Th Georgia Infantry Clinch Rifles CSA

Company A of the 5th Georgia Infantry called itself the Clinch Rifles from the start of the war, and never yielded to official efforts to take the title away, nor did it relinquish its distinctive uniform. Indeed, most companies of this regiment wore differing outfits, causing General Braxton Bragg to call them the "Pound Cake Regiment." Some wore green, but most opted for the light blue trousers and dark blue frock coat shown on the corporal at right. Two major distinctions were the dark blue kepi with the "CR" badge, and the Georgia State belt-plate. The two soldiers carry the Model 1841 Harpers Ferry Rifle and the typical wooden canteens seen on so many Rebels. As the war ground on, the 5th Georgia was issued with standard issue uniforms, like that on the soldier at left, though the men might still retain their colorful shirts. However they were dressed, these Georgians were found on many of the major battlefields of the South, and did not yield their arms until the very end.

5th Georgia Clinch Rifles Muster Rolls23rd Virginia Infantry

Private, Co. E, 23rd Virginia Infantry, C.S.A.

Four years of heavy service characterized the 23rd Virginia Infantry, and by the end it showed on those fortunate few who could still answer the roll. Numbering perhaps 800 men when first mustered, the regiment had just 57 men and officers left to surrender with the

Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. Along the way it had left its dead in the Shenandoah Valley, at the Seven Days', at Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, Chancellorville, Gettysburg, Cedar Creek, and many more. They were typical of the units that were raised in 1861, formed chiefly from companies called by such names as the "Brooklyn Grays" and "Louisa Grays." The regiment wore gray frock coats and trousers, with blue or black trim and distinctive yellow loops on their collars, and some wore a "B.G." on their kepis for "Brooklyn Grays." Their leather belts and accouter-ments were originally white, but hard service quickly soiled them.

Georgie Infantry Clinch

Private and Sergeant, 1 st Texas Infantry, C.S.A.

Men from the Confederacy's western regiments often wore very individualist dress, and even uniforms of whole regiments could vary considerably from the official regulations. The battle shirt, for instance, could sport oversize breast pockets, usually outlined against their plain or checked home-spun background. The 1st Texas was one of the better clothed western outfits, and at the beginning of the war sported gray frock coats and trousers, trimmed with blue, and gray kepis with stars and regimental numerals on the crown. Armed with Enfield rifles, the 1st Texas saw heavy service in the Army of Northern Virginia with John Bell Hood's Texas Brigade, from Seven Pines in May 1862 to the end at Appomattox. Consequently, clothing deteriorated with scant reissues, so that by the finish, uniforms, as such, had ceased to mean anything and the men simply dressed themselves in whatever came to hand.

Edmon Ruffin2nd South Carolina Regiment

Above: Edmund Ruffin, fanatic secessionist.

Edmund Ruffin, Palmetto Guard, later Co. I., 2nd South Carolina Volunteers, C.S.A.

distinctive "P G" surrounded by a wreath. When the Palmetto Guard was reformed as Company I of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers, a more standard style of dress was adopted. The Palmetto Guard drew duty manning the so-called "Ironclad Battery" facing Fort Sumter, and it fell to Ruffin to fire the battery's first shot. Sadly, he also fired one of the war's last shots, committing suicide after the Confederate surrender.

Old Edmund Ruffin led the pack among secessionists, even though he came from moderate Virginia. When secession came he could not wait to be at the center of it all and went to Charleston, where the members of the local Palmetto Guard happily made him a member of their outfit Here he cuts a striking figure in the unit's black uniform, which is really little more than a civilian broadcloth suit with white military belt and cross-belt. The closest thing to a regulation item is his hat, with its

Above: Edmund Ruffin, fanatic secessionist.

Salisbury Prison Guards

Guard, Salisbury Prison Camp

Just as in the North, where unfit men were used as prison guards to free the more able-bodied for the field, so the South tried to assign convalescents as guards at its prisoner of war camps. Sometimes, however, it simply was not possible to find such men, in which case units that were under strength or were otherwise insufficiently organized for the field were given the duty, instead. This happened at Salisbury Prison Camp in North Carolina, where for a time men of the 42nd North Carolina Infantry, seen here, served as guards, before being combined with the remnants of other regiments, in i order to make up an almost full-strength unit and return to field duty. 1 Such men were clad in regulation gray or butternut trousers and short jacket, while their shoes, hats and overcoats were whatever they could find and scavenge. Most of them were no I happier to be at the prison than were their prisoners, and except for the fact that they were armed they could have been inside the stockade rather than outside it.

Cherokee Mounted Rifles

1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles, C.S.A.

By far the Confederacy's most unusual soldiers were its Indian allies. At least fifteen regiments and battalions were enlisted from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Osage, Creek, Chicksaw, and Seminóles of the South. They proved to be indifferent soldiers, unused to the discipline of the military and often enlisting for private reasons of their own, which had little or nothing to do with the Confederate cause. Despite being troublesome they were very effective when they chose to fight. Best known amongst these units was the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles, which served the Confederate cause for almost four years to the day. Its colonel. Stand Watie, became the only Indian in the Confederacy to be promoted to rank of general. The uniforms of these Indian units were almost entirely ersatz, and were made up of whatever the trooper could pick up from the enemy, or scavenge from the indifferent Confederate commissary.

Confederate Infantry Officers' Uniforms and Equipment

Like the Federals, the Confederate infantry officer had considerable latitude in selecting his uniform and accouterments, although the basic branch identification color was blue for infantry, the same as that in the Federal Army. Confederate officers of all branches did use strikingly different rank insignia, but their swords were, in many cases, copies of current Federal models, as were their handguns.

1 Uniform frock coat of Col. Lawrence

Massillon Keitt; killed at Cold Harbor in 1864

2 Forage cap of Col. W. J. Clark, North Carolina troops

3 Uniform frock coat of Col. Ellison Capers

4 Col. Capers' overcoat

5 Gray felt officer s hat

6 Uniform frock coat of Capt. Charles S. Fleming, 2nd Florida Infantry; killed in 1864

7 Leech and Rigdon foot officer's sword

8 Sash of Capt. William A. Oliver, 9th Virginia Cavalry

Virginia Cavalry Images
Artifacts courtesy ot The Mtisoom ot the Confederacy Richmond, Va 1-4.6-11. 14-19. 21 28. Virginia Historical Society fhctinwnd. W» 5. <2 13. 20
1st Virginia Cavalry Jackets

9 Haversack of Sgt A H. Bayly

10 Sword-belt

12 Two-piece C.S. plate

13 Officer's sword

14 Fleming's silk sash, see item 6

15 Keitt's trousers, see item 1

16 Slouch hat of First Lt. W James Kinchloe

17 Sash of Col. James B. Martin; killed in 1861

18 Tin drum canteen of Capt. W. K.

Bachman

19 Wooden canteen

20 Officer's haversack

21 Haversack of 0. Jennings Wise. Richmond Light Infantry Blues

22-26 Effects from Wise's haversack, see item 21

27-28 Uniform jacket and vest of Ad|utant Joseph V. Bidgood

Uniform Cherokee Mounted Rifles1861 Rifle Volunteer Corps

Auburn Guards Officer, Alabama Volunteer Militia, 1861

prescribed uniformity, they arrived in uniforms of almost every color of the rainbow - green, red, buff, brown, gray, and most frequently of all, blue. Among the most colorful were the Auburn Guards of the Alabama Volunteer Militia. Their blue trousers and short jackets were glorious, covered with bright brass buttons, set off by a white crossbelt, gold epaulettes, white gloves and facings, red sash, and a gleaming black leather Pattern 1851 Albert shako topped by a red and white feather pom-pom. The rigors of campaigning played havoc with such outfits, and these beautiful uniforms did not last long in the field. As they wore out, they were steadily replaced by Confederate regulation gray or butternut.

Easily the most colorful of all the units coming into the Confederate Army were the local militia and privately raised outfits that took arms for the South in 1861. With no

Lieutenant, Orr's Regiment, 1st South Carolina Rifles, C.S.A.

Stand Watie Brigade

wore a distinctive uniform, with matching coat and trousers of Confederate gray, trimmed with black at the cuffs and front seam and hem, with a black stripe running down the trouser legs. Among the other unusual features was a special vertical stripe running up from the cuffs to show the rank of officers, like the lieutenant shown here. No other Confederate regiment seems to have used this device, and several companies of the 1st South Carolina later adopted the more standard regulation sleeve braid and collar insignia in use by most other regiments.

The 1st South Carolina Rifles was raised in 1861 by a prominent politician, James L. Orr, and quickly became an unusually large regiment, reaching a strength of over 1,500 within a few months of being formed. It served with the Army of Northern Virginia from Gaines' Mill all the way to Appomattox, by which time only a few hundred were left to surrender. They

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Responses

  • sami kasslin
    Who was the first cherokee mounted rifles Co.E 1861?
    8 years ago
  • pamphila
    Who were the clinch rifles?
    8 years ago
  • Berenice
    What were the uniforms for the confederate soldiers wear in alabama?
    8 years ago
  • florian
    What was the standard issue battle rifle for confederate infantry?
    8 years ago
  • yusef
    What confederate regiment had butternut trousers?
    7 years ago
  • keiran marshall
    What georgia regiments wore confederate frock coats?
    11 months ago

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