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 fought so long and well as amends for their outmoded garb. In 1861 they actually went to war wearing yellow-tail coats with red trim and facings, gray trousers and the usual black leather accoutrements. They were also one of the unit to wear the havelock or "Whipple" hat, which may have looked like a "coal scuttle, but it did shade the wearer's eyes and protect his neck. Their distinctive "NHSM" belt plate, standing for New Hampshire State Militia, was almost the only element of their attire that did not stand out as being slightly unorthodox.
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