Cavalry Headwear and Footwear

Like the infantry, cavalrymen were issued with a full dress Hardee hat, but the cavalry found it equally as uncomfortable, especially with the added stress of wearing the unwieldy hats while riding a horse. Like the infantry, cavalrymen would sometimes manipulate their hats into more comfortable shapes, but for the most part cavalrymen wore forage caps. Shoes were regulation bootees, but many cavalrymen were issued with or privately purchased knee length leather boots. Even more individualistic than the infantry, many cavalrymen were notorious for wearing civilian dress especially in the later stages of the war. In 1864, orders were issued to the men of the 2nd Iowa cavalry that they had to destroy all their civilian clothes and get back into regulation attire.

Amazingly some men even had to be ordered not to wear Confederate clothing. Some cavalrymen found that Confederate uniforms made out of jean cloth were cooler to wear than the standard issue Federal woollen uniforms.

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