In full dress, General Officers wore the regulation double-breasted frock-coat, with collar and cuffs of black or very dark blue velvet. Rank was denoted by the arrangement of the buttons: Brigadier-Generals had buttons in groups of two, eight per row; Major-Generals in threes, nine in each row; and Lieutenant-Generals in fives, ten in each row. Rank was also indicated by the badge on the gold lace epaulettes - one silver star for Brigadier-Generals, two for Major-Generals, and three for Lieutenant-Generals. The badge on the felt hat consisted of the letters 'u.s.' in silver embroidery, surrounded by a gold-embroidered laurel wreath; as an alternative to the felt hat, General Officers were authorised to wear a low-crowned black bicorn in full dress, with gold lace decoration; in practice it seems to have been used only rarely. In design it resembled that worn by the Confederate army (illustrated in Plate 34).
The buff silk waist-sash was a further distinction of rank, as was the ornate shabraque, bearing rank insignia in the form of stars in the rear corners. Laced holster-caps to match the shabraque were sometimes used, though many preferred plain black leather designs. Swords were carried by all General Officers in full dress; the regulation pattern (Model i860) had a thin, light blade, often replaced by a more sturdy version for active service.
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