Friday, October 22, 2010

Uncle Sam's Khaki Soldiers interesting article by D. L. Adams

My husband collects military vehicles and subscribes to Military Vehicles Magazine.  The last time I renewed his subscription, I did it online and signed up for their newsletter.  I've discovered that it often contains some really fascinating articles about different aspects of military history.

Today's issue had an in-depth article about the development of the khaki uniform, Uncle Sam’s khaki soldiers by D. L. Adams.

Harry Scofield, Battery E, 5th Artillery, is
wearing a woolen blouse with stand-and-fall
collar as specified in 1907 with “U.S.”
collar as specified for wearing during
1904-1910. John Adams-Graf Collection
During the Spanish-American War, several volunteer units were sent for tropical duty wearing lightweight cotton rather than the Army’s standard blue wool uniforms.  Following experiences in the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Army formally adopted khaki-colored uniforms.  It would only be a few years until it had all but abandoned the blue wool it had worn for more than a century.

As early as 1898, regulations specified a field service blouse for all commissioned officers and enlisted men to be made of “cotton drilling or khaki, light-brown in color…” This departure from the blue uniform, however, was only for the service uniform. While “on marches, fatigue duty, and ordinary wear,” troops were instructed to wear the blue wool surge, 5-button field blouse with rolled collar.-  Uncle Sam’s khaki soldiers by D. L. Adams.  
 Over the next nine years, the new khaki uniform underwent 10 specification changes including changes in the buttons.

The Army had worn bright brass or silver-colored buttons on its service uniforms from the beginning. This changed in 1902, however, with the adoption of a subdued, dull bronze button. The 1902 pattern General Service button featured the nation’s Great Seal with no rim around the circumference. It was produced in three sizes: Cuff, blouse and overcoat. The two smaller sizes were also produced in gilt for use on the dress uniform. The 1902 button would remain the standard pattern used on all of the Army’s dress and service uniforms until the adoption of a rimmed variant in 1912. Uncle Sam’s khaki soldiers by D. L. Adams.
The article is lavishly illustrated with images of different iterations of these uniforms.  I encourage you to check it out!

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Uniforms of the 19th Century: An Expert Guide to the American Civil War, the Boer War, the Wars of German and Italian ... Colonial Wars (Illustrated Encyclopaedia of)   Eyewitness Visual Dictionaries: Military Uniforms   Vanished Armies: A Record of Military Uniform Observed And Drawn in Various European Countries During the Years 1907 to 1914 (Shire General)
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Civil War Maps and Charts featured in Charting A More Perfect Union archive

For all of you map and chart fans, a dream come true has been provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the NOAA has launched an online archive of maps and charts entitled "Charting a More Perfect Union: 1861 - 1865".

Alexander Dallas Bache (1806 - 1867), American...Image via Wikipedia
Alexander Dallas Bache (1806 - 1867), American scientist,
U.S. Coast Guard official.
"In 1807, President Thomas Jefferson established the Survey of the Coast to produce the nautical charts necessary for maritime safety, defense, and the establishment of national boundaries. Within years, the United States Coast Survey was the government’s leading scientific agency, charting coastlines and determining land elevations for the nation. In 1861, the agency adjusted quickly to meet the needs of a country at war…" - NOAA  
 In 1861, U.S. Coast Survey supervisor Alexander Dallas Bache published Notes on the Coast of the United States. Thereafter, reports were published each year from 1861 to 1865.  Initially used by the Union army,  the maps, charts, and geographic information were the target of Southern sympathizers as well who sought to give their own army an edge in the military campaigns that raged during this period.

Stained Glass of a Confederate Soldier of the ...Image by mharrsch via Flickr
Stained Glass of a Confederate
Soldier of the American Civil War
at Bardstown Kentucky
This rich collection contains over 20,000 images from the late 1700s to present day.  I found a fascinating sketch   of the Country Occupied by the Federal and Confederate Armies on the 18th and 21st July 1861 marked with little crosses noting "Colonel Thomas Fell", "Mrs. Henry Fell" and "General Bee Fell."  I just put in the search criteria State: Virginia and Year: 1861.

Like the maps of the Lewis and Clark expedition, these priceless documents are another great legacy left to us by our third president, Thomas Jefferson.  If you want to explore some of the Lewis and Clark maps, check out Lewis and Clark: The Maps of Exploration 1507 - 1814, and excellent website compiled by the University of Virgina Library.

Great Maps of the Civil War: Pivotal Battles and Campaigns Featuring 32 Removable Maps (Museum in a Book)   Take Command 2nd Manassas   Revolutionary War Era Maps (2 CD Set)

American Maps and Map Makers of the Revolution (Revolutionary War Bicentennial)
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