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Thread: Infantry Sergeant

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Infantry Sergeant

    Hello. I'm curious as to what a Union Infantry Sergeant's complete list of issued equipment would be. Some friends and I are starting a unit and I am merely an Artillery veteran. We are going to drill alongside another unit for awhile, but I am not in contact with them as of now. All help appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2007
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    Look in Kautz's book. Or, the Army Regs. But basically, it's the same stuff as an infantry private, except for the stripes on the jacket and trousers. Now, an Orderly Sergeant, or First Sergeant, would have pen, ink and added paperwork such as a roll book, morning reports, and on and on. You weren't issued the 2nd shelter half until you got officers straps.
    Eli Heagy
    187th PV

    The 137th NY performed way, way better than the 20th Maine at Gettysburg. They just didn't have a self promoting blow hard of a Col. leading them. Maybe you should look up the history of the 83rd Pennsylvania too, they make the 20th Maine look like the rookies they were.
    There are some very good books out there about the fighting on Culps and Lower Culps Hill. Vincent's Brigade had nothing on those boys at the other end of the line.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2010
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    Richmond, VA
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    Mike Barnes
    44th VA / 25th OH

    Blanket Collector (hoarder)

  4. #4
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    Like Eli said, the same stuff as a private. A sergeant is still an enlisted man. Add the stripes to the trousers and the sleeves to indicate your rank.

    That said, what makes a sergeant different from an enlisted man was his knowledge of drill, his esprit de corps and his authority. A sergeant makes men work and makes them do work they don't want to do, so he has to have authority in his demeanor. A sergeant's primary responsiblity is to make sure everyone under his direct command is healthy and ready to face the enemy at a moment's notice. An eye for detail, a clever mind and a get it done attitude are some of the best traits of a sergeant. He sets the example for the rest of the company, so his musket is always clean, his box is always full, his canteen and haversack are always full, his knapsack packed, his gear clean and his brass shines. He is the first man on line for formation and the last to leave.

    And, he occassionally lets the officers think they are in command.
    Mint Julep

    A Proud 5%'er

    A Dead Whale or A Stove Boat!

  5. #5
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    Nov 2010
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    A notebook and a pencil would be a big help. Help keep track of who had guard or fatigue duty last.
    David Thomas
    Starr's Battery
    Fayetteville, NC
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuthenticCWArtillery/

  6. #6
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    Apr 2011
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    Bedford, Virginia
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    Depending on when and where there would also be the brass handled pointer.
    Boyd Miles

    I dream of a world where a chicken can cross a road without having its motives called into question.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    If we are talking about "issued" equipment then a couple of other items would be:

    1851 NCO Belt.
    This is a belt with much the same appearance and construction as the enlisted cavalry belt. Issued mostly to sergeants.

    NCO Sword (sorry, can't remember date).
    These were more common in Garrison or static camps, though I have a copy of an equipment return for the 7th Michigan Infantry from May '64 that shows at least one NCO still carrying an NCO sword.

    Red worsted Sash
    Just like the description and per orders to be worn by Sergeants; though again not seen often in "field" photographs. I contend that they were retained and carried in a Sergeants knapsack for formal occasions: inspection, guard mount, etc...

    Dark Blue Touser Stripes have been mentioned. These were made from a tape that was issued once the rank was awarded. This was per regs, but was also dependent on whether or not the tape was available when the promotion took place. It was up to the Sergeant to determine how the stripes were sewn on (self or tailor)

    Sergeant's Stripes
    Light blue and pre-configured, but sometimes made from available materials (enlisted trouser material for example) when "official" stripes not available.

    From there, the rest of the equipment pretty much matches Enlisted Equipment. The Orderly and other sergeants would carry musket tools as part of their kit for field repairs and quick fixes.

    For Duty and behaviors, see the link to Kautz's COS, that's the base for the "duty" portion of the impression. Again, the Sgt. Is the example, supervisor and all around best soldier in the company.
    Sam Lowe
    Sally Port Mess
    Western Rifles

  8. #8
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    Plymouth, MN
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    Not all sergeants were authorized to wear the red sash.

    From the U.S. Army Regulations:

    Sash

    1506. For all Sergeant Majors, Quartermaster Sergeants, Ordnance Sergeants, Hospital Stewards, First Sergeants, Principal or Chief Musicians and Chief Buglers - red worsted sash, with worsted bullion fringe ends; to go twice around the waist, and to tie behind the left hip, pendent part not to extend more than eighteen inches below the tie.


    In other words, the 2nd through 5th Sergeants in an Infantry Company would not wear a sash.
    Keith Kosek

    1st MN, Co. A

    http://www.firstminnesota.org/


    “The beautiful thing about the truth is, the truth requires your questions. Therefore, there is no competition in art.” - Gary Busey

  9. #9
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    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithRK View Post
    Not all sergeants were authorized to wear the red sash.

    From the U.S. Army Regulations:

    Sash

    1506. For all Sergeant Majors, Quartermaster Sergeants, Ordnance Sergeants, Hospital Stewards, First Sergeants, Principal or Chief Musicians and Chief Buglers - red worsted sash, with worsted bullion fringe ends; to go twice around the waist, and to tie behind the left hip, pendent part not to extend more than eighteen inches below the tie.


    In other words, the 2nd through 5th Sergeants in an Infantry Company would not wear a sash.
    Yep. My bad. Most of my post was from memory, so I did generalize a bit. Thanks for adding detail.
    Sam Lowe
    Sally Port Mess
    Western Rifles

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Bedford, Virginia
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    Boyd Miles

    I dream of a world where a chicken can cross a road without having its motives called into question.

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