Union Army Uniforms and Insignia of the Civil War

Field Officers' Uniforms

Infantry Colonel
Infantry Colonel's Uniform

This infantry colonel is wearing a dress uniform. The frock coat is double-breasted. The buttons are placed in two rows of seven each, spaced evenly down the front. All infantry officers wore an eagle button with an "I" in the shield on the eagle's chest. There are three small buttons on a Civil War officer's cuff, while those of enlisted men always have only two. His hat is looped up on the right side by an embroidered eagle. Mounted enlisted men's hats were also looped on the right while foot men were looped on the left per the text of 1861 regulations. An embroidered infantry horn is worn on the front of the hat. Three black ostrich feathers are worn on the hat. His sword is held up by a hook on the sword belt and the sword knot in held by his left hand. Around his waist is a crimson sash over which is worn the sword belt. Sky blue trousers for regimental officers were also introduced after the publication of the 1861 Regulations as a wartime expediency. There is an one-eighth inch dark blue welt running down the side of the trousers.

An Infantry Colonel commanded a regiment of troops, which was typically ten companies and over one thousand men at full strength. In the volunteer force colonels were appointed by state governors and then mustered into Federal service with their regiments. Often they were men of political influence, but little military experience. Most learned their duties and functioned well, some became outstanding leaders, and others were incompetent and were compelled to resign from the service.

Elements of the Uniform: Infantry Horn, Gloves, Hat Eagle, Epaulette, Epaulette Circlet, Buttons, Sash, Sword Belt, Sword Belt Plate, and Sword.

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