Re: I wonder why...
I agree with much of the speculation, thoughts, etc presented thus far. In regards to experimentation I can offer that when i worked as a Historical Educator at Fort Delaware over the course of about a year, I wore the same clothing 5 days a week. We carried out much of what an average Federal artillerist did in his daily routine - drilling on the guns, washing the guns, cleaning rifles, guard duty, hulling wood and coal and I got into some blacksmithing. So if I gathered all that time up, I'd maybe have solid few months. In that time my trousers faded were torn and stained, my 2 shirts were tattered and repaired, tin buttons rusted off (sweat and high humidity of being on an island), shoes wore holes due to the slate all around. And this is in a Fort! I can only imagine what a soldier would look and smell like in the feild, marching miles, no roof over their heads, going into battle, coming out. I'd easily cut the wear time in half for their clothing and gear. For the record, all my clothing was laundered at the Fort, with period methods. I never laundered my coat but did try washing out my trousers.
I was amazed at how bad my kit got after working at the Fort, even with attempts at upkeep. I've replaced most all of my clothing since (it's been a few years now)
Anyhow, just a few barks if they are worth much to the conversation at all. I don't like seeing a thread stray too much from the inital topic.
Phoenix Iron Pards (when we can get the gang together)