Overcoats and ponchos

The U.S. army had been issuing overcoats to its men since 1851. The regulation overcoat was made of sky blue kersey cloth and had a cape that buttoned down the front, but in the clothing rush during the early part of the war, it was not unusual to find men dressed in dark blue and even black overcoats. Infantrymen

Confederate Sack CoatDavid Scheinmann

This infantry private wears a dark blue version of the standard infantryman's overcoat which was usually issued in sky blue. This infantryman's coat is particularly long and he also appears to be wearing a special type of cap, but this is misleading. All he's done is to pin the side badge from his full dress hat to his forage cap, giving an unusual appearance. David Scheinmann.

In his wrinkled sack coat, this private gives a campaign hardened appearance especially as he's fixed his bayonet to his rifle musket. David Scheinmann.

weren't issued with any wet weather clothing until November 1861, when the Secretary of War authorised the issue of waterproof blankets made out of vulcanised rubber, a technique which had recently been invented. Draped around the shoulders or with a slit cut in them so that they could be slipped over the head, gum blankets provided invaluable protection against the weather and laid down under bedding at

This infantry private wears a dark blue version of the standard infantryman's overcoat which was usually issued in sky blue. This infantryman's coat is particularly long and he also appears to be wearing a special type of cap, but this is misleading. All he's done is to pin the side badge from his full dress hat to his forage cap, giving an unusual appearance. David Scheinmann.

night would also help to keep soldiers dry. Soldiers would frequently draw checker boards and other designs on the insides of their blankets making a mobile 'games table'.

Firemans Overcoat

Standing proud, this infantry corporal wears a frock coat with brass shoulder scales. Largely ornamental, although they could help to deflect a sabre cut, shoulder scales were not widely worn by troops in the field. David Scheinmann.

Private wearing a regulation overcoat and forage cap but underneath he seems to be dressed in a double breasted fireman's shirt which he's left open at the collar. Such shirts proved to be very popular items of clothing. David Scheinmann.

Standing proud, this infantry corporal wears a frock coat with brass shoulder scales. Largely ornamental, although they could help to deflect a sabre cut, shoulder scales were not widely worn by troops in the field. David Scheinmann.

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