Southern Volunteer

Confederate army regulations called for all soldiers and officers to wear uniforms made of gray wool. But as the war went on, very few Southern fighting men could assemble a complete gray wool suit. Many of them wore a Confederate uniform made of homespun cloth originally colored a light brown with a dye made from crushed butternuts, a kind of walnut. This type of uniform was so common that Butternut became a standard nickname for a Southern soldier. The Confederate volunteer shown here is wearing a gray militia uniform from the prewar years.

Modern rifle

Leather legging

Kepi. This was the standard infantry cap which was modeled and named after the French military hat.

Spike bayonet

Haversack strap

Wool short jacket

Sleeve chevron

Outdated musket

Outdated musket

Bull Run

Troops riding atop boxcars

Near Washington, d.c., is Manassas, Virginia. A stream nearby is named Bull Run. The fields around the stream were the sites of two large Civil War fights. The First Battle of Bull Run took place on July 21, 1861. At that time, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard commanded a 20,000-man army around Manassas that threatened the Union capital. President Lincoln sent Brigadier General Irvin McDowell with more than 30,000 troops to fight this force. Many of these men were ninety-day volunteers who were scheduled to be discharged in late July. As the troops maneuvered, several discharge dates arrived, and some of the soldiers went home. Many Washington-area residents wanted to see how the Union troops performed in combat, so they packed picnic lunches and rode out to the fields where the battle was expected. The fight started at dawn on July 21 and lasted through midafternoon. Both sides' soldiers were poorly trained, and in repeated attacks could not best one another. But Beauregard's men received reinforcements, who helped drive the Union soldiers from the field. As they retreated, they were shelled. This frightened the civilians, and they clogged the roads as they fled. This, in turn, created a traffic jam that panicked the Northern troops. Many dropped their weapons and ran for the safety of the Washington defenses.

Troops riding atop boxcars

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