Uniforms Two General Orders during the Civil War changed the uniforms of Union chaplains.

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General Orders 102 November 25, 1861

IV -- The uniform of chaplains of the army will be plain black frock coat with standing collar, and one row of nine black buttons; plain black pantaloons; black felt hat, or army forage cap, without ornament. On occasion of ceremony, a plain chapeau de bras may be worn. BY COMMAND OF MAJOR GENERAL MCCLELLAN


General Orders 247 August 25, 1864

The uniforms of Chaplains in the Army, prescribed in General Orders No. 102, November 25, 1861, is hereby republished with modifications, as follows:
Plain black frock coat with standing collar, one row of nine black buttons on the breast, the "herring bone" of black braid around the buttons and button holes.
Plain black pantaloons
Black felt hat or forage cap with gold embroidered wreath in front, on black velvet ground, encircling the letters U.S. in silver, old English character.
On Occasions o ceremony, a plain chapeau de bras may be worn.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR

So could one read these General Orders as prescribing a black forage cap? Does G.O. 247 authorize the wearing of gold embroidered wreath in front?

My view is the forage cap would be normal blue as the General Orders say 'black forage cap'. To me G.O. 247 does not prescribe the wreath on the front of the hat.

So now that I have posted the General Orders, what uniforms did the chaplains really wear? I am assuming that most chaplains were allowed some latitude on what they wore.
 

Belfoured

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Aug 3, 2019
General Orders 102 November 25, 1861

IV -- The uniform of chaplains of the army will be plain black frock coat with standing collar, and one row of nine black buttons; plain black pantaloons; black felt hat, or army forage cap, without ornament. On occasion of ceremony, a plain chapeau de bras may be worn. BY COMMAND OF MAJOR GENERAL MCCLELLAN


General Orders 247 August 25, 1864

The uniforms of Chaplains in the Army, prescribed in General Orders No. 102, November 25, 1861, is hereby republished with modifications, as follows:
Plain black frock coat with standing collar, one row of nine black buttons on the breast, the "herring bone" of black braid around the buttons and button holes.
Plain black pantaloons
Black felt hat or forage cap with gold embroidered wreath in front, on black velvet ground, encircling the letters U.S. in silver, old English character.
On Occasions o ceremony, a plain chapeau de bras may be worn.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR

So could one read these General Orders as prescribing a black forage cap? Does G.O. 247 authorize the wearing of gold embroidered wreath in front?

My view is the forage cap would be normal blue as the General Orders say 'black forage cap'. To me G.O. 247 does not prescribe the wreath on the front of the hat.

So now that I have posted the General Orders, what uniforms did the chaplains really wear? I am assuming that most chaplains were allowed some latitude on what they wore.
The Rev. William Corby, CSC, of Gettysburg fame (and later the second President of Notre Dame) apparently wore black frock and a broad brimmed black hat. There is a painting of him at Notre Dame blessing the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg in which the color appears to be sort of blue, but it should be black. ND dispatched a few other CSC's as chaplains, as well, and they were loosely attired in a way that is consistent with the regulations. I haven't seen images of any wearing a fatigue cap.
 

James N.

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The Rev. William Corby, CSC, of Gettysburg fame (and later the second President of Notre Dame) apparently wore black frock and a broad brimmed black hat. There is a painting of him at Notre Dame blessing the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg in which the color appears to be sort of blue, but it should be black. ND dispatched a few other CSC's as chaplains, as well, and they were loosely attired in a way that is consistent with the regulations. I haven't seen images of any wearing a fatigue cap.
There is a full-page photo of a seated Irish Brigade chaplain (not Corby, but 69th N.Y.S. M. I believe) wearing one in a Centennial-era book I have by Bell I. Wiley called They Who Fought Here.
 

Belfoured

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There is a full-page photo of a seated Irish Brigade chaplain (not Corby, but 69th N.Y.S. M. I believe) wearing one in a Centennial-era book I have by Bell I. Wiley called They Who Fought Here.
I'd have to look for it but I know there is a photo of four or five chaplains, including Corby. The ND Archives has photos of a couple of others, as well, with similar attire.
 

Kurt G

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Chaplain Horatio Howell of the 90th Pennsylvania was killed in Gettysburg when he did not immediately surrender . He was wearing a straight dress sword at the time and was trying to explain that he was a non-combatant when he was shot . It seems odd that a chaplain would wear a sword . Was there a regulation about chaplains wearing swords ?
 

James N.

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Chaplain Horatio Howell of the 90th Pennsylvania was killed in Gettysburg when he did not immediately surrender . He was wearing a straight dress sword at the time and was trying to explain that he was a non-combatant when he was shot . It seems odd that a chaplain would wear a sword . Was there a regulation about chaplains wearing swords ?
Generally speaking, they weren't supposed to wear one; saying that, I believe the fellow I mentioned above wearing the kepi is also cradling a sword in his lap. Chaplains like Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons were considered members of the staffs of regiments and higher organizations, so some of them like this unfortunate fellow at Gettysburg decided to dress the part. Then as now in reenacting there were/are those participants whose dreams of Glory sometimes got/get in the way of a satisfactory impression!
 
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