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Thread: Confederate sleeve chevrons

  1. #1
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    Default Confederate sleeve chevrons

    Hi,

    I have recently become the commander of my N-SSA team, and am thus allowed to wear the 3 stripes of a sergeant.

    I have been doing reading here of searched threads, and it seems that Confederate stripes were often just "twill tape" and not the "sew and go patches" seen on the Union side.

    What color would be appropriate for Confederate infantry? Also, does anyone have a good source for said "twill tape"?

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon

  2. #2
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    Charles Childs (County Cloth) once told me he had never seen a CS "rank patch" on an original uniform - only separate twill tape stripes - black was the most common color.

    When I was a Sgt. in a CS unit, I got twill tape from Joann Fabrics or someplace like that - it wasn't hard to find. The hard part was sewing all those separate stripe pieces on by hand.

    Geoff Walden

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Geoff.

    Does "twill" imply a certain kind of material? Cotton?

    What do you think is a good width? 1/2"?

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon

  4. #4

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    Hallo!

    In brief...

    Some CS states had,on paper, their own branch of service colors that differed from the Federal system. Such as Mississippi designating crimson for infantry or Georgia black.

    Both U.S. and C.S. regulations spoke to either silk or worsted binding. "Worsted" is typically wool. But supply was an issue, and black is common among CS.

    Due to losses that were hard to keep filled, many men who should be corporals or sergeants based on where they are positioned in Period photos of companies were not wearing the blouse chevrons or trowser stripes. Plus, supply could be a problem for even U.S. troops as there are photographs of 'homemade' chevrons said to have been strips cut out of sky-blue trousers.

    It has been many years since I switched from CS to US, but IIRC, my unit used cotton twill bias tape. It came from the fabric store (today ion-line as well) in white, black or colors. Some lads used black. Others RIT dyed it as the RIT did not take bold and faded fairly fast in field use and "looked" more campaignish/authentic.

    "Twill" is a type of weave. IIRC over one, under two (or vice versa) so the look of the weave has a diagonal weave or "herringbone" look to it some lads like but others don't.

    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 maillemaker View Post
    Thanks, Geoff.
    Does "twill" imply a certain kind of material? Cotton?
    What do you think is a good width? 1/2"?
    Steve
    3/8 inch was what we used in my unit. Some period images seem to show narrow stripes, others show stripes that may be 1/2 inch. Probably boils down to personal preference.

    One thing I do recall - stripes made from that cotton twill tape look real good when they're new, but they fade badly in use. I wore the same stripes for 5 years, and at the end of that time they had faded to a grayish-purple.

    Geoff

  6. #6
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    Thanks, all.

    My unit is the the Delta Rifles of the 4th Louisiana, of which I have found little information. There is said to be a fragment of their flag at the Museum of the Confederacy - wish I knew what it really looked like. I recall reading that their uniforms at the start of the war were very smart. Many of our unit were wealthy planters' sons. Our unit now wears Columbus Depot jackets. I'm going to give the 3/8" cotton twill black tape a try.

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon

  7. #7
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    Or you can do like my N-SSA unit does: No one wears any signs of rank, including our commander.

    Gil Tercenio
    34th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry

  8. #8
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    Historically, no one on our team has either. But it's in our by-laws and I think it's cool. Besides, we are lucky if we get to wear our coats once a year, due to the heat.

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon

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