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Thread: Pegged vs. Sewn soles on brogans ?

  1. #1
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    Default Pegged vs. Sewn soles on brogans ?

    During a discussion, the topic came up of pegged vs. sewn soles on brogans. One person said that sewn soles would be correct while another said that pegged would be the better choice for more authenticy .

    Just looking for some clarification.
    Richard Schimenti

  2. #2
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    During the war the Federal government procured a little more than six million sewed brogans and about 2.2 million pegged. They also got about 2.5 million boots, 60% of them sewn. Pegged cost less and, according to one of Sherman's corps QMs wore better, despite sewn being the standard before the war. About 2 million boots and bootees remained in stores at the end of the war but I don't know the breakdown between sewn and pegged. If we believe the corps QM, in late '64 and '65 enlisted personnel would not draw sewn if they could get pegged. I'm no expert, but I believe this may have been the result of switching from hand-sewn welts to machine sewn.

    Anyway, neither pegged nor sewn bootees are inherently more "authentic."
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  3. #3
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    Sewn brogans sold for $1.80 to $2.00, the US government would pay $1.25 for pegged shoes. Cavalry boots were $3.25 for sewn and $2.50 for pegged. About 40% of all shoes and boots produced during the Civil War were pegged.

  4. #4

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    Hallo!

    In terms of number representation yes.

    It gets freakily impossible when one takes a look at the lack of detail normally found in shoe issuances, as well as arsenal/depot variations East and West, and who got what from what depot when. Or splitting finer hairs, whether hand sewn construction or machine sewn construction versus pegged.

    For example Schuylkjill Arsenal/Philadelphia Depot purchased no pegged shoes and 3,231,647 pairs of sewed shoes. Plus also made their own sewn shoes.
    New York which had no manufacturing capability furnished/contracted for 3,759,900 of sewn and363,880 pairs of pegged shoes.
    Cincinnati provided 6,082,297 pairs of sewed and 2,199,339 pairs of pegged shoes.

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by California Joe View Post
    Sewn brogans sold for $1.80 to $2.00, the US government would pay $1.25 for pegged shoes. Cavalry boots were $3.25 for sewn and $2.50 for pegged. About 40% of all shoes and boots produced during the Civil War were pegged.
    These are the 'lower' artillery\cavalry 'bootee' right? Not knee high cavalry boots like we see all too often and had to be purchased on your own.
    RJ Samp
    Horniste! Blas das Signal zum Angriffe!
    "But in the end, it's the history, stupid. If you can't document it, forget about it. And no amount of 'tomfoolery' can explain away conduct that in the end makes history (and living historians) look stupid and wrong. "

  6. #6
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    This also calls to mind a question I've had about boots with one-piece fronts vs two-piece fronts. Did the one-piece tend to be issue and two-piece private purchase? Or was it again simply a matter of what the manufacturers could provide?

    Frank Brower

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    Though more pegged shoes were produced due to cost...One is just as authentic as the other.
    Micah Trent
    2nd Most Hated Reenactor in Kentucky - Western Federal Blues
    Friends of Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

  8. #8
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    The numbers of contracts has continually proven that while pegged bootees cost less, welted (sewn) bootees were purchased in greater numbers. For our great mission here at the AC Forum in lets say experiential archaeology you will find that the M1858 bootee which is welted (sewn) is incredibly comfortable and offers the ability to be resoled whereas the pegged shoes cannot be repaired depending on the wear and do not equal the comfort seen in the original last and pattern of the M58. There is still a staggering amount of pegged shoes in the field. Who is going to look at the bottom of your feet all day? Only us nerds.
    Drew Gruber
    3rd Regiment USV- Buffington's Boys
    Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society
    Backus's Bodacious Battery- PNB Artillery Crew

    "...mow hay, cut wood, prepare great food, drink schwitzel, knit, sew, spin wool, rock out to a good pinch of snuff and somehow still find time to go fly a kite." N.B.
    Now thats living history.

  9. #9
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    I disagree Drew. In fact it is easier to repair a pair of pegged shoes. Sewn shoes were not all welted but there were thousands of McKay stitched shoes made after 1862 as well. Surprisingly my experience with sewn versus pegged shoes at least in our climate here in Europe is that the pegged shoes last longer because the stitching simply rots away through moisture and usage even if well waxed and quality linen is used. I mean the therad that holds upper, insole and welt together not so much the sole stitching. However we are talking about a use over several years with many months just standing on the shelf ( which seems to do more harm than using the shoes) while CW shoes were supposed to last 3 months before they could be replaced. The lasts used for shoes certainly differed a bit from maker to maker but the same lasts are used for sewn as for pegged shoes.
    Sewn shoes were more common either hand or machine sewn so if you want to get the more common shoes look for sewn shoes.
    But look for good reproductions that are made like the originals and look like the originals.

  10. #10
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    Within the 1600 plus pages of the Van Wycke Committee investigation testimony on army purchases a full 90 or so pages are devoted to the early procurement of army shoes.

    General Meigs ordered both the New York and Philadelphia principle depots as well as satellite depots such as Boston to procure only sewn soled shoes. Either through contract or purchases made on the open market. These to be delivered to the main army in Virginia.

    This was done as Meigs believed that the soles of pegged shoes would loosen once the pegs swelled when wet. Sticking with as has been said pre war preference.

    Because of differences in the Western markets the Cincinnati and St. Louis AQMs were authorized to purchase shoes with soles that were both pegged and sewn. Early company returns of regiments furnished by the USQMD (an example being certain regiments of Fremont's troops of the Western Department) show both types being drawn at the same time and within the same company.

    As sewn soles indeed cost an additional amount of upwards of eighty cents per pair this was addressed by the Committee on Ways and Means.

    One can read a small amount concerning this in the bottom of the following thread I posted on the AC some years back. Note that Crosman mentions being "rapped over the knuckles" for purchasing pegged soled shoes.

    http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/...rmaster-speaks!

    If doing an impression of a member of the AoP for at least the first year and a half of the war sewn shoes are correct.

    John Sarver
    Cincinnati

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