Discussion Putting a bounty on each Confederate soldier killed? A pair of pants for each one killed.

major bill

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I am not sure one could call this a bounty, perhaps is is more like a bet.

A Pair of Pants for a Dead Rebel, Grand Rapids Eagle, 13 August 1861.
"Before the Third Regiment left this city for the seat of war, G.M. Huntley of the woolen factory, agreed with Dan Littlefield of Co. A, to give him a new pair of pants for every rebel the he should kill. We understand that Mr. Huntley has become well satisfied that "Dan" has already, individually "popped" over three of the rebel dogs, that number of pairs of pants made out of his best gray cloth, are being ready for Dan's disposal."

I have to wonder if Dan Littlefield kept getting new gray trousers throughout the war.
 

Ole Miss

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This "arrangement" at the beginning of the War was made when the consequences of battle were just being understood. The 1st Battle of Bull Run having occured 3 weeks earlier with a total of 4,600 plus casualties was taking away the glory of battle.

It was after 1st Bull Run that 90 days troops we leaving the army and the 9 months regiments only had 6 months to serve. Lincoln realized the war was going to be longer and far more bloody than anyone believed except for General Sherman who by November 1861 was considered to be insane after his proclimations about how long and bloody the war was to be.
Regards
David
 

Drew

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I don't know why a Michigander would offer up "Gray pants" to a Union Officer and I'm also not aware there was any kind of textile industry in Michigan in 1861. Maybe Mr. Huntley was going to buy this stuff and have it shipped from England or New England?

I'm always willing to be made smarter, but this makes no sense to me.
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Aug 25, 2012
I don't know why a Michigander would offer up "Gray pants" to a Union Officer and I'm also not aware there was any kind of textile industry in Michigan in 1861. Maybe Mr. Huntley was going to buy this stuff and have it shipped from England or New England?

The only Dan Littlefield I can find from Michigan was in the 7th Michigan Cavalry which had not formed until 1862. I am assuming that the soldier in question was in the 3rd Michigan Infantry which had formed in Grand Rapids on May 21, 1861. If Dan Littlefield was still in Grand Rapids when he and Mr. Huntley made this deal, Littlefield would have been still wearing his gray uniform, which had been issued to the entire 3rd Michigan Infantry Regiment. So gray trousers from Mr. Huntley would make sense. The only battle the 3rd Michigan Infantry Regiment before the newspaper article was printed was the Battle of Blackburn's Ford. Perhaps Dan Littlefield could have killed 3 Confederate soldiers in that battle and sniping at Confederate pickets.

I have not heard of G.M. Huntley Woolen Factory, but have never searched for it either. I assume it was located in or near Grand Rapids. At the start of the Civil War Michigan had several woolen factories. However, none of the Michigan woolen factories had vats during the Civil War that could dye cloth blue, so again gray trousers would make sense.

The only big wool factory that I know of in Michigan at the start of the Civil War was H. (Horance) R. Gardner & Company Jonesville Woolen Factory was located on Water Street, Jonesville, Michigan. They manufactured woolen goods. This firm is also found in records as Horace R. and Ranson Gardner. They also provided other orders of cloth, duck and drilling. Gardner & Company made the cloth used to make up the gray cloth for the uniforms of the 4th​ Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the gray cloth for the Michigan Camp of Instruction uniforms. They received a contract to made 1000 sets of uniforms for the state of Illinois. H. R. Gardner also made some blankets for Michigan troops. Prior to the Civil War H. (Horance) R. Gardner & Company Jonesville Woolen Factory supplied cloth to many customers in the Mid West. They were known for making cloth for prison uniforms (many prisons outfitted prisoners in black and white striped clothing).
 
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