Enlisted men

The full dress for enlisted Marines consisted of a dark blue, double-breasted frock coat with two rows of seven Marine buttons. The high standing collar bore two loops of yellow worsted lace, with a small

A sergeant of the Marine Guard aboard the USS Miami wears the pullover fatigue "sack" prescribed for seagoing duty at the beginning of the Civil War -see Plate B3. (Detail from Naval Historical Center photo NH 60873)

ABOVE RIGHT April 1865: a Marine sentry aboard USS Montauk guards Lewis Paine, one of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. The single shoulder belt indicates that his bayonet scabbard is frogged to his waist belt. (Library of Congress)

This corporal wears the six-button fatigue coat with folded collar, recommended for USMC enlisted men by a board of survey in 1864 to replace the pullover "sack." (Courtesy Michael J.McAfee)

Marine button at the end of each; the collar was edged all around with scarlet trim. The two-loop cuff flaps, and pockets in the rear skirts, were also trimmed with scarlet. Brass epaulettes were fixed to each shoulder, and had removable yellow worsted fringing of various widths according to rank. Non-commissioned officers were further distinguished by chevrons of yellow lace on a red background, attached points-up above the elbow-on both sleeves. They were also authorized to wear the Ml850 foot officer's sword, which was secured to the waist belt by a sliding frog. The dress shako was of dark blue felt, with the same cap ornament as used by officers, plus a red pompon. Like their officers, enlisted men w?ore sky blue trousers in cold weather, with scarlet seam stripes for NCOs, and white linen trousers in warm weather.

Undress for enlisted men consisted of a single-breasted dark indigo blue kersey frock coat with one row of seven Marine buttons, trimmed with a scarlet welt sewn into the lower seam of the short standing collar. Headgear was a dark blue cap patterned after the French kepi; the frontal ornament was a yellow metal horn, in the curl of which was a white metal letter "M" fastened to a disk of red leather. A waterproof cover was available for foul weather, and a white linen cover was worn in warm weather. Enlisted men aboard sea-going vessels also wore a dark indigo blue pullover fatigue "sack," open halfway down the front and fastened with four small Marine buttons. This was replaced later in the war by a flannel frock coat with fold-down collar and a single row of six buttons. In cold weather enlisted Marines were issued blue-gray wool overcoats with stand-up collar and detachable cape, fastened with a single row of seven large Marine buttons; rank chevrons for NCOs were worn on the cuffs. All Marines wrore leather stocks around their necks with full dress and undress uniforms.

At the beginning of the war the standard small arm was the .58 caliber Ml855 rifle musket; however, the battalion at Bull Run in 1861 carried .69 caliber Ml842 muskets. Later the Corps was issued a mixture of M1861 and M1863 Springfield rifle muskets. Regarding accoutrements, all enlisted Marines wore whitened buff leather cross belts, the cartridge box belt running from left shoulder to right hip and the bayonet belt from right shoulder to left hip. A plain, oval-shaped plate was secured to the intersection of the two belts. A white waist belt supported a black leather cap pouch, and was fastened by a plain rectangular plate. On some occasions wrhite cross belts were felt to be too conspicuous in

This corporal wears the six-button fatigue coat with folded collar, recommended for USMC enlisted men by a board of survey in 1864 to replace the pullover "sack." (Courtesy Michael J.McAfee)

battle. In preparation for the night attack on Fort Sumter on September 8, 1863, the Marine battalion was instructed that the "white belts on dark clothes offer too good a mark, their color must be changed," and they were painted black. Later in the war, the Marines relegated bayonet belts to full dress and attached a bayonet scabbard to the waist belt, while retaining the cartridge box belt over their left shoulder. Regulations specified that knapsacks should be of unshaven black cow hide, but most were of painted canvas. Haversacks and canteens were the same as those issued to the US Army.

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