Officers

The Regulations called for the same uniform for regimental officers as for the men with appropriate rank distinctions on sleeves, collar and kepi. The trouser stripe was 1 \ inches wide yellow cloth. Waist sashes were yellow. General officers had the same coat but with buttons in pairs and dark blue

PLATE 2: UNION VOLUNTEERS

The many volunteer regiments raised were usually uniformed and equipped like the regulars. However, many volunteer and especially militia units were given special uniforms when raised and these are illustrated in the colour plates,

General custer wears one of his own distinctive outfits of a double-breasted black velvet suit, gold braid trim with a sailor collar over CSA style sleeve braid, a red neckerchief and brimmed hat.

This Sergeant wears the old orange trim, which was originally the dragoon's colour until replaced by yellow, and also has the volunteer-style collar trim as on the 6th Pennsylvania, though this was a regular unit. It served in the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac and Army of the Shenandoah.

3. 1st U.S. HUSSARS—3rd NEW JERSEY CAVALRY, 1861

Known, rather contemptuously, as the Butterflies, because of the hussar braiding on their jackets. The pill-box hat was probably replaced by the kepi later. The unit had a rather poor reputation, retreating hastily when fired on by Confederate artillery at Yellow Tavern. They served with the 1st Brigade, Army of the Potomac Division.

4. BENTON HUSSARS CAVALRY BATTALION, 1861

Their headgear was the old-style shako, which was undoubtedly replaced by the kepi as the war progressed. The colours are the regulation colours reversed, with the black hussar braiding on the jacket. Raised at St Louis, Missouri, late 1861, the unit served with the Army of the West and 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of South-west Missouri up to February 1862 when it was incorporated in the 5th Missouri

Cavalry Regiment.

5. 6th PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY—RUSH'S LANCERS— 70th VOLUNTEERS, 1861

Raised by Colonel R. H. Rush from amongst prominent Philadelphians this unit wore the basic style cavalry uniform with the variation to the collar trim worn by volunteer units, in that there was a single centre braid instead of the regulars two. The trooper is shown in the earlier uniform with dark blue trousers. As the uniforms were replaced they would undoubtedly conform to the normal sky blue trousers. Enlisted men wore the crossed sabres on top of the kepi, officers on the front. A special plate, showing crossed lances, was worn on the carbine sling (see illustration on page 45). The men were originally armed with the 9-foot Norwegian fir lance with an 11-inch three-sided tip and scarlet swallow-tailed guidon. These were discarded in May 1863 and the regiment re-armed with sabres and carbines. The brass shoulder scales were also discarded later in the war. Their engagements included Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Brandy Station, Yellow Tavern and Cold Harbour, with the Army of the Potomac Cavalry Corps.

Uniform Trooper CavalryUnion Artillery Officer Kepi

trousers with two gold lace stripes f-inch wide and ¿-inch apart. Waist sashes were buff silk net.

The coat was often worn with the fronts buttoned back, and apparently many officers had their coats lined with yellow thus making yellow facings to the coat). White or buff leather gauntlets like the Union officers were often worn. 1-inch and ¿-inch buttons were as for enlisted men, but as described in 'Infantry' for Generals, and staff.

The kepi decorations (see Fig 8) were one thin gold lace for Lieutenant, two for Captains, three for Majors and Colonels, and four for Generals.

PLATE 3: CONFEDERATE REGULARS AND VOLUNTEERS

1. CSA GENERAL OFFICER

This is the regulation style, but the colours are not, being all grey and of a darker shade than usual. The hat had a yellow cord and black plume. The frock coat has buttons in threes and a yellow collar but not yellow cuffs. The leather gauntlets were often tucked into the waistbelt when not being worn.

2. CSA REGULATION TROOPER

This is the uniform as called for in General Order No 9 issued by the Confederate States War Department in June, 1861, and seldom (if ever) seen, particularly on the enlisted men I The normal cavalry troopers equipment of carbine, sling, revolver in waist holster and sabre were, of course, all to be worn with this uniform.

3. GOVERNOR'S HORSE GUARDS, GEORGIA, 1861

This unit wore one of the many similar uniforms adopted by Confederate cavalry <the most famous being the 1st Virginia, see Plate 4, Fig 2) based on the hussar style. The braid is black, but the hat grey and plume white. The unit served in Company 'A' of Phillips' Legion (Georgia Volunteers) Cavalry Battalion, Hampton's Brigade.

4 & 5. SUSSEX LIGHT DRAGOONS, H' COMPANY, 13th VIRGINIA CAVALRY, 1861

The officers (5) wore a slightly longer version of the CSA Regulation frock coat, but with grey collar with rank device in gilt, and dark blue trousers. The trooper's (4) shirt had a buttoned plastron-type front which may have been reversible and yellow on the other side for full dress. The tall, dark blue kepi was almost a shako, with yellow braid and gilt 'SLD' over crossed sabres. The unit served in Imboden's Command.

CONFEDERATE PARTISAN RANGERS

1. BRIGADIER-GENERAL JOHN HUNT MORGAN

This sketch is based on a head and shoulders photograph of Morgan. The regulation frock-coat has the appropriate rank insignia on collar and cuffs, but is worn open in a relaxed manner. The trousers tucked inside the high boots were probably regulation light blue, but could have been grey or corduroy as on the officer in the coloured plate on page 21.

2. COLONEL JOHN SINGLETON MOSBY

Based on Mosby photographed with a group of his officers, this sketch shows the plumed hat so favoured by Confederate cavalry. The short grey jacket is without trim except the rank badge on the collar (which might be yellow). The trousers are very much lighter than the jacket, indeed they could almost be white. However, they were probably light grey or blue.

3. BRIGADIER-GENERAL TURNER ASH BY

Again based on a head and shoulders portrait, Ashby is shown wearing the frock-coat (which appears to be a rather dark grey in the photo) without yellow trim. The collar and cuffs are buff. The trousers are a blue-grey with two %-inch gold braids on the seam. The waist sash is buff silk with the general officers gold striped belt over it. According to the CSA Regulations the buttons on the coat should be in two rows of eight in groups of two, but these are seven (one under the sash) singly. NOTE: These sketches illustrate riot the actual uniforms worn by these officers but possibilities which they or any Confederate officer might have worn, based on contemporary descriptions.

Csa Cavalry Officer3rd Division Cavalry Corps Flag
12 3 4 5
Les Uniformes Hussard NapoleonicNew York Militia Dragoons

PLATE 4: CONFEDERATE REGULARS AND VOLUNTEERS

1. CHARLESTON LIGHT DRAGOONS—SOUTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEER

MILITIA, 1860

This is, of course, the dress uniform and is particularly splendid, being almost Napoleonic in style. The plastron front was probably blue on the reverse. In December 1860 grey fatigue uniforms were obtained, and undoubtedly worn in action. The unit served as Company 'K' in the 4th Cavalry Regiment (Rut/edge's Regiment), which was recruited entirely from Independent Volunteer Companies in South Carolina.

2. 1st VIRGINIA CAVALRY—BLACK HORSE CAVALRY, 1861

Undoubtedly the most famous of Confederate cavalry units, this one had a reputation for toughness. The uniform is again hussar style with black trim, though NCO rank chevrons appear to have been yellow. Black shoulder straps were not worn by all men. Certainly at the outbreak of the war the unit had all-black horses, but replacements were whatever could be obtained. Long hair in the cavalier style was favoured. Formed early in 1861 by Major J. E. B. Stuart it quickly reached ten companies and Jeb Stuart was made its Colonel. The unit served in Jeb and Fitz Hugh L ee's Brigades. 1st and 2nd Bull Run, Brandy Station, Yellow Tavern were amongst its actions.

3. 2nd CHEROKEE MOUNTED RIFLES—SERGEANT, 1861

As described in the text, the uniform was based on the Confederate regulations with individual Indian touches.

4. CSA CAVALRYMAN, 1862-1865

This trooper is clothed more or less in regulation fatigue jacket and trousers, though somewhat the worse for wear. The belts and equipment are brown leather, the red flannel vest is all that is worn under the jacket, and the kepi is a captured Yankee one! All very much in the Rebel cavalry tradition.

5. CSA OFFICER, 1862-1865

This illustrates one of the variations on the regulations described in the text. The double breasted jacket has a yellow lining and is buttoned back to show this, rather in the style of 18th Century Uniforms. The breeches are buff coloured corduroy, a material greatly favoured by Southern cavalry officers. A binocular case hangs on one leather cross-strap, and the other is an additional belt support strap, to help with the weight of the sabre.

PLATE 5: CONFEDERATE VOLUNTEERS

1. HAMPTON'S LEGION—SOUTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS, 1861

Another hussar style was worn by one of the companies of this unit, this time trimmed in the cavalry colour. The red vest and black cravat with gold stick-pin was a personal touch, but the hat and plume were issued. The unit was raised by Colonel Wade Hampton as a legion of infantry, cavalry and artillery. The Beaufort Troop wore their own style uniform. This difference between companies and troops in the same regiment was common early in the war.

2. 1st TEXAS CAVALRY—HOOD'S OWN, 1861

The unit wore a variation on the CSA Regulation dress and, as with most Texan outfits, the 'Lone Star' device appeared somewhere, in this case on the buckle and probably buttons. Served in Fitz Hugh Lee's Brigade, the unit was also known as Texas Mounted Riflemen and Partisan Rangers.

3. 8th TEXAS CAVALRY—TERRY'S TEXAS RANGERS (1st REGIMENT TEXAS RANGERS), 1864

The many variations of Confederate uniforms are reflected in this unit. The hat could be black or grey; scarf yellow, pink or red; iacket grey, brown or blue, and it might have plain collar and cuffs or they might be scarlet; trousers grey, blue or brown, with or without the seam stripe. In fact, the unit generally wore civilian or captured Union clothing trimmed with scarlet. The unit was supposed to have had a smart uniform based on CSA Regulations, consisting of grey kepi with yellow base band; light grey shell jacket with yellow collar and cuffs; darker grey trousers with yellow seam stripe. But, as with most Confederate units, as the war progressed they had to make do with captured clothing.

4. 26th TEXAS CAVALRY—DEBRAY'S MOUNTED RIFLEMEN. 1861

The Confederate equivalent to Rush's Lancers, this unit was armed with the Mexican lance with blue over yellow swallow-tail pennant. Lancers were discarded in October 1862, Enfield rifles and revolvers being issued as more suitable for the trans-Mississippi theatre. Musicians wore the usual frogging on the jacket, but in green. The brass '26' appeared on the troopers and NCOs collars only. This was the proposed uniform, however, and it is not dear if it was in fact issued other than to Colonel DeBray and his Second-in-Command. The unit fought along the Rio Grande and in the Red

River Campaign.

5. BEAUFORT DISTRICT TROOP, SOUTH CAROLINA, 1862

The hussar style all in grey, with the sombre black trim again in evidence. A troop of this name is recorded in Hampton's Legion, Company 'C'; 2nd South Carolina Cavalry Regiment, Company 'B'; and 3rd South Carolina Cavalry Regiment,

Company 'C.

2nd South Carolina Cavalry Regiment
LEFT: Union officer in greatcoat. His shabraque is of the 'trimmed' type with gold edging.
Union Cavalryman

Plate 7: Confederate Flags

Union Cavalry Officer Greatcoat

Plate 7: Confederate Flags

Headquarters Confederate Flag

PLATE 6: FEDERAL CAVALRY STANDARDS, FLAGS AND GUIDONS (Not to a common scale)

A: Designating Flag, Headquarters, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Mississippi.

B : Designating Flag, Headquarters, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, 1864.

C: Cavalry Standard.

D: Designating Flag, Headquarters, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland.

E: Personal Flag, Major-General Philip H. Sheridan, Army of the Shenandoah and Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, 1864-65.

F: Designating Flag, Reserve (3rd) Brigade, 1st Division, Army of the Shenandoah.

G : Company Guidon, 1863-65.

H : Company Guidon prior to 1863 and after 1865.

PLATE 7: CONFEDERATE FLAGS (Not to a common scale)

A: Stars and Bars Guidon

This guidon was based on the 1st National, but had seven four-pointed stars in rows instead of the normal five-pointed stars in a circle. The regulation design was also used for guidons.

B: Battle Flag Guidon

C: Texan Cavalry Guidon

D: South Carolina Regimental Colour, 1860-61

E: North Carolina State Colour

This is a variation on the basic North Carolina design which is the present State flag, having a blue canton with the lower date of April 12 1776, both dates on gold scrolls, W one side of the star and 'C' the other; and a red bar over a white bar. On the flag illustrated the lower date is that of the State's secession from the Union.

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Responses

  • jens seiler
    Who is the calvary officer known for his plumed hat and yellow sash?
    4 years ago
  • henrik paarma
    What is a golden lace kepi?
    2 years ago

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