Federal Signal Corps Uniforms and Equipment

Engineer officers were the elite of the graduating class of West Point each year and their branch insignia, the castle, was distinctive. Within this branch were the Topographical Engineers who had their own badge (12)(13) and carried the distinctive Model 1839 saber which is very rare today The US Army Signal Corps originated in the early days of the Civil War as a special unit, making it the oldest signal corps in the world, their mission being that of setting up and maintaining communications. The uniforms and equipment were basically the same as other Federal units.

The known owners of the items shown were: Maj. J. A. Magruder, 15th New York Engineers (6), (7), (16), (18), (19), (20); (the then) Capt. George Meade (15); and Captain Elbridge C. Pierce, 19th Maine, Signal Corps (1).


Engineer Office map of Southern

Mississippi and Alabama

Engineer Office map of Arkansas and

Northern Louisiana

Engineer Office map of Northern

Alabama and Georgia

Signal Corps flag, 1862

Model 1852 staff and field officer's

Signal Ait Graduate Uniform
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Corps Engineers Sword



Cloth variant of item 12


Sword bell


Engineer's manual on-fortifications


Officer's haversack


Model 1839 topographical engineer's


Compass case

sword of


Military forms




Quarterly returns from ordnance


Map of Virginia



Engineer officer's hat cord


Brass hat insignia of the


Engineer officer's hat insignia

Topographical Engineers


Shoulder strap insignia

Indian Army Signal Corp Uniform

Below: Ambulance drill when posing for the camera could be fun. In battle, the reality was far from it.

Ambulance Corps Badge Confederate

Ambulance Corpsman and Hospital Steward, U.S. Army

Circumstances very quickly dictated that a large number of special support services be created to help cope with the enormous and completely unprecedented numbers of sick and injured. Out on the battlefield an ambulance corps was organized in an attempt to get the wounded speedily to the surgeons in the rear. Men too short or otherwise unfit for active duty became ambulance corpsmen, like the boy on the left. Their uniforms differed little from those of regular soldiers except for an occasional insignia. More specialized training was required for the hospital stewards like the man on the right. Given at least a smattering of medical education, their tasks were to tend the wounded, assist the surgeons and to perform a number of other necessary functions, several of which would later be taken over by female nurses in the bigger general hospitals. Only the medical chevrons on his uniform jacket denote his branch of service.

Below: Ambulance drill when posing for the camera could be fun. In battle, the reality was far from it.

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