Living History Association

35th Alabama Infantry & 73rd Indiana Infantry Regiment

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35th Alabama Infantry Regiment
&
73rd Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry

Commissioned Officer Add-Ons

The subject of Commissioned Officers is harder to discuss than those of the enlisted personnel. Officers were to purchase their own uniforms, and it wasn’t until roughly 1863 that officers could purchase from the Depots. Uniforms were usually made by tailors, which allowed more flexibility in style. Pockets could be added to coats, the tail of the frocks could be longer or shorter, even the collar could be notched rather than standing. Most comes to personal preference of the officers at the time, at least, as far as their pay could take them. Lieutenants received less pay than Captains, and so their uniforms might not be as good quality as a Captain. Colonels received far better pay than Captains, and their uniforms may reflect this. Then you have to consider the pre-war occupation of these men, and what their finances may allow them through-out the war. Suffice to say the uniforms were usually of better quality than the enlisted, but even this is not absolute. The following add-ons are listed to serve only as a guideline, mostly taken from regulations of their respective armies. It must also be understood that there are vast differences between Junior Officers (Lieutenants and Captains), Senior Officers (Major to Colonel), and General Officers (Brigadier General to Lieutenant General/General). For the purpose of this guideline, the General Officers will be excluded.

Uniforms are to be made of appropriate broadcloth wool but may be substituted for Kersey wool. Confederate uniforms may also have wool/cotton or wool/linen material in either jean, plain, satinette, or cassimere. Union coats are to be dark blue in color, while Confederate coats can be of various shades of grey.

All Commissioned Officers are to purchase additional uniforms, accoutrements, and weapons for their impressions, and sew on their appropriate rank insignia when necessary. Shoulder Boards and Stripes are available for Union impressions at nearly every sutler. Confederate rank insignia will be harder to find, as the type sold by most sutlers are not accurate.

For all Union Officers of the Regiment and its Companies;
  • Civilian Trousers in sky blue color with a dark blue welt along the seams

For Union Junior Officers;
  • Dark Blue Single Breasted Frock-coat with no facings or piping with appropriate rank shoulder boards or shoulder straps
  • Dark Blue Single Breasted Junior Officer's Style Sack-coat with appropriate rank shoulder boards or shoulder straps

For Union Senior Officers (add on from previous);
  • Dark Blue Double Breasted Frock-coat with no facings or piping with appropriate rank shoulder boards or shoulder straps
  • Dark Blue Double Breasted Senior Officer's Style Sack-coat with appropriate rank Shoulder Boards or Shoulder Straps

For all Confederate Officers of the Regiment and its Companies;
  • Civilian Trousers with or without a leg stripe of sky blue color along the seam at 1 1/4 inch width

For Confederate Junior Officers;
  • Double Breasted (or Single Breasted) Frock-coat with or without sky blue facings and pipings on collar and cuffs, with optional appropriate Austrian Knot braid on sleeves and appropriate rank bars on collar.

For Confederate Senior Officers (add on from previous);

  • Double Breasted (or Single Breasted) Frock-coat with or without sky blue facings and pipings on collar and cuffs, with optional appropriate Austrian Knot braid on sleeves and appropriate rank stars on collar.

The Accoutrements of an Officer will include certain accoutrements from the enlisted personnel, such as canteens, knapsacks, and haversacks. In addition, an officer is to purchase;
  • Leather Officer's Haversack
  • Crimson silk Sash
  • M1851 U.S. Saber Belt
  • Saber Belt for Confederate Impression
  • Military Style Pistol Holster (appropriate to pistol carried)
  • Pistol Cartridge Box

The Weapons of an Officer will be the appropriate sword and a pistol. The M1850 U.S. Foot Officer’s Sword is appropriate for Junior Officers, while the M1850 U.S. Field & Staff Officer’s Sword is appropriate for Senior Officers. Various other sword options exist for Confederate, including those made for the armies of the British, French, Prussian, and other European nations. Pistols may be the Colt Revolver (1851, 1860, and 1861 Navy or Army), the Remington Revolver, or various other styles such as the LeMat, the Starr, the Adams, etc.

Additional items to include in the Officer’s Haversack are;
  • Telescope (or binoculars)
  • Journal
  • Pen with Ink well
  • Pencils
  • Loose Paper
  • Appropriate Manual for the Event (Hardee's, Casey's, Scott's, Baxter's, Gilham's, etc.)
  • Bible (if desired)
  • Twine (cut to 30 yards with knots made at 15 yards and 20 yards)
  • Commission Papers
  • Maps of Battlefield
  • Etc. (whatever an officer may feel is necessary for any event)