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Thread: Half Boots

  1. #11
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    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt-Heinrich Schmidt View Post
    Hallo!

    I cannot see enough detail I the photo to comment on.... but in brief and to over generalize...

    "Half boots" were an 18th century English affectation often worn by jockeys, liverymen, and sometimes laborers. By the time of the ACW, civilian footwear had evolved a style of men's shoe that was high topped (sometimes referred to know as "hi-lo's'')

    Once in a Blue Moon in a Month of Sundays, one does come across ACW images of seated officers where their trousers have ridden up high to reveal they are wearing over the ankle, laced up, "shoe-boots."

    Here is an image of British laborers during the 1852-1854 construction of the Crystal Palace for example. I would have to go through thousands of saved Period images to find an officer or officers with them.



    They would evolve after the 1870's into "Ropers."

    IMHO, this can quickly gets into a Hobby community or segment PEC-type discussions of finding something that exists somewhere in the Period and then trying to put it on the feet of an enlistedman not likely having the money or access to have it, etc., etc.

    Curt
    Nice picture and some compelling evidence that boots like these might have been worn by at least a few people during the Civil War.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Tuskaloosa, Alabama
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    If I am reading between the lines correctly, you may be looking to obtain a shoe that would give you more support in the ankle and are looking for a style that is both correct and justifiable for your impression.

    I'd encourage you to look to correct civilian shoes of the period. Missouri Boot and Shoe is very forthcoming with documentation, both on their website and on the telephone. An excellent civilian shoe can be justifiable in a military impression, especially so in a confederate one. Give these a look, and then wander over to their Mexican War shoes .

    http://missouribootandshoe.tripod.com/id5.html
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    King of Prussia, PA
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    I'm wondering if these high top lace boots wouldn't be more PEC for a Confederate wearing an old pair of shoes from home?
    Bill Rodman, If you need a really bad example.
    King of Prussia, PA
    wrodman1@aol.com

  4. #14

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    I wouldn't wear those with gaiters or leggings. They're high-top boots, going up over your ankles. The purpose of gaiters is to do the same things with low top shoes. So it's redundant. It might also be uncomfortable and hot, but I'm just guessing. If what you're looking for is a period shoe with ankle support, I'd just get them and wear them. It's not like you're trying to cover up black combat boots or something totally non-period.
    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

  5. #15

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    Hallo!

    Perhaps coming full circle...

    IMHO, it comes down to a personal choice or Hobby Level choice.

    There is such a creature found among the lower classes and working classes. There is a more refined version found among the middle and to some extent upper classes such as field or staff officers.

    Could a Confederate private have received a pair during a shoe shortage or expediency where civilian sources were tapped? Possibly.
    Could a Confederate or Federal have received a pair from home? Possibly.

    Was it a common practice? The historical record would appear to say no. Is that a concern, issue, or driving factor in one's impression, events, or hobby-level? Or like a pard of mine who was a former paratrooper and had messed up his ankles... and now with more years and more pounds... he could not take the field without the support of a "half boot."

    Mileage will vary.
    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.

  6. #16
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    Aug 2013
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    It sounds like these boots might work OK for a rag tag Confederate from Tennessee. I think I'll give them a try. Thanks to everyone for the helpful advise.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Corinth
    Posts
    49

    Default Shoe info

    Mrs. Lawson,
    You are right about the lack of information on shoes and the military, but I have a few answers. I will try not to turn it into an essay.

    Let start with the name Jefferson shoes would be correct for the 1801 time when he took his oath of office. The problem is the shoes he wore were not new but the style of shoes had been around since the 1750s. The problem is in the words themselves that change with time moving forward. High/low was the name of shoes that was higher than the ankle but by 1820 the name for the same shoe had changed to bootee. From information around the War of 1812 the Jefferson shoe was listed as 2 above the ankle. Was this the pattern the Army it is not known since again there is little information about what the Army really used. The civilian shoe market was much bigger than most people thought and it was really in control of the shoe production and this may explain why there is little information on patterns of army shoe during the War of 1812.

    Around 1820 the word bootee took over from high/low. In 1821 the army changed the pattern on the shoe to 4 above the ankle. Even though the army increased the height of the shoes many states still list shoes used by militia or state troops as 2 above the ankle or Jefferson bootees. With all this in mind both styles of shoes could have been used in the Mexican war. So far I have not found any changes in the army shoes until the 1851 patterns but I am still looking.

    During the Civil War there was enough shoe production in the North to supply both sides. There was many ways that northern made shoes made it through or around the blockade so many different styles could have made it to the field. With 546,000 pairs shoes imported from Oct 26, 1864 to the end of the war, you can clearly see there is no way to know what all styles of shoes were imported. This is from a Confederate source. Keep this in mind the state of NY exported 609,000 pairs of shoes to Europe in 1858. The top three states in shoe production are in order of amount produced Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

    Not to confuse you but half boot is another name for bootee. A bootee is defined as a boot without a top, or a shoe made like a boot without a leg. I have also seen it defined as short than a boot but taller than a shoe. The US Quartermaster purchased 8,281,636 pairs during the war of both sewn and pegged.

    I hope this helps a little.
    Thank You
    David Jarnagin
    djarnagin@bellsouth.net

  8. #18
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    Feb 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dkjarnagin View Post
    Not to confuse you but half boot is another name for bootee. A bootee is defined as a boot without a top, or a shoe made like a boot without a leg. I have also seen it defined as short than a boot but taller than a shoe. The US Quartermaster purchased 8,281,636 pairs during the war of both sewn and pegged.

    I hope this helps a little.
    It helps a LOT. Especially as regards the change in nomenclature. I thought that was what I was seeing in what images I could find--that this was the same thing--but as its an area where I know little of construction, I wondered if there was some change I could not discern.

    And we always like to hear from you---essays are welcome!!
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



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  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Murrieta, California
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    Check out Fred Adolphus' study on the Confederate dead at Ft. Mahone. Highly researched and detailed, he points out that 2 of the dead are wearing these types of shoes. Yes, they were issued, tho' probably not in great numbers.
    http://adolphusconfederateuniforms.c...rt-mahone.html

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