Union Army Uniforms and Insignia of the Civil War

State Uniforms


New York Pennsylvania

There are a number of uniform styles found in Civil War images that do not conform to the United States Army regulation patterns that have been discussed in this website. In some cases, particularly those of officers, these uniforms were made for an individual. In other cases these are uniforms contracted for by state governments. Many of these uniforms have features that allow specific identification. Two examples of state uniforms are discussed below.

New York State had perhaps the best-organized militia of any northern state on the eve of the Civil War. Many New York Regiments were equipped with what is called the model 1861 fatigue jacket. This jacket was of a distinct appearance with shoulder loops and low cut collar both trimmed in light blue and a curved cut to the skirt. The coat had eight New York State buttons and came in four sizes. New York issued these uniforms, generally to newly formed regiments, until March 31, 1864 then the Federal government began equipping all new troops on a national basis.

The coat worn by a member of the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry is another state pattern uniform. Although not as well-known or common as New York Fatigue uniforms, photographs show several Pennsylvania Infantry and Cavalry units wearing this style of uniform. Its features include a low cut collar, nine buttons on the front, three cuff buttons (not well seen in this image) and a straight cut skirt. Another interesting feature seen in this and other images is the hat insignia, a wreath with the number "8" and letters "P.V.C." for Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry.

MORE: Private Wearing a SNY (State of New York) Buckle
Ohio State Sword Belt Plate
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