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Union Army Uniforms and Insignia of the Civil War

Grade (Rank) Insignia

Captain's Epaulette

Infantry Captain's Epaulette
(Courtesy: John Rupp)

Epaulettes were worn on the frock coat on occasions of dress. There are two silver bars on the strap of the epaulette indicating the officer is a captain. Within the crescent of the epaulette is a domed type circlet in light blue for infantry. The embroidery of the circlet is in silver to contrast with the gold of the epaulette. The one within the circlet indicates a first regiment of infantry but could be of the Regular Army or of one of the states. Epaulettes were stored in a Japanned tin box. It is doubtful that many officers carried them in the field, but they were worn in dress occasions in garrison or camp and most officers appeared to have owned a pair. They were worn by the regular army up to 1872 when they were replaced by shoulder knots, except for general officers. Some militia units continued to use epaulettes after 1872. Therefore, it is possible to say that most epaulettes similar to the above are at least Civil War period even when their backgrounds are unknown.


MORE: Colonel's Epaulette
Lieutenant Colonel's Epaulette
Second Lieutenant's Epaulette
Infantry Epaulette Circlets
Officer wearing epaulettes
Epaulette Grade Insignia
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