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Thread: Boots ?

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  1. #1
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    Default Boots ?

    Hey All

    Aside from having no footwear at all.. Does anyone have any info and whether or not you would find a southern infantryman in the anv wearing boots rather than shoes? Any documentation on this? I am curious since i almost never see them in use... Surely they must been used or aquired.. Either by private purchase.. Sent from home or some other means.

    Regards

    Peter Griebel

  2. #2
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    It's my recollection that Col. Keitt of the 20th S.C. wore boots during his blistering march to Cold Harbor.
    - Silas Tackitt

    "I consider him a humbug, a man of small capacity, very obstinate, not at all chivalrous, exceedingly conceited, and totally selfish." - - Lafayette McLaws about James Longstreet.

  3. #3

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    Boots were the work shoes of the 19th century, from gardening to herding, and very common. (You have to remember, though, that the British use "boots" for sturdy shoes, so sometimes the written data is misleading.) I think the chance is pretty good. However, I've worn boots as an infantryman and they're not comfortable: heavy, hot, slide around on your feet and legs. I'll echo the words of the original who complained "Can they not make a decent pair of boots?"
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  4. #4
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    As no one is offering documentation I will offer a few observations; I would state that there are photos of soldiers wearing boots. Often they are men in civilian clothing so whether they are enlisted or not is an open question. As the war progressed there was a notable shortage of leather so boots were becoming more and more expensive. I would speculate that few enlisted men would spend their money on expensive boots when they were being issued shoes. As a rule it seems it would be terribly rare to see boots in the ranks so clearly not the best choice for your impression.

  5. #5
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    You do find evidence of their use in prisoner photos, portraits, diaries, etc. But certainly not as common as the brogans. As mentioned then and now they generally werent the first choice when facing or enduring long marches. More times than not found mentioned as a temporary stop gap, till they could obtain something better or the next QM issue. Boots wore out quickly too.

    Most reenactment units tend to generally favor items that would reflect common issues rather than exceptions. I personally wear boots majority of the time. This mainly due to recurring issues with old ankle injury from a horse. The boots tend to give it better support moving across uneven grounds, at least in my case. But when in the ranks I do not blouse the trousers inside them, they are worn over them same as you would normally do with brogans, so most never even see or notice them.
    Lieut Frederick Sineath
    14th Virginia Infantry Regt Co.I
    - 106th Penna Vol Co.F

  6. #6
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    I have not seen any reference to ANV infantry wearing boots. I know they existed, I know Federal infantry in Tennessee was wearing artillery boots, because General Sherman issued orders before the Atlanta Campaign to stop the issuing. I know at the same time as Sherman's order the 55th Ohio was ordering both "boots" and "booties." Does that mean that an infantryman in the ANV would wear boots? I can't give a definite answer, but it does say infantry of the period did wear boots.
    Andrew Grim
    Monte Mounted Rifles, Monte Boys
    Mess of Myself
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  7. #7
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    I shall assume (always dangerous) that when asking if any ANV infantrymen wore boots, you are referring to enlisted men and not officers, particulary those who would have been mounted for significant amounts of time (field grade officers).
    When looking at period photos, and those of prisoners in particular, it would help to know whether one was looking at enlisted men or officers, as well as at what point in the war the picture was taken. Odds are more boots early in the war among enlisted than mid or late war.
    Of course, this is meer speculation. It may well be disproved by others more knowledgeable.
    Bernard Biederman
    30th OVI
    Co. B

  8. #8
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    Read in a diary once (wish I could recall who's!) where the soldier cut the tops off his riding boots and turned them into crude brogans. Makes sense to me!

    Harry
    Member 5th Texas Co. A/1st NC Artillery. Disabled Viet Nam veteran, 1970. I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now! Read my column in "Camp Chase Gazette".
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4UcaLHaabY

  9. #9
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    As with many things its difficult to apply a general blanket rule across the board... As mentioned some did get them, but most historians generally agree that they werent nearly as common as the brogan, and probably never actually "issued" to Infantry via normal QM issues etc. But have seen mentions of officers buying a pair of boots from the Qm department, which would imply they did have or stock some at least.

    In one notible account reference same, was a published account of a Virginia Infantry unit in late 1864. It mentioned they were in bad need of shoes. Soon enough they were involved in countering a large Federal Cavalry attack. "Our wishes were answered, In short order we were knee deep in cavalry boots". The same individual was later wounded in the knee at 3rd Winchester, apparently still wearing his captured boots. He mentions he didnt realize he was wounded till he saw the blood start to spill over having filled up his boot. Also forbid the Hospital Steward from cutting off or removing the "boot" till he got back to the aid station. Granted this is just one of a number of similar mentions, but obvious some did.
    Last edited by Frederick14Va; 11-28-2012 at 08:29 AM. Reason: spelling goofs...
    Lieut Frederick Sineath
    14th Virginia Infantry Regt Co.I
    - 106th Penna Vol Co.F

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