Private, "Guthrie Grays," U.S.A.
The fighting men of the 69th • New York achieved an enviable reputation during the progress of the war, and their exploits lived on in song and story for generations. This private's uniform is very much the regulation Union blue, from his dark short jacket or tunic, to his sky blue trousers. It is largely unorna-mented, with no stripes on the trousers, no piping or other color on the jacket, and all the leatherwork is a simple black, from the belt to the shoulder strap, cartridge case and cap box, and even the black haversack. The only color about his uniform or personal equipment is the brass in his beltplate, strap badge, and the infantryman's horn insignia and unit number on his kepi.
The brightest thing about him may have been the burnished steel barrel of his Springfield percussion rifle and the polished blade of his bayonet, which, like most soldiers in most wars, was rarely, if ever, used in combat.
t was commonplace among pre-Civil War local militia units to adopt "cadet gray" as the color for their uniforms, which led to some confusion when they first faced Confederate forces. Formed in 1854, the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was also known as "Guthrie's Grays" from its uniforms. Raised in Cincinnati, the outfit looked magnificent on parade. The gray uniform was trimmed with black on the collar, and frogging all across the breast, as well as on the sleeves. The short shako was particularly striking, with its white pom pom, gold braid cord, and black band with the letters "G .G." in brass. The coattee was typical of many pre-war militia units, as were the brass shoulder scales (epaulettes) and the white webbing cross-belt. While different weapons were issued to different companies, this soldier has the predominant three-banded Enfield. The unit still exists today.
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