for blue as the infantry color, these infantrymen are wearing black shoulder strips. The trousers are of matching gray cloth, with black stripes down the seams. Some North Carolinan soldiers were equipped with single or double crossbelts, and, while weaponry varied, most carried the 1842 musket. Only because North Carolina could produce its own textiles and had ports for blockade-run items, could the State arm and equip its men so effectively.
The troops from the State of North Carolina were among the best clothed of all Confederates, and enjoyed perhaps the greatest degree of uniformity of dress among their regiments. These "Tar-heel" infantrymen are quite typical in their gray sack coats, reaching halfway down the thigh, with loose collars that were just as often worn turned down as standing up. On their shoulders they wear strips of cloth in colors denoting branch of service, but contrary to the usual Confederate regulations calling
A number of Confederate army units had unenviable reputations, but probably none was worse than that of the 1st Special Battalion, Louisiana Infantry, which was also known as "Wheat's Tigers" after their commander. Major Roberdeau Wheat. The battalion was raised in
June 1861 from an explosive mixture of the sons of planters, soldiers of fortune, and the riff-raff of the New Orleans back streets and shanties. The battalion won its nickname of "tigers" for its unmanageable behavior, "so villainous," wrote one officer, "that every commander desired to be rid of it." Yet their battle record was excellent and during actions such as First Manassas they suffered heavy losses and the battalion had to be disbanded in August 1862 after Wheat's own death at Gaines' Mill in June. The man had held the unit together and without him it collapsed. "Wheat's Tigers" were easily recognized by their colorful zouave costume of blue and scarlet, and their Model 1841 rifles.
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