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General Orders Relating to the Uniform of the U. S. Army 1861-1865


A great many General Orders were issued relating to all kinds of matters. Reproduced below are some of those that related to uniforms.

1861



General Orders 102 November 25, 1861

III--In time of actual field service, officers of cavalry, artillery, and infantry are permitted to wear the
light blue overcoat prescribed for enlisted men of the mounted corps.
IV--The uniform of chaplains of the army will be a plain black frock coat with standing collar, and one row of nine black buttons; plain black pantaloons; black felt hat, or army forage cap, without ornament. On occasions of ceremony, a plain chapeau de bras may be worn.
BY COMMAND OF MAJOR GENERAL MCCLELLAN


General Orders 108 December 16, 1861

I--The Secretary of War directs that the following change be made in the
uniform trowsers of regimental officers and enlisted men. The cloth to be sky blue mixture. The welt of officers and the stripes for non-commissioned officers of infantry to be of dark blue.

1863




General Orders 124 May 15, 1863

The following uniform has been adopted for the Invalid Corps:
Jacket- Of sky-blue kersey, with dark blue trimming, cut like the jacket for the United States cavalry, to come well down on the loins and abdomen.
Trowsers- Present regulations.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR


General Orders 158 May 29, 1863

The following
uniform has been adopted for officers of the Invalid Corps:
Frock Coat- Of sky-blue cloth, with dark-blue velvet collar and cuffs- in all other respects, according to the present pattern of officers of Infantry.
Shoulder Straps- According to present regulations, but worked on dark-blue velvet
Pantaloons- Of sky-blue cloth, with double stripe of dark-blue cloth down the outer seam, each stripe one-half inch wide with space between of three-eighths of an inch.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR


General Orders 191 June 25, 1863

V., Veteran Volunteers enlisted under this order will be permitted at their option to enter old regiments in the field; but their service will continue for the full term of their own enlistment, notwithstanding the expiration of the term for which the regiment was originally enlisted. New organizations will be officered only by persons who have been in the service, and have shown themselves properly qualified for command. As a badge of honorable distinction,
"service chevrons" will be furnished by the War Department, to be worn by the Veteran Volunteers.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR

1864




General Orders 247 August 25, 1864

The Uniform for Chaplains in the Army, prescribed in General Orders No. 102, November 25, 1861, is hereby republished with modifications, as follows:
Plain black frock coat with standing collar, one row of nine black buttons on the breast, the "herring bone" of black braid around the buttons and button holes.
Plain black pantaloons
Black felt hat, or
forage cap with a gold embroidered wreath in front, on black velvet ground, encircling the letters U.S. in silver, old English characters.
On Occasions of ceremony, a plain chapeau de bras may be worn.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR


General Orders 286 November 22, 1864

Officers serving in the field are permitted to dispense with shoulder straps and the prescribed insignia of rank on their horse equipments. The
marks of rank prescribed to be worn on the shoulder-straps will be worn on the shoulder in place of the strap. Officers are also permitted to wear overcoats of the same color and shape as those of the enlisted men of their command. No ornaments will be required on the overcoat, hats or forage caps; nor will sashes or epaulets be required.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR


More: Example of Dark Blue Trousers issued after GO 108 (1861)changed them to Light Blue
Discussion of the effect of GO 286 on Uniforms
Discussion of the effect of GO 286 on Grade Insignia
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