PDA

View Full Version : Cadet Gray And Butternut Brown: Notes On Confederate Uniforms



ewtaylor
08-01-2006, 02:28 PM
Just curious has to how many others on this forum have read this very good book. I think it is a MUST if you do CS impressions. Mr. Tom Arliskas did a fantastic job. The whole book must be read to get the clearer picture because if you only read a little then you will think its just another "ragged reb" book. To me it just justifies what Ive thought all along. Your impression should be more time specific and research on the unit you are portraying is more important than the PEC fad going on right now.
I know I'm probably going to get nailed for that last sentence, but there is too much evidence for us to ignore the civilian/military mixture these guys were wearing. The only time CS reenactors should be "looking alike" is if there is documentation showing the unit you are portraying were issued new clothing a few days before the evnt you are reenacting. One good example would be the 26th NC Inf. which receved new uniforms, pay, and equip. the day before Gettysburg.
Anyway this book had much praise over on the A/C forum so I thought I'd mention it over here.
Good job Mr. Arliskas
ew taylor

Bill_Cross
08-01-2006, 04:06 PM
Your impression should be more time specific and research on the unit you are portraying is more important than the PEC fad going on right now.
Wait a second, PEC is what you fall back on WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE SPECIFICS ARE.

Obviously, if the 202nd Alabama Dashing Zouaves were wearing rose-colored pants and you've got evidence to prove it, then that's what ALL of the men on the field should be in rose-colored britches.

PEC (Plain, Everyday, Common) is meant as an antidote to the "well, since we don't know what they wore, let's wear whatever we want" heresy.

If you can find accurate information about what the unit was wearing, then by all means share it. But we can't say that what they were issued in January 1863 is how they'd look in November of that year.

So when in doubt, PEC.

Now, the notion of what's PEC can change over time. I, too, believe that a lot more civilian clothing should be represented in the ranks.

Phil
08-01-2006, 08:26 PM
Unfortunately, PEC is a good idea that has become a substitute for reasearch for many reenactors.

What Mr. Taylor was expressing is that instead of guessing, there is now available another avenue of research that will assist folks in "getting it right." For all concerned with building a quality impression, this should be the goal instead of "close enough."

Jim Mayo
08-01-2006, 09:26 PM
Your impression should be more time specific ...


...but there is too much evidence for us to ignore the civilian/military mixture these guys were wearing.


I agree with your first statement but the second statement is dependent on the first. (Does that make sense?)

The late war pictures of dead confederates in Petersburg show very little civilian clothing is in use except maybe shirts. Uniforms are slightly different but they are uniforms. Even a visible over coat or two are military. Granted the data base is very small but it is all we have unless you consider the image of prisoners taken at Five Forks and the ones in the punch bowl. However, those images are not good enough to enlarge and examine individuals clothing. The images of the Gettysburg dead also show an absence of civilian clothing in use.

Conversly there is much evidence in letters that civilian clothing was in use. I think just not as much from mid 64 on. It is possible that civilian clothing was worn more in the winter camp environment than on campaign. Another factor was that as the war progressed, the home front was unable to supply a goodly quantity of civilian clothing.

Food for thought.

tompritchett
08-02-2006, 07:21 AM
Wait a second, PEC is what you fall back on WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE SPECIFICS ARE.

I think one reason that PEC became a FAD is the number of events, primarily mainstream, where the units do not know who they will be representing until they actually show up at the events. While I would love to have uniforms that represent the 3rd Ark throughout the war (finances permitting of course - a major factor right now), I also know that there will be very few events where I would actually be portraying the 3rd Ark role at that particular event. Having said that, I do salute the members of the more authentic units that have the finances to build impressions for the specific history heavy events that accurately represent the uniforms of the units that they are portraying. Unfortunately, it is not an option for all members of the hobby. Thus the prevalence of PEC, especially among mainstreamer units.

ewtaylor
08-02-2006, 09:43 AM
Phil thanks for clarifying my statement. Sometimes I get on here after a bad day and seem to want to vent my frustrations. Sorry about that.

Mr. Pritchitt I know finances are a major bummer for most of us and I know a lot of newbies don't want to jump in and buy expensive stuff. Why spend $200 on a jacket or coat when I can get the whole uniform for that price? Then of course to their dismay they learn what they spent their money on is nothing more than junk and are either to proud, embarassed, or defiant to purchase new stuff. So they band together and form the He-man-authentic-haters club.

Mr Mayo you do make a valid point about the last yer of the War in the East, however I still think some units were supplied better than others and not all were recieving the good stuff.

Mr. Cross I think I served under you at McDowell 2002? Was that you or Mr. Anders who "touched" that trouble making local on Saturday? It (I'm ashamed to say) made my day seeing that.

please ignore my venting,
ew taylor

tompritchett
08-02-2006, 10:18 AM
Mr. Pritchitt I know finances are a major bummer for most of us and I know a lot of newbies don't want to jump in and buy expensive stuff. Why spend $200 on a jacket or coat when I can get the whole uniform for that price? Then of course to their dismay they learn what they spent their money on is nothing more than junk and are either to proud, embarassed, or defiant to purchase new stuff. So they band together and form the He-man-authentic-haters club.

Actually my point had nothing to do with cheap gear but rather the costs of having multiple quality impressions that not only represent early, mid & late war styles of uniform but also the various color combinations associated with each. To me that is that is financial side of the PEC argument.

Bill_Cross
08-02-2006, 11:14 AM
Mr. Cross I think I served under you at McDowell 2002? Was that you or Mr. Anders who "touched" that trouble making local on Saturday? It (I'm ashamed to say) made my day seeing that.
Alas, that was not me, though there are some troublemakers on this and other fora I would dearly love to "touch" or see touched. ;-)

tompritchett
08-02-2006, 11:31 AM
Alas, that was not me, though there are some troublemakers on this and other fora I would dearly love to "touch" or see touched.

Some could argue that they are already "touched" and that may explain why they are such troublemakers. :twisted:

indguard
08-02-2006, 12:45 PM
Many company returns I have seen for CS forces, even when they are supplied in large numbers, it's almsot NEVER every single member of the unit that gets all the same stuff as every other member.

Nearly every return I have ever seen says things like "10 jackets, 20 pairs of shoes, 4 leather sets, 6 overcoats"--- then a few months later it would read for the same comapany "5 jackets, 10 pairs of shoes, 4 overcoats, 12 caps". Different amounts of items at different times.

So, even when they were suppplied it was not usually everyone with all the same stuff all at the same time.

Of course, a big reason for that is that if you have a jacket that is in good shape, why draw another one even if 10 other guys are getting one? By that measure alone, guys will look a little different one from the other in the same unit.

WTH

indguard
08-02-2006, 12:55 PM
So they band together and form the He-man-authentic-haters club

Um, no one "hates" authentics because of their clothing! This isn't high school.

Certain authentics are hated because they are just plain JERKS. I know a ton of progressives or authentics or hardcores that are great guys with a lot of knowledge whom I really admire. I also know some "hardkewels" who should be sealed off in an abandoned refrigerator and forgotten all about and allowed to suffocate!

Unfortunately, too many "hardkewels" bring down the reputation of the authentics and too many mainstreamers react too strongly to those "hardkewels" and assume all progressives are like the "hardkewels".(Of course, that is pretty much human nature it's all "us" vs "them")

Bill_Cross
08-02-2006, 03:58 PM
Nearly every return I have ever seen says things like "10 jackets, 20 pairs of shoes, 4 leather sets, 6 overcoats"--- then a few months later it would read for the same comapany "5 jackets, 10 pairs of shoes, 4 overcoats, 12 caps". Different amounts of items at different times.
This is an excellent point, and should be especially noted for our friends wearing gray-- because of fading.

As anyone who has purchased a garment made in the correct fashion and with cloth dyed by period means will know, the vegetable and "natural" dyes of the 19th Century fade with exposure to sunlight (the one exception being indigo blue, which fades much less). Ben Tart has spent years perfecting period dying techniques, fabrics and colors, and anyone who owns one of his jackets or a garment made with his fabrics, has seen them fade from various shades of gray to olive, butternut and other permutations.

So even if a particular unit received 10 RD II jackets in May and 15 in July, the men wearing those jackets would look very different.

Not to mention the variations in construction due to 19th Century manufacturing practices (it was Mike Murley I believe who said that we make 15,000 identical copies of the same item, while back then they made that item 15,000 times).

jda3rd
08-02-2006, 07:50 PM
I once knew a gentleman whose father served in the 10th Alabama Infantry, ANV. His name was Fred Kennedy. I cannot recall his father's name, but Mr. Fred knew him quite well, and was very familiar with his stories of the War.

According to Mr. Fred, his father served from shortly after Mannassas 'til Appomatox. During that time, he was wounded 3 or 4 times, including a bullet in his pelvis during Pickett's Charge at G'burg. Mr. Fred told us his father stated he was issued one complete uniform during his CS military service. He got a jacket and cap on enlistment, trousers just before G'burg, and shirt and drawers later on. This was in the Army of Northern Virginia, which one would expect to be at least as well supplied as any CS army. It demonstrates instead, though, that individual units within the army structure were not all issued the same stuff at the same time, and of necessity would utilize what ever alternate source of supply was most readily available. To me, this indicates private purchase or supply, or items sent from home, and would lead one to expect civilian clothing to be fairly common.

As I said, this is anecdotal, and is based on the stories handed down from father to son, and likely impossible to prove. Don't take this as a statement of fact, instead, regard it as a possible circumstance to be considered when thinking of PEC vs date/location specific uniform questions.

Frank Brower

ewtaylor
08-02-2006, 09:18 PM
I thought I would post the clothing/pay issued to my Taylor ancestors during the War.
My gggrandfather William Taylor 26th NC Inf.--
enlisted July 28, 1861 Company A Paid Aug 1861, paid Oct 1861, have a COMMUTATION reciept for $10.50 for Apr. 1863, paid Jun 1863, received clothing at hospital Aug 1863 (wounded at Gettysburg), received clothing Jun 1864, recieved pay of $120 on Jan 1865 for 6 mo. I think he deserted that same month from Petersburg.
William's brothers:
Calvin Taylor 37th NC Inf.--
Enlisted Aug 1861 Company A. paid Dec 1861, Paid Feb 1862, paid Jun 1862, paid $22 Sept 1862 as a paroled prisoner, paid Apr 1863, paid in Hospital Jun 1863 (wounded severely at Chancellorsville), paid July 1863, no other payments shown deserted May 1864.
John Taylor 37th NC Inf. --
enlisted May 1862 Company A paid Jun 1862, paid Sept 1862, wounded at Fredericksburg in hospital Jan 1863 issued clothing, issued clothing Mar 1863, Killed at Chancellorsville.
Harrison Taylor 37th NC Inf. --
enlisted Sept 1862 Company A paid Oct 1862, paid Dec 1862, Clothing receipt Mar 1863 and died that same month of disease.
Jacob Taylor 37th NC Inf. ---
enlisted Sept 1862 Company A Nov 1862 admitted to hospital, paid Feb 1863 at hospital, deserted from Richmond hospital and walked back to Pond Mtn NC
Marshall Taylor 37th NC Inf. --
enlited Mar 1864 Company A never paid, captured May 1864 Spottsylvania CH, died Aug 1864 of pneumonia "effects buried with deceased".

sorry it was so long,
ew taylor

Tarky
08-14-2006, 08:13 PM
Hello, I was told when I wrote this book, it would confuse reenactors-- The pages are full of descriptions written by people who were there and alive at the time. "No two dressed alike", "mixed brown and gray" run current through the years of the Civil War. Would like to hear any comments from you folks or ask me any questions.

Tom Arliskas

Doug Cooper
08-14-2006, 08:44 PM
Just curious has to how many others on this forum have read this very good book. I think it is a MUST if you do CS impressions. Mr. Tom Arliskas did a fantastic job. The whole book must be read to get the clearer picture because if you only read a little then you will think its just another "ragged reb" book. To me it just justifies what Ive thought all along. Your impression should be more time specific and research on the unit you are portraying is more important than the PEC fad going on right now.
I know I'm probably going to get nailed for that last sentence, but there is too much evidence for us to ignore the civilian/military mixture these guys were wearing. The only time CS reenactors should be "looking alike" is if there is documentation showing the unit you are portraying were issued new clothing a few days before the evnt you are reenacting. One good example would be the 26th NC Inf. which receved new uniforms, pay, and equip. the day before Gettysburg.
Anyway this book had much praise over on the A/C forum so I thought I'd mention it over here.
Good job Mr. Arliskas
ew taylor

Ditto, squared.