US Midshipman in Service Dress 1862 and West Point Cadet

Representing long-held traditions when the Civil War broke out, the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, both offered a small but steady supply of educated and trained young officers for the Union war effort. The midshipman at left displays the traditional Naval Academy dress of short blue jacket and blue trousers, with naval cap- and collar-badges. Next to him stands a cadet sergeant from West Point, considerably more resplendent in black shako with pom-pom, cadet gray short jacket with "frogging" in black, white gloves and crossbelt, and gray pants with black stripe. On certain occasions white trousers were optional. For all but a very few of these young men who graduated after the war commenced, there would not be time to achieve the rank and reputation that went to the prewar-graduates of the academies.

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