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  • Confederate Cavalry Jackets

    I'm hoping to get some info about what kind of jacket a Confederate Cavalryman would have worn. Specifically I'm wondering what version, if any of the Richmond depot jacket would have been worn?
    Thanks,
    Keegan Gregory Campbell
    Keegan Gregory Campbell

  • #2
    Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

    Richmond Depot jackets were issued by date, not by branch. Iíve attached a copy of the famous picture of Confederate cavalry prisoners at Aldie. It appears to be primarily a mix of RDIIs and civilian clothes. RDIIs are what you would expect to find in the ANV in mid í63 regardless of what branch it was.

    This page shows a RDI worn by a soldier in the 4th Va. Cav. The picture was taken February 22, 1862. Again, this is the version of Richmond Depot jacket that you would expect to find for the date.
    http://military-historians.org/compa...federate-2.htm

    Also check out Ken Knoppís photo gallery at http://confederatesaddles.com/cswp/.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	CS Cav Prisoners - Aldie - 6-17-63.jpg
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Size:	341.5 KB
ID:	225002
    Eric Paape
    Because the world needs
    one more aging reenactor

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

      This is really a tough question to answer without knowing what unit you are researching.
      Much also depends upon the time and place the unit is in.
      Tyler Underwood
      Moderator
      Pawleys Island #409 AFM
      Governor Guards, WIG

      Click here for the AC rules.

      The search function located in the upper right corner of the screen is your friend.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

        Keegan,
        Tyler and Eric asked a few good questions and thoughts for your question. When researching or coming up with a CS impression, it is important to think about a few things before you start. Do you want to do a generic CS cavalry impression or a specific unit and what time period and what theater. The difficult thing with CS cav is both the material culture and horse equipment evolved so much during the war that things changed from year to year. However, if you are looking to just do a general impression, which many would suggest, there are a few basic things that can carry you through a large portion of the war and be fine. If you have answers to some of those questions, we can give a little more advice. The link that Eric posted to Less Jenson work gives you the general impression which is always a good start.
        Rob Bruno
        1st MD Cav
        http://1stmarylandcavalry.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

          I am trying to do a mid to late war 9th Virginia Cavalry impression, if that helps.
          Keegan Gregory Campbell
          Keegan Gregory Campbell

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

            Maybe a Tait jacket or a RDIII?
            Philip D. Brening
            Austin's Battalion of sharpshooters Co.A

            "Somebody put water in my boots" Pvt. John D. Timmermanm
            3rd New York Cavalry

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            • #7
              Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

              Keegan,

              First off let me start by saying that I applaud your ambition towards the improvement of your impression. We need more dedicated young folks like you, who strive for authenticity.

              Secondly, please do not take offense to my reply, as it is not meant to be snarky in any way. My reply is simply intended to help you further your research abilities to the point that you will be sharing your findings with all of us and future generations of young living historians. As the old saying goes, “You give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. You teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

              Let’s learn how to fish shall we?

              So, you have established that you are looking for mid to late war uniform info for the 9th Virginia Calvary. After a quick Google search I was able to find that the 9th was in the Bristoe Campaign. I think that this would serve as a nice starting point since it was just a few months after the Gettysburg Campaign.

              Another search yielded the Confederate Order of Battle and we then find out that they were in Fitzhugh Lee’s Div. in William H. F. Lee’s Brigade along with the 10th and 13th Va.
              No I bet you are wondering what their Div., Bgd., or even the other regiments have to do with what uniforms they were wearing right? The answer is simple, it kinda gives you a more broad search to go off of in the event that you cannot find a direct answer to your question. Many times during research we find what we are looking for indirectly through the words of others who were with them.

              Now that you have your search area, think about the tools that you have to work with. In the modern era of the internet, much information can be found with a few key strokes in a matter of minutes with minimal effort. As shown above, it can turn up great starting points for your research.

              For more in depth internet research you have websites like the National Achieves and the Library of Congress. Sometimes when using these websites you might invest hours of research and not come across a single bit of useful information. (But if you look at is the “glass in half full” you may have learned a great deal about something else in the process.) Other times, you may turn up some potentially useful data only to discover that it is only available on microfilm or original manuscripts. More often than not this is going to come at price because you are now paying for someone else’s time. Of course you always have the option of making the trek to these locations yourself; which in turn will cost even more time and money on your part depending on how far you must travel.

              Other resources that are available are state archives, the Museum of the Confederacy, United States Army War College, or The South Carolina Relic Room to name a few. Some of these places can be quite accommodating for folks who want to do research.

              Lastly, one of my personal favorites, books. Yeah they might seem a little antiquated by some of the younger generations but authors go to great length to compile research for the reader. Take advantage of what they have done. I did a search on Amazon and they have copies of the 9th Va. Regimental History available for under $10. That’s a small price to pay for a wealth of knowledge and hours of entertainment. There were several other titles available that pertained to the 9th as well and would encourage checking them out.

              To recap on what I have said, start with your search on the 9th. If you still haven’t yielded the information you seek then expand to the brigade (Look for regimental histories of the others in the same brigade) then to the division. If that doesn’t work try looking at a time frame a little before or a little after. Try searching for letters and diaries, photographs. You would be amazed and what you will turn up.

              Remember that in many cases it will take a great deal of time to find what you are looking for. So don’t get frustrated and just keep plugging away. Research is a journey into the past, so sit back and enjoy the ride!

              And by the way check out this link. It has a digital copy of the regimental history! http://9thvirginia.com/
              Tyler Underwood
              Moderator
              Pawleys Island #409 AFM
              Governor Guards, WIG

              Click here for the AC rules.

              The search function located in the upper right corner of the screen is your friend.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

                And sometimes you just get lucky. Library of Congress identifies this as Private William Todd, 9th Virginia Cavalry, Company E. It estimates that the picture was taken in the period 1863-1865. While the cuff buttons would be unusual, it looks a lot like an RDII. In fact, he is dressed in a manner very similar to a lot of the prisoners in the Aldie picture; dark RDII jackets with light trousers.
                Click image for larger version

Name:	Pvt. William Todd, Co E, 9th VA Cav.jpg
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                Eric Paape
                Because the world needs
                one more aging reenactor

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                • #9
                  Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

                  Keegan,
                  You are off to a good start by identifying the unit. With our repeating Tyler's suggestion which are spot on, a few things about the 9th that will be easy to follow up on and continue your research. The 9th was part a brigade that saw a lot of action in the east and around Richmond. It spent most of the war in the eastern theater and only got to the Valley in 64 for the cavalry action during that summer and fall. Therefore, they were closer to the Richmond Depot and would probably drawn most of their supplies from Richmond. This is a generalization of course and does not replace the research that Tyler suggest above. But, if we go with that generalization, a plain RDII jacket and RD trousers would be a good solid start to uniform for a 9th VA trooper. The 9th would appear very much like the troopers in that photo posted in the thread. Brogans would be a better choice then boots, but certainly boots are shown in the picture as well. A RD II would work well and really suffice all the way to the end of the war. There are pictures of soldiers in RDII in the trenches at Petersburg. If money allows, a RDIII would be good for a little later in the war. If you want the RDII to cover more of a time frame, I would recommend one made with jean cloth, satinette, or other like material. If you are only looking at 64 and on, then blue-gray kersey or EAC would work.
                  Here is a link to an old reenactor group who I am not sure if they are still active on the west coast, but they have some good info on the 9th VA if the links still work.
                  http://www.9thvirginia.com/
                  Rob Bruno
                  1st MD Cav
                  http://1stmarylandcavalry.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

                    All,
                    Generally, I agree with the above comments, particularly with the those relating to the importance of doing research to match the jacket selection to the period, theater of war, Army. and, where possible, information specific to the unit being portrayed. My only comment on the RD 2 perspective is that after the middle of 1863 I believe that they were being made increasingly out of English Army cloth such that by the end of the first quarter of '64 most were from imported woolens rather than wool on cotton warp domestically produced material. Evidence provided by the Richmond Clothing Bureau "Shipping Book" in the National Archives indicates that by that point the quantity of domestic cloth vs. EAC being received at the RCB probably implies that most jackets being made were out of English cloth. Also the presence of non functional cuff buttons is seen on a number of original RD 2 and RD 3 jackets in various collections. Basically like soldiers who apparently substituted "military" (brass) buttons for the wooden ones often provided with Richmond jackets later in the war (Gibson brothers buttons see http://www.blueandgraymarching.com/a...-wooden-b.html ) they also added cuff buttons to dress up their issue jackets as well.

                    I am attaching a rather interesting photo provided to me by my old friend Ross Kimmel of members of the 1st MD Cavalry from late in the war. Ross included the following description:

                    " Here's Charles Kettlewell (standing on right) and friends in the 1st Md. Cav., CSA. The original image is a post-war cabinet photo, I think by the Bendan Brothers of Baltimore, one of Ross Kelbaugh's early interests (the Bendans weren't working during the CW), but no doubt (Ross has confirmed this) made from a wartime ambrotype taken at the Rees studio in Richmond. Are they cool or what?"

                    It is one of a number of photos taken of MD veterans taken in Richmond during the war and it copied afterward. The Ross Kelbaugh who is mentioned is a well known authority on CW photography. Notable are two RD 2 jackets one wool on cotton warp material and the other almost certainly of EAC. The relative condition of the two suggests that the one in domestic cloth was possibly worn in service for some time prior to the picture based upon its condition while the EAC example was quite new. Also note what possibly appears to be either one or two private purchase jackets (center and right of the front row). I say "possibly" because either one or both could also be tailor modified RD 2 (with the epaulets removed) or RD 3 jackets as well. The center example has trim added at the cuff which may simply have been applied and the one on the right has what appear to be functioning buttons at the cuff. The fact tha the one on the right front row has what appear to be Gibson wooden buttons tends to suggest that it at least was a tailor modified RD 2 or RD 3. If these were tailor modified RD 3 jackets the picture probably dates from the late 3rd or early 4th quarter of 1864. Otherwise if they are private purchase it could be at any point from mid 1863 to the end of 1864.

                    Dick Milstead
                    Hardaway's Alabama Battery
                    The Company of Military Historians
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by rmilstead; 02-13-2016, 12:58 PM.
                    Richard Milstead

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                    • #11
                      Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

                      Dick
                      I have my notes at home but I have to disagree with some of your assessment of the photograph. If my memory serves, the photo was taken some time before the summer of 63 cause one of the troopers in the picture is killed that summer. I was able to identify the people in the photograph and I believe Kittlewell is actually the one standing in the back left. I know Ross is a photo guru, but I think I disagree there. They always had the list of people in the photo but wasn't sure of the order. I actually was contacted by a descendent of one of the troopers in the photo and they had a family photo of the trooper that was post war. It helped narrow down who was who. I believe the trooper sitting in the front left is killed in 63. I believe the only Depot Jacket is Kettlewells which I believe is the one standing in the back left. My thoughts is all the rest of the uniforms are of private purchase. The other soldiers in this photo, the two Jenkins, etc, and the other name is slipping my mind cause I don't have my info at in front of me, were all from very well to do families. I do agree that the others jackets are made from an all wool material.
                      Rob Bruno
                      1st MD Cav
                      http://1stmarylandcavalry.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

                        Rob,
                        Relative to the actual identities of the people in the picture one of the reasons that I quoted Kimmel's note is that I really know little about the picture itself. I will be having lunch with Ross next week so I will relay what you say and see if he knows any different.

                        Relative to the dating of the picture, obviously if one of the individuals was killed during the Summer of '63 that says that the uniforms depicted date from before his death. I have found such coupling of a uniform or picture to the record of service of an individual associated with it can often turn up unexpected results in terms of history of the garment. Dating within the first half of '63, however doesn't necessarily negate my assessment of the provenance of the jackets being worn. First, as I said with the exception of the individual in the upper left, the other jackets could be RCB produced and perhaps modified by a tailor or seamstress or they could also be privately purchase tailor made garments. The fact that they appear to be wool is not a strong factor either way. The Crenshaw Mill was still operating in the first half of 1863 (until May) supplying woolen material to both the RCB and for sale to civilians in Richmond. Despite the popular conception that EAC was a late '63/'64 thing, it was being imported at least as as early as the second half of 1862 and being used in uniform production by the RCB at least that early as well. It is only that after the middle of 1863 that the amount being received by the Clothing Bureau in Richmond began increasing significantly and there are more references to jackets made from it.

                        Stylistically, as I said, the absence of visible epaulets on the two jackets(center and right of the first row) could suggest that they were simply removed or trimmed closely by a seamstress. The other modifications on these jackets such as the cuff trim or what appear to be the functioning cuff buttons could simply be other things done by the worker when the epaulets were removed. There appears to have been quite a "cottage industry" being run by local seamstresses and tailors doing such work for soldiers able to pay for that kind of work. You are certainly aware of the Tolson uniform at the MdHS which was "fixed" for the Lt. sometime at the end of '64 or beginning of '65 by one such worker. I am aware of at least two other RD2 jackets which had such modifications made most probably by professionals.

                        The fact that two of the jackets display very strong characteristics normally attributable to RCB output in the mid 1963 timeframe argues strongly for "Depot" provenance in my opinion. First the jacket on the right back row shows the presence of the same type of semi functional belt loops seen on the RD2 jackets, Usually when belt loops are present in Tailor made examples these are fully functional with buttons for closure. Obviously we cannot see the top end of the ones on that jacket but the placement on the jacket itself is what is typically seen on RD2s. On the jacket worn by the individual in the front row on the right, I think the presence of what look for all the world to be Gibson Brothers contract buttons is certainly bizarre for tailor made privately purchased example. Just the fact that the individual has yet to have substituted for them is somewhat strange if he also had had the jacket modified, but to assume that a tailor put those on a private purchase product is very difficult for me to believe.

                        I certainly could accept that as you suggest these are Tailor made, privately purchased jackets procured by these wealthy Marylanders but I am skeptical to say the least. Clearly without either the jackets themselves to inspect or letters of other documentation which relate to them (which we have in the Tolson case) either explanation is plausible I suppose.

                        Dick Milstead

                        Hardaway's Alabama Battery
                        The Company of Military Historians
                        Richard Milstead

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

                          Greetings, all,

                          I'm new to this forum and am a college teacher, not a reenactor, but am finding the discussions fascinating! I came across this particular thread online while searching for information on the First Maryland Cavalry, in which one of my Great Grandfathers served. Another was in the Second Virginia Cavalry. The group photo posted earlier in this thread with Charles Kettlewell attracted my attention, because one of the men in that photo is my ancestor, Private Daniel Grant Emory from Baltimore. Comparing a post-war photo of him owned by one of my cousins, Emory is the guy in tall boots with a full beard and high forehead and receding hairline seated on the left as one is looking at the photo. Emory died in 1885. Judging from an 1890s photo of Charles Kettlewell published in the Confederate Veteran magazine (I don't have the exact date in front of me) I'd say that Kettlewell is the man standing in the right rear as one is looking at the photo. The original photo (or perhaps there's more than one extant copy?), is in the Special Collections of the Maryland State Archives. You can find the accession number and information on their website as part of a donation by the UDC. It's labeled Mess # 6, Company C, First Maryland Cavalry. The men are named, but their order is not given. The accession information says the man seated on the front right as you face the photo, is Lafayette Hause, who was killed in 1863--the only one of the six to die in the war.

                          None of this advances this thread's discussion of Confederate cavalry jackets per se, but I thought folks who are on this forum might find the information of interest.

                          Please reply if you have further information or thoughts on any of this.

                          Thanks,

                          Robert Keeler
                          Robert Keeler

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                          • #14
                            Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

                            Robert, your information is fascinating. Had you never seen this photo prior to this posting?
                            Ken Cornett
                            MESS NO.1
                            Founding Member
                            OHIO
                            Mason Lodge #678, PM
                            Need Rules?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Confederate Cavalry Jackets

                              Further thoughts on Robert Keeler's post.
                              In an earlier post I indicated that I would speak with Ross Kimmel on the photo in question since he had originally provided it to me. As Mr Keeler states, Ross also told me that the original of the picture resides in the Maryland State Archives having been donated by Kettlewell's family. Based upon the family's input, Ross said that the Archives staff believes that Kettlewell is the individual on the right of the second row as Mr Keeler also suggests not the left of the second row as Rob Bruno states. Rob's confusion may be because of the labeling of the picture in the Robert J. Driver Jr. book "First and Second Maryland Cavalry, CSA" seems to indicate that Kettlewell is the one on the left. The family notes also indicate that the individual in the center of the front row is George Jenkins. Given that Mr. Keeler identifies his relative, Daniel G. Emory, as the one on the left of the front row and Lafayette Hause as the one on the right front, that leaves the two on the left and center of the second row. These then would be the Neale brothers. I would speculate that Wilfred is on the left and Clarence is in the center. My speculation is because Clarence was a Sargent in the Regiment. The figure in the center is clearly wearing a double breasted frock and holding a kepi with braid decoration. Typically these would be thought to be indicative of an officer but since there is no indication of rank insignia, the individual's exact rank is indeterminate in this picture but I think that in this time frame, it is unlikely he is a Private given that uniform, even a rich one.

                              Of more importance to dating this picture, however, is the fact that based upon the CSR's, George Jenkins enlisted in the 1st MD Cavalry on May 1, 1863 and Hause, as previously noted, died on July 9, 1863. Therefore, this picture was likely taken in Richmond between early May and late June 1863. I believe that this is still consistent with both Wilfred Neale and Charles Kettlewell being clothed in RD 2 jackets. Based upon this dating, the jackets being worn by Jenkins and Hause could not be RD 3 versions but still (especially the Hause jacket) could be RD 2 coats that were modified to remove the epaulettes. It is equally, likely, in my opinion, that they are private purchase jackets at this time. The presence of certainly look like Gibson buttons on the Hause jacket would be a mystery if it was not Government issue, however.

                              A very interesting mid war picture, obviously, at a number of levels.

                              Dick Milstead
                              Hardaway's Alabama Battery
                              The Company of Military Historians
                              Richard Milstead

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