Shoulder straps
Shoulder straps of 1872

The above illustration is a plate removed from the Encyclopedia Britanica. It illustrates shoulder straps adopted in 1872 and worn until the adoption of white as the infantry branch color in 1886. The insignia of the general in chief was first worn by William T. Sherman and was carried in the regulations until after the First World War when it was dropped. It reflected a desire not to continue the grades of Lieutenant General and General, originally conferred and Sherman and Grant, as permanent grades of the U.S. Army. Notice that the bars of lieutenants and captains are silver in color. The plate does not make the dark blue of general officers or staff officers and the light blue of infantry distinct, but seems to use a medium blue. The yellow of the cavalry strap is more orange than it actually is.

MORE: Examples of Post-Civil War Shoulder Straps
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