Union Army Uniforms and Insignia of the Civil War

Grade (Rank) Insignia


Epaulette Grade (Rank) Insignia

This illustration from the Altas to Accompany the Official Records is incorrect in two details. The epaulette of a major should not have a leaf according to the text of the regulations. The epaulette of a major appears similar to that of a second lieutenant except that the bullion fringe is longer and wider. Also, the star of a brigadier general should be located on the strap rather than the pad as illustrated. This plate was made in the 1890s and was influenced by changes that occurred after the Civil War in U.S. Army grade insignia.

The buttons worn on epaulettes corresponds to coat buttons for the particular branch of service. Captains and lieutenants have silver bars on epaulettes, but gold bars on shoulder straps. The circlets with regimental numbers were worn by line (regimental) officers and are in the colors of the combat branches.

MORE: Detail of Grade Devices
Colonel's Epaulette
Lieutenant Colonel's Epaulette
Epaulette of a Second Lieutenant of the 3rd Artillery
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