"Uniforms And Dress, Army And Navy of the Confederate States of America"

James N.

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Image (7).jpg


It may come as a surprise to some, but the Confederacy actually drew up and published regulations for uniforms for their military forces in a slim volume that these prints state was published in Petersburg, Virginia in 1861. Now very rare, it was republished in New Hope, Pennsylvania in 1952. Although I have seen copies of this reprint in libraries, at some time I acquired these two prints from the book that were probably made at or around the same time. They're typical of the lot and depict above Confederate cavalry officers and below artillery enlisted men. The color difference is puzzling because there was NO difference in color or shade called for in the text and is/was likely merely a by-product of the hand water-coloring done to the original plates.

Image (14).jpg


Of course, YELLOW is the trim or branch color associated with the cavalry service, as RED is with the artillery. Note especially that BY REGULATION ALL uniforms, both officer and enlisted, were to be double-breasted; officers and NCO's were prescribed to wear sashes in full-dress. To my knowledge, NO uniforms conforming exactly to these regulations were ever produced during the war! The only time they or anything like them appeared was over thirty years after the war when a noted and notable Memphis, Tennessee-based United Confederate Veterans' drill team formally adopted them for their performances, as seen below in a cabinet card dated '97 showing one of their members, Corporal J. J. Brown.

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RedRover

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Dec 16, 2019
View attachment 405086

It may come as a surprise to some, but the Confederacy actually drew up and published regulations for uniforms for their military forces in a slim volume that these prints state was published in Petersburg, Virginia in 1861. Now very rare, it was republished in New Hope, Pennsylvania in 1952. Although I have seen copies of this reprint in libraries, at some time I acquired these two prints from the book that were probably made at or around the same time. They're typical of the lot and depict above Confederate cavalry officers and below artillery enlisted men. The color difference is puzzling because there was NO difference in color or shade called for in the text and is/was likely merely a by-product of the hand water-coloring done to the original plates.

View attachment 405085

Of course, YELLOW is the trim or branch color associated with the cavalry service, as RED is with the artillery. Note especially that BY REGULATION ALL uniforms, both officer and enlisted, were to be double-breasted; officers and NCO's were prescribed to wear sashes in full-dress. To my knowledge, NO uniforms conforming exactly to these regulations were ever produced during the war! The only time they or anything like them appeared was over thirty years after the war when a noted and notable Memphis, Tennessee-based United Confederate Veterans' drill team formally adopted them for their performances, as seen below in a cabinet card dated '97 showing one of their members, Corporal J. J. Brown.

View attachment 405089



Hello,

The color distinctions in the plates was due to a lack of suitable color printing. For example, according to Richard Harwell in his 1960 reprint of the Confederate Army uniform regulations, Wagner of Nashville was the only color printer in the Confederacy, before Nashville's fall in early 1862...

From Hathi trust, the full text of Harwell's edition:

Harwell, Uniform & Dress, CSA, 1960 edition.


In an original copy of the Uniform and dress pamphlet (Wynne, Richmond, 1861, with plates) is found the following under "errata" regarding the lack of uniformity of colors in the plates:
1624024786608.png


That copy illustrates/colors the staff as here: (wearing dark blue trousers of non-regimental officers):
1624024870353.png

Contrast with the plate for infantry from the same volume, showing the "light (or sky) blue" trousers standard for regimental officers and enlisted men, but illustrating a coat of a drab cast...
1624025026541.png

link to the copy at the US National Library of Medicine:

Uniform & Dress, CSA, Wynne, Richmond, 1861

Regardless of the plates, the text of the regulation says the regulation coats should be "cadet gray." I assume it was intended to be the same as the "cadet gray" of the Military Academy uniform at West Point.

Gen. Grant's cadet gray West Point coat:
1624026321485.png



Marcus J. Wright's coat, Smithsonian:
1624025876218.png

Gen. Sam Jones's frock coat, also Smithsonian:
1624025939808.png


J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL
 

James N.

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The mention of "... the order about caps..." in the above errata refers to the version illustrated having a gray cloth body with a band around it in the color of the branch of service: red, yellow, or blue; it was changed or reversed, making the body of the caps in the branch color, each having a dark blue band regardless of branch.
 

Cycom

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Notice the exaggerated physique above the belt line of the guy on the left and his dainty feet. Someone built like that would be a strange looking person in real life.
just noticed this 😂

Wonder what possessed the artist to depict the soldiers with baby feet.

I read somewhere that RE Lee had massive hands but tiny feet. This takes it to another level, though!
 

James N.

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just noticed this 😂

Wonder what possessed the artist to depict the soldiers with baby feet.

I read somewhere that RE Lee had massive hands but tiny feet. This takes it to another level, though!
These are VERY much influenced by not only the styles, but also the style of illustration or art of Second Empire France.
 

major bill

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Prior to the Civil War military jackets had the chest and seats stuffed so the soldier would look like the had a huge chest and thin waist. The padding in the rump would make the waist look thinner.
 

RedRover

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The mention of "... the order about caps..." in the above errata refers to the version illustrated having a gray cloth body with a band around it in the color of the branch of service: red, yellow, or blue; it was changed or reversed, making the body of the caps in the branch color, each having a dark blue band regardless of branch.
Yes, the caps!

the regulations of 1861 are not clear on the forage cap, etc. just mentioning "light blue band on cap" for infantry, or according to pattern, etc. etc., But illustrate them as dark colored. with the branch colored band:
1624038776349.png

1624039421402.png



The regulation cap was changed and better explained and illustrated by General orders from January, 1862; Pasted into the original edition is this colored image of the January, 1862 regulation caps, with the general order for the same:

1624038565685.png

1624038623038.png


Interestingly, the CS Army's own clothing depots did not necessarily follow the 1862 order regarding uniform to the letter (they did not actually produce the CS Army's regulation uniform in any case). Fred Adolphus documents that the Houston, TX clothing bureau produced caps into 1863 similar to those shown in the illustrated copies of uniform regulations rather than the subsequent general orders:

1624039177372.png

Adolphus, Fred, Confederate Clothing of the Houston Quartermaster Depot, Military Collector & Historian, Winter, 1996.


J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL.
 
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RedRover

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These are VERY much influenced by not only the styles, but also the style of illustration or art of Second Empire France.
The French. There was the mania for the "zouave" drill... and Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry tactics, adapted from the 1840s drill of the French chasseurs was standard for all US infantry (from 1857 by G.O's), and Militia (an 1820 law required the militia of the several states to employ the same drill, etc. as the regular army), and consequently the CS Army...(as I recall the Southern States and CSA kept all US laws in effect to the date of Lincoln's election in Nov., '61).

Gotta have some bag in the pants to keep from splittin' them at charge bayonet! Much less double-quick time, or the run...

From Hardee's, 1855.

1624040042868.png
1624040107501.png

And the US Army's 1850s dress...

1624040375693.png


J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Location
Coffeeville, TX
Well I do know of at least one surviving enlisted uniform that follows regulations closely, that is for sale by a dealer and is a frock of the French style rather than Austrian like in the regs., from the end of the war worn by an infantryman with artillery red trim. Plus there's a few surviving pictures of men wearing them, more than likely early war.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-privates-double-breasted-frock-coat.131219/
 
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