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  • #46
    Re: Chevrons: Elliptical or Straight?

    The often seen image Greg posted also demonstrates another variation, and that is the open versus closed profile chevrons. Wartime images indicate the presence of the latter probably wasn't widespread, and it is very rare to see reproductions reflecting this interesting little detail.
    [B]Charles Heath[/B]
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    • #47
      Re: Chevrons: Elliptical or Straight?

      Michael,
      I know you've quote Daniel Chisholm before, but if you check his book he has a quote in there about being ordered to cut up blankets to make chevrons. I don't have my copy handy, but it's a rather interesting quote.
      [COLOR="DarkRed"] [B][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua]Christopher J. Daley[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

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      • #48
        Re: Chevrons: Elliptical or Straight?

        Indeed, Chris:

        “Saturday, Jany 14th [1865] We have special orders for every non commissioned officer to have chevrons on their arms and stripes on their pants. The quarter master hasn’t any, we have to take old blouses and make them ourselves. It is laughable to see all the boys at work with their needles. You may depend some of the stitches are long.”

        Kevin:

        I thought about that -- maybe he meant frock rather than sack, too -- but in the context of his other journal entries I concluded that he simply hadn't bothered. A extenuating circumstance in his case is that he spent a few of those six months in a parole camp.

        None of our information really allows us to make hard conclusions -- photos are special events (in the examples posted, don't some of those chevrons look pinned or loosely tacked on?), and journal entries provide an unscientific sample based on what a particular soldier found worth mentioning on a given day.

        But I thought Geer's comment was interesting in light of photos of 1st sgts and junior officers with no or subdued insignia.

        And in terms of what re-enactors do, I suspect there's little danger that we'll see a wholesale move away from chevrons.
        Michael A. Schaffner

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        • #49
          Re: Chevrons: Elliptical or Straight?

          Originally posted by John Legg View Post
          Here are some photos i found on google.

          Here is Andrew Jackson Smith. He recieved the Medal of Honor. His chevrons look like they are straight.

          [ATTACH]4843[/ATTACH]


          And here is a very interesting original pair of Corporal Chevrons...

          [ATTACH]4844[/ATTACH]
          Those "Corporal" chevrons look more like Military Academy Sergeants chevrons. (Yes many academies use 2 stripes for Sergeants and one for Corporals.) Also note that the stripes are connected on the ends, which is a characteristic of cadet chevrons. The extreme elongation also shows them to be cadet chevrons. Also, they would be worn points up, not down. The cadets at West Point have been wearing chevrons like this for well over 150 years.
          Lee Ragan
          Lee Ragan

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          • #50
            Re: Chevrons: Elliptical or Straight?

            Having been a collector of military chevrons for over 30 years, I have done quite a bit of reading on the subject. (I'm no expert by the way.... just interested.) According to the book "Chevrons", by LTC William K., Emerson,( AUS Retired). By the time of the war, chevrons were both issued as tape and applied directly to the sleeve and in the North in particular, being "ready made" by sewing the tape to a background piece of cloth then sewing the whole thing to the sleeve. They were made by the government and by private contractors. Both the straight bar chevrons and the elongated type were produced both as "ready-made" stripes and as individual stripes sewn directly to the coat sleeve. This was usually a matter of personal taste of the man wearing the chevrons. Or perhaps wharever was available.
            When the "Johnson", pattern chevrons were introduced in 1872, they were made with straight stripes. However, photos from the 1870's and later, show that sometimes those chevrons were sewn on in such a manner as to give them the appearance of elongated chevrons. Again, as a personal preference to the wearer.
            Just another case of a G.I. wanting to have a little something "different", about his uniform.
            Lee Ragan

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            • #51
              Re: Chevrons: Elliptical or Straight?

              To all:

              I am a 1998 graduate of The Citadel. The grey chevrons you have above look exactly like upside-down cadet corporal chevrons from the 1870-1900 period of the Citadel or possibly the same period for another military school (VMI, West Point, etc.). They might be postwar. But I had a pair when I was a cadet corporal at Citadel on the forearm of my dress blouse that pointed upward. Those look suspiciously like they are postwar, though. I can tell they are old though.

              The modern picture of Citadel cadets is a picture of current school president Gen. Rosa. The one on the far left is a cadet sergeant (two stripes facing upward on the upper arm) and not a corporal. I was a cadet sergeant as well.

              Not saying that they might be period militia, but I think they look just the like chevrons I once wore on my uniform. Same texture of material and color that go on the dress blouse (no tails, but a high collar), not the full dress blouse (the one with tails to it).

              I'd post a picture, but I don't know how.

              Check this link for more of what I speak. There is a historical section to it with pics if you can find it.

              www.citadel.edu

              Thanks- Johnny Lloyd
              Johnny Lloyd
              John "Johnny" Lloyd
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              • #52
                Re: Chevrons: Elliptical or Straight?

                Some units had huge problems getting their NCO's to wear chevrons at all. Inspection reports filed by Brigade OD's (available at the National Archives) commonly refer to regiments in which "almost none" of the sergeants have chevrons on their uniforms. This problem seemed to be worse at the end of summer campaigns, and was rectified during the chicken-sh*t period known as winter quarters. At least we know that orders were issued to get the men to sew on chevrons...hard to tell if the guys actually did it.

                John Tobey

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                • #53
                  Re: NCO chevrons

                  I agree, in combat non descript is the way to go. The people in your unit should know you're an NCO, why make your self a target.
                  Originally posted by Amtmann View Post
                  Why not just leave them off?
                  [B]Derrick Pugh

                  Western Independent Grays
                  S.C.A.R.[/B]


                  "Yaller-hammer, Alabama, flicker, flicker, flicker,"
                  I felt sorry for the yellow-hammer Alabamians,
                  they looked so hacked, and answered back
                  never a word." ~Sam Watkins

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                  • #54
                    Re: NCO chevrons

                    Just as an aside, the 3rd US Infantry's unit history says the regulations didn't state that NCO fatigue blouses were to have chevrons. In November '62 the NCOs burned the frocks they'd been wearing since the Peninsula and went to fatigue blouses without insignia, but this caused confusion among the volunteers and some younger Regular officers, so they put them on for the '63 Spring campaign season. There's no mention of the blue stripes on the trousers.
                    Yr Most Ob't Serv't,

                    Guy 'Frenchie' LaFrance

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