://www.storiamilitare.altervista.org/uniformisudiste1.htm

Its actually likely that the image was taken in New Orleans shortly after they were exchanged. Can't find that one on LoC, however there are several other images taken in New Orleans of recently exchanged Federal prisoners from Camp Ford (here, here and here). The last one of those three is a studio portrait similar to the one in question. Whatever the case I'm almost certain that they are not Confederate prisoners. The man on the left appears to be wearing a Federal sack coat, possibly the guy on the right as well, and they look very similar to the Camp Ford prisoners in the other photos.
If you look closely enough you will see that his captions are above the photograph and he attributes these two as captured at Norfolk, VA October 1864, he also attributes the photo (underneath) as from the Library of Congress. These would seem to be Confederate prisoners, their uniforms are consistent with long term exposure and the lack of buttons is also a tell tale. POWs traded buttons to guards and other POWs for favors and food.
 
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#13
Hi Everyone,
I would like to thank you all for your interest. Over the next couple of days I will post several extracts from the book. Below is part of the introduction to the book.


In just one year, 1863, the huge amount of clothing listed below was distributed to just four Confederate regiments – 5th South Carolina Cavalry, 36th Virginia Infantry, 47th North Carolina Infantry and 63rd Georgia Infantry.

6223 Jackets and coats
8947 Pairs pants
7576 Pairs shoes and boots
8172 Shirts
7284 Pairs socks
7548 Pairs drawers
5504 Hats and caps

These were typical regimental issues to all Confederate units at this point in the War.

Still think Confederates were dressed in rags?




‘NEVER IN RAGS’, is the first volume in a groundbreaking nine volume series which covers, in great detail, the supply and issue of uniforms to the Confederate army during the Civil war. It is a unique and provocative work which challenges the myth of the ‘Ragged Reb’, utilizing period photos, numerous personal recollections, specially commissioned artwork and thousands of Regimental clothing issue tables.
This series of books finally lays to rest the fabled image of the ill-equipped, starving Reb and strongly promotes the finely clothed and generously supplied Confederate soldier.
Volume one covers the Eastern armies in 1863, Volume two Eastern Armies 1862, Volume three 1864. The Army of Tennessee and the Trans-Mississippi Department are covered in later volumes.

Below is one of the color plates and text.


Private. 9th Louisiana Infantry Regiment. January 1863

The hard drinking, hard fighting 9th Louisiana Infantry was a unit serving in Harry T. Hay’s Brigade. Throughout its service with the Army of Northern Virginia it received huge amounts of clothing on a regular basis. For example, between December 1862 and December 1863, the regiment, barely numbering 300-400 men, was issued 1090 jackets, 1839 pairs of pants, 1627 pairs of shoes, 1363 shirts, 967 pairs of socks, 1328 pairs of drawers, 378 caps and 44 hats. The other regiments in the Brigade received similar issues of clothing.
This soldier is wearing one of the 525 jackets issued to his regiment in December 1862, 240 of which were described as being ‘drab’ in color. Drab usually referred to undyed jean or wool cloth and could range in color from off-white to a light brown or dirty gray. His light blue jean cloth pants and plain gray cap are both Richmond Depot issue. His gray vest is a civilian item.
In the illustration the soldier is examining a Federal uniform recently acquired at Fredericksburg.


1..jpg
 

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AUG

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#14
If you look closely enough you will see that his captions are above the photograph and he attributes these two as captured at Norfolk, VA October 1864, he also attributes the photo (underneath) as from the Library of Congress. These would seem to be Confederate prisoners, their uniforms are consistent with long term exposure and the lack of buttons is also a tell tale. POWs traded buttons to guards and other POWs for favors and food.
Read the entire paragraph above the image. He actually says that it is often mistaken for being two Confederate soldiers captured at Norfolk, VA, however he believes they are most likely Federal prisoners, and that the man on the left appears to be wearing a Federal sack coat.

IMO, they appear much more ragged than most Confederate prisoners I have seen in other images. (See here for a list of Confederate POW images.) If they were two Confederate prisoners just captured at Norfolk, VA, then wouldn't they most likely be wearing Richmond Depot uniforms, shell jackets, etc.?
 
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#15
North Carolina's soldiers were not dressed in rags. Through the use of these vessels an immense amount of valuable stores was imported. No entirely accurate figures can be obtained as to the amount, but Governor Vance said in 1885 that he had distributed large quantities of machinery, 60,000 pairs of hand wool cards, 10,000 scythes, 200 barrels of bluestone for fertilizing wheat, 250,000 pairs of shoes, 50,000 blankets, cloth for 250,000 uniforms, 12,000 overcoats, 2,000 Enfield rifles with 100 rounds of ammunition each, 100,000 pounds of bacon, 500 sacks of coffee, $50,000 worth of medicines at gold prices, and an immense supply of minor stores. Through this means the North Carolina troops were clothed. Nor were North Carolina troops alone served. After Chickamauga
WP.gif
Longstreet's men received 14,000 complete uniforms and when
WP.gif
Johnston surrendered the state had on hand 92,000 suits.
To pay for all these things some cotton was sent out and warrants were issued payable in cotton and rosin in North Carolina which the Union army afterwards captured.
source-http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer...States/North_Carolina/_Texts/CBHHNC/3/2*.html
 

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Pvt.Shattuck

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#16
OK. I don't mean to be argumentative but we have some opinions and still no documented source. We can't even find it on the LOC. I agree they look more like Federal POWs, not ragged Confederates as they are usually described and as suggested by my OP. Point taken. An Italian webpage, however, hardly meets our standards here.
 

Klaudly

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#17
An Italian website can hardly be a reference to the historic uniforms, but after years of study on the subject, I can say that the Confederate soldier in tattered clothes is a legend. Certainly there was a lack of uniformity, the supplies were irregular and sometimes the soldiers had to arrange, but generally the Confederate soldier was well dressed, I hope that my belief is strengthened by this new series of books of Jeff Dugdal. After hard military campaigns, the clothing was not the best, but I believe that even a Union soldier returning to start base after weeks on the battlefield was not in the best conditions, and it certainly was not well dressed a soldier after months of captivity.
2nc3xc5.jpg

This is Colonel Aaron Flory of the 46th Indiana Infantry photographed after he escaped and returned to his unit after a brief imprisonment, after seeing this photo I do not affirm certain that the Union soldiers wore rags.
 

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#18
How to explain sources from that era that describe Confederate soldiers as dressed in rags?

Looking at the photographs of Confederate soldiers would quickly dispel any notion that they were universally ragged, but I wonder if using the word 'never' might be going too far in the othe direction.

Here is one example:

We were having our literary exercises on Friday afternoon, at our Seminary, when the cry reached our ears. Rushing to the door, and standing on the front portico we beheld in the direction of the Theological Seminary, a dark, dense mass, moving toward town. Our teacher, Mrs. Eyster, at once said:

'Children, run home as quickly as you can.'

"It did not require repeating. I am satisfied some of the girls did not reach their homes before the Rebels were in the streets.

"As for myself, I had scarcely reached the front door, when, on looking up the street, I saw some of the men on horseback. I scrambled in, slammed shut the door, and hastening to the sitting room, peeped out between the shutters.

"What a horrible sight! There they were, human beings! Clad almost in rags, covered with dust, riding wildly, pell-mell down the hill toward our home! Shouting, yelling most unearthly, cursing, brandishing their revolvers, and firing right and left.

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/gtburg.htm
 
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#19
Hi,
Thanks again for your comments. Below are just a few of the numerous quotes in the book describing the Army of Northern Virginia en-route to Gettysburg. The final quote describes the army retreating back to Virginia a few days after Gettysburg.


PICKETT’S INFANTRY DIVISION
June 3rd 1863

‘At Taylorsville Pickett’s division, fully equipped, was made ready for the most active field service.’

Corporal David E. Johnson
Company D. 7th Virginia Infantry Regiment

STUART’S CAVALRY DIVISION
June 5th 1863

‘At about ten o’clock the whole column, which was about two miles long, was ready and in splendid trim to pass in review.’

Corporal George M. Neese
Chewis Battery
PENDER’S INFANTRY DIVISON
June 22nd 1863

‘Their clothing is serviceable, so also are their boots, but there is the usual utter absence of uniformity as to color and shape of their garments and hats: gray of all shades and brown clothing, with felt hats, predominate.’

Lieut. Colonel A. J. L. Fremantle
Coldstream Guards
European Military Observer
ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA
June 25th 1863

‘Our army is very large…and in the finest trim you ever saw. Horses, mules and wagons in good order, men well clad and fed…’

Colonel David Wyatt Aiken
7th South Carolina Infantry Regiment

McLAWS INFANTRY DIVISION
June 25th 1863

‘All were well shod and efficiently clothed.’

Lieut. Colonel A. J. L. Fremante
Coldstream Guards
European Military Observer
2ND MARYLAND INFANTRY REGIMENT
June 26th 1863
‘On this day’s march an old man walked along talking to us. He said “They have been telling us you rebs were a ragged set, but you seem to have pretty good clothes…”’
Sergeant J. Wm Thomas
Company A. 2nd Maryland Infantry Regiment

RODES’ INFANTRY DIVISION
At Carlisle, Pennsylvania. En-route to Gettysburg
June 27th/28th 1863
“I may now mention some of the points as to which I think the legend has not its facts right. It describes, for instance, the invading army as “half starved” and “in rags” and its equipment as “worn out”. My eyes saw differently. I used them to advantage, going about freely, as a grown man might not have done…….
…….Where were those “ragged uniforms? ” those “half starved stragglers?” that “army of plight?”Our newspaper prophets of a speedy Confederate collapse through its army’s miseries must have been talking about some other army! The passing uniforms undergoing our inspection were if not new, newish; there being no showing of torn coats and badly frayed trousers……knapsacks and haversacks, the whole personal kit, was in order; arms were at every man’s command………The officer’s uniforms were of a light – gray cloth, the garniture a brilliant gold galloon; the private’s a dark gray with a few martial frills. Further opportunity for inspection of cavalry, infantry, artillery and the transportation service confirmed my first impression of a fit, well – fed, well conditioned army………. I certainly saw the Confederates not as “ragged” and “half – starved”……….
………Everything was moving along with the regularity of a well organized parade. By the time I got back home any notion I had had of seeing an army fortelling defeat by signs of impoverishment and exhaustion was dislodged from my mind. We had been fed on lies.”
James. W. Sullivan
Civilian Eyewitness
PICKETT’S INFANTRY DIVISION
June 27th 1863
‘The officers and men are all in excellent condition.’
Major General George E. Pickett

2ND NORTH CAROLINA INFANTRY REGIMENT
June 28th 1863
‘The citizens all express great astonishment at seeing us and our horses looking so sleek (and) fat. They thought to see us all of ragged and dirty skeletons… Our army is in fine condition and ready for any emergency.’
Lieutenant William Calder
Company F. 2nd North Carolina Infantry Regiment
PETTIGREW’S INFANTRY BRIGADE
June 1863

‘Pettigrew’s regiments were full, well clothed and well armed, altogether they were a fine body of men.’

Captain James S. Harris
Company B. 7th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

1ST SOUTH CAROLINA INFANTRY REGIMENT (HAGOOD’S)
June 1863
‘We were given new uniforms while here (Petersburg) and fixed up in pretty good shape.’

Private Frank M. Mixson
Company E. 1st South Carolina Infantry Regiment

RODES’ INFANTRY DIVISION
Late June 1863
‘This large body of men were three days in passing through our place, and they presented a most interesting and impressive sight…The men were in splendid condition and in high spirits.’

Thomas A. Ashby
Civilian Eyewitness
McGOWAN’S INFANTRY BRIGADE
June 1863
“In addition to this, we were in excellent health, and more properly equipped than at
any period prior or subsequent.”

J.F.J. Caldwell. The History of a Brigade of South Carolinians. Pages 95-96

IMBODEN’S CAVALRY BRIGADE
June 1863
‘Imboden’s brigade did not seem to have seen much hard service, at least I thought so because their clothes were new…’
John L. Collins
8th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment

CONFEDERATE PICKETS
RICHARD’S FORD VIRGINIA
June 1863
‘This was the first opportunity we had to become acquainted with the Confederates in a friendly manner at close range and it was a surprise, to some of us at least, to find these men quite like ourselves in a great many ways and not at all the “barbarians” some of our Northern journalists and orators had pictured them to be. They were clad in either butternut or grey clothes and were generally well dressed so far as comfort was concerned, but they did not present a very military appearance. Some wore hats of black, some of grey and some wore caps which we recognized as having been intended originally for use in the union army…’
Unidentified Union Soldier
146th New York State Volunteers

ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA
AT WILLIAMSPORT, EN-ROUTE TO GETTYSBURG
June 1863
‘The men’s shoes are good and so are their clothes, though they look very coarse, being made from a yellowish- brown homespun.’
Captain Fitzgerald Ross
European Military Observer
55TH NORTH CAROLINA INFANTRY REGIMENT
June 1863
‘When the fifty-fifth regiment left the cars at Hamilton’s crossing, near Fredericksburg, to take its place in its brigade in Heth’s Division, A.P. Hills Corps, of the Army of Northern Virginia, it was both in respect to its discipline and its appearance one of the finest regiments in the army…The men of the regiment were well clad, and the ranks of each company were full… The regiment crossed the Potomac with the Army of Northern Virginia in fine spirits, and when it reached Cashtown on the night of 29 June, it was in splendid condition.’

Lieutenant Charles M. Cooke
Adjutant 55th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

26TH NORTH CAROLINA INFANTRY REGIMENT
June 1863

‘What a fine appearance the regiment made as it marched out from its bivouac near Fredericksburg that June morning. The men beaming in their splendid uniforms.’

Lieutenant George C. Underwood
Company G. 26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA
(DURING THE RETREAT FROM GETTYSBURG)
July 1863

‘Provisions were plentiful, and the men were in excellent spirits.’

‘I was surprised to see how well the men were shod… Many a European army would have been half without shoes, but here there were few barefooted men, and during our halt these few were supplied by stores sent up from the rear. Almost all their boots and shoes are imported from England through the blockade.

Captain Fitzgerald Ross
European Military Observer

As one can see, the bulk of these descriptions are from trained military observers and not from ordinary Pennsylvania folk who were unused to seeing the plain, unadorned uniforms worn by Lee’s men.

Cavalrymen of the 5th Virginia Regiment captured at the Battle of Aldie. June 17th 1863



upload_2016-9-3_11-9-8.png

Most wear Richmond Depot jackets. One has frock coat uncannily similar to the one shown in the famous 'Sniper' photo at Gettysburg. Included in the main photo ( of which this is an enlarged segment),are several civilian dignitaries, including women, invited to stand in with the prisoners. Many historians have mistaken these civilians for soldiers.

Jeff
 
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Klaudly

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#20
Drum major of the 114th Pennsylvania describes confederate prisoners, in dicembre1863:
"The prisoners here taken were better clothed than any we had before seen; all were provided with overcoat and jacket of much better material than our own. They were of english manufacture, and they furnished conclusive evidence of successful blockade runner."
 

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