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An Album of U.S. Army Shoulder Straps by Dr. Howard G. Lanham

Miniature Shoulder Straps of the Civil War Period

Small Shoulder Strap

Unidentified Officer Wearing Small Shoulder Straps

It is not possible to state the exact dimensions of his shoulder straps, but they appear decreased relative to his body and compared to the relative size of straps in other period images. His collar is also rather unusual in appearance. The image came out of a album with some other images identified to members of the 9th Ohio Infantry Regiment.

Another one of the variations found among Civil War shoulder straps were those smaller than the regulation size of one and three-eights inches by four inches. Just why an officer would want shoulder straps made smaller than regulation size is uncertain. Uncertainly no officer of the period would admit than he was trying to make himself inconspicuous. These are not that rare as artifacts. The Schuyler, Hartley and Graham catalog specifically offered them for sale as "Miniature Shoulder Straps" as opposed to those offered as "Exact Size of U.S. Regulation."


staff major

Miniature Staff Major's Shoulder Strap

This strap border measures one inch by two and seven-eighths of an inch in size. The border is all dead bullion and the dark blue underlay is not turned under with a total dimension of one and three-quarters inches by three and one-half inches. The bottom is marked with a label reading "6 1/2" and "#5" in brown ink. The field is dark blue velvet. This style of strap is not uncommon and believed to have been stock discovered among the surplus holdings of the firm Stokes and Kirk of Philadelphia when it was liquidated.

inf capt

Miniature Infantry Captain's Shoulder Strap

This strap measures one and one-half inches by three and one-quarter inches in size. The border is all dead bullion and the field is light blue melton wool.

inf capt multiple border

Miniature Double Border Infantry Captain's Shoulder Strap

This strap measures one and one-quarter inches by three and one-quarter inches in size. The border is all dead bullion and the field is medium blue velvet. This illustrates that miniature straps were also executed with multiple borders.

cav 2nd lt.

Miniature Cavalry Second Lieutenant's Shoulder Strap

This strap measures one and one-eights inches by three inches in size. The border is all dead bullion and the bottom is unfinished (more typical of Civil War than postwar).




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