Cap Boxes

Russet Strap Ammunition Belts

The typical Southern-made cap box was of brown or black leather, the pouch 2 j ins. deep and 14 ins. thick. It had a lambswool lining, and an inner flap separate from the outer flap which covered the entire front. Iron nipple picks were often inserted into a loop inside the pouch on the right. The most common flap shape was a 'shield' with a separate Two russet brown Southern-made cap boxes. The one on the left has the typical Southern single belt loop and a pewter stud. Author's collection The...

Zouave and Chasseur Uniforms

Regiment Chasseur

In i8 gt o a fad for wearing copies of French Zouave and Chasseur dress swept the North. This had some influence in the South too and a number of so-called Zouave units were formed in the states from Texas to Virginia. Because of difficulties in obtaining even anything like regulation uniforms, let alone copies of the elaborate and ornate Zouave dress, few of these uniforms lasted more than a few months unless kept packed away in trunks. A private in the 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry wrote home on...

Trousers

Guerilla Shirt

On 19 April 1861 the Confederate Army announced that it was going to issue 'steel gray pants' to its regular soldiers. On 25 May 1861 the New Orleans Picayune said regulation trousers were to be of'sky- blue cloth, made full in the leg'. This turned out to agree with General Order Number Four, which added that regimental officers and noncommissioned officers were also to have a in. branch-of-service colour stripe on each leg. Apparently relatively few such trousers were made by Confederate...

Waistcoats

Jones Virginia Confederate Cavalryman

Waistcoats, called by Americans 'vests', were not part of regulation uniforms. They were, however, part of the typical contemporary American's wardrobe, and were therefore worn with his uniform, especially during the winter. Generally they were made of light-weight grey or brown wool or wool cotton blend. Backs were generally of brown or black polished cotton, with a belt for size adjustment a couple of inches above and parallel to the bottom. Linings were usually white cotton. They usually had...

William A Branch Jacket Civil

North Carolina Confederate Shell Jacket

On 6 June 1861 General Order Number Four was issued. By its terms all officers were ordered to wear cadet grey double-breasted tunics, 'the skirt to extend halfway between the hip and the knee'. There were to be four buttons 011 the back and skirl of the tunic, the hi buttons on a line with the lowest breast buttons. Cuffs were to be fastened with three small buttons, and there were to be seven buttons in each row on the front. The collar was to be standing, with embroidered rank insignia one....

Accoutrements

4th Alabama Infantry

The 1863 Confederate Ordnance Manual called for the foot soldier's beltplate to be 'brass, oval, 3.5 inches long by 2.25 inches wide, stamped with the letters CS, two studs and one hook, brass.' A similar plate was to be placcd on the cartridge box flap, although these are quite rare and apparently were not produced after 1862. f rom camp sites where the beltplates have been recovered it appears that such plates first appeared in early 1862. The study of photographed enlisted men indicates that...

Ifreapons

London Armoury Company Confederate

It was not until late 1862 that the Confederates were able to replace obsolete flintlock muskets with percussion muskets many of these still being smoothbore among its frontline troops. This was accomplished with weapons from three sources the US Army, foreign countries, and local makers. The US Army, mostly armed with Mi861 Springfield rifled muskets and Pi 853 Enfields, was possibly the major supplier. The Confederate Ordnance Department reported on 30 September 1864 that 45,000 small arms...

Introduction

War Action Drawing

When the Southern states seceded from the United States to form their own government in 1861, one of their first moves was to organise an army for their defcnce. It was made up initially of volunteers, many of whom had already served in pre-war volunteer companies. Conscription laws were introduced in 1862, although with many loopholes including an exemption for newspaper editors Most of the South's 500,000 lighting men were young, from rural, farming backgrounds. They served from the time of...

Headgear

Confederate Quilted Hat

The Confederate War Department ordered on 19 April 1861 that foragecaps 110colour given would be issued to members of its regular army. On 6 June 1861 this was elaborated, and the caps were described as being similar to French kepis, with branch-of-service coloured pompons worn in front red for artillery, light blue for infantry, and yellow for cavalry. On 24 January 1862 this was revised the pompons disappeared, and hencefor ward the caps were lo have dark blue bands, with sides and crowns in...