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reb64
03-29-2006, 08:28 PM
I cannot find any material here in small town library or ont he net to help. Perhaps someone out there can. Nothing new , but new to me as a part time yank, the existence of the pioneers. This sounds just like the role I would want and to portray one waht would the correct sleeve insignia be made of and what color/dimensions etc.? I have the axe and shovel, just need the sleeve markings to make it fly. thanks for any help in advance

RJSamp
03-29-2006, 11:38 PM
Less than 1 second to Google your answer. I don't believe you searched the net......

http://howardlanham.tripod.com/link54.htm

RJ Samp

reb64
03-30-2006, 12:46 AM
Thanks, I don't have google, just the msn search. I did find a book of Civil war regiments with paintings by Troiani. The pioneer nsignia was yellow. Do I get from your found research he was detached from the cav?

reb64
03-30-2006, 12:52 AM
Thanks for the google tip, found it in my toolbars. Found your website and fall creek popped up, they sell the chevrons. or I guess one could make some with a little artistic talent.

bob 125th nysvi
03-30-2006, 09:09 PM
The insignia of the two pioneers in my unit is a shade of blue that is different than our sack coats.

Almost the same color as the corporal's chevrons.

Do some research on the role. Mostly pioneers were left with their units until called upon for detached duties. So you going to be expected to be a frontline soldier at the same time. You'll also need to know if anyone in the historical unit WAS designated as a pioneer.

If there was it would be a great opportunity for a first person impression.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

reb64
04-10-2006, 03:10 PM
I finally found a high qual maker of these brasards and was told Union Pioneer brassards had crossed white axes/hatchets for infantry, not blue. He has challenged me to find a existng example of blue. If white is correct then the Civ War Mag Historian is incorrect? Or are they both correct and blue pioneer brassards hard to find now?

Ephraim_Zook
04-11-2006, 09:35 AM
Hi.

The following is from the United States Army Regulations of 1861, Revised 1863.

1585. For a Pioneer-two crossed hatchets of cloth, same color and material as the edging of the collar, to be sewed on each arm above the elbow in the place indicated for a chevron (those of a corporal to be just above and resting on the chevron), the head of the hatchet upward, its edge outward, of the following dimensions, viz. : Handle-~-four and one half inches long, one-fourth to one-third of an inch wide. Hatchet two inches long, one inch wide at the edge.

Bolding is mine. Note that the color of the hatchets is to be the branch color (color of collar trim) -- light blue for infantry, red for artillery, yellow for cav. My recommendation -- go to the regs, not to the sutler, when you want to know the real deal. You'll be right 99% of the time. Were there really white hatchets? Probably so. Were they regulation? See above for the answer.

regards

Ron Myzie
Reg. Penna. Dep. Agr.

reb64
04-11-2006, 01:30 PM
Thank you for the info. The two sutlers I found, one had the blue pioneer readily sewn. The other john Pittsenbargar of New Mexico wrote me a long letter, the gist of where the future pioneer badges were to be blue but were made white as the earlier rank was pre civ war. he further states that there are no known original blue pioneer brassards in existence, only white. In fact he would be most interested in finding one. It seems then to me, they were to be blue, but only white ones survived. Wearing blue may be correct, maybe not. the white are documented. Perhaps others with more research can answer.

Radar
04-11-2006, 01:44 PM
If you inquire "ARMY INSIGNIA" it will take you to the Army insignia home page. Click on Civil War US and it show a pioneer for artillery, but not infantry.

bclason
08-28-2008, 02:31 AM
When the Pioneer Insignia was authorized, in '58 I think, Infantry's branch color was white not Infantry Blue (the color change to blue later that year). It is logical to assume that Insignia that was issued to troopers in the Infantry Regiments at the beginning of the war was white, because that was on hand. Knowing John P. personally and have spent allot of time looking at his extensive collection of chevrons. The original Civil War Pioneer Chevron That he has is white. The Insignia that I use on my union sack coat is white. I think that both colors are correct, but white is more authentic.

My guess on why only white chevrons service is in the nature of the pioneer's job. In combat, pioneer's would be used to create and exploit a breach in the enemy's fortifications. In modern times a Sapper unit in the breach is expected to take heavy casualties. This would be no different for the breach force in the Civil war. Now you have to remember that the Corps of Engineer Troopers of the civil war were being used for bridging, fortification construction, road construction, and sedge work. Pioneers from an Infantry Regiment (2 per Company) routinely would be detached and assigned to the engineers as a work force.

Hope this helps. If you want some help on your pioneer impression just let me know.

Ephraim_Zook
08-29-2008, 11:17 AM
Hi Brian,

As an engineer officer I guess you would know better than a former USAF guy, but it has always been my understanding regarding pioneers that (1) they were not engineer troops (their branch was not Corps of Engineers), (2) they were not employed in exploiting breeches in enemy works, and (3) they were employed almost exclusively in road clearing / building. I'd be grateful if you could direct me to some reference material regarding this.

On a tangent --

I'm not going to quote them here, but paragraphs 308 and 357 of the 1861 regs specify the positions to be taken by pioneers at inspections and reviews.

bclason
08-29-2008, 11:52 AM
To your first point you are correct they were not branched Engineers, they were Infantryman, Cavalry Troopers, and Redlegs serving in an engineering capacity. Engineers during the civil war were tasked to do several things; fortifications, bridging, Maps (Officers Only), and conducting the Sap in all its forms. Pioneers were designed to supplement Engineer units, because there were not enough of this type of Soldiers to go around. In Confederate Engineer Capt Wimpler CSA Corps of Engineers routinely uses pioneers as a labor force and you read about them clearing obstacles along Gen Bragg's direction of advance into Kentucky. Now look at this excerpt from Beadle's The Military Hand-Book 1861, it is on page 11 of Manual for the Instruction of Civil War Pioneer Troops by James Lancel McElhinney: "Pioneers are Soldiers selected from every regiment for mending the ways, removing obstacles, working on entrenchments and fortifications and for making mines and approaches." McElhinney goes into more detail about Pioneers in his book, but on page 47, bullet 4, he comes to the same conclusion I did, Pioneers today are Combat Engineers.

As far as the regs go, placement in a review or parade is one thing, placement in combat is another.

CameronsHighlander
08-29-2008, 01:22 PM
Pick up the Book Uniforms of the Civil War. It a yellow paperback book inside is the Blank of the Crossed Axes to scale just get some sky blue felt or wool

Ephraim_Zook
08-29-2008, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the reference, Brian. Now, here's another question for you that I've wondered about: Were engineers and topographic engineers different branches, or just different specialties within the same branch? Their insignia were different.

regards
Ron

hendrickms24
08-29-2008, 02:40 PM
Here is a quick look at the two enginners.

Corps of Engineers

- Duties are to selection of lines of defense; the construction of fortifications; reconnaissance of fortified places, and plans for attack; works for the defense of fortified places; reconnaissance and surveys in the field, and the preparation of maps and charts; the construction of bridges and passage of rivers; the laying out of lines and construction of materials for siege operations, etc., constitute the proper part of an Engineer officer's duty, that may be learned to a greater or less extent by all officers of the Army, varying from a knowledge of the simplest rifle-pit to the erection of a permanent bastion front. The administrative duty of an Engineer officer involves another and entirely different kind of knowledge, pertaining to the disbursement of money, the purchase of materials, the direction of mechanics and other workmen, the care and accountability of every kind of public property, and the reports and returns peculiar to the Engineer Corps.


Corps of Topographical Engineers
- military surveys and fortifications, their operations came to include internal improvements, exploration, assistance to the Treasury Department in the Coast Survey and in the construction of lighthouses, and the Lake Survey.

-During the Civil War, the Topographical Bureau and the Corps of Topographical Engineers were abolished by an act of March 3, 1863, with functions transferred to the Office of Chief Engineer and Corps of Engineers, respectively.

bclason
08-29-2008, 04:27 PM
The previous post is correct. Prior to '63 Topographic Engineers and Corps of Engineers were different branches. They were made into one Corps during the civil war but still performed there specific duties. During the civil war Topographic Engineers still continued to use their insignia even after being formed into one corps.

CameronsHighlander
08-29-2008, 10:26 PM
Engineers were specialized to building bridges, forts, and other military use items.

Topographical Engineers would be map makers

Rick Keating
08-30-2008, 10:42 AM
The Insignia that I use on my union sack coat is white. I think that both colors are correct, but white is more authentic.

How do you differentiate "more authentic?" The regs clearly state the insignia are to be the branch color, which in the infantry case is light blue. Because the previous color was white does not make it more authentic, only older.

Rick Keating

bclason
08-30-2008, 01:56 PM
Rick,
I challenge you to find a period pioneer insignia that is of the Infantry Blue (sky blue) color. The originals that I have seen are all white, not faded to white, just plain white. The only examples of sky blue pioneer's insignia that I have seen are from the Indian War's Period. The Army to this day has a habit of getting allot of something and issuing it till stocks are depleted, I was issued a Kevlar helmet, circa 1989, when I first got in to the Army and just this year got the new MICH Helmet. It is not hard to speculate from the documented insignia, and army practices that insignia that was issued would be white.

Regulations always lay down the guidelines for how the military operates. To this day some regs are ignored, Soldiers modify uniforms for utility in OIF and OEF despite having been ordered not to. Weapons have personal targeting sites on them. Officers and NCO's don't ware rank on uniforms so not to draw sniper fire. Soldiers don't put unit patches on when on patrol down range so the enemy does not know if a new unit has moved in. Thats just some modern examples.

As with any thing else in this hobby, we need to do our research. Look at the Regulations and then find documented, supporting or contradictory evidence.

MAndres
08-30-2008, 04:58 PM
Rick,
I challenge you to find a period pioneer insignia that is of the Infantry Blue (sky blue) color. The originals that I have seen are all white, not faded to white, just plain white...As with any thing else in this hobby, we need to do our research. Look at the Regulations and then find documented, supporting or contradictory evidence.

El-Tee:
I think you need to check your coordinates, brother. Rick wasn't attacking you, he's merely defaulting to the regulation. The fact that you haven't seen blue pioneer insignia doesn't mean it didn't exist. What about field made insignia? That was very common, especially in the Western Theatre. This topic isn't a zero sum game--it isn't "all blue" or "all white" pioneer insignia...As for your multitude of examples from Iraq--are those examples the norm, or the exception? A lot of the trends in Iraq are merely fads, and last for incredibly short periods of time, and in limited areas. My AOR didn't allow blood-type patches, hajji rags or non-issue optics. Other areas did. As a leader, you need to be VERY careful what regulations you choose to let your men "ignore." There's always ramifications. You'll find that out when you get there.

Respectfully,
Matt Andres
OIF '06-'07

Respectfully,

Duff
08-30-2008, 05:26 PM
Also, think about how many of the Indian War badges were leftovers from the CW. There are plenty of examples of that in other gear, I don't see why this would be any different.


This goes back to the knit sack coat and other things that there is no surviving example. Just because there are not any left does not mean they didn't exist. Perhaps the reason the white ones survived is because they weren't used as they were non-regulation and just sat in a depot because nobody wanted them. Honestly I'm surprised any pioneer insignia survived because of the nature of the job.

Also, yes I'm sure white ones were used but I can't understand why the regs would state one color and they would be made another. This goes back to the dark blue pants after 61'. They were leftovers and were still sent out after the regs changed but when they were gone, they were gone. They didn't make new ones.

bclason
08-30-2008, 09:53 PM
No I did not take that as an attack. I'm just trying to put forward a logical and documented argument. I'm not assuming that the insignia was all blue or all white, both could have and probably did exist at the same time. I still am looking for a sky blue Pioneer insignia from the Civil War, because I would like to know. I am trying to prove myself wrong, and would like any help any one can give.

Duff does have an interesting point and may be right. The Indian war infantry pioneer insignia I have seen was from the late 1870's and I have seen a Pioneer Sergeant from the same time period only it was a overcoat chevron.

RJSamp
08-30-2008, 10:46 PM
Also, think about how many of the Indian War badges were leftovers from the CW. There are plenty of examples of that in other gear, I don't see why this would be any different.



My guess would be VERY FEW LEFTOVERS for Chevrons/badges. New designs (for example Chief Trumpeter, Trumpeter), and the widespread use of of
A) subdued chevrons (so they aren't the new design after the war, by default)
B) lots of sewn directly to the uniform tape chevrons (as opposed to the tape being sewn into a 'patch') which would have remained with the volunteer's uniform as opposed to being available for a now regular army NCO in the post ACW army (i.e. a leftover to be issued from inventory).

Leftover bugles were given away (for example the Powder River Treaty ceremony in 1867 gave away several hundred copper clairons) or went home with the volunteers. And F/C trumpets became the norm.....music appears for them in the manuals and the calls can't be played on most ACW era bugles. 10 new model trumpets were found trampled at the Little Big Horn site or on Indians in the reservations.....not leftovers from the ACW.

Slouch hats and bummers gave way to kepi's.....5 button IWP sack coats appear in a lot of IWP pictures....

We forget that Upton's 1867, and 1872-4 manuals were revolutionary, not evolutionary....

Leftover RIFLES were rarely used.....of course you have the trapdoor conversions but then that's a horse of a different color.

We've got the quotes that dark blue trowsers were issued worn by some units in 1861....2nd Wisconsin (that would be WVI for Bernie) for example....and even some mixed dk blue sky blue reissues in 1862.....leftovers.

You need the smoking gun for the pioneer chevrons being leftovers from the ACW.....Army issued, in QM inventory, not purchase after the war, pictures of ACW and IWP chevrons that match color, pattern, material (i.e. they were leftovers), a quote from a Pioneer in the ACW and IWP that....hey, the shovels, axes, and chevrons were just like the good old days......

thpritchett
09-01-2008, 02:39 PM
My guess would be VERY FEW LEFTOVERS for Chevrons/badges. New designs (for example Chief Trumpeter, Trumpeter), and the widespread use of of
A) subdued chevrons (so they aren't the new design after the war, by default)
B) lots of sewn directly to the uniform tape chevrons (as opposed to the tape being sewn into a 'patch') which would have remained with the volunteer's uniform as opposed to being available for a now regular army NCO in the post ACW army (i.e. a leftover to be issued from inventory).


While certain items such as weapons and bugles were not issued as leftovers, I would hestitate to say that would be the case for everything. I can still remember in the late 70's being issued C-rations left over from the Korean War (the date of manufacture was on the box).

RJSamp
09-01-2008, 02:56 PM
While certain items such as weapons and bugles were not issued as leftovers, I would hestitate to say that would be the case for everything. I can still remember in the late 70's being issued C-rations left over from the Korean War (the date of manufacture was on the box).

Sounds Yummie!

thpritchett
09-01-2008, 02:59 PM
Sounds Yummie!

We almost killed for the fruit cocktail but the poundcake and cheddar cheese mix could easily kill you (I actually did get food poisoning from the cheese once and never ate it again). At least the Korean War cleaned out the Army of all its WWII stockpile or we would have gotten the C-rats with the cigarettes.

Ephraim_Zook
09-01-2008, 04:13 PM
Engineers were specialized to building bridges, forts, and other military use items.

Topographical Engineers would be map makers

Thanks, Ernest. I know what they do, I was trying to find out if they were doing their respective things in respective branches or if they were both in the Corps of Engineers.

CameronsHighlander
09-02-2008, 01:07 AM
They fall in the same command many times working in unison. The Topo would typically be one or two people. While regular Engineers worked in groups

MLovejoy
09-02-2008, 03:19 PM
While doing a little research on this recently, I've come across some pictures. As it is difficult to tell the color of something in a black and white photograph, the dark color of the patch on this shoulder's sleeve almost indicates that a blue color was used for the Pioneer's insignia.

http://www.thecivilwargroup.com/perkins.html

To me, if this white it would stand out more prominently from the dark blue of the coat. This soldier is a from the western army's pioneer brigade which wore yellow as a branch of the engineers, but even I think that would stand out much more than what this picture shows. My other theory, these soldiers just made this insignia from whatever material was available to them. Take this picture for what it is, but to me it looks more like blue than white.

Matt Lovejoy