Berdans 1st US Sharpshooters

A few US units won special notice for their rifle-skills, none more so than the 1st and 2nd Regiments of U.S. Sharpshooters, commonly known as Berdan's Sharpshooters after the colonel of the 1st Regiment, Hiram Berdan. Seeing their role as skirmishers and special marksmen, Berdan selected experienced men and armed them with the best weapons available, the Sharps Rifle in 0.52in caliber. Many also carried telescopic sights. With a view towards camouflage, Berdan clothed his men in green kepis or...

Contents

Confederate Navy Uniforms

Federal Cavalry Uniforms and Equipment Federal Artillery Uniforms and Equipment Federal Signal Corps Uniforms and Equipment Confederate Weapons Pistols and Revolvers Federal Medical Staff Uniforms and Equipment Federal Musicians' Uniform and Equipment Federal Commanders' and Staff Uniforms and Equipment Confederate Uniforms and Equipment Overview Confederate Infantry Uniforms and Equipment Confederate Cavalry Uniforms and Equipment Confederate Artillerymen's Uniforms and Equipment Confederate...

Distinctive Unit Flags of the Confederacy

Van Dorn Battle Flag

All Confederate flags have been popular collectibles, even during the war, but in recent years this mystique has assumed considerable stature. While the bulk of surviving Confederate flags now reside in public collections, most of them in the states of their origin, some are still in private hands, either trophies of war passed down in families or acquired in various ways. Unfortunately, the flags have become so sought after that substantial numbers of outright fakes have appeared, while other...

Private 56th US Colored Infantry

T was inevitable that the Union government would find a way to enlist former slaves, whose cause had played so great a part in starting the war, and turn them into a weapon for winning it. Thousands wanted to take up arms to fight for their brothers still in bonds in the Confederacy, and eventually several tens of thousands were enlisted in more than one hundred all-black regiments although at the beginning they were regarded more as laborers than combat soldiers. The uniforms and equipment for...

Private Washington Light Infantry

Composed of young men from the best Rebel families, the Washington Light Infantry of Charleston, South Carolina was typical of the more high-minded companies to volunteer for Confederate service at the war's outset. When the call finally came, some of Charleston's finest went off to war in 1861 accompanied by servants, picnic hampers, and ornate tents. It was July 1963 after they had served m and around Charleston after Fort Sumter, that the WLI was merged into the 25th South Carolina Infantry....

Surgeons Uniform

The green sash of a surgeon with his leather belt and sword buckles. The shoulder straps bear the golden leaves denoting a lieutenant colonel, together with green backing and the letters MS denoting medical staff. The kepi has no badges or unit numbers, but has a cloth band in the same shade green as the sash. Finally, there is a Surgical Staff arm-band.

Seamans Sewing Gear and General Artifacts

Sailors had, of necessity, to be very self-reliant and most managed to cram a great deal into the little storage space they were allowed. Some items which might be found in a typical Northern sailor's kit are seen here. They include a case of needles (center left), with two types of thimble, one metal, which slid over a finger (center), the other a leather device which looped over the thumb (top left). To finish off his uniform prior to going on watch or parade he needed a clothes brush...

Corporal 7th New York National Guard

Men Fashion 1814

Its title was changed again in 1825 to 2nd Battalion 2nd Artillery Regiment, but then in 1847 it was given a completely new role as infantry and redesignated the 7th Regiment. Its membership came from the cream of New York City society and for any young man serving with the 7th Regiment was distinctly a social plus. Members of the 7th served for seven years, drilled every month and paid for their own equipment and uniforms, which, because of their color, resulted in the regiments nickname...

Private 140th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry USA

140th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry

The 140th Pennsylvania Infantry carried with it the unusual nickname, the Walking Artillery. They got the name because of the old Belgian-copied French 0.69 caliber Vincennes muskets with which they were issued. The huge bore of the guns led to the joke about these infantrymen being artillery, and fellow soldiers taunted them with questions such as do you shoot solid shot or shell out of those pieces Worse than this, the Pennsylvanians also carried massive sword-bayonets that others teasingly...

Captain Abner Doubleday and Private US Artillery

There were some men, North and South, who quailed at firing the first shots of the war. Captain Abner Doubleday was not such a man, and when Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, he was only too delighted to fire the Union's first shot. He would rise to become a general, although he did not enjoy a distinguished career. Doubleday appears here as a captain in the U. S. Artillery, as betokened by the red trouser stripe and the color of his shoulder strap. The crossed cannon...

Sergeant US Army

Color Sergeant Civil War

The typical field uniform for a sergeant in the United States Army. His smart coat is in regulation blue, the only decoration being white piping on the cuffs, while his sergeant's chevrons are carried on both arms in the same color. The leather belt has a buckle carrying the Federal coat-of-arms, with a pouch for carrying percussion caps on the left Not visible in this picture is the bayonet in its scabbard, which is on the right. The leather shoulder straps and cross straps support his...

Carpenters Tools

Many ships were still built of wood and even an iron ship had a great deal of woodwork in it. As a result, the carpenter was an essential member of the crew. These are a few of the tools of his trade, including the ship's plans, (top) which was used for shaving plane (left), adjustable square timber (center), scribe (right), and adze

Introduction

In the American Civil War the enemy were not outsiders from over the border or across the sea, but fellow citizens of the same country, and often brothers, cousins or friends from the same town or county. The conflict was bloody and bitter, and caused deep wounds, but although time has exerted its usual healing effect, the memories linger on, and the campaigns, uniforms, and above all the people, remain a source of endless fascination. Many artifacts remain to provide substance to those...

Seamans Shaving Gear

Most sailors liked their whiskers, but all carried a shaving kit, with a ditty-bag filled with grooming articles, such as the cut-throat razor, shaving brush, and comb seen here. The shaving soap, produced by E. E. Flagg of Brattleboro, in the State of Virginia, was, it would appear, a most ubiquitous substance, the box proclaiming that, 'For Shaving, Washing Sore and Chapped Hands, and for Cleaning the Teeth, it has no equal

Confederate Army Manuals

In almost every case, Confederate manuals were exact copies of the then existing Federal manuals, with the insertion of the letters C.S. wherever U.S. appeared in the original. With exception of uniform regulations, there is little difference in the publications of either side. Cavalry Tactics. Second Part, published Philadelphia, 1856 Uniform and Dress of the Army of the Confederate States. Richmond, 1861 Record Book of Capt B.F. Howard. Co. I. 1st Virginia Infantry, Kemper's Brigade,...

Colonel and First Lieutenant 16th Virginia Volunteer Infantry CSA

Infantry well illustrate the divergent uniforms to be found within many Confederate units. The standing colonel, commanding the regiment, wears essentially the regulation field officer's blouse in Confederate gray, with sky-blue trousers. His saber, however, is ust as likely to have been made by Ames of Chicopee, Mass, as by one of the Southern swordsmiths, especially if he was a militia officer before the war and brought his favorite sidearm with him into Confederate service. The First...

Battleflags of the Army of Northern Virginia

Army Northern Virginia Flag

The battleflag of the Confederate States is easily one of the most recognizable symbols worldwide indeed, many people believe it to have been the national flag of the Confederacy. This flag, in its myriad configurations, of which a very few examples are shown here, was the rallying point of one of the finest armies of the nineteenth century. It has about it today a mystique like no other, but unfortunately this symbol of a long defunct military organization has been associated with various...

Private and Mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry USA

Csa Confederate Infantry Uniforms

Quite a number of regiments went to war with special mascots -little drummer boys, vivandieres women in military costume , and most of all pets. Dogs, cats, raccoons, even small bears, went to war, but no mascot was as distinctive as Old Abe, the war eagle that went into battle with the 8th Wisconsin Infantry of the old Iron Brigade. All across the battlefields of Tennessee and Georgia, Old Abe soared into the air when the bullets started to fly, hovering over the fighting until it was done. In...

Second Lieutenant The Sumter Light Guard

Like so many of the Confederate volunteer outfits, the Sumter Light Guard of South Carolina came to war with its own arms and uniforms. Unlike the Washington Artillery, however, it adapted its specifications to be compatible with Confederate regulations and the cadet gray color of this uniform is right within regulations, as is the red sash. Only the absence of the stripe on the trouser legs is it in substantial variance from regulations. This second lieutenant wears the single collar bar of...

Captain Co G 11th Virginia Infantry Lynchburg Home Guard CSA

This captain in Company G, 11th Virginia Infantry, the Lynchburg Home Guard, wears the regulation gray frock-coat, trousers, and forage cap specified for his regiment. The black trim on the trouser seams, cuffs and collar differs from the blue used on many other Virginia regimental uniforms. His sword belt has the handsome two-piece Virginia State seal beltplate, supporting the scabbard for his Model 1850 foot-officer's sword. An unusual feature is the brass shoulder scales with bullion...

Gunners Washington Artillery CSA

The Washington Artillery of New Orleans was among the oldest and proudest of the private or fraternal artillery companies. All told, it comprised five companies, four of which went to Virginia in the first days of the war and remained there thereafter. The fifth company served with the Army of Tennessee. Like many units, their uniforms and equipment evolved as the war progressed. Originally they wore dark blue frock coats or short artillery jackets with scarlet collars and cuffs over light blue...

Second Lieutenant 5th New York Infantry

This second lieutenant of the 5th New York Infantry, otherwise popularly known as Duryee's Zouaves, represents one of the more colorful of the Union regiments. His bright red kepi and trousers differ distinctly from the regulation, but otherwise there is nothing unusual in his outfit. His commander Colonel Abram Duryee was a flamboyant type, exactly the kind to organize and lead one of the dramatic zouave regiments, which, apart from their uniforms, also made their mark with intensively precise...

Union Officers Handguns

Pettengill Revolver

This photograph re-emphasizes the wide variety of handguns in use, with Colt again predominating, but with many other less-well-known companies also represented. The revolver belonging to Col. Julius W. Adams 10 is of particular interest since the owner has recorded his personal battle honors on the butt. Visible here are Yorktown, Williamsburgh, Fair Oaks, Seven Days, South Mountain, and Antietam, and there are more on the other side. The pristine condition of the encased Colt Model 1849...

Confederate Personal Artifacts

Medical Scale With Scalple

Camp amusements for Federal and Confederate soldiers alike were very limited and included games of chance, music, writing letters and reading, and like soldiers everywhere they indulged in any activity they could dream up to break the tedium of camp life. Some of the items seen here were part of soldiering, such as the gunpowder can 10 and the percussion cap box 17 , but others were of a strictly personal nature and were designed to make camp life more bearable Carried in his knapsack or...

Th Virginia Infantry CSA

15th Virginia Infantry

The 15th Virginia Infantry was formed, in part, by amalgamating companies from other regiments, in particular the 33rd Virginia and the 179th Militia. The soldiers of the new units were given a fairly regulation issue uniform of gray, with blue piping. The wounded field officer at left wears a two-piece Virginia State seal belt-plate, and is partially supporting himself on the private soldier's Virginia Manufactory converted flintlock musket, which has been altered to use the Maynard...

Union Manuals

The Civil War was fought by enormous armies, covering a vast area, and with relatively poor communications. In addition, vast numbers of state volunteers and militias were embodied and dispatched to the battle zones. The only means of achieving some degree of uniformity of equipment and practice was through the written word, which gave rise to a huge amount of military literature. Many of these were official manuals published by the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C., followed...

Gen John Bell Hood CSA

General Hood Csa

Portrait, Hood wears the regulation general officer's frock coat, with the buttons in parallel groups of threes, denoting rank above that of brigadier-general. His sleeve braid and the trim on his kepi show the four rows of gold required for a general, and although his collar is not visible it would almost certainly reveal three stars surrounded by a wreath. This portrait shows Gen. Hood prior to losing his leg at Chickamauga. Short of actually losing his life. Gen. John Bell Hood gave up about...

Union Cavalry Artifacts

Union Cavalryman

Buy mid-1863 the Union cavalry had achieved the upper hand, having adequate leadership and far superior equipment to those of the Confederacy. Some units, such as the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry had started the war with nine foot-long lances made of Norwegian fir 3 but this was quickly shown to be an anachronism and, with few exceptions the usefulness of the saber 18 was also over, leaving repeating, rapid fire weapons to dominate the battlefield. The most important of these was the Spencer...

Headgear of the US Marine Corps

Museum Civil War Bugle

The Marines' full-dress headgear was a high-crowned kepi with a large plate badge, which bore the national shield and an infantry bugle containing a silver M on a red backing and was topped by a red pom-pom. The field cap was a low-crowned kepi in blue cloth with a black leather peak and an infantry bugle, also inset with a silver M on a Right A line-up of Federal Marines, red backing. with the officer on the left.

Sergeant 33rd New Jersey Volunteers2nd Zouaves USA

Volunteers Regiment Usa

The 33rd New Jersey was one of four regiments which made up the First Brigade, New Jersey Volunteers. The regiment was raised and trained at Fort Olden, Trenton, N.J. and, its training complete, it left for the war in June 1861. During the course of the Civil War, the 33rd New Jersey took part in fifty-four engagements from Bull Run to Appomattox Court House. The 33rd was one of many which used the colorful zouave image to capture the imagination of the public and, in particular, of young men...

Projectiles

Inch Shell

These projectile cutaways show that even the much less advanced Confederate arsenals were producing sophisticated projectiles to a wide variety of designs. Unfortunately, a failure to standardize on just a few calibers meant that there were significant inefficiencies in manufacturing and excessive complications in the supply of the correct ammunition to artillery units in the field. 1 A 96lb 44kg shell with a copper base, and featuring radial grooves to grab rifling 2 Solid wrought iron 40.51b...

Bummer Army of the Tennessee USA

Civil War Bummer

Region as the lean, hardened and ever-resourceful 'bummer' of the Army of the Tennessee His uniform may have been outwardly similar to that of his eastern counterparts, but the differences showed in the hundreds more miles he marched, the greater variations of climate and weather he endured, and the increased uncertainties of re-supply available to this highly mobile army. Chief among these differences was the battered wide-brimmed hat he wore, as opposed to the ubiquitous kepi worn in the Army...

Trousers and Uniform Accessories of Maj Gen P G T Beauregard CSA

Admiral Epaulettes

Beauregard's trousers were a regulation gray with the correct general's twin gold stripes while his sash was an equally correct canary yellow. His tasseled beret was no doubt intended for off-duty relaxation and was almost certainly embroidered by a lady, possibly his wife. The epaulettes, however, were intended to be worn with uniform and must have been made specially for Beauregard somewhere in the Confederacy or imported from Europe. The kepi, too, is very ornate, with its crimson color and...

Three Notable Confederate Officers

Mosby below wears no chevrons, but displays three stars on his collar. The buttons on his jacket signify that he is ranked as a colonel. Although commissioned as a Confederate officer, John Singleton Mosby made a terror of himself as leader of the 43rd Virginian Partisan Rangers His raids, including the capture of two Yankee generals, became legendary, and it is reported that he even donned Federal uniform at his feet during his raids behind enemy lines. Right until the end of the war,...

Braxton Braggs Sword Belt and Bible

Revolutionary War Officer Artifacts

General Bragg's sword is inscribed Presented to General Braxton Bragg but by whom is no longer legible. In contrast to the great majority of presentation swords, which were elaborately decorated, this is a very plain and serviceable weapon and could even have been used in battle. The belt is unusual in that it is of white leather, lined with a single wale of gold braid. The buckles on the belt and on the belt straps are very elaborate and unusual. The Bible is of a type commonly seen at the...

Salamander

This edition first published in 2001 by MBI Publishing Company, 729 Prospect Avenue, PO Box 1, Osceola, Wl 54020-0001 USA A member of the Chrysalis Group pic All rights reserved. With the exception of quoting brief passages for the purpose of review no part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission from the Publisher. The information in this book is true and complete to the best of our knowledge. All recommendations are made without any guarantee on the part of the...

Uniform Blouse of Maj Gen P G T Beauregard CSA

Pgt Beauregard

Beauregard's contemporaries called him the Napoleon in Gray, and he liked that. No general of the Confederacy began the war with brighter promise, yet few at the end had been dogged by more controversy and acrimony, or unrealized potential. On April 12, 1861, his batteries began the war when they opened fire on Fort Sumter, and the fort's surrender made him the South's first military hero. He followed this with a shared victory with Joseph E. Johnston in the First Battle of Manassas on July 21,...

Union Officers Presentation

Model 1850 Foot Officer Sword

Artifacts courtesy oI The Civil Wai library and Museum. Philadelphia Pa Most of the swords seen here were probably the outcome of a subscription among fellow officers or soldiers and are of much better quality than the regulation swords they were based on. However, the two swords 7 and 8 , presented to Generals Meade and Blair, while of essentially similar design to each other, are spectacular and with sufficient differences to make them truly individual items. Both were made by Bailey and...

Officer 39th New York Volunteer Infantry Garibaldi Guard USA

Garibaldi Guards

While some units adopted the uniform style of the French-Algerian zouaves, a few followed the pattern of another contemporary European hero, the great Italian patriot, Giuseppe Garibaldi. Thus, this officer's most distinctive uniform feature is his wide-brimmed, black, Bersaglieri hat with a chin-strap and a large plume on the left, a pattern worn to this day by some units of the Italian Army. Unlike most Yankee officers, he wears no shoulder straps to indicate his rank, but has an unusual...

Lieutenant US Navy and First Lieutenant US Marine Corps

Navy Uniforms

Officers of the Union Navy looked very smart indeed in their crisp blue uniforms. The lieutenant at left wears the optional white trousers with his dark blue tunic, capped with a white service hat. As was common among the lower commissioned officer ranks, his insignia matched, although, unfortunately for this officer, promotion in the Union Navy in the Civil War was extremely slow, so he would probably have been wearing the same insignia at the war's end. His friend on the right, a First...

Private 9th New York Infantry Regiment Hawkins Zouaves

American Civil War Uniforms

Hawkins, a veteran of the Mexican War went to work finding men for a new regiment. Starting with members of the old pre war Company of New York Zouaves, he enlisted enough men to muster his 9th New York Infantry on May 4, 1861. Thanks to their uniform and their founder's name, they were quickly dubbed Hawkins' Zouaves. They fought at Big Bethel in June 1861, then went on to campaign in North Carolina before returning to take part in the Battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg....

First Lieutenant 2nd Rhode Island Infantry

American Civil War Uniforms

This first lieutenant of the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry shows the distinctive early war uniform of this state's first 90-days regiments. The pleated blouse with the full skirt and the rolled collar, would be very little seen after 1861, and future Rhode Island outfits opted for the more traditional Union Army uniform. Again, like most infantry officers, he carries the .44 caliber Colt New Model Army pistol, which, while a powerful percussion weapon, was not terribly accurate. Just firing it...

Generalin Chief US Grant and Major General W T Sherman

Ulysses Grant Private Blouse

Of all the 1,000 and more generals in this war, few if any emerged from greater obscurity to rise to greater heights than these two men. Each was a mystery in his own way, but they became very close friends without ever truly understanding each other. Grant was a simple man of complex instincts who did one thing, and only one thing, really well, and that was winning a war, but he did it better than anyone else. Sherman, by contrast, was far more intelligent, and perhaps something of an...

Union Medical Officers Uniforms and Equipment

Chinese Artifacts Sword Case

Union medical officers did not have a branch color in the manner of the combat branches, but did wear the distinctive letters MS Medical Service surrounded by a wreath as an insignia on headgear. In addition, dress epaulettes also bore the letters MS, together with a green silk sash worn with a distinctive Model 1840 medical officer's sword. Surgeons usually were accorded the rank of ma or, and assistant surgeons that of first lieutenant. The known owners of these items were Asst. Surgeon David...

Private 2nd New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry US Army

Confederate Legion Uniforms

For all its lauding as one of the world's first modern wars, the Civil War saw in its early days a number of regiments that looked backward almost to the days of the Revolutionary War. One of these was the 2nd New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry The regiment certainly gave first class service to the Federal cause, fighting from First Manassas through almost every major battle in the East, concluding with the occupation of the Confederate capital at Richmond in the last days of the war. Maybe they...

Union Mountain Howitzer

Mine Creek Battlefield Museum

The rough terrain of some of the war zones required the use of special light artillery pieces, while the defense of bridges and entrances to fortifications also needed a field piece that could easily be shifted out of position to allow free passage. One result to fill this need was this 12-pounder mountain howitzer and such guns were used in sally ports of Washington fortifications, as well as on campaign in mountainous territory. The barrel of this small gun weighs only about 2101b 95kg and...

Lieutenant Colonel 44th Georgia Infantry CSA

American Civil War Uniforms

Georgia was almost a small nation in itself, making most ofythe things needed to arm and equip its men. This lieutenant colonel of the 44th Georgia Infantry is Georgia from head to toe. His uniform is a standard gray pattern piped in black. He wears a two-piece Georgia state beltplate, and it supports a sword from the works of W. J. McElroy. Even the stars on his collar, cut from brass sheets, are of local manufacture. Most distinctive of all, however, is the Griswold and Gunnison revolver in...

Federal Cavalry Uniforms

Cavalry Uniform

Surviving uniform variations of either Federal or Confederate forces are not common, although scattered specimens do exist here and there, some in public and others in private collections. The collections at West Point, the Smithsonian, and Museum of the Confederacy are truly outstanding, although even in such large establishments many examples cannot be exhibited due to space and conservation considerations. These artifacts are, therefore, of particular interest, as they show some unusual...

First Lieutenant 9th New York Infantry Hawkins Zouaves

A first lieutenant of the 9th New York Infantry, one of the more colorful zouave regiments, whose Enlisted man's uniform has already been shown on page 44. In fact, in most zouave outfits the officers wore fairly standard Union Army dress, the flamboyant short jackets and other zouave trappings being re-served for the men in the ranks, but this particular officer wears a very elaborate jacket and a striking gold and scarlet kepi. Side arms were almost universally the same, however, with almost...

Officer and Enlisted Man 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry USA

83rd Pennsylvania Infantry Band

The men who raised and equipped some Union regiments strained their imaginations to create new looks, and borrowed shamelessly from the styles of other regiments, sometimes creating almost bizarre combinations. Few Federal regiments presented a more mixed bag of elements in its private soldiers' costume than the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry. The enlisted man at left wears a field cap somewhat similar to the Scottish Glengarry, which would certainly have been very comfortable. As well as this, he...

Union Button Dies and State and Service Buttons

Massachusetts State Seal Button

Southern counterparts, provide a vast number of state seal variations and branch indicators and as a result many buttons of the era cannot be positively identified. Thus, on this page the following buttons cannot attributed, apart from the fact that they bear the seals of the following states New Hampshire 51 New Jersey 52, 53 New York 54, 55 Ohio 56 Pennsylvania 57 Rhode Island 58, 59 Vermont 60 and Wisconsin 61 . The last button 62 displays the badge of the U.S. Sanitary Commission. Such...

Sergeant and Private 22nd Regiment New York National Guard USA

Blue Confederate Uniform

With red cuffs, collar and cap band, but after this uniform had caused confusion with similarly dressed Confederate units at First Manassas and elsewhere, the regiment switched to the regulation blue chasseur blouse, seen here worn by the sergeant. The regiment did, however, keep its distinctive 2-banded Enfield rifles and sword bayonets, and carried the regimental number on the kepi and the company letter on the beltplate. The regiment saw service between May to September 1862, and again in...

Union Naval Arms and Accouterments

Confederate Ironclad Sailor

The Union Navy was well-equipped and expanded rapidly as the war progressed, but, unlike the Confederate Navy, the equipment and armament improved as the war progressed and as iron ships replaced obsolete wooden vessels. Having started as a minor force, the U.S. Navy grew into a ma or player in the defeat of the Confederacy and emerged as a steam navy with a small fleet in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 1 National Flag as displayed by warships of the Union Navy during the Civil War 2...

Major General George H Thomas USA

General George Thomas

There was never anything flamboyant about George H Thomas, though he was unfailingly competent. He was somewhat more punctilious about uniform and appearance than many Yankee commanders and usually appeared in full regulation attire, as seen here. He wears a regulation general officer's coat, with black velvet cuffs and collar and is obviously a major general, as denoted by the two stars, which are barely visible on his shoulder straps, but much more clearly seen on his regulation saddle...

Federal Signal Corps Uniforms and Equipment

Indian Army Signal Corp Uniform

Engineer officers were the elite of the graduating class of West Point each year and their branch insignia, the castle, was distinctive. Within this branch were the Topographical Engineers who had their own badge 12 13 and carried the distinctive Model 1839 saber which is very rare today The US Army Signal Corps originated in the early days of the Civil War as a special unit, making it the oldest signal corps in the world, their mission being that of setting up and maintaining communications....

Union National and Regimental Colors

Second Manassas Union Reports

Federal regiments carried two colors, one national, the other regimental, which were taken to epitomize the honor and pride of the regiment. Such colors inevitably became the focal point for hostile fire in battle the enemy made strenuous efforts to capture them and the regiment made equally strenuous efforts to defend them, with many deaths and wounds on both sides in consequence. An added feature of the colors was that the regiment's past battle honors were either painted or embroidered onto...

Gunner 1st US Artillery

2nd Rhode Island Civil War Imagies

Union artillery underwent considerable change during the war, especially in its uniform regulation. It began the war as the smallest branch of the service, and artillerymen were looked upon as additional infantry, with only a few companies actually equipped with cannon This soon changed, with light or field artillery designed for active campaigning, horse or flying artillery accompanying cavalry, and heavy or foot artillery manning fortifications and sea defenses, as well as serving the army's...

Private North Carolina Infantry CSA

Confederate Army Cavalry Uniforms Plate

For blue as the infantry color, these infantrymen are wearing black shoulder strips. The trousers are of matching gray cloth, with black stripes down the seams. Some North Carolinan soldiers were equipped with single or double crossbelts, and, while weaponry varied, most carried the 1842 musket. Only because North Carolina could produce its own textiles and had ports for blockade-run items, could the State arm and equip its men so effectively. The troops from the State of North Carolina were...

Distinctive Unit Flags of the

Southern Class

Although the Confederate States of America had three National Flags and a battleflag authorized by law, flags extant today indicate usage of a great variety of patterns. Companies within regiments carried their own flags early in the war, while commanders of larger units adopted their own patterns, and military area commanders devised peculiar patterns for their areas. States also issued flags, usually bearing some form of the State Seal. Some flags bore slogans, such as Victory or Death others...

The Supply Train and the Six Mule Army Wagon

Supply Wagons

Troops and artillery had priority of movement on the march, while ammunition wagons took precedence over other supply vehicles. Keeping the wagons rolling was a priority for the staff of every army. For this reason, as seen in this example, the unit insignia and contents were usually displayed on the canvas top, which, among other reasons, was designed to aid the easy movement of wagons, because of the strict rule of precedence on the road. This box wagon itself was the workhorse conveyance of...

Istinctive State Flags of the Confederacy

Commonwealth Virginia State Seal

Southern state flags are visual evidence of the strong feeling of sir rights among individual mfederate states, and the addition patriotic slogans was quite mmonplace. A large number of ch flags, captured during the war, re returned to their states of origin the Federal Government in the rly decades of the twentieth ntury and they now usually reside their respective state capitols. iny of these flags, oil-painted on or embroidered, are really works art, and need professional care yv, if future...

Union Zouave and Rifle Officers Uniforms and Equipment

Duryee Zouaves

Nowhere was the approach to infantry uniforms more starkly demonstrated than in the uniforms of the rifle regiments also known as sharpshooters and the zouaves. Rifle uniforms were designed to be as inconspicuous as possible, the color of the uniforms being usually a dark green or a dark blue. The branch insignia had a green background, and the piping was also green. These elite units were few in number and surviving equipment is correspondingly very rare The known individual owners of the...

Enlisted Men 4th Texas Volunteer Infantry CSA

Uniforms 4th Texas Infantry

Few Rebel units achieved the reputation of the gallant Texans of Hood's Brigade, among them the 4th Texas Volunteer Infantry, Tough and rugged fighters, they became the shock troops of the Army of Northern Virginia when they came North to fight the Union's Army of the Potomac. The basic uniform shown here has some variations from the regulation Confederate pattern, the most noticeable being the black insignia of rank and the black piping, rather than the more customary blue although this is the...

Union Musicians Equipment

Musicians Sword 1840

N armies of both sides, military bands existed at regimental level and above, and they served two distinct purposes. First, they provided music on the march and on the parade ground and general entertainment in camp, which was very important when life was dangerous and short and there were few other diversions. The various bugle-calls also signaled the various events of the day, from meal times to taps at the end of the day The second function was to provide communications in battle, with drums...

Full Dress Uniform of General William T Sherman

Gala Uniform Civil War

Sherman remains a controversial figure in U. S. history, even though over a century and a quarter has passed since the campaigns for which he made his name, although his place among America's commanders remains secure. He had little use for the finery of the army and was rarely seen in his full dress uniform, seen here. The coat is regulation blue with the correct black velvet cuffs and collar, but the sash is rather broader and brighter than that worn by most other officers. County...

Union Sailors Seabag

Bosun Pipe Lanyard

Soldiers had foot lookers and beds in barracks, but sailors had to make do with a sea-bag and a hammock. Inevitably, sailors had long spells of idleness aboard and a traditional past-time was embroidering their property with a mixture of simple decorations and patriotic emblems. The Union sailor was issued with adequate supplies of well-made personal equipment, unlike his opponent in the South, who had to make do with whatever he could get his hands on. The items shown here are all made of good...

Union Infantry Officers Uniforms and Equipment

Officer Leather Haversack

Regulations concerning officers' uniforms allowed considerable latitude and therefore articles of uniform, accoutrements and accessories depended as much on the individual officer's taste and financial resources as on military requirements. Further differences arose because, while Regular Army officers were issued with many regulation articles of uniform and equipment, the volunteer officer was left to his own resources. There were, however, several regulations that were observed with some...

Personal Effects and Decorations of Major General Galusha Pennypacker

Army 1896medal Honor

The personal effects of any ranking general officer of the Civil War are extremely rare. In Major General Pennypacker, we are fortunate that his career began so early in his life. Many of the decorations on show were awarded to him long after the war between the states had finished. Most other generals' uniforms are held in institutional collections, but this particular selection of artifacts is held by Chester County Historical Society in Pennsylvania. The youngest general in American history,...

US Navy Cutlasses

Royal Navy Cutlass

Two types of Ames cutlasses are shown. The two Ames brothers, Oakes and Nathan, each owned his own sword-making foundry, but instead of cooperating they fought each other viciously for U.S. Government contracts. Oakes Ames, of Chicopee, Mass., produced the Model 1860 navy cutlass shown in the center, with its copper-riveted leather scabbard above it. His brother, Nathan P. Ames of Springfield, Mass., produced the Model 1842 cutlass at the bottom note the fish-scaled brass hilt reminiscent of...

Sergeant 79th New York Infantry Highlanders 186061

Highlander Infantry

Few Yankee regiments of the war wore quite such a distinctive dress or one which gave rise to such mirth - as the famed 79th New York Infantry, known as the Highlanders. When the initial core of four companies was raised in 1859 it was composed entirely of Scots immigrants and the regiment modeled itself on the British Army's 79th Regiment of Foot, the famed Cameron Highlanders. In full-dress the men wore a black Glengarry cap with a checkered border, a kilt in the Cameron tartan, a doublet,...

Union Rockets

122 Single Launcher

Rocket launchers were not a new idea, and the Congreve rocket had been used by the British during the Napoleonic Wars. They also used it against the Americans in the War of 1812, an action which is immortalized in the Star Spangled Banner's reference to the rockets' red glare. The weapon seem here is the Hale rocket launcher, which was invented by British civil engineer William Hale in 1844 as a much lighter and more mobile successor to the Congreve system. Following testing and approval by...

Union Cavalry Carbines

Joslyn Army

Arrtacts counesv o' The Cnnl IV,j- itti'aiy ,ml Museum Philadelphia. Pa Almost all Union carbines were breech-loading and fired special ammunition peculiar to each weapon, with calibers varying from .36 to .69. While great advances in small arms were made during the war, the lack of standardization created major problems. Most companies manufacturing these arms ceased to exist after hostilities came to an end. The Sharps carbine 1 was one of a relatively small number of capping breech loaders,...

Swords

Dress Sword Colonel Sylvanus Thayer

The presentation of ornate, deluxe swords to prominent politicians and local favorite sons, and, in particular, to war heroes was a recognized tribute in the 1860s. The majority of such presentation swords were enhanced models of swords then in current issue to the Army, but there were exceptions where no expense was spared. In the latter case, the result was a sword of exquisite quality and craftsmanship, such as those shown here. Some were even made by jewelers, such as Bailey and Co., of...

Union Naval Officers Insignia

Civil War Navy Insignia

An officer was recognized by the insignia on his tunic, and that in the Union Navy derived chiefly from prewar usage, which in turn owed much to Army insignia. The shoulder strap markings were the most direct and reliable, and usually could be counted on to depict the officer's correct current rating. The sleeve or cuff stripes, on the other hand, took more time and effort to alter with promotions, and therefore were often ignored. As a result, there were many officers of all ranks whose cuffs...

Csa

Battle Yellow Tavern

Though hardly as showy as the Yankee General Custer, Confederate Major General Jeb Stuart represented much of what was most dashing in the bold cavaliers of the South. His short jacket, buttoned back in the Revolutionary War style to show its buff facings, the ostrich plume in his hat, the gleaming black high-topped boots were all the trademark of the officer that friends called Beauty. Most elegant of all were his whiskers, and the merry twinkle in his eyes that everyone around him noted....

Uniforms of the US Marine Corps

Marines Service Uniform Close

Navy carried a few Marines, who were as smart then as they are today, as demonstrated by these uniforms. On the left is a sergeant's field frock coat, with his badges of rank in gold braid on each sleeve and a white belt, with bayonet frog and cartridge pouch. On the right is a full-dress, double-breasted coat with collar and cuff embellishments and the shoulder-scales, which were mandatory at all times in this order of dress.

Drummer Co F 2nd Wisconsin Infantry Iron Brigade

Images The Civil War Iron Brigade

Hardly any other unit of the Civil War would achieve such lasting fame as the so-called Iron Brigade of Wisconsin and Indiana. Its three Wisconsin and one Indiana regiments fought with a ferocity that made them stand out from other units, and suffered losses hardly equaled in any other unit. Indeed, so heavy were its causalities that the unit existed for only two years. The Second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry was mustered into United States service on June 11, 1861, for three years or during...

Union Officers Camp Equipment

Civil War Carved Folding Pocket Mirror

The individual officer could exert a major influence over the degree of discomfort he suffered when on campaign, and, as in all armies, officers could enjoy comforts not available or not permitted to the troops. Nevertheless, all is not quite as it appears at first sight Thus, among the personal items shown here, those that stand out as lavish - and thus potentially divisive between the commissioned ranks and the soldiers - is the silver service of a Ma . Cassals, which includes two silver...

Uniform of Major General George G Meade

Army Rank Civil War Museum

Meade was given command of one of the Pennsylvania brigades and promoted brigadier general. He fought under General McClellan during the Peninsula Campaign and was severely wounded at the Battle of Glendale June 30, 1862 . Barely recovered, he fought at Second Manassas, South Mountain, and Antietam. Meade commanded a division during the failure at Fredericksburg, performed well at Chancellorsville the following spring, and was placed in charge of the Army of the Potomac actually while on the...

Union Officers Headgear Epaulettes and Sash

Admiral Epaulettes

As in any army, the officers' dress and accouterments were to a higher standard than those of the enlisted men Shown here are the epaulettes and waist sash of a first lieutenant of the 143rd Infantry Regiment, together with his forage cap, which carries the corps badge. The album contains photographs of other officers, probably cartes-de-visite of fellow officers of his own regiment.

US Navy Gunnery Accessories

The wooden tompion, on the left, was used to plug the muzzle of a 9 inch 229mm gun when not in use, its prime function being to keep out corrosive sea-spray. As was customary, the face of the tompion has been painted, in this case red, with the ring-pull backed by a Union star both are made of brass, and would have been highly polished during the war, The leather pass-box right , with strap and lid, was used to carry the projectile from the magazine or ready-use rack to the gun.

Artillery Pieces

Revolutionary Howitzer Tools

The artillery pieces of both combatants were quite similar. The more popular types were the Ordnance rifle 1 , Parrott rifle and the smoothbore Napoleon 3 , which were fabricated by both sides in various configurations. The Confederate artillery also used many obsolete pieces updated by binding the barrel to strengthen it and by rifling. 1 A full service history exists for this piece the 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, Muzzle-loading, No. 1, which was made by the Phoenix Iron Company of Phoenixville,...

Confederate Unit Flags Variant Patterns

1st North Carolina Flag Cavalry

With such a large number of different patterns and variations, the study of Confederate flags has developed into a field of its own. Of particular interest are western theater flags that would not even be identified as Confederate by the layman. To have any grasp of the subject, the reader is referred to the definitive source on the subject The Battleflags of the Army of the Tennessee, by Howard Michael M. Madaus and Robert D. Needham. Fine specimens exist in the Tennessee, Mississippi and...

Union Naval Ensign

Union Ironclad Ensigns

Naval ensigns are normally very large and thus difficult both to collect and to display, Thus, those few that do remain are usually to be found in the larger collections at places such as the United States Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard and the United States Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Md, although this particular example comes from The Civil War Library and Museum in Philadelphia, Pa. the USS San Jacinto, a 2,200 ton screw corvette sloop, armed with twelve 8-inch 203mm and four...

Confederate Medical Equipment

The Supplies For The Confederate Army

The Confederate Medical Department fought a hopeless battle against disease and infection in a war in which twice as many soldiers died of disease as became battlefield casualties, and commonplace childhood illnesses became fatal epidemics, incapacitating whole regiments. On the surgical side, amputation was the accepted procedure for wounds affecting the arms and legs, while body wounds were considered inoperable, and usually fatal given the high incidence of infection. Fighting for a cause in...

Brigadier General Joseph William Hoffman

General Custer Uniforms

Joseph William Hoffman was an otherwise good match for the South's General John H. Winder. For Hoffman, prison man-agement was a matter of efficiency, reducing the human component of men behind bars and walls to an accountant's sort of calculation on food and fuel per man ratios. Proudly at war's end he turned back to the War Department hundreds of thousands of dollars that he had saved at the expense of the health, nourishment, and comfort of his prisoners. Like Winder, Hoffman was a regular...

Equipment

Confederate Cavalry Uniform

The branch-of-service color in the Confederate cavalry was yellow, as in the old Federal cavalry, and also the same as its Federal counterpart during the Civil War. The same branch-of-service insignia, the crossed sabers, was also utilized. There was a striking similarity in uniforms between the two sides, except for the color and the rank device, especially the elaborate gold braiding on the sleeves, as seen on the frock coats- 3 and 5 . 1 Uniform trousers of Capi W H Cleaver, Steele's Texas...

Admiral Franklin Buchanan CSN

Franklin Buchanan Civil War

Admiral Franklin Buchanan was a Marylander with a long and distinguished career in the old Union Navy to his credit before his conscience took him across the line to the Confederacy. Once in the gray, he saw an extensive and action-filled period of war service unequaled by any other naval commander. He commanded the CSS Virginia in her epic contest with the Federal fleet at Hampton Roads on March 8, 1862, and later commanded the CSS Tennessee in Mobile Bay. The regulation Confederate States...

Union Officers Swords

1860 Prussian Cavalry Sword

N a universal military tradition stretching back many centuries the sword was both the officers' weapon of choice and an official indication of his status, and it is very unlikely that any officer on the Union side did not have his own sword. Nevertheless, as with the cavalry and their sabers described on the previous pages, so Union officers in general began to question the value of an implement which was cumbersome and heavy to carry, but which they almost never used in battle. As a result,...

Union Rifles

Civil Rifle

Although the rifle-musket was the primary shoulder weapon of the Union soldier, substantial numbers of rifles, both muzzle- and breech-loading, were issued to troops in the field. Of primary significance in firearms development were the magazine-fed Spencer 7 and Henry 8 . There was a frenzy of invention in the North, spurred on by the war and lucrative government contracts, but only a few of the newly invented and patented guns ever saw as much service as the single-shot Springfield. The...

Headquarters Pennant Army of the Potomac July 1863

Flags that are documented as having actually been present at a crucial moment in history are very rare, but Brig. Gen. Webb's Headquarters Pennant is one of them. This was the flag flown at the Headquarters of 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, commanded by Brig. Gen. Alexander Stewart Webb. The brigade, numbering some 1,220 men, was made up of four Pennsylvania infantry regiments the 69th, 71st, 72nd, and 106th. On July 3, 1863, the third day of the Battle of...

US Midshipman in Service Dress 1862 and West Point Cadet

Usna Service Uniforms

Representing long-held traditions when the Civil War broke out, the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and the United Stat es Military Academy at West Point, New York, both offered a small but steady supply of educated and trained young officers for the Union war effort. The midshipman at left displays the traditional Naval Academy dress of short blue jacket and blue trousers, with naval cap- and collar-badges. Next to him stands a cadet sergeant from West Point, considerably...

Infantry CSA

Scotch Irish Mississippi Rifles

The 11th Mississippi Infantry presented one of the handsomer variations on the standard gray uniform of the Confederacy. The regiment was made up chiefly of prewar volunteer militia companies, many of which wore entirely different garb. Most eventually wore slight variations of the state militia dress, the mid-thigh length gray blouse with red collar and red frogging on the breast, red cuffs and trouser stripes. Their headgear was predominantly the Hardee-style hat, as worn by this enlisted...

Union Drums and Bugle

Civil War Epaulettes

From New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts regiments, together with a regulation bugle. As explained earlier, such instruments had a purpose that was as much military as entertainment. All union drummers had distinctive white support straps that made them instantly recognizable. A drum and band major was entitled to wear a white baldrick. This ran from the right shoulder to the left hip and was about twice as wide as a support strap. During postwar decades, civilian musicians adopted the...

Cartridges

Burnside Carbine

The war created the need for millions of cartridges for an enormous variety of different calibered weapons. 1 12-shot load of buckshot for a 58 rifle 14 7mm or musket 2 .69 caliber 17.5mm ball cartridge 3 .69 caliber 17 5mm buck and ball cartridge 4 69 caliber 17 5mm Mini cartridge with wooden plug 5 .58 caliber 14.7mm Mime cartridge 8 A 6-sided cardboard Whitworth cartridge 9 Metal-cased Maynard cartridge 10 Metal-cased Burnside carbine cartridge 11 Metal-cased Henry repeating rifle cartridge...

Union Zouave Uniforms and Equipment

Zouave Breech

Aiti'acts courtesy tit ikjn tromru. mifltiry 'Tisr Zouave uniforms originated among native North African troops recruited to serve in the French Army in the 1830s and the superb esprit de corps and elite status among these units, and their distinctive dress, soon came to the notice of foreign military observers. Elmer E. Ellsworth, a young amateur soldier is credited with raising the United States Zouave Cadets in Chicago in August 1859, his mentor being a former French surgeon and veteran of...

Sergeant 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Rushs Lancers

Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry

Oddly enough, the state of Pennsylvania attained a degree of notoriety during the Civil War for some of its unruly cavalry regiments. Arguably the worst disciplined regiment in the Union army was the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry, which had rather more than its fair share of courts-martial, desertions, insubordinate enlisted men, and incompetent officers, although the last-named may well have been the root cause of the other problems. Perhaps it was in reaction to such a poor reputation that the 6th...

Union Heavy Artillery Projectiles

Paper Revolvers

With the advent of armored vessels, projectiles capable of penetrating or crushing such armor had to be developed. The breaking of masonry forts was also accomplished by the use of similar projectiles fired from large bore rifled guns. Many of these projectiles had specially hardened noses designed to punch through armor Excellent examples are to be seen at West Point and the Washington Navy Yard. The result of bombardment by such projectiles can be seen at Fort Sumter, Charleston, and Fort...

Personal Possessions and Memorabilia of Maj Gen J E B Stuart CSA

Stuarts Calisher Terry Carbine

A West Point graduate in the class of 1854, Stuart served in the U.S. Cavalry until his resignation and appointment as colonel of the 1st Virginia Cavalry in 1861. By mid-1862 Stuart had risen to become a maior general and commander of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia. It seemed as if he led a charmed life and could not fail, until the Battle of Brandy Station June 1863 , where Confederate cavalry realized that the Federal cavalry had become a force to be reckoned with. From that...

Confederate Battleflags Western Variants

13th Mississippi Infantry Flag

Andrew's Cross were used as the battleflag of many units serving in the western theater. In general these flags were rectangular in shape, unlike those of the Army of Northern Virginia, which were generally square. Such flags are avidly sought, but few are in private hands. The premier collection is to be found at the Museum of the Confederacy. Flag of the 1 st and 3rd combined Regiments, Florida Volunteer Infantry, issued to the unit in 1864 Flag of the 57th Regiment....