Civil War Icons
I had been thinking about some items, places, and concepts and I began making a list of unique concepts that seemed to be recognizable by Civil War students or buffs. I am sure that these are not all and some may even be a stretch, but, when one of these is mentioned it is almost always recognized and the story understood. I hope you agree and if you are aware of others I would like to add them to my list.
a. Tin Cup; Held by Gen A. S. Johnston while directing troops at Shiloh prior to his wounding.
b. Red Wool Shirt; AP Hill’s battle shirt
c. Cloak and new plumed hat, haversack and cape; JEB Stuart’s possessions were captured at Verdiersville 17 Mar 63 when he left them on the porch of the Rhodes House where he had been sleeping. Stuart had to leave in a hurry to avoid capture.
d. Bandana head cover; worn by Stuart until he could get a hat
e. Personal baggage and papers, money box containing $500m in currency and $20m in gold, fancy hat and dress uniform; John Pope’s trains were captured by JEB Stuart at Catlet’s Station 22 Mar 63
f. Umbrella and Beaver hat; Extra Billy WS Smith
g. Milk White Horse: Gen Joe Hooker at Chancellorsville
h. Plug hat: Gen Sherman’s regular hat
i. Porkpie hat: Gen Sheridan’s usual hat
j. Forage cap: Stonewall Jackson’s favored hat
k. One pound sack coffee; Fitz Lee’s prize from Gen Averell at Kelly’s Ford
l. Sword rusted in scabbard: Jackson’s at Cedar Mountain
m. Lunch basket: brought by Union Generals Crawford, Hartsuff and Bayard and shared with Confederate classmate JEB Stuart during a burial truce after Cedar Mountain
n. New Plumed hat and copy of NY Herald: Bet won by Stuart with Gen. Hartsuff that the paper would credit the south with a victory even though it was clearly a northern victory.
o. Two discarded wooden Union hardtack boxes: Used by Lee and Jackson to plan flanking movement for Chancellorsville
p. Three cigars: lost at Fredericksburg and found wrapped in Lee’s lost order No. 191 on Best Farm by soldiers of the 27th Indiana
q. Carpet slippers: Worn by Longstreet as he directed his corps at Antietam. He rodes side saddle with his feet in the slippers to protect a boot-chaffed heal
r. Catch of Shad: meeting of Generals Fitz Lee, Geo Pickett and Thom Rosser who missed out on the Battle of Five Forks while enjoying a lunch of planked fish on 1 Apr 1865. Rosser bought a large catch of shad and invited the others.
s. Kepi: A French style cap favored by Gens. Geo McClellan, B. Bragg, Ben Butler and many others as it was the issue head gear of the Union Army
t. Perfumed hair: Gen. Pickett perfumed his long ringlets to favor the ladies.
u. Bugle call: Butterfield and his bugler created the call “Taps”.
v. Black Velvet fatigue Blouse: Custer’s iconic uniform with golden braids on the sleeves. Also he wore velvet trousers tucked in his boots. He wore a blue navy-issue shirt with stars embroidered on the collar.
w. Enlisted sack coat with shoulder boards: Grant’s field uniform devoid of all markings except the shoulder boards
x. Hemp bales; First Battle of Lexington Missouri, 18-20 September 1861 used by attackers for cover.
y. Green uniform coats: US sharpshooter uniforms of Hiram Berdan’s 1st US Sharpshooters
z. Catholic cleric in religious vestments: Father William Corby, CSC, saying Mass for Irish Brigade
aa. White crossed-belts: worn by US Marines. Army gave up white belts due to health concerns related to whiting with lead pigment.
bb. Song “Home Sweet Home”; played by band of both sides before the battle of Stones River.
cc. Fire Engine House: Final retreat of John Brown’s “army” at Harper’s Ferry
dd. John Brown Pikes: 954 long handled steel headed pikes were made by Charles Clair of Collinsville & Co and sold for $1 each for Brown and delivered to him in Chambersburg, PA which he forwarded to the Kennedy Farm.
ee. Red baggy pants, shell jacket, and fez: Especially designed uniforms worn by zouave units in armies of both sides. Patterned after Moroccan infantry under French colonial rule.