Many of the New York regiments were organised on a 'national' basis, companies being composed of men of the same national origin - for example, part of the 36th New York was known as The British Volunteers. Most famous was the 39th New York, known as The Garibaldi Guard or the 1st Foreign Rifles.
Mustered on 28 May 1861, the regiment included one company of Italians, one of French, 3 German, 3 Hungarian, one Spanish and one Swiss, named after the famous Italian patriot and uniformed in a Franco-Italian style including the distinctive Italian 'Bersaglieri' hat with plume of cocks' feathers and the brass letters 'g.g.' on the front. The uniform was of an Italian style; the red roll was frequently worn over the shoulder. Officers had the same uniform, with the addition of normal rank-markings and fringed epaulettes.
The Garibaldi Guard even included Cantiniire girls of the French style, these ladies being equipped with barrels of water and spirits intended to give aid to wounded soldiers. Their costume was copied from their French counterparts - small black Bersaglieri hat with green plume; red waist-length jacket worn open to expose a white blouse and black 'string' tie, single-breasted with white shoulder-straps, red turned-back lapels, red collar and pointed cuffs, all edged with gold lace; black girdle with red edges; voluminous blue skirt, several inches above the knee, edged with red lace ; dark blue trousers with red stripe down the outer seams worn under the skirt; and a small wooden barrel worn over the right shoulder on a black leather belt. The regiment carried three colours, having an unofficial standard based upon the Italian tricolour of red, white, and green in addition to the National and Regimental colours.
Two months after muster, the 39th served at First Bull Run, but was captured at Harper's Ferry on 15 September 1862. It served out its four-year enlistment after a prisoner-exchange, being engaged at Gettysburg. It should not be confused with the Garibaldi Legion (Louisiana volunteers) or the Garibaldi Guard (Company 'B', 9th Pennsylvania Reserves).
The uniform of the 1st Massachusetts Militia illustrated is almost identical to the fatigue uniform of the regular army during the U.S.-Mexi-can War (1846-48), consisting of light blue/grey shell-jacket and trousers, the only difference being the head-dress, the regulation képi replacing the earlier forage cap. As in the Mexican War, officers wore the regulation dark blue frock-coat in
22 a) Private, 7th New York National Guard b) Corporal, 7th New York National Guard c) Sergeant, New York Militia place of the shell-jacket. The ist Massachusetts Militia became part of the ist Massachusetts Infantry, though Company 'C' (Massachusetts True Blues) became Company 'K' of the 6th Militia.
The Vermont Brigade, consisting of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th ermont Regiments, was clothed jmpletely in grey in the early part of the war, with regiments distinguished by the colour of their facings and trouser-stripes, the 2nd having green, the 3rd red, the 4th dark blue, the 5th black and the 6th light blue. This brigade, justly among the most famous of the war, suffered the highest casualties of any Federal brigade: in a week's fighting at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, for example, it lost 1,645 men out °f a total of 2,800. The uniform illustrated (taken from a contemporary photograph) shows the uniform adopted to replace the original grey; it is interesting to note that the corporal wears small gauntlets; in the photograph mentioned, only one soldier (on whom the illustration is based) wears these non-regulation items.
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