Uniforms Rebels not half-clad?

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tullock

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According to a letter written by a Michigan soldier in March of 1863, rebels are not half starved nor half-clad.



View attachment 345619
It’s quite true. For the vast majority of the war the various Confederate armies were well uniformed and adequately fed. Of course, at times, there were shortages, but this can be said of any army throughout history when on active campaign.
 
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rpkennedy

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It’s quite true. For the vast majority of the war the various Confederate armies were well uniformed and adequately fed. Of course, at times, there were shortages, but this can be said of any army throughout history when on active campaign.
That is true. There are quite a few reports of Union soldiers going without food for a few days and having no shoes during the Gettysburg Campaign. On the 4th and 5th, they began to get resupplied as the wagon trains caught up to them.

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bdtex

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There were certainly times in which supplies were scarce for the Confederate troops. The Antietam Campaign comes to mind after more than 2 months of almost constant campaigning.

Ryan
I was guessing the same for the Overland Campaign. That's why I said mid-1864. By then the Confederate distribution system had been thoroughly disrupted too.
 
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rpkennedy

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I was guessing the same for the Overland Campaign. That's why I said mid-1864. By then the Confederate distribution system had been thoroughly disrupted too.
Agreed. I would imagine after any kind of extensive, continuous campaigning, both armies would begin to look rather ragged. Once the armies settled down around Petersburg, I could see that the supply issue would even out for both sides until the Federal armies began cutting the railroads when it would become very difficult for the Confederates to get clothing and food from further south (and Sherman's March certainly would not have helped that situation either).

Ryan
 

tullock

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That was March 1863. Not positive but it was probably a different story by mid-1864 on.
By 1864 the Confederate armies were even better supplied, especially with uniforms. For instance, between July 1864 and January 1865, Lee’s ANV received the following clothing from the Richmond clothing facility... 104,199 jackets, 140,570 pairs of trousers, 167,862 pairs of shoes as well as hundreds of thousands of shirts, drawers, socks, hats and caps and blankets. To these figures must be added State issues. The many photos of Confederates taken in 1864/65 clearly show well clad soldiers.
The total issues to all Confederate armies in 1864 alone are simply astounding...458,130 jackets, 695,832 pairs of trousers and 744,851 pairs of shoes, besides millions of shirts, drawers and socks!
 

DaveBrt

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By 1864 the Confederate armies were even better supplied, especially with uniforms. For instance, between July 1864 and January 1865, Lee’s ANV received the following clothing from the Richmond clothing facility... 104,199 jackets, 140,570 pairs of trousers, 167,862 pairs of shoes as well as hundreds of thousands of shirts, drawers, socks, hats and caps and blankets. To these figures must be added State issues. The many photos of Confederates taken in 1864/65 clearly show well clad soldiers.
The total issues to all Confederate armies in 1864 alone are simply astounding...458,130 jackets, 695,832 pairs of trousers and 744,851 pairs of shoes, besides millions of shirts, drawers and socks!
True until October/November 1864. The QM General sends many letters during those months showing the clothing depots were out of clothes and blankets. Sherman and the loss of Wilmington ensured that the ANV was on a permanent down slope when it came to supplies. By the time Charleston was evacuated, late January '65, the saving of a few thousand pounds of lead was given top priority. By mid-summer, the war would have died out for lack of essential supplies (and manpower) for the ANV, the only remaining army.
 
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lelliott19

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There were certainly times in which supplies were scarce for the Confederate troops. The Antietam Campaign comes to mind after more than 2 months of almost constant campaigning.
I know I bring this up every time there's a comment about supplies - but Longstreet's East TN campaign was definitely the period of scarcest supplies for that part of the ANV.
 

rpkennedy

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I know I bring this up every time there's a comment about supplies - but Longstreet's East TN campaign was definitely the period of scarcest supplies for that part of the ANV.
I would imagine so. Being independent of any organized army would definitely leave them off many of the logistical lists for either the AoNV or the AoT. Certainly it would have been Bragg's responsibility to supply Longstreet (or at the very least set up a system that Longstreet could draw upon) but we all know that he wasn't going to do Longstreet any favors.

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bdtex

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By 1864 the Confederate armies were even better supplied, especially with uniforms. For instance, between July 1864 and January 1865, Lee’s ANV received the following clothing from the Richmond clothing facility... 104,199 jackets, 140,570 pairs of trousers, 167,862 pairs of shoes as well as hundreds of thousands of shirts, drawers, socks, hats and caps and blankets. To these figures must be added State issues. The many photos of Confederates taken in 1864/65 clearly show well clad soldiers.
The total issues to all Confederate armies in 1864 alone are simply astounding...458,130 jackets, 695,832 pairs of trousers and 744,851 pairs of shoes, besides millions of shirts, drawers and socks!
What about the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters though?
 
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DaveBrt

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I know I bring this up every time there's a comment about supplies - but Longstreet's East TN campaign was definitely the period of scarcest supplies for that part of the ANV.
Once Longstreet left the AOT, his problems were caused by the lack of a direct connection to the CSA logistics network. Supplies from, say Macon, Ga., had to travel almost to Richmond, then turn around and head back south to the Knoxville or Bristol area. Corn had to travel from Albany almost to Richmond before turning south again. And all this long distance supply travel was on a RR network that was terribly overloaded trying to supply Lee. In fact, one of Longstreet's selling points for going west was the reduction in demand on that RR network his departure would produce. The supplies existed -- the ability to get them to Longstreet was the problem.
 
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This is always an interesting and lively topic for discussion.

It's my understanding during the last years of the War, the CSA had more than enough quality uniforms .
But as has been said, the problem by that phase was distribution.

I seem to recall a thread about roughly 50,000 jackets from Peter Tait & Co., Limerick, Ireland arriving through the blockade.
Quite another lot arrived in Texas.

Naturally, the Texas inventory would have been issued only to the Trans Mississippi Department.

However, if I remember correctly,
it seems only a few hundred of these jackets reached the field troops the in Trans Mississippi.

If I'm mistaken, I hope our uniform experts will correct me.
Until then, this fellow provides some basics about the imported Tait uniforms:

 
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tullock

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What about the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters though?
Read the last paragraph
What about the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters though?
Read the las
I was guessing the same for the Overland Campaign. That's why I said mid-1864. By then the Confederate distribution system had been thoroughly disrupted too.
The numerous surviving Confederate uniform requisition forms all show a regular supply of clothing to the ANV throughout the Overland Campaign. These forms show clothing issued down to company level and signed for by company officers. Even at the supposed ‘lowest ebb’ during the Antietam Campaign, Lee’s troops had been well supplied with uniform items starting in June and continuing into the first week of September.
 
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tullock

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True until October/November 1864. The QM General sends many letters during those months showing the clothing depots were out of clothes and blankets. Sherman and the loss of Wilmington ensured that the ANV was on a permanent down slope when it came to supplies. By the time Charleston was evacuated, late January '65, the saving of a few thousand pounds of lead was given top priority. By mid-summer, the war would have died out for lack of essential supplies (and manpower) for the ANV, the only remaining army.
I certainly agree that the Confederacy was doomed by 1865, however uniform distribution continued unabated. For example in the series of photos taken of recently paroled ANV veterans in the parks and avenues of Richmond, all are seen to be wearing newish English cloth uniforms, with many donning caps (some with waterproof covers).
 

tullock

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Once Longstreet left the AOT, his problems were caused by the lack of a direct connection to the CSA logistics network. Supplies from, say Macon, Ga., had to travel almost to Richmond, then turn around and head back south to the Knoxville or Bristol area. Corn had to travel from Albany almost to Richmond before turning south again. And all this long distance supply travel was on a RR network that was terribly overloaded trying to supply Lee. In fact, one of Longstreet's selling points for going west was the reduction in demand on that RR network his departure would produce. The supplies existed -- the ability to get them to Longstreet was the problem.
Many of Longstreet’s troops received supplies direct from AOT stores during this period. Many issues were described as ‘Bragg jackets’ suggesting maybe Columbus Depit styles.
 
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