Re: NCO diminished Rank
Nice picture. You'll note, however, that the NCO's appear to have trouser stripes, regardless of the type insignia being worn.......
Keep in mind, also, that although photographic evidence exists showing these "reduced" ranks, such as the diamond, vice the entire 1st Sgt's insignia, there may be other reasons for it's use than simply reducing the ability of the enemy to identify NCO's.
Being advanced to a new spot while on campaign is one reason, where the availability of new rank is not always easy. There exists, and some examples were posted on this forum in the past, orders requiring NCO's to make proper chevrons from old trouser or overcoat material if they could not be obtained through normal channels, and this was also in 1864. Trouser stripes could be made from old coats, etc.
Again, I would place this sort of thing into the date/unit specific portrayal. Yeah, it's neat, and something that WAS done, but was also outside the norm. How relative it is to the impression required at a specific event can only be confirmed through research on the units to be portrayed.
Polar Star Lodge #114