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Uniform fashions a closer look

Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by major bill, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    No self-respecting soldier want to walk around in an out of fashion uniform. I will admit at times it is hard to understand exactly what fashion statement some soldiers of the Civil War were trying to make. To our modern eyes some uniform items of the Civil War were not attractive. So what Civil War fashion seem to be the worse to you?
     
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  3. Schwallanscher

    Schwallanscher 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    to me those jackets where only the top buttons are closed look just darn stupid

    nice thread, btw
     
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  4. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    Candidate number one the "McDowell Cap" Many officers both in the North and South thought his style of cap was very fashionable. The "McDowell Cap" had a tall crown with a noticeable rear hump. The small crescent visor was considered stylish. Officers and even enlisted men purchase these at the start of the war in an attempt to be in style and to set them off from their less stylish companions. Part of the appeal was the cap looked very "Austrian' and this was considered extremely fashionable (look at the uniforms of the Garibaldi Guard and the wide spread use of Austrian style hats turned up on the side with an added feather).

    Civil War U.S Army issued hats and caps were based on Austrian Army hats and caps but the McDowell cap took the Austrian look to the extreme. To the modern eye the McDowell Cap is not particularly good looking and many reenactors avoid them. What do you think, very stylish or foolish looking?

    bill 59.jpg
     
  5. Schwallanscher

    Schwallanscher 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    the austrians are considered the best dressed soldiers of ww I, now as to their performance ...
     
  6. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    Great observation. Well if you had a very thin and muscular tummy it might look fine. Many reenactors have tummies a bit larger and when they copy this Civil War fashion they look like they had trouble buttoning the bottom buttons of their coat, over their less than firm bellies.
     
  7. Schwallanscher

    Schwallanscher 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    for what do they wear jackets, when they don't close them. the austrians (again) did't even wear their husar ubiforms on both arms

    [​IMG]

    the official reason being to have their sabre arm less inhibited (that diagonal straps keeps the jacket in place)
     
  8. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    Take a look at the braiding on this jacket. This style of "Austrian" braiding was extremely popular with militia units before, during and after the Civil War. This "Austrian" braiding was popular both in the North and the South. Some of the braiding was much cheaper and looked rather sad, but was still considered stylish.

    Here is a Texas infantry man in Virginia. Note the "Austrian" style braiding and the Austrian style hat worn in the Austrian one side pinned up style (minus the feather). I am sure this Texan though he was in high style, but he may have not even known that his uniform was in the"Austrian"mode bill 543.jpg
     
  9. Schwallanscher

    Schwallanscher 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    when dis austrians wear heads :D or hats? the hat is pinned on the wrong side anyway - there's no use for it. zhe guy is right handed
     
  10. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    Part of the Austrian uniform craze can be attributed to Logos Kossuth's American tour. After his failure in Hungry one of the things Kossuth did was tour America. he was greeted as a hero and a second Washington.

    When Abraham Lincoln met with Kossuth in Springfield, in a celebration which he organized for the honor of Kossuth,where Lincoln lionized Kossuth. Lincoln called him "most worthy and distinguished representative of the cause of civil and religious liberty on the continent of Europe".

    Kossuth often wore a distinctive Austrian style hat and sometimes a coat with Austrian braiding. This caused what was called Kossuth fever in the U.S. and one can think of this as similar to the Zouave craze of 1860. many militia companies added "Austrian' style items. The U.S. Army adopted Austrian style hats and caps after Kossuth's tour.
     
  11. Schwallanscher

    Schwallanscher 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    i can't remember seeing just one pic with an austrian wearing a hat - lots of funny headgear but no hat - the guys name's lajos kossuth, btw and he was a hungarian

    [​IMG]

    hats are not practical when you want to slah somebody with a sabre - especially whey you're cavalry and he is infantry - so i guess that was a civillian hat
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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  12. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    How did he draw his saber?
     
  13. Schwallanscher

    Schwallanscher 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    good question, but then he was a politician :D
     
  14. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    Here Kossuth has a hat Note it is a bit similar to the U.S. Army Hat being flat on top. Before the Civil War this style of hat in American militia was often call the Kossuth h at or a cavalier hat. I know it is not turned up at the side and I often wonder if he wore a hat turned up on the side while on his American tour.

    koss 5.jpg
    koss 2.jpg
     
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  15. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    The "Austrian" braiding was used by several nations and there was a herring-bone chest braiding, the history of this herring-bone braiding is unclear but probably came fro Hungarian or Austrian sources. World wide it was common. He are two Texans wearing " Austrian or herring-bone braiding. I call the braiding on the right figure as "happy Austrian braiding" because it points up. The man on the left is wearing what I call "sad chest braiding" because it points down. The "sad chest braiding" does not seem to stylish to the modern eye.

    bill 5546.jpg
     
  16. Schwallanscher

    Schwallanscher 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    1: it looks like a musketeer hat (as in three musketeers), they didn't use sabres but rapiers which are thrusted weapons, his blade looks like a sabre, though
    2: that is a hard hat, and as civilian as it can get - might even call it sporty
     
  17. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    At least to me the "Austrian" braiding still looks stylish as does the hat turned up on the side and having a feather. The standard issue "Austrian " based U.S. Army forage cap is not as stylish looking, and the McDowell cap looks not stylish at all.
     
  18. kholland

    kholland Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner Retired Moderator

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    One of my favorite "unusual" uniforms was the one worn by the 3d New Jersey Cavalry "Butterflies" ( named for obvious reasons)

    32055656661.jpg
     

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