Union Cavalry Officers Dress

Regulation dress for officers comprised a dark blue frock coat single breasted for captains and lieutenants and double breasted for all other officers. Trousers were sky blue with a one eighth yellow welt on the seam, except for general officers whose trousers were left plain. Many officers didn't wear the frock coat in favour of shell jackets and many modified the standard uniform or even designed their own. An officer of the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry added gold tape to the the collar and sleeves of his regulation frock coat, while Colonel Alfred Duffie of the same regiment created his own uniform which had a double breasted shell jacket, an embroidered chasseur cap and baggy chasseur trousers.

Colonel Israel Garrard of the 7th Ohio Cavalry also wore Chasseur trousers and his shell jacket was laden with gold loops. Alfred Torbert who began his Civil War career as colonel of the 1st New Jersey Infantry later became a cavalry commander and in 1864 wore a blue jacket with a wide collar and two rows of buttons. His black felt hat was creased down the centre with a single star in a wreath on the front. Crossed sabres were pinned on the right side. Sartorial style in cavalry officers varied from the elegant to the bizarre. It was not unusual to find officers wearing straw hats and battered Hardee hats with the brims coming down over their eyes. One officer of the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry wore a coat even longer than a regulation frock coat, which he left unbuttoned to


Looking like a regular in the German army, this picture is of an unidentified United States Hussar taken in about 1860. Note the ornate trappings and Death's head motif on the busby.

Michael J. McAfee.

Death Head HussarsShoulder Knots

Officers of the 27th New York Light Artillery wear special fatigue jackets with Russian shoulder knots, as prescribed in 1860 regulations. David Scheinmann.

show off his fancy striped shirt and white collar.

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  • Salvia Oldbuck
    How union cavalry dressed?
    8 years ago

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