Uniforms The centennial calibration and the study of Civil War uniforms.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Aug 25, 2012
I think we can all be thankful for the Civil War centennial and all the buzz it created. Without all the buzz caused by the centennial we would not be where we are as Civil War buffs. That said, not all the items brought out for the Civil War centennial were real good. Some of the items showing uniforms was sad. So tonight I thought we could look at how the centennial impacted the study of Civil War uniforms.

To start: some of the uniforms worn by Civil War reenactors during the 1960s are substandard by current standards. Part of the issue was that there was not a great deal of uniform information available for the reenactors. Let me start with this book.

cen 1.jpg

This is an interesting book and has some fine information. the Black and white drawings of Civil War generals are fairly good as is the text about Civil War generals. The book has color illustrations of uniforms and equipment. Let us take a look.
cen 2.jpg

The uniforms are fairly accurate as is the buttons. The color illustrations of the uniforms are probably not up to current standards. The major short coming, I see, is that most of the uniforms illustrations show militia or early war uniforms or dress uniforms. The uniforms in the book also show uniforms already show by other artist and authors, This book would not have been real good for reenactors because it does not show what a typical soldier would have worn in the field. This is the kind of thing that was available at the start of the centennial that would have been available to reenactors. .

Still for a book published in 1960 this is not a bad book. I still have this book on my book shelf but have not used it in a while to study uniforms.


Jun 28, 2012
Hollywood had a huge negative impact on CW and western military uniforms that we saw in movies.

When I am painting my miniatures I occasionally refer to my Osprey books, but always go to Troiani books, The Time-Life Arms and Equipment books and photos that I have taken of uniforms in museums.

[Edit: I forgot about the Adolphus Confederate Uniform website which gave me the idea for white uniforms.]
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