The Ohio Militia Artillery Shako: Intense Excitement!


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major bill

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#3
I do not know of any uniform expert that specializes in Civil War era Ohio uniforms. This is probably a subject where additional study could be done.
 

major bill

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#4
Cleveland must have had a newspaper or two in publication before the Civil War. I wonder if their are copies of them still in existence? If so, there is a possibility that the newspapers described the Cleveland Light Artillery uniform. Ron Field has published two books on Union states uniforms at the start of the Civil War which cover the eastern Union states.

I suspect he is working on a book covering the Midwestern states.
 
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major bill

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#5
This is what I have on Ohio. Before the Regulations for the Military forces of Ohio was published in 1859 there is limited information concerning the uniforms of the Ohio militia. Even after the 1859 uniform regulations came out some militia companies did not switch to the required dark blue frock coats, sky blue trousers, and tall uniform cap. The 1859 uniform regulations also called for sky blue jackets for fatigue wear.

Prior to the 1859 uniform regulations the Cleveland Light Artillery are said to have worn; "The Cleveland Light Artillery had blue coatees trimmed in red and sported black leather helmets of antique pattern." (p.1084,Frederick P. Todd, American Military Equipage 1851 - 1872 Vol II, State Forces).

The Cleveland Light Artillery reformed after the Civil War in 1872. "Double-breasted blue tail coat with buttons in pairs, sky blue pants, both trimmed with red; leather helmets, brass trim, red horse hair plumes. In 1859 armed with 6-pdr bronze guns (p.1095,Frederick P. Todd, American Military Equipage 1851 - 1872 Vol II, State Forces).
 
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#7
Yeah, from what I understand the militia was a hot mess pre 1859. The thread I linked shows a segment of the CLA of ‘61, supposedly the Brooklyn contingent, before the war. Given their outfits I’m assuming this is 1859 or 1860. There are a whopping total of 2-3 photos of them... most of the articles in local newspapers (Cleveland Leader & Plain Dealer, now in the same archive) are either written in the past tense or focus on what the unit was doing more than how they were dressed.

The bit you quoted on the uniform pre-1859 is definitely a interesting development. I’ve always been suspicious of some of the accounts with them in leather helmets, wondering if they weren’t conflating the current & pre-war uniforms.

I wonder if their helmets weren’t of the Tarelton pattern, meant to evoke light cavalry of the revolution? If I understand the accounts correctly, the unit was training to be a mounted battery, with everyone including cannoneers on horses, so the cavalry stylings are quite intentional.
 

major bill

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#10
Interesting... that may be an avenue for me to pursue in the future.
A bit off topic for the OP, but still interesting detail of Cleveland militia uniforms.

Some prewar militia companies used canteeners for example the Cleveland Greys ca. 1855. Canteeners, Grand Rapids (Michigan) Enquirer Aug, 29 1855, page 3 column 2 “The Greys of Cleveland during a recent parade, were accompanied by two “canteeners” – girls thirteen of fourteen year old. Their uniform was a grey cap, and bodice skirts of genuine American Stripes, and grey pants.”
 
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#11
To continue the digression …

"In August (1855), the Grays held another parade. The marching complement was ornamented by the daughters of Major David L. Wood of the Light Artillery and Captain Paddock; both girls dressed in the uniform of the Company and marched on either side of the Company flag carrying baskets of rags with which to bandage the wounded and a cask of brandy for the fatigued and wounded soldiers …" Vourlojianis, George. The Cleveland Grays: An Urban Military Company, 1837 - 1919, Kent: Kent State University Press, 2002, 18-19.
 
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#12
Ah yes, Dr. Vourlojianis was one of my Professors at JCU... though I actually read his book before I met him. I don’t know how the canteneer comments escaped my notice but it has been a while since I looked at that book.
 



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