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rebjeb04
01-16-2011, 08:24 PM
Hey Fellows,

I was wondering if anyone had ever tried to estimate the ratio of uniforms issue to or procured by Confederate soldiers. I have been asked to do a program on Confederate uniforms for a local S.C.V. meeting and just wanted to check that detail out.

Thank for you help and thoughts.

lukegilly13
01-16-2011, 09:10 PM
I don't know how accurate it would be (or any of it because records are going to be scarce anyhow)...but you might be able to find the number of say coats/jackets each depot cranked out from '61 through the end and compare that to the estimated number of servicemen (assuming they all wore coats and all issued came from depots). I believe maybe Les Jenson's popular article gives a number for at least a handful of depots. At least this would give you depot numbers compared to everything else. When you get more info please post it...it would be a neat thing to look at.

dirtyshirt
01-17-2011, 09:50 AM
If you haven't already checked, there is a lot of good information in "Cadet Grey and Butternut Brown." You might find a little of what you're looking for there.

rebjeb04
01-18-2011, 12:15 AM
Thanks fellas,
I'm going to check jenson and I have a copy of Cadet Gray and Butternut Brown. I have been away from my library for some time now in the process of moving.
Thanks,

Secesh
01-18-2011, 04:13 PM
John Worsham, in "One of Jackson's Foot Cavalry", claims he drew 2 jackets and 3 pair of trowsers per year, 1861 to 1864 before he was wounded at Winchester and put out of the War.

rbruno
01-18-2011, 06:32 PM
A friend of mine and I were discussing this very thing today. I were discussing this as it related to one unit and realized how hard that might be to come with a ratio of just one unit much less the ANV. My suggestion might be to base your presentation on one unit to start. You would of course have to take into account all the details of that unit, but it might be a start. That is our plan anyway.

rebjeb04
01-19-2011, 11:05 AM
Hey,
I think your right, and I may change it to just western theater or trans-mississippi area. A lot more uniforms and equipment were issed to the ANV probably than most areas of the Confederacy. I just thought that would have been a good general statistic, but probably further research should be done to be most acurate.

Mark Lewis
01-19-2011, 12:30 PM
http://www.lazyjacks.org.uk/csawest.htm

Some interesting quotes here, but I believe they apply to the westen theater.

Jimmayo
01-19-2011, 06:55 PM
Hey Fellows,

I was wondering if anyone had ever tried to estimate the ratio of uniforms issue to or procured by Confederate soldiers.


Your title suggests you trying to figure the ratio of items shipped from home to items issued by the CS quartermaster. Is that correct or am I mis-reading?

If so, that is going to be near impossible since no official records were kept as to items shipped directly to the soldiers from home.

rebjeb04
01-19-2011, 07:12 PM
Hey Jim,
Yes, that is the question, and I understand we will probably never know an exact figure, but I was just looking for and estimate given what information does exist.
Thanks

Pvt Schnapps
03-12-2011, 03:18 PM
I think Jim's right about the impossibility of getting good numbers; moreover we may need to think of several categories of clothing: clothing sent from home; clothing procured locally with commutation funds provided by the government (prior to December, 1862); clothing provided by the state; and clothing issued by the Confederate quartermaster department.

Since this runs the risk of simply compounding the impossibility of getting an answer, maybe we should restate the problem as 1) finished clothing items provided by the quartermaster department, and 2) all other sources.

If you can find the clothing issued by the depots through the sources given earlier (or come up with a reasonable estimate), then you can subtract that number from what the troops theoretically required. The resulting number would roughly indicate what they got from other sources.

To calculate the theoretical requirements, you multiply the official issue by the number of troops in service.

The official issue rate comes from G. O. 100 of December 8, 1862 (announcing the end of the commutation system -- the three numbers indicate issues for the first, second, and third year of service):

Cap, complete ………………….. 2-1-1 $2
Cover …………………………… 1-1-1 $0.38
Jacket …………………………… 2-1-1 $12
Trowsers …………………………3-2-2 $9
Shirt ………………………………3-3-3 $3
Drawers …………………………..3-3-3 $3
Shoes, pairs ……………………… 4-4-4 $6
Socks, pairs ……………………… 4-4-4 $1.60
Leather stock ……………………... 1-0-0 $0.25
Great-coat ………………………… 1-0-0 $25
Stable-frock for mounted men ……. 1-0-0 $2
Fatigue overall (for engineers & ordnance) 1-1-1 $3
Blanket……………………………. 1-0-1 $7.50

The estimated number of men in service comes from Livermore's "Numbers and Losses" (p. 47), broken down by year:

1861: 231,729
1862: 376,406
1863: 424,018
1864: 463,891
1865: 463,181

1861 and 1865 should be prorated.

This calculation would assume that the issue rate reflected actual use rate. This might not be too far off if we further assume that, although troops went through clothing more quickly in active service than projected, they simply became more ragged than desired but not actually naked.

You can probably also ignore some items that were provided in small numbers, if at all, like leather stocks and stable frocks. Apart from this, the calculation would ignore a host of local variables. But I think that, with a decent spreadsheet, it would give a general idea of the overall ratio of what the CS QMD provided, vs. what had to be obtained through other means.

Good luck -- if you actually undertake such a calculation and can share it, the rest of us would be much obliged.

floridawar
06-30-2012, 06:08 PM
I think Jim's right about the impossibility of getting good numbers; moreover we may need to think of several categories of clothing: clothing sent from home; clothing procured locally with commutation funds provided by the government (prior to December, 1862); clothing provided by the state; and clothing issued by the Confederate quartermaster department.

Since this runs the risk of simply compounding the impossibility of getting an answer, maybe we should restate the problem as 1) finished clothing items provided by the quartermaster department, and 2) all other sources.

If you can find the clothing issued by the depots through the sources given earlier (or come up with a reasonable estimate), then you can subtract that number from what the troops theoretically required. The resulting number would roughly indicate what they got from other sources.

To calculate the theoretical requirements, you multiply the official issue by the number of troops in service.

The official issue rate comes from G. O. 100 of December 8, 1862 (announcing the end of the commutation system -- the three numbers indicate issues for the first, second, and third year of service):

Cap, complete ………………….. 2-1-1 $2
Cover …………………………… 1-1-1 $0.38
Jacket …………………………… 2-1-1 $12
Trowsers …………………………3-2-2 $9
Shirt ………………………………3-3-3 $3
Drawers …………………………..3-3-3 $3
Shoes, pairs ……………………… 4-4-4 $6
Socks, pairs ……………………… 4-4-4 $1.60
Leather stock ……………………... 1-0-0 $0.25
Great-coat ………………………… 1-0-0 $25
Stable-frock for mounted men ……. 1-0-0 $2
Fatigue overall (for engineers & ordnance) 1-1-1 $3
Blanket……………………………. 1-0-1 $7.50

The estimated number of men in service comes from Livermore's "Numbers and Losses" (p. 47), broken down by year:

1861: 231,729
1862: 376,406
1863: 424,018
1864: 463,891
1865: 463,181

.

As a partial examination, the book Confederate Industry claims CS Army QM data shows the issue during 1864 of:

744, 851 pairs of shoes (all but 199,851 pairs imported)
316,000 imported blankets (the south being without machinery to make suitable ones)
458, 131 jackets were issued.
744, 851 pairs of trousers issued.
(of the above, it is estimated ca. 200,000 suits, or ca. 1/3 were made of imported cloth).
[pgs. 178-179]

With nearly 463, 891 men in service during 1864, the above suggests that theoretically the CS Army produced a uniform for all but ca. 10,000 men during the year. We can add into this the bureaucracy factor, and the known wastefullness of the troops in the field, as well as the evidence that the majority of this material was issued principally to the ANV and AOT (which two armies contained at best less than half the total of men) and not necessarily divided evenly between the various departments, and that all the while the new issues were made, huge quantities of the garments in use were reaching the end of their service life... etc.; and the theoretical quantity is boiled down to time and place, and the efficiency of the unit, and availability of the supply, etc.. Regardless, the above quantity was barely sufficient according to the numbers was at worst largely insufficient, or at least barely insufficient. There was clearly no large scale surplus...

archie.

Pvt Schnapps
07-01-2012, 04:33 PM
Thank you, Archie! Just one question: you have the same number for both trowsers and shoes. Is that right?

For the other items, I'm going to go out on a limb and do a preliminary calculation. If we look at the average annual rate of issue in G.O. 100 and multiply it by Livermore's average number of Confederate soldiers in the ranks for 1864, we come up with the theoretical requirement, which we can then compare to the production numbers you give above.

All sorts of caveats apply, including those you mentioned, especially soldiers' complaints that clothing wore out much more quickly on active service than the Regs allowed.

Given that, 463,891 soldiers would have required (x1.333) 618,367 jackets, of which the actual procurement (458,131) met 74% of the need.

The same number of soldiers would have required (x.666) 308,951 blankets, for which actual procurement (316,000) provided a small, 2% surplus.

Depending on whether the 744,851 number applies to trowsers or shoes, it represents 69% of the theoretical requirement for the former, but only 40% for the latter.

I'd be very interested in seeing which article that number applies to.

1864 seems a good year to look at, as the depot system was probably functioning at its peak then.

Mississippian
07-01-2012, 05:12 PM
Archie,

Does the book specify if those numbers include clothing from state QM departments? If it doesn't then we need to take those numbers with a big pinch of salt. North Carolina, Georgia, and to a lesser extent South Carolina were still making and issuing significant numbers of uniforms for their soldiers. All three states were at best lukewarm to the CSQMD because of previous shortages of clothing to their men and so they they worked in a kind of parallel system to supply clothing to the men of their states. North Carolina was even able to send a large shipment of surplus clothing to the Army of Tennessee in early 1864.....

This doesn't even touch what was produced at home or captured from the field. The University of Mississippi owns a home made jacket that was owned by a member of the 3rd Mississippi Cavalry who was killed near Atlanta. I've seen records where units detailed men to go home and make or procure clothing and shoes for their company/regiment or had them made in camp. In the Trans-MS, it was not uncommon for some units to be issued cloth and have the men make their own clothing. I know this was the case with a couple of Louisiana cavalry units in early 1863.

Will MacDonald

floridawar
09-14-2012, 05:18 PM
Archie,

Does the book specify if those numbers include clothing from state QM departments? If it doesn't then we need to take those numbers with a big pinch of salt. North Carolina, Georgia, and to a lesser extent South Carolina were still making and issuing significant numbers of uniforms for their soldiers. All three states were at best lukewarm to the CSQMD because of previous shortages of clothing to their men and so they they worked in a kind of parallel system to supply clothing to the men of their states. North Carolina was even able to send a large shipment of surplus clothing to the Army of Tennessee in early 1864.....

This doesn't even touch what was produced at home or captured from the field. The University of Mississippi owns a home made jacket that was owned by a member of the 3rd Mississippi Cavalry who was killed near Atlanta. I've seen records where units detailed men to go home and make or procure clothing and shoes for their company/regiment or had them made in camp. In the Trans-MS, it was not uncommon for some units to be issued cloth and have the men make their own clothing. I know this was the case with a couple of Louisiana cavalry units in early 1863.

Will MacDonald

Howdy will,

I do not have my copy of Confederate Industry at hand (its been perennially loaned out of late), but I do see on Google books, that (p. 128-129), the CS Army QMD was calculating the clothing issued by GA and NC into its totals. Here is the breakdown according to A.R. Lawton's REcords, (this should answer part of Michael's question posted earlier...):
Jan-JUne, 1864:
397, 594 prs. shoes (including 37, 657 from GA, and 9, 263 from NC.)
242, 337 jackets (including 26, 747 from GA, and 21, 301 from NC.)
353, 433 prs. pants (including 28, 808 from GA. and 32, 104 from NC.)
JUly-Dec. 64 issues totalled: (including GA and NC issues not broken down in the book, as with the previous...)
shoes, pr. 347, 257,
jackets, 215, 703,
pants, 342, 399

Regarding home made, I have no doubt a considerable portion of CS troops remained in "homespun" throughout the war. My comments above regard the "theoretical" quantity of CS Army issue clothing compared tot he number of troops. The totals above serve only to demonstrate the CS ARmy's contribution to the spectrum of Confederate army clothing. I also suspect that large numbers of men may have drawn army clothes, but did not wear them. Robert Watson of the 7th Fla. mentions selling his clothes for food, etc. Also, there are some references in Bell Wiley's JOhnny Reb, regarding sending army clothes home to destitute families, etc. etc. Freemantle himself quotes officers of the AOT in 1863 that the men could be provided uniforms, but within a week would be dressed as they pleased...

cheers,

Archie

Iceman
09-15-2012, 11:25 AM
It was either William Watson or William Tunnard, both of the 3rd Louisiana Inf. and both wrote memoirs after the war, said that the regiment only drew clothing from the Gov't twice in their 4 year service. The regiment received clothing in Oct. of '61, and then again in the winter/spring of '64/'65. The 3rd spent their entire service in the Trans-Miss., with a short time at Vicksburg.

When looking at the numbers of clothing, shoes, etc., that were produced by the Confederate QM's around the South, it's important to keep in mind that just because uniforms were being made didn't mean that these uniform were making onto the backs of the soldiers in the field. We like to look at the number of uniforms being produced and say "ah ha, the Confederate soldier was well clothed, just look at the numbers of clothing being made", etc. In Shreveport during the summer and fall of 1864, a Union spy made his way from New Orleans to Shreveport, over to east Texas and back to NOLA. He reported that there were warehouses full of clothes and blankets in Shreveport, but if you read primary accounts of the soldiers serving in that department they tell a different story. Then, while reading the OR's one day, I cam across a report from a Confederate Commissary officer, and he was making mention of all the food stuffs that were going rotten because there was no rolling stock to get the food out into the field to the men who needed it. How much more important is it to feed your army than to give them a new jacket? As the war progressed, the South was looking it's railroads (i.e. engines, cars and tracks) and wagons were becoming more and more scare, too. Yes, a clothing depot reports that they made 200,000 jackets, but have you researched beyond that to find out how these jackets were getting from the depot to the soldiers in the field? Or, do you just assume that because a depot made 200,000 jacket that it means 200,000 Confederate soldiers received a new jacket?

rake
08-31-2013, 01:56 AM
Good idea, but scale it down. In the same MC&H issue as Jensen's Survey, was an article on the 1st MD (Confederate). The author looked at issues made by the regiment compared to number present for duty. The ration seemed pretty constant between 60% and 70% of the men present drew an item when it was available for issue.

Thus, about two thirds of the regiment would be wearing the most recent issue jacket, a different two thirds, the most recent issue trousers, etc. The effect looks like a wide variety clothing, even when a substantial number of the men are drawing clothing. A fraction of the men might look "uniform" while most have one or more major parts of clothing that are non issue.

Marc29thGA
08-31-2013, 07:07 AM
The timing of the resurfacing of the post is very appropriate for me. I decided to return to school 18 months ago and just started an English Comp class. The topic of my paper is based around the image of the ragged rebel. The thread has offered me some more insight into potential sources. It has been fun the past week digging through my library and well as the college’s online library for information. I am intrigued with the information on Fred Adolphus’ website and just ordered his book Imported Confederate Uniforms of Peter Tait & Co., Limerick Ireland as another potential resource.

I decided that I needed to have a topic that would allow me to spend some time enjoying myself as school has taken me away from reenacting (and sewing) in order to keep family & work in balance. This paper looks to be a good break from essays and papers related to my degree program.

Thanks everyone for some inspiration.

bill carson
10-04-2013, 01:43 PM
I agree about referring to " Cadet Grey and Butternut Brown" - that entire book is essentially an attempt to answer this (your) question. I would just call it equal parts both from all that I have read. Be careful about assuming that the ANV was better or more frequently supplied - that would seem a logical conclusion, but I do not think it is true. North Carolina and the Columbus depot supplied troops all across the C.S.A. and there does not seem to have been any one consistent rule regarding supply during the war at all.