Union Infantry Equipment

Since the days of the American Revolution, American

Civil War Ammo Box Plans

Standing like the Emperor Napoleon, with hand in coat, was a popular pose for many Civil War soldiers having their photographs taken. This soldier stands almost completely accoutred and the top of his bayonet in its scabbard can just be seen, but he appears to lack a cartridge box. David Scheinmann.

Oil cloths were practical forage cap accessories in bad weather. This private has slipped an oil cloth over his forage cap and poses for this picture wearing a standard issue frock coat. David Scheinmann.

Standing like the Emperor Napoleon, with hand in coat, was a popular pose for many Civil War soldiers having their photographs taken. This soldier stands almost completely accoutred and the top of his bayonet in its scabbard can just be seen, but he appears to lack a cartridge box. David Scheinmann.

soldiers liked to travel light. This may have had a lot to do with the shortages of supply that dogged America during the struggle for independence, but also with the American volunteers' attitude to authority. An American soldier believed he was

Oil cloths were practical forage cap accessories in bad weather. This private has slipped an oil cloth over his forage cap and poses for this picture wearing a standard issue frock coat. David Scheinmann.

fighting for a cause and prided himself on his individuality. He considered excess equipment unnecessary and this was reflected in the design of the accoutrements issued to him and the way he would discard anything he found uncomfortable; although in this respect the Union soldier was not as undisciplined as his Confederate foes.

Union Soldier Sergeants

Non-commissioned officers were authorised to wear dark blue stripes down the seams of their trousers, one and half inches wide. In practice many sergeants and corporals didn't bother, possibly because their trousers didn't come ready made with the stripes and sewing them on was too much trouble. This corporal though, is proud to show off his stripes and he is also wearing a fine looking waistcoat. David Scheinmann.

Non-commissioned officers were authorised to wear dark blue stripes down the seams of their trousers, one and half inches wide. In practice many sergeants and corporals didn't bother, possibly because their trousers didn't come ready made with the stripes and sewing them on was too much trouble. This corporal though, is proud to show off his stripes and he is also wearing a fine looking waistcoat. David Scheinmann.

The basic equipment issued to all Union infantry soldiers included a knapsack worn on the back and a cartridge box which was either suspended on a belt over the left shoulder or carried on a waistbelt which also carried the soldier's bayonet and cap pouch. Waistbclts were 1.9 inches wide and 38.5 inches long and they were usually buckled with a brass waistbelt plate with US on the front. Variations included the popular SNY plates standing for State of New York favoured by many New York volunteers. Confederates joked that SNY stood for 'snotty nosed Yank'. Other variations in waist belt plates worn by troops from various states included NHSM plates sported by men of the New Hampshire State Militia. Infantry shoulder belt plates were 2 '/2 inches in diameter. Completing his basic equipment, the Union infantryman carried a haversack and canteen slung over his right shoulder.

Union Infantry Equipment
This studio portrait of a sergeant offers a far more realistic view of how Civil War soldiers actually looked. Note his hat is probably cut down and battered into shape from a full dress Hardee hat. David Scheinmann.
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