References & Links
Good on-line references to enhance your knowledge and your re-enacting impression.
For cartridge boxes the manual states: “The boxes are made of white pine boards, dovetailed and nailed together, and are furnished with wooden brackets or handles nailed to the ends with wrought nails, clenched on the inside ; the lids fastened with six 1.75 inch screws. They are painted different colors, to indicate the kind of cartridges. … Each box should be marked, on each end, with the number and kind of cartridges, and on the inside of the cover with the place and date of fabrication.” The manual lists the interior dimensions for each box by ammunition type as wood during that time period varied in thickness. The interior specifications were important in order to pack the designated number of rounds in the box. The manual also specifies box color by ammunition type as well.
For artillery boxes the manual states: "Packing-Boxes for field-ammunition are made of well-seasoned stuff, (generally white pine,) 1.25" inch thick, dovetailed, with the tenon on the ends. The top of the box is fastened with six 2-inch screws...The boxes are painted on the outside different colors, to indicate the contents of the box. Those containing shot are painted olive; shells, black; spherical case shot, red; and canisters, a light drab. The kind of ammunition is marked on each end, in large white letters. The place and date of fabrication are marked on the inside of the cover."
Ordnance instructions for the United States Navy, relating to the preparation of vessels of war for battle: to the duties of officers and others when at quarters: to ordnance and ordnance stores, and to gunnery
RATTLE FOR CALLING BOARDERS
521. To be made like those used by watchmen, of white oak, or some other similar wood. Rattle, 12 inches long; ratchet, 2 inches in diameter; spring one inch in width, and of sufficient thickness and elasticity to produce the requisite sound, Weight enough should be given to the butt to cause it to revolve round the handle with ease.
The Complete Civil War: The Definitive Fact File of the Campaigns, Weapons, Tactics, Armies, and Key Figures by Philip Katcher, Cassell and Co. 2003
From the Revised US Army Regulations of 1861
General Orders 108
December 16, 1861
131. The uniform for Chaplains of the Army will be plain black frock coat with standing collar, and one row of nine black buttons; plain black pantaloons; black felt hat, or army forage cap, without ornament. On occasions of ceremony, a plain chapeau de bras may be worn.
While a hoop skirt is a good outfit for Gettysburg Remembrance Day on November 19th when ladies would have dressed up to hear Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, it is likely not what most citizens were wearing during the battle or while helping in hospitals.
Wealthy Victorian women wore several dresses each day. A "morning dress" was plainer. An "evening dress" was low on the shoulders, and suitable for a party. A "walking dress" had a longer peltote (a type of jacket essential to the outfit) over it that matched the skirt.
On the other hand, working class women during the Civil War likely only had two or three everyday dresses, one Sunday best outfit, and maybe the newest everyday dress reserved for going to town or visiting people.
According to magazine articles from the era, a lady should choose colors based on harmony, simplicity, and influenced by nature.
We might consider some of their flower inspired color combinations gaudy now; however, they were afraid of being gaudy and looking like they were wearing Joseph's coat from the Biblical story, so they stuck to two main colors in most ensembles.
Various styles of trim and braid were popular. Accessories for Civil War womens clothing were often covered in embroidery, as the vintage patterns from Godey's Ladies Book and Peterson's Magazine testify.
32...For Officers: Of best black felt...The binding to be 1/2 inch deep, of best black ribbed silk.
33...For Enlisted Men: Of black felt, same shape and size as for officers, with double row of stitching, instead of binding around the edge.
45...For Enlisted Men, except companies of Light Artillery: The same as for officers of the respective corps, except that there will be but one feather, the cord will be of worsted, of the same color as that of the facing of the corps, three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, running three time through a slide of the same material, and terminating with two tassels, not less that two inches long, on the side of the hat opposite the feather...The insignia of corps, in brass, in front of the hat, corresponding with those prescribed for Officers, with the number of regiment, five-eights of an inch long, in brass, and letter of company, one inch, in brass, arranged over insignia. Brim to be looped up to side of hat with a brass eagle, on the right side for mounted men and left side for foot men. The feather to be worn on the side opposite the loop.
32...For Officers: Of best black felt...The binding to be 1/2 inch deep, of best black ribbed silk.
34...For General Officers: Gold cord, with acorn-shaped ends. The brim of the hat looped up on the right side, and fastened with an eagle attached to the side of the hat; three black ostrich feathers on the left side; a gold embroidered wreath in front, on black velvet ground, encircling the letters U.S. in silver, old English characters.
35...For Officers of the Adjutant General's, Inspector Generals, Quartermaster's, Subsistence, Medical and Pay Departments, and the Judge Advocate, above the rank of Captain: The same as for General Officers, except the cord which will be of black silk and gold.
36...For the same Departments, below the rank of Field Officers: The same as for Field Officers, except there will be but two feathers.
37...For Officers of the Corps of Engineers: The same as for the General Staff, except the ornament in front, which will be a gold embroidered wreath of laurel and palm, encircling a silver turreted castle on black velvet ground.
38...For Officers of the Topographical Engineers: The same as for the General Staff, except the ornament in front, which will be a gold embroidered wreath of oak leaves, encircling a gold embroidered shield, on black velvet ground.
39...For Officers of the Ordnance Department: The same as for the General Staff, except the ornament in front, which will be a gold embroidered shell and flame, on black velvet ground.
40...For Officers of Dragoons: The same as for the General Staff, except the ornament in front, which will be two gold embroidered sabers crossed, edges upward, on black velvet ground, with the number of the regiment in silver in the upper angle.
41...For Officers of Cavalry: The same as for the Dragoons, except that the number of the regiment will be in the lower angle.
42...For Officers of Mounted Riflemen: The same as for the General Staff, except the ornament in front, which will be a gold embroidered trumpet, perpendicular, on black velvet ground.
43...For Officers of Artillery: The same as for the General Staff, except the ornament in front, which will be a gold embroidered cross-cannon, on black velvet ground, with the number of the regiment in silver at the intersection of the cross-cannon.
43...For Officers of Infantry: The same as for the General Staff, except the ornament in front, which will be a gold embroidered bugle, on black velvet ground, with the number of the regiment in silver in the bend.
Civil War Southern belles are best known for their hoops. Civil War ladies clothing and fashion in the 1860s featured the hoop skirt at its greatest width. The hoop extended slightly father out in the back than in the front.
It took up to 5 yards of fabric to make a Victorian hoop skirt.
The cloth supply to the South from northern mills was cut off during the war, so some women made smaller skirts to save material and help the war effort. Or perhaps they recycled curtains as in Gone with the Wind!
From The Complete Civil War: The Definitive Fact File of the Campaigns, Weapons, Tactics, Armies, and Key Figures by Philip Katcher, Cassell and Co. 2003.
On 21 March 1863 each member of a corps in the Army of the Potomac was assigned a unique insignia to wear on his cap, front or side or left breast so that he could be identified easily on the battlefield.The identification insignia idea was adopted by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker after he assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, so any soldier could be identified at a distance. Maj. Gen. Daniel Butterfield, Hooker's chief of staff, was assigned the task of designing a distinctive shape for each corps badge. Butterfield also designated that each division in the corps should have a variation of the corps badge in a different color generally red for the first division, white for the second division and blue for the third division. Corps with added divisions used green for the fourth and orange for the fifth divisions.. The Union Army fielded 25 corps, each designated with a roman numeral, i.e., IX Corps.
Ladies Clothing Layers
Here's a list of the Civil War womens clothing that they wore starting next to the skin and working out in layers:
Layer 5 (outerwear for leaving the house)
In 1827, John Walker, English chemist and apothecary, discovered that if he coated the end of a stick with certain chemicals and let them dry, he could start a fire by striking the stick anywhere. These were the first friction matches. The chemicals he used were antimony sulfide, potassium chlorate, gum, and starch. Walker did not patent his "Congreves" as he called the matches (alluding to the Congreve's rocket invented in 1808). Walker was a former chemist at 59 High Street, in Stockton-on-Tees, England. His first sale of the matches was on April 7, 1827, to a Mr. Hixon, a solicitor in the town. Walker made little money from his invention. He died in 1859 at the age of 78 and is buried in the Norton Parish Churchyard in Stockton.
In 1829 Samuel Jones saw Walker's "Congreves" and decided to market them, calling his matches "Lucifers". "Lucifers" became popular especially among smokers, but they had a bad burning odor.
In 1855, safety matches were patented by Johan Edvard Lundstrom of Sweden. Lundstrom put red phosphorus on the sandpaper outside the box and the other ingredients on the match head, solving the problem of "phossy jaw" and creating a match that could only be safely lit off the prepared, special striking, surface.
What the Victorians knew as the “sack” coat first appeared in France at the end of the 1840s and quickly spread to England and America, becoming very popular in the Eastern United States by the mid-1850s.
Originally intended for extremely informal occasions, sack coats soon became working and business wear for skilled workers and clerks across America. By the end of the 1850s, the U.S. Army had adopted a military version of the sack coat as fatigue wear. By the 1870s, sacks were being worn as general purpose outdoor and working jackets by many Americans, particularly outside of the East.
Some tailoring manuals of the 1850s and 1860s refer to the sack coat by other names, but they are all the same garment. Length of skirt and sleeve, number and style of pockets, collar, lapels, and the cut of the front skirt were the elements of changing style in the sack coat from 1850 to 1900. At all times in that period, sack coats were diverse and made in “close cut,” “full cut,” “single breasted,” and “double breasted” versions.
Author: Jason Rich
< http://laundry.about.com/od/laundrybasics/a/Laundry-During-The-Civil-War-The-Civil-War-Laundress.htm >
Updated April 27, 2016.
Unlike the highly organized and efficient Quartermaster Corp of today's Army which handles laundry for our troops, America's Civil War men in blue and grey relied upon the camp laundress and laundry men. She often became one of the most respected and highest paid members of the camp for her basic, but important, work. She was also in charge of the men who assisted her in providing clean clothes for the officers and troops.
The Civil War Laundress
According to the Union Army's 1861 Military Handbook, only women of good character were allowed to be a laundress. Each woman had to obtain a "Certificate of Good Character" from Army headquarters before she was allowed to begin working. The laundress was usually married to or mother of one of the soldiers in the company with which she served. According to records, each Union company was allowed up to four laundresses while Confederate companies had up to seven laundresses. When broken down, this meant each Union laundresses was responsible for mending and cleaning the clothes of around 20 men.
The salary of the laundress was paid by the Army by deducting the fees from the soldiers' pay. Each enlisted man had 50 cents withheld monthly, unmarried officers $1.00 to $2.00 monthly and married officers paid $4.00 monthly. If the officer's had family traveling or visiting with the company, additional fees were negotiated. For the men who could not afford to pay the fees, they washed their own clothes or simply wore them unwashed until the clothes fell apart.
The laundress was provided a tent, rations, a hatchet and services of the company surgeon. They were allowed to bring along their children, dogs and household items like beds, cribs and linens. In her "free time" she often assisted the doctor with wounded and sick men. "Suds Row" where the laundresses worked and lived was off-limits to the rest of the camp. The women did not move with the troops during sieges and battles but did move as a new camp was set.
Civil War Laundry Equipment And Supplies
The laundress was required to supply her own equipment and supplies. The basic supplies for each woman were two 25-gallon oak tubs (each weighed about 35 pounds when empty), buckets, iron cauldrons for heating water, fire grates, scrub boards, homemade soap, bluing, ropes for clothes lines, irons and sewing supplies.
These tools were crucial to her livelihood and had to be kept in good shape. The wooden tubs and buckets leaked if they were left to dry for too long, so they had to be soaked to keep them watertight. However, the water had to be changed often because if left too long, the wood became slimy and rotted. Irons had to be stored standing up to keep the bottoms smooth, clean, and free of rust. Wax was placed on the irons to keep them from rusting.
And, the laundress had to make her own soap by rendering animal fat and adding lye. Soap making was a day long process of stirring the soap while it "cooked" over an open fire. A few women did have access to soap from a company called Procter and Gamble. During the Civil War, the Cincinnati company won contracts to supply the Union Army with soap and candles. The military contracts introduced Procter and Gamble products to soldiers from all over the country. Once the war was over and the men returned home, they told their families about the company's products and launched their national, and then global, growth.
Doing laundry for the troops was, at best, a three to four day process for each load of clothes involving ten steps.
Ironing was not included in the usual price. Each ironed shirt cost an extra three cents. Most of the troops saved their money for other things, but officers did pay for ironed shirts.
The job of laundress was hard labor under the conditions of weather and war. But the incentives that drew draw women to it were the pay and the opportunity to stay with her husband or son rather than endure a long or probable permanent separation.
From the Revised US Army Regulations of 1861
ARTICLE LI - UNIFORM, DRESS, AND HORSE EQUIPMENTS COAT
For Commissioned Officers
1442. All officers shall wear a frock-coat of dark blue cloth, the skirt to extend from two-thirds to three-fourths of the distance from the top of the hip to the bent of the knee; single breasted for Captains and Lieutenants; double-breasted for all other grades. 1443. For a Major-General--two rows of buttons on the breast, nine in each row, placed by threes; the distance between each row, five and one-half inches at the top, and three and one-half inches at the bottom; standing-up collar, to rise no higher than to permit the chin to turn freely over it, to hook in front at the bottom, and slope thence up and backward at an angle of thirty degrees on each side; cuffs two and one-half inches deep to go around the sleeves parallel with the lower edge, and to button with three small buttons at the under seam; pockets in the folds of the skirts, with one button at the hip, and one at the end of each pocket, making four buttons on the back and skirt of the coat, the hip button to range with the lowest buttons on the breast; collar and cuffs to be of dark blue velvet; lining of the coat black.
1444. For a Brigadier-General --the same for a Major-General, except that there will be only eight buttons in each row on the breast, placed in pairs.
1445. For A Colonel--the same as for a Major-General, except that there will be only seven buttons in each row on the breast, placed at equal distances; collar and cuffs of the same color and material as the coat.
1446. For a Lieutenant-Colonel--the same as for a Colonel.
1447. For a Major--the same as for a Colonel.
1448. For a Captain--the same as for a Colonel, except that there will be only one row of nine buttons on the breasts, placed at equal distances.
1450. For a Second Lieutenant--the same as for a Captain.
1451. For a Brevet Second Lieutenant--the same as for a Captain.
1452. For a Medical Cadet--the same as for a Brevet Second Lieutenant.
For Enlisted Men
1454. The uniform coat for all enlisted foot men, shall be a single-breasted frock of dark blue cloth, made without plaits, with a skirt extending one-half the distance from the top of the hip to the bend of the knee; one row of nine buttons on the breast, placed at equal distances; stand-up collar, to rise no higher than to permit the chin to turn freely over it, to hook in front at the bottom and then to slope up and backward at an angle of thirty degrees on each side; cuffs pointed according to pattern, and to button with two small buttons at the under seam; collar and cuffs edged with a cord or welt of cloth as follows, to wit: Scarlet for Artillery; sky-blue for Infantry; yellow for Engineers; crimson for Ordnance and Hospital stewards. On each shoulder a metallic scale according to pattern; narrow lining for skirt of the coat of the same color and material as the coat; pockets in the folds of the skirts with one button at each hip to range with the lowest buttons on the breast; no buttons at the ends of the pockets.
Melton cloth is traditionally made of wool and is woven in a twill form. It is thick, due to having been well fulled, which gives it a felt-like smooth surface. It is napped and very closely sheared. Meltons are similar to Mackinaw cloth. It is a very solid cloth in which the twill weave pattern is completely concealed due to the finishing processes. Because of its dense, quasi-felted texture it frays minimally or not at all. It is hard wearing and wind and weather resistant. Its main use is for heavy outer garments and coats and for blankets. In lighter weights melton cloth is traditionally used for lining the underside of jacket collars.
Fulling is a process done in the finishing of wool fabric by the addition of moisture, heat, friction and pressure.
Melton wool has a minor nylon content to aid machining.
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