The Plates

The regulation uniform of a general officer was a double-breasted dark blue frock coat with a dark blue velvet standing collar and round "jam pot" cuffs. Major-generals had two rows of nine buttons arranged in groups of three; brigadier-generals had two rows of eight buttons arranged in pairs. Rank was also indicated by transverse shoulder straps of dark blue velvet edged with gold embroidery, bearing two silver stars for a major-general and one for a brigadiergeneral. The cap or hat badge was a black velvet oval with a gold embroidered wreath enclosing "U.S." in silver Old English lettering. For full dress, gold braid epaulettes were worn, with heavy gold fringes, and two or one silver stars.

The trousers were plain dark blue. The general officers' sword was straight, with a gilt guard, black leather grip wrapped with gilt wire, and a black scabbard with brass mounts. The full dress sworcl had a silver grip and a brass or steel scabbard. The sword knot was of gold cord with an acorn end. In the field a black leather belt was worn with a piain gilt plate showing the arms of the United States. The full dress belt was of red leather with lengthways gold braid stripes. For dress, and occasionally in the field, a buff silk tasseled sash was worn under the belt.

It should be emphasized that this was the regulation uniform; in practice generals wore variations to suit their needs and preferences.

Irvin McDowell (left) as commander of I Corps, with his army commander George McClellan, before the 1862 Peninsula campaign. Lincoln insisted that McDowell's corps be left behind to protect Washington; McClellan subsequently used this excuse to point the finger of blame at Lincoln for the campaign's failure. Mote McDowell's odd forage cap, taller than usual and standing straight like a shako. Distrusting his loyalty, after First Bull Run some soldiers in his army actually claimed that this odd hat marked him out in the field so that Confederates, who knew he was secretly aiding them, would not accidentally shoot him!

Civil War Musicians Shako Hat Irvin Mcdowell Straw Hat Civil War

Ambrose 6urnside wore his old Rhode Island "sack" even when he was a general officer, along with a werston of the US Army dress hat stripped of its embroidery and feathers - see Plate C2.

A: MAY 1661

A1: Mafor-General Commanding the Army Winfield Scott

AZ: Major-General Benjamin Butler A3: Brigadier-GeneraJ Irvin McDowell

Three generals who were important in the early days of the war meet in Washington to discuss that city's defense. At the outset there was considerable fear that the capital, surrounded by the slave-holding states of Maryland and Virginia, would fall to Southern forces. There were only some 55 officers and men of the Ordnance Corps, and 300 to 400 Marines stationed within city limits, and some of the city's militia companies were of suspect loyafty. Benjamin Butter led some of the first troops from New England to defend Washington; his immediate appointment as a major-general of volunteers was politically motivated. Scott and McDowell, both professional soldiers, were already in the capital. Scott would be obliged to retire on grounds of age and health, while both McDowell and Butler would be disgraced by subsequent failures.

Scott (Al), known to his men as "Old Fuss and Feathers", and Butler both preferred fanciful variations on regulation dress; note the heavy gold embroidery on the fall collar and cuffs affected by Scott. Unique in his rank as Major-General Commanding the Army, Scott wore its three silver stars on his epaulettes, the center star larger than the other two. Eventually the three-star insignia would be adopted for use by Ulysses S.Grant when he was named a lieutenant-general, and would survive as a lieutenant-general's rank insignia to this day. Butler (A2) has the regulation stand collar, but also sports gold embroidery along its top and front edges; portraits show at teast two variations of this style. McDowell (A3) preferred regulation dress, but was unmistakable for his unique style of cap - see accompanying photograph.

B; AUGUST 1862

B1: Mafor-Generaf John Pope B2: Major-GeneraJ Fttz John Porter B3: Major-GeneraJ Edwin Sumner

Toward the end of his disastrous Second Bull Run {Manassas) campaign, John Pope, commanding the Army of Virginia, meets two Army of the Potomac corps commanders, while in the background exhausted men of John Gibbon's "Iron Brigade" prepare their suppers. AN three wear the regulation uniform for major-generals, differenced only by their personal choice of headgear; Porter (B2) wears the so-called "McClelian1' style forage cap, the other two broad-brimmed slouch hats with gold cord and acorns, Sumner's (B3) without a badge- Pope would later have Porter court-martialed: he was always bitter about what he believed was the desire of senior officers of the Army of the Potomac to see him beaten in the field. He wrote years later: "It was the knowledge of this feeling and the open exultation of Franklin and other officers of rank in his corps over the fact that their comrades had been worsted in the battle of the day before which induced me to recommend that the army be drawn back to the intrenchments around Washington and there thoroughly reorganized. There did not appear to me to be any hope of success for that army while such a feeling prevailed among so many of its higher officers."


C1: Major-General George McClellan C2: Major-General Ambrose Burnside C3: Brigadier-General Henry Hunt

McClellan turns over command of the Army of the Potomac to Ambrose Burnside, 7 November 1862. Jt was welt after dark when Burnside arrived with Ger. Catharinus Buckingham, who had been on duty at the War Department at the time and personally delivered the orders from the Secretary of War to Burnside; a newspaper sketch artist caught McClellan and Burnside in discussion outside the former's headquarters tent, McClellan, who had constantly misread Abraham Lin coin, was shocked to receive orders to hand over command; but he wisely disregarded the excitable advice of his supporters in the army to ignore them. Instead he retired to Trenton, New Jersey (which one wag said was the only city he was abie to take), McClellan described the event in a letter to his wife written at 11.30pm that night:

"No cause is given. I am ordered to turn over the command immediately & repair to Trenton N.J. & on my arrival there to report by telegraph for future ordersl! Poor Burn feeis dreadfully, almost crazy - I am sorry for him, & he never showed himself a better man or truer friend than now. Of course i was much surprised - but as l read the order in the presence of Gen I Buckingham, I am sure that not a muscle quivered nor was the slightest expression of feeling visible on my face, which he watched closely. They shall not have that triumph. They have made a great mistake - alas for my poor country - I know in my innermost heart she never had a truer servant, i have informally turned over the command to Burnside - but will go tomorrow to Warrentcn with him, & perhaps remain a day or two there in order to give him all the information in my power."

While McClellan (C1J wears entirely regulation uniform with the style of forage cap named after him and tail black riding boots, Burnside (C2) still wears his old Rhode Island militia overshirt, which he preferred to wear in the field even as an army commander: the other details of his costume are also from photographs. Inside the tent, Gen. Hunt <C3), the army's brilliant chief of artillery, wears a custom-made single-breasted fatigue blouse with a fail collar, and a black rubberized rain cover on his cap,

D: MAV 1863

D1: Major-General Joseph Hooker D2: Major-General Darius Couch D3: Major-General William Franklin

Hooker, Burn side's successor as commander of the Army of the Potomac, meets with his second in command, Couch, and the commander of VI Corps, Franklin, before the Chancellorsville campaign, as his troops form up to get under way; the infantry regiment in the background is led by its fife and drum corps. Note the regulation horse furniture for a general officer (D1). All three generals wear regulation uniform, but note that Couch {D2) ¡s shown in photographs with major-general's shoulder straps applied to his old brigadier-general's coat.

During the campaign Darius Couch would become disgusted with Hooker, who he believed to have lost all confidence and who, instead of folio v. ng the ong.nal plan to burst out of the Wilderness in Lees rear withdrew to defensive lines around the Chancellor House, on , to meet decisive defeat there.

E: JUNE 1863

E1: Major-General George Meade E2: Major-GeneraJ John Reynolds E3: Major-General Daniel Sickles

Just before Gettysburg, the new Army of the Potomac commander Gen.Meade discusses Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania with Reynolds, commander of I Corps, and Sickles, commander of ill Corps; in the background troops have set up an evening camp. Meade gave Reynolds command of all the troops on the scene on the first day of the battle, but Reynolds was killed while scouting that afternoon. Sickles would put the Union line at risk through his unauthorized movement of his command just before the Confederates struck on the second day; Gettysburg would cost him a leg. but he would live to a ripe old age, surrounded by an aura of rascality. All three generals are taken from photographs. Note Sickfes' (E3) open single-breasted coat worn over a waistcoat, with his major-general's stars worn on shoulder straps lacking the regulation gold borders. Many of Meade's personal effects survive in the Civil War Library & Museum, Philadelphia, PA; he was portrayed with a dress sword belt of red leather with gold braid stripes.


F1: Major-General Winfieid Scott Hancock F2: Brigadier-General Francis Barlow F3: Brigadier-General John Gibbon

The greatly admired Gen, Hancock sits with two of the divisional commanders of his II Corps in 1864 - after a famous photograph (from which we have omitted Maj.Gen. David Birney) of a group of generals all of whom had been wounded at Gettysburg the previous year. Hancock (F1), whose life was despaired of at one point, wears regulation uniform but without a hat badge. Barlow (F2) had been so badly wounded that he was left for dead, but had recovered enough to rejoin the army for the 1864 campaign. He wears the plain, single-breasted short jacket preferred as more comfortable than a frock coat in the saddle, and a standard issue cavalry saber. Instead of the regulation "U.S." he displays the single silver star of his rank on the front of his issue forage cap. Gibbon (F3), an artilleryman before the war and author of The Artillerist's Manual while an instructor at West Point, was the second commander of the Iron Brigade" of troops from Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. Here he wears a custom-made version of the fatigue blouse or "sack coat" and the single star of brigadier-general - he was promoted major-general from early June, Note the use of civilian shirts under the uniform coats.


G1: Brigadier-General George Stoneman G2: Major-General Alfred Pleasonton G3: Major-General Philip Sheridan

The cavalry of the Army of the Potomac was commanded successively by these three officers, ail of whom wear largely regulation uniform for their rank, and carry plain cavalry sabers. The only striking detail is Sheridan's (G3) odd hat. a small black felt rather resembling a straw boater in outline. Neither Pleasonton nor Stoneman proved very successful in the field; but Stoneman did successfully lobby to make the

Cavalry Corps a separate, independent command instead of splitting it up among various infantry corps - an important factor in its later success under Philip Sheridan. By the time Sheridan took command the quality of the Confederate cavalry, in terms of horses, weapons, and numbers, was so relatively poor that he easily outfought them in most engagements.


H1: Major-General Andrew Humphreys H2: Maior-General John Sedgwick H3: Major-General Joshua Chamberlain

In front of Army of the Potomac headquarters in the field. Gen. Chamberlain reports to the army chief-of-staff, Gen. Humphreys. Andrew Humphreys made the successful transition from topographical engineer to unit commander to army chief-of-staff, where his work was quite successful, and then to corps commander, marking him as a superior soldier He wears regulation uniform (H1) with his trousers outside his boots.

John Sedgwick (H2) was one of the army's most beloved corps commanders; although his superiors found him unwilling to assume independent command responsibility, his death at Spotsylvania on 9 May was a real blow to the army. His saddle and other effects are preseved in the West Point Museum: a photograph shows him with his coat worn open at the neck. The Maine general Joshua Chamberlain (H3), the hero of Little Round Top, is illustrated here resplendent in as near to a dress uniform as would be worn in the field, where epaulettes were virtually never seen; he has the general's buff sash beneath his plain black belt supporting a staff officer's sword, This remarkable officer became more widely known through the pages of Michael Shaara's Pulitzer prize-winning 1975 novel The Killer Angels, which later formed the basis for the 1993 feature film Gettysburg.

Winfield Scott Hancock Wife

OPPOSITE A famous 1864 photograph of Win fie Id Scott Hancock as commander of If Corps (seated), with, left to right, his divisional commanders 8rig.Gen. Francis Barlow, Maj.Gen. David Bimey, and Brig.Gen. John Gibbon -Of Plate F.

Joseph Hooker - see Plate D1 -certainly looked the part of a general. His estimation of his own worth was not shared by his contemporaries such as John Gibbon and Ulysses Grant, however; and when he threatened to resign after being passed over for a command, Gen,Sherman calmly let this disloyal subordinate go.

OPPOSITE A famous 1864 photograph of Win fie Id Scott Hancock as commander of If Corps (seated), with, left to right, his divisional commanders 8rig.Gen. Francis Barlow, Maj.Gen. David Bimey, and Brig.Gen. John Gibbon -Of Plate F.

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Rfiricncr* m illmixtion* arc shown ijh bold Plûtes are shown ivùli page and caption localuns in brackets.

Adams. Captain Cl i,u le*. FiüIKi»,Ji 16, 41 "Anaconda Plan" 40 Antietam 7, SO. 29, 44, 4K, 50,57 Appomattox 11, 19, 54 Arm y of thejames i e h Army of the Potomac 7-8, 22. 30. 31,G (AS. 61-02 ). 1-1 An h nr. President Chester 45

Barlow, Brigadici'-Gcnr t al Francis t lhaitnîng 5-6, 620 ïï(38, (hl i. |>3

üiriuy, Mu jor-Gtn eial Da viel 63 BlKkJltglwm, Genetal Calhatirm* 61 Buena Vista 11-12, 15, 50 hull Hun, First (Manassas) 7.15, 30, 47 Bull Rull. Second (Manamas) 30, 43 ß ui mide, Majo r-Gencral Ambrose T, 7-8, 8. ! 5, 2 I. 29. 02(35,61),60

hutlci. Mll]hj.i-< îcDcntl Benjamin Franklin 8-IOj 3, .\2i33,13»)

.izc-.lh- i I.liiii Major-Geueral Joshua Ijwrenee um. tÖ(40,6$ f hanirflnrmlk; 6,1^22,56,61 t handily 27 t.hattanooga 23,53 < hick.nnatiga 13

tjjtpi Il 12, 24-25, F( 33, 61),¿57 Coq»,Vl 4S (.«IT*. IX 7, 8

ii i li, M ajor-Gcneral Darius Nash il-M 1 2,

Cnstcr, Majur-tieuend George Armstrong 4. 13, 15-14, 14

DouWfdiiy, BrigadîerCeneral Abner 30 Duîldc, Major f.iEiic-s 26

Early,Juba) 5354

Fait 57,5S Fort Fisher 10 Fin i fk-urgr 48

i r.iiil.lin, Mçjor-Ceneral WiHi.nn Und 15. 15-16.

D3(56. Til) Fredericksburg 7-8. 12. 1.1, IS, 21, 47

French, Major-iiencral William Iii nry 16-17

Gettysburg 18, 23,25, 11-12, 46. ¡7. 55, til Cetneteiy Kitlge 6, 2<l Uttk Round Top 10-11 Gibbon, Brigailicr-Ceiicral Juhn 17-liï, LH, 20, 22,

F3(38,42, «3 Glendale 31,5« Gordon; General'John II. 6 Granu 1J eu te nan t-Ceneral Ulysses S, 4, 11. 21, 23. 32.51.

Hancock, Majortieftéral Winfield Scott 19, 10-21.

24, Fl(3*, 611. S3 llarnev, William S. 49 Haskell, Frank I*. 19-20, 31.47,51, 55 H aw lev. Brigadicr-(k'iiera] Joseph H Haydun, Charles 10. 54-55 ! layes. Fretidem Rutherford R, 45 BnotetMajor-CetiemlJoseph 3. S. 12. 21.2J-2S.

22, Dl (36, 61). 62 HLuBphri.Vs, M ,1 }< i r-( .(■! i r- r.i i A r i < 11 c w Atfcinson 23-25.

24. HI (40,62) Hunt, BrigacUtr-Genrral HenryJaeksou 25-20, 25. C3(35, 61)

Kearny. M;ij«r-Cener^l Philip 26-27, Ï7 Key, Philip Barton 54 Kidd, ColondJH, 13,'>3

l.itniiln, PresidëiU Abraham 4, fi. 12, 17. 28, 29,50

Liule Big Horn 13

Lowell, Coloii(4 Charlys R. 41

Jrtalne. &Hh 10 Malvern I Iii! 21,44

Manassas cauijiai^n set Bull Him, First & Sei Of id

Massachusetts tnfaniry, 7th 12-1 3

McClcUan, Major-General George Brinton 4. In, 17,

27-2«, 2S. 29 Cl (35, 61 41, 57. 59 McDowell, BritfadferGe neral I mn 29-31 ï, 3D, A3:35, (ill), 50

Mciide. MajorGenetal tîeorge l.^nliiti 2it. 31.

31-32,33, El (37,61) Mt"] Cher, Major Hülm a n 1H Mexican War 21,41, 42, 47,50,55-56,57 Mexkfi City 25.23,44.49 Mine Run Hi Missiotiary Ki<ki' 53 Mississippi River f3

New Vork Infantry, 61 st 56

Patrick, Majar-G«ni-ra] Marsetia 7,8, 15, lt>, 17,23,

25. 31, IH. 51,55 Petii nsula çtmpalgn 47,56 Pennsylvania Rn'jicrvt'j.. I st Bngad e Hi, 47 PetrcsbuïK il,H(40.62)

Pleäisontim, Major* loncnd Alfred C2t 30, 61-^2), 41,

Pope, MitjoFGéâétai J<ihn Fl (34. 60), 12 1143 Porter, MajorGi: nen>ÎÎFiiv- John 4, B2 (34, 60 h. 44. 44-45,45

Rappahannock Bridge 51

Reynold» Major-tïeîieial JoKn Fulton E2(37, 61),

46. 4(i-47 Rhode Island InËinU y. ist 7 Ric ketLs. James Brewe rton ! 7 18. 48

Sailor's Creek 25

Scutt, M.ijni General Commanding the Ami)

Winfield 3, Al (33, 6(1). 4350. 40. 50 Sedgwick, Major-Gene*^John 32 H2i Iii. 62). 48,

50-51, il Sevan U-.i^ HhtiIi s fi, 44 Shenandoah Valley 53

Sheridan, Major-General Philip Henry Git(,

01-62) 42. 52, 52-54, 53 Sherman. (K-nentl William T, 5, 53 Sickles, Major-Cîeneral Daniel F^dpir ES(37, 61), 54,

54-55, J5 Spot^tvania 6,51 stall, general's 5

.Stanley, Major* ienri iil Dwid 57

Si om ■ i nan, Brigadier-Gene ral t i i^f C. I ( 3',), i i 14i2 ),


Strother. Colonel l>avid 27. 30, -13

Sumner, Miyir-iiencral Edwin B3' 34, 60 >. 57-5H

Swinton, WUliam 29, 14

Wai n wriRlit. Colintcl CI id ties 15.1^17.22,23,26,

27, 29,44, 47.57. 58 Washington 60 Wigh t matt, Priv^|te Edward 20 WlIllaiTisliurR 12.22,57 WotvliviLitf, Majoi l'Iran I0 i7



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American Civil War Zouaves
The American Vil War

Men-at-Arms 177: American Civil War Armies (2) Union Troops

Text by Philip KaLcher, plates by Ron Volstad. The US Army during the Civil War was the largest the country had ever raised; and it would remain the largest ever raised until World War I. This work is a comprehensive guide to the uniforms, accoutrements, insignid and weapons of Union troops.

ISBN 0 850-45 690 8

Men-at-Arms 258: Flags of the American Civil War (2) Union

Text by Philip Katcher, plates by Rtck Scolllns, The regimental or battery set of colors was more than simply a unit designation ■ it was the very symbol or the regiment. This book provides a fascinating examination of the Union flags of Ibe Arnerican Civil War.

ISBN I B5532 255 2

Elite 62: American Civil War Zouaves

Text by Robin Smith, plates by Bill Younghusband. Inspired by the French colonial units raised in North Africa, with their distinctive uniforms and reputation as hard fighters. Zouave units with names as colorful as their dress were amongst the most famous regiments of the Civil War.

ISBN I 85532 571 3




Zouave Civil War Army Units

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