The best dressed soldiers in history?

pikeshot1600

Ad Honoris
Jul 2009
10,008
My favourite uniforms are Austrohungarian and confederates...but also French are beautiful.

I like very much Confederate uniforms.. but the "popular uniforms in movies"... I know in real life, in History.. Confederate lacked of uniforms.... they wore lot of different uniforms: not only Grey (likely grey was not as widely used as in movies, I think)...but green, red, dark blue (as Union), brown, etc etc...

According with a Spanish newspaper EL pais... Confederate Soldiers were the most elegant soldiers in history...

I have some questions: is it truth Confederate States choose grey color as the official colour uniform for the regular army? (I guess in real life many confederate never wore grey colour). is it Truth the confederate uniforms were designed by a great german taylor named Nikola Marschall, the same man designed the Confederate official flag?

I didn´t know Confederate choose grey as the official colour and I didn´t know a German taylor designed the official confederate uniforms..... I always thought confedeartes used so many colours: Black, green, Dark Blue, brown, red, etc (and also civilian clothes as the Boers)...and I didn´t know it was a great taylor who designed the dress!!!
You can Google pictures of other Confederate uniforms beside the "official" Cadet Grey (like the color worn at West Point and Virginia Military Institute) of the CSA. Militia units initially reported in their various uniforms (blue, grey, etc.), and as in the USA, there were colorful Zouave units among the early confederate troops. Officers were expected to purchase their own uniforms, and those who could afford it had them tailored. It is likely that there was much variation in those unis, even to the shade(s) of grey and to the finishings and facings. I don't know about the German tailoring.

As you mention, civilian clothes became increasingly common as the war dragged on due to logistical inadequacy. Many CSA soldiers were described as wearing mismatched clothing that was died a "butternut brown" (something like a khaki, but not standardized). I think the Southern soldiers presented a pretty scruffy appearance overall, but service in the field also made Union soldiers less than spit-and-polish. The El Pais article seems to have a romantic sense of the Confederacy which must have been tempered by the mud and the cold and the hunger after about mid 1863.

As for the Union, the Army of the Potomac had a reputation for better dress and cleanliness in the East, but the regiments from the western states of the Union were noted for a more undisiplined appearance. They fought well, though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: martin76

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,817
Spain
You can Google pictures of other Confederate uniforms beside the "official" Cadet Grey (like the color worn at West Point and Virginia Military Institute) of the CSA. Militia units initially reported in their various uniforms (blue, grey, etc.), and as in the USA, there were colorful Zouave units among the early confederate troops. Officers were expected to purchase their own uniforms, and those who could afford it had them tailored. It is likely that there was much variation in those unis, even to the shade(s) of grey and to the finishings and facings. I don't know about the German tailoring.

As you mention, civilian clothes became increasingly common as the war dragged on due to logistical inadequacy. Many CSA soldiers were described as wearing mismatched clothing that was died a "butternut brown" (something like a khaki, but not standardized). I think the Southern soldiers presented a pretty scruffy appearance overall, but service in the field also made Union soldiers less than spit-and-polish. The El Pais article seems to have a romantic sense of the Confederacy which must have been tempered by the mud and the cold and the hunger after about mid 1863.

As for the Union, the Army of the Potomac had a reputation for better dress and cleanliness in the East, but the regiments from the western states of the Union were noted for a more undisiplined appearance. They fought well, though.

Thanks for you very interesting answer. I think you are right. Confederate officers wore tailored uniforms.. but not the privates! I agree with you about romantic point of views in El País... and yes I imagine Confederate forces as a mixed colours... maybe "ruling" grey or "Butternut brown".... but as a set... and I guess.... South deficiencies in Industry and suplies I guess from 1863 or 1864.... more than some of them wore "mismatched clothing"..... a mixed between civilian and military and "pretty scruffy appearance"...



I think those uniforms were more "theoretical than real".... and in real history... few of them.. (and not for much time) wore those uniforms...

This is a real photo of Confederate troops marching on Antietam Creek... we can see.. they didn´t use Kepis but hats...(and different kinds of hats but not kepis)... although I guess they wore grey uniforms.... it was 1862.. two years later.... I guess as you well said.. they wore "Brown colour" as best..

 
  • Like
Reactions: sailorsam

Zip

Jan 2018
646
Comancheria
Union troops from the Midwest (known then as the West) such as the fellas in the Army of the Cumberland and Army of the Tennessee were keen on hats. These fellas are Hoosiers.

5EAC5725-AD1C-490C-AE24-147E48920A5C.jpeg
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: sailorsam

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,528
Flashy flamboyant cavalry officers Banistre Tarleton, British from Revolutionary War, and Confederates John Singleton Mosby and James Ewell Brown Stuart.


Banastre Tarleton Alt (1).jpg220px-Col.Mosbyaa.jpg71nCQvNNfxLa (1).jpg
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,390
Sydney
most armies from the Napoleonic wars ,
getting dressed up to fight and die , looking good
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,872
Cornwall
It's quite interesting how the actual photos of real troops on campaign differ from the imaginary or parade-ground paintings of beautiful coloured uniforms
 
  • Like
Reactions: martin76