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Union Army Uniforms and Insignia of the Civil War

Enlisted Sack Coat

Soldier in Sack Coat

Unknown Private in a Sack Coat

Perhaps the soldier's favorite coat was the comfortable sack coat. It was often called a four-button blouse, but was referred to in the regulations as a fatigue coat. This coat was made of dark blue flannel in four sizes. It had four general service buttons in the front and no cuff buttons. In theory a soldier was to be issued two of these a year at a cost of $2.10 each to the government. The frock coat was thought to have a more military appearance than the sack coat and soldiers seemed to be photographed in the frock or uniform coat more often, particularly early in the war. However, photographs from the field show the sack coat was in common use. In the above photograph the soldier is wearing a fancy collar to dress up his plain uniform. The Army continued to issue surplus sack coats for years after the Civil War.


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