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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Baltimore, Maryland
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    114

    Improving Artillery Uniforms

    As another break off from the "Improving Artillery Impressions" thread, I thought we should try to deal with how we can improve the uniforms worn by artillery.

    There has been some mention of the over use of red by artillery. This is seen in trouser stripes, caps, shirts and jacket trim.

    Might be a nice place for us to share documented uniforms, photographs and descriptions of uniforms here.

    Specific note to the theater of operations should also be made if possible.

    Keep in mind that we should also make an effort to date the information as best we can, as what works for '61 may not work for '65.
    Harry Aycock

    Chief Surgeon
    Southern Division

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    236

    Re: Improving Artillery Uniforms

    Harry,
    This is an excellent topic. First of all, let me throw some gas on the fire by saying that we redlegs should take ownership of our impressions and not allow the infantry to dictate it to us. The hobby is geared toward infantrymen and all the prejudices that accompany branch rivalries.


    Fortunately for my detachment, we have access to at least one existing mid-war enlisted jacket, and Troiani owns a Lts jacket captured in November 1862 that may have come from our forebearers. And then there's the red faced CD jacket captured at Port Hudson. So, we are rather fortunate at Vicksburg in that we have an abundance of examples for our time and place.


    Unfortunately, very few units can claim the advantage of having surviving examples to look at. From my research and viewing of surviving jackets, most officers had red branch colors on their jackets, be it red piping or collar facing. The red faced CD jacket from Port Hudson, (which I think is posted on Daley's website) appears to be an enlisted jacket to which an officer added collar bars.


    As for my unit, they likely wore blue trimmed jean jackets, but I do not advocate the complete absense of red among enlisted men, for if you look at surviving artillery uniforms in proportion to the surving infantry uniforms, red is well represented. My call is for moderation in the Western Theater: some red facing on CD Jackets; no red piping or stripes on trousers after 1862, and no red kepis or forage caps among the enlisted men. And absolutely never ever any red firemen's shirts! In short, red should be worn like it was hard to get; present but not overwhelming.


    Now, for boots. I've seen enough period photos to indicate a meaningful number of artillery boots among Union soldiers, but have no evidence for the Confederacy. Everyone in our hobby wants to look like JEB Stuart, and wear inordinately high boots with dressed trousers. I would limit artillery boots to less than 5% per detachment, possibly none. I have a pair, and I wear my trousers dressed because of the super abundance of chiggers in our park. (Those of you who did the Vick living history event last summer know what I'm talking about. haha)


    Now, here's where more variables come into play. My detachment was recruited in the area where it served for most of the war. For that reason, the men would have had more access to clothing from home: cleaner shirts, better socks, better slouch hats, etc. than would have been typical for most units.


    Now for the horror stories I have personally witnessed: white painters pants with the GAP tags still on them. Crews completely outfitted in JEB Stuart boots. Forage caps with every conceivable piece of hardware available pinned to them. Every member of the crew in thick gray wool trousers with inch-wide red stripes. Crews that were identically uniformed. Slouch hats with Union branch cords on them. Shell jackets straight out of a 50s movie--blanket wool and four inches of red sleeve trim. And I could go on.
    David Slay, Ph.D
    Ranger, Vicksburg National Military Park

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    32

    Re: Improving Artillery Uniforms

    Quote Originally Posted by Vicksburg Dave View Post
    First of all, let me throw some gas on the fire by saying that we redlegs should take ownership of our impressions and not allow the infantry to dictate it to us. The hobby is geared toward infantrymen and all the prejudices that accompany branch rivalries.
    Sir.
    Great Point!!!!
    Amen
    Rick Dennis, Major
    US Artillery Reserve Inc.
    www.artilleryreserve.org



    "Infantry is merely a buffer between two warring armies know as Field Artillery"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    114

    Re: Improving Artillery Uniforms

    Ok, at the risk of encouraging the red tide, I feel that historical authenticity requires presenting all bits of information brought to light, especially official records.

    The following is from the Muster Roll of the Staunton Artillery dated Jun 30 '61

    The company entered service with an excellent cadet gray uniform in good condition and which cost $20.50 each and had not been damaged more than $2.50 or $3.00 each. They have since been supplied by the County of Augusta with a suit around consisting of a gray cap, red flannel shirt, gray woolen pants and wollen socks. The state has furnished no clothing.

    The first uniform mentioned is most likely the pre-war militia uniform of the company which was formed in '59 after Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. The second uniform is the fatigue uniform which actually saw field service in the early months of the war.

    What is important to note that this is summer '61 and the red shirt is made of flannel which in this case without question refers to wool flannel.
    Last edited by hta1970; 03-20-2008 at 01:48 PM.
    Harry Aycock

    Chief Surgeon
    Southern Division

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    114
    Here are a few images of Confederate Artillery in the ANV

    Company C - Sumter Arty
    Private William H. Dyson
    Enlisted Sep 18 '63 Died Nov 10 '63

    German Artillery
    Willis Callaway Watkins
    Taken after Jul 1 '62

    Company B Sumter Artillery
    Private Thomas Gordon Walters (l)
    Enlisted May 15 '62 Surrenderd April 9 '65
    Private Wesley F. Reviere (r)
    Enlisted March 1 '62 Captured Apr 2 '65

    Company B Sumter Artillery
    Private Simeon Auswell Walters (l)
    Enlisted Dec 1 '62 Paroled April 15 '65
    Private Seaborn Jeremiah Walters (r)
    Enlisted Mar 1 '62 Last Muster Record Jan/Feb '65

    2nd Company Richmond Howitzers
    3rd Cpl James Blyth Moore
    Enlisted Apr 21 '61 Transferred April 1 '62

    Carpenters Battery
    James A. Rogers
    (May have been taken before company was converted from Infantry to Artillery)

    Parker's Virginia Battery
    Private William Moore
    Enlisted Mar 14 '62 Discharged Oct 8 '62
    and friend
    spring '62 in Richmond Depot Type I jackets

    Parker's Virginia Battery
    Corporal Theodore C. "Doc" Howard
    Enlisted Mar 14 '62 Captured Apr 6 '65

    Parker's Virginia Battery
    Private Alexander Harris
    Enlisted Mar 14 '62 Discharged Nov 1 '62 (was underage at enlistment)

    Each of the images has been flipped so they appear as they would looking at the individual, not as the mirror image of the original photograph.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by hta1970; 03-20-2008 at 02:54 PM. Reason: updated personal information from CMSR at National Archives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    216

    Re: Improving Artillery Uniforms

    Harry,
    As you stated, these are early war uniforms but after late 62 most ANV units started drawing uniforms from the government. What was the most common jacket? What we call today, a Richmond Depot 2, with shoulder straps and belt loops. Most where untrimmed. These jackets were issued through the end of the war. To wear the jackets you have listed for a 1863 or later event is not correct.
    Brian Baird

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
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    Re: Improving Artillery Uniforms

    Brian,

    That is a very fair and correct point you are making.

    I was just posting information I had found which I thought others might find interesting. I guess I didn't think anyone would take those uniforms out of context and try to wear them at mid to late war events.

    I am currectly going through 2nd Corps ANV Artillery records. At some point i hope to be able to post my findings. It is quite a bit of work.

    Here is another uniform I found. It is the jacket of Private John Cocke Ashton, Norfolk Light Artillery Blues. The jacket has Virginia buttons, red piping for trim and shows evidence of once being gray. Ashton died in 1918 and is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth. The jacket was passed to his daughter and later was donated to the Naval Shipyard Museum. It is the only article of Confederate uniform attributed to the NLAB known to exist.

    According to his complied military service record, he was enlisted at Petersburg Jul 29 '64 and was captured at Petersburg Apr 2 '65.

    If we are to assume that any surviving jacket was the last one issued, this appears to be an example of a Richmond type 3 in jean.

    I have photos and written descrptions of the George Wilson jacket mentioned in the footnotes of Jensen's article. Wilson was a member of the First Maryland Artillery.

    This battery served with Braxton's Battalion, 2nd Corps until early/mid April '64 when they joined the Maryland Line for a very short time. Around the time of Cold Harbor they were assigned to McIntosh's Battalion where they served in the Petersburg lines until early December '64. They then served at Drewry's Bluff manning heavy guns and retreated as part of Smith's Battalion towards Appomattox and Sailor's Creek.

    His jacket has a 9 brass buttons, 4 block "I" and 5 script "A".

    It is constructed primary of blue gray wool and physically it is closer to a Richmond Type III Jacket as opposed to a Type II. It has no shoulder straps or belt loops, nor is there any evidence that it ever had them. The lining is unbleached cotton and features an interior breast pocket on each side. There is no trim to this jacket.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by hta1970; 03-20-2008 at 02:56 PM. Reason: updated personal information for Pvt Ashton from CMSR at National Archives
    Harry Aycock

    Chief Surgeon
    Southern Division

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
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    Re: Improving Artillery Uniforms

    Here are some artillery uniforms from the Western Theater.

    1. Port Hudson CS artillery officer's Jacket, mid 1863 http://www.cjdaley.com/CDred.jpg

    2. Artillery Officers Jacket captured at Labadieville, LA, October 27, 1862. Attributed to a member of Co. H, 1st Mississippi Light Artillery (mustered in Natchez) but could also have belonged to a unit recruited out of New Orleans.
    http://www.historicalimagebank.com/g..._copy.jpg.html

    3. Then there's the McDonnell Jacket. http://authentic-campaigner.com/arti...n/cdjacket.htm

    4. As for trousers, we wear various shades of gray jean, but are pondering the Port Hudson denim trousers. Blue trousers were not unheard of at Vick, and the PH trousers are the only surviving originals from our region and time period.
    David Slay, Ph.D
    Ranger, Vicksburg National Military Park

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
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    Re: Improving Artillery Uniforms

    Ok, at the risk of encouraging the red tide, I feel that historical authenticity requires presenting all bits of information brought to light, especially official records.
    The problem with the red tide is that just about all of them will defend their impression and cite documentation showing that CS artillerymen wore red caps, wore red drawers, wore red socks, etc... lol, but the kicker is that no one artilleryman or any one unit wore all of that at any one time after 61.

    Using their logic one could argue that our impression should be devoid of branch colors because the 1st Miss wore blue trimmed CD depot jackets, that the Cherokee Arty wore blue denim trousers, and the Pointe Coupee arty wore jacquard shirts. (not real examples, but just hypotheticals for the sake of argument) It's all out of context in both time and place, and a classic example of cherry picking from different locales, units, and times for a frankenfarb impression.


    The usefulness of this thread is that it is a critique of artillerymen by artillerymen, and not infantrymen. Hearing it from a fellow redleg may carry more weight than from a member of another branch. Not that members of other branches opinions are invalid, but that criticism coming from within the family is always more palatable than that coming from without.

    Do not worry about encouraging the red tide. If they make it far enough into this thread to see the information you posted, and still do not consider reexamining their impression, then there's probably no hope for them anyway.
    David Slay, Ph.D
    Ranger, Vicksburg National Military Park

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Berkeley Springs, WV
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    119

    Re: Improving Artillery Uniforms

    Attached is a really bad picture, but its an artillery uniform none the less. This frock coat resides in the Fort Sumter Vistorrs Center. It has Eagle staff buttons, and belonged to a Confederate Sgt. Major, and if you can see the original you can see where the beig red chevrons once were. I believe he was from Charleston and served through out the war, and its is jean wool. Maybe someone has a better picture, or more information on this coat.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Robert Ambrose

    Park Ranger
    Gambrill State Park, Maryland
    5th Virginia Infantry Co. K

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