Uniforms

No special uniform appears to have been authorized for Indian units on either side. The 53rd New York wore a Zouave style uniform with tasselled red fezzes and the usual baggy Zouave trousers. The other Union regiments appear to have worn the regulation uniform, whilst retaining their traditional hair styles. A contemporary account describes the small kepis perched on their full heads of hair as comical and ludicrous.

The Confederate units wore the same style of uniforms as the other cavalry. Stand Watie's Cherokee Mounted Rifles (Plate 5) wore grey shirts or jackets with yellow collar and cuffs. Trousers also appear to have been grey with the usual stripe for NCOs. The hat or kepi usually had the traditional feather. A decorated breech cloth was worn, fringed buckskin leggings and moccasins, and the headband. Knives were carried in beaded and decorated fringed sheaths. Braves often stripped before going into battle, wearing only trousers or breech cloth, leggings and moccasins. Undoubtedly, as the war progressed and shortages grew more acute, the Indians became more and more indistinguishable from civilian Indians and the other Rebel troopers.

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