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"Confederate Cavalry" Topic

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1,090 hits since 9 Oct 2017
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mysteron Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2017 2:53 a.m. PST

Can anyone give me any pointers for painting Confederate Cavalry?

I am looking for help with Cavalry around the Antietam era of 1862 . I have picked some infantry units that fought at the sunken road and need some Confederate Cavalry to act as support . The more pictures I look at the more confused I get or am I looking into this too deeply?

The figures I have for paining are from the Sash And Saber range and wear the short jackets .

Thanks guys

Glengarry509 Oct 2017 3:50 a.m. PST

From my limited knowledge there were many variations and problems of supply for Confederates in general, particularly before 1864. They might wear various shades of grey, various shades of "butternut" (yellow-brown to tan to brown) and even captured Union uniforms in times of dire necessity! That said I understand the cavalry did take pride in their uniforms and were more likely to retain their facing colour, yellow in the case of cavalry, than the other branches.

RudyNelson09 Oct 2017 5:40 a.m. PST

The 1862 time frame is early and uniformity in uniforms would have been more common than later in the war. The early War cavalry also tended to have more higher status soldiers than later.
I was reading a summary of 31 Alabama Infantry Regiment records. One Lieutenant coming off injury leave elected to join a cavalry regiment as a private rather than return to the infantry as an officer.
At this time I would give mostly gray coats and forage caps to the troopers. Wide brim slouch hats for even officers would be sparse. More common in the Tenn. area.

RudyNelson09 Oct 2017 5:42 a.m. PST

This is just my opinion but butternut for cavalry early in the war may not be the standard. But it is your troops .

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2017 5:44 a.m. PST

Grey spray paint.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2017 6:53 a.m. PST

The Antietam campaign was probably the low point of the Confederate logistics chain, particularly for the infantry the "multiforms" described in Jackson's command were no joke!

That being said the cavalry as noted had a higher status and as well being mounted had better access to logistics (for example, purloined Yankee light blue trousers, although probably not as commonly as people thought)

From my read they were pretty proud of being cavalry as Rudy Nelson quite astutely notes and also as noted they loved their yellow trim. I would suggest as noted mostly short grey jackets, a fair number of forage caps, a lot of yellow trim

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2017 7:22 a.m. PST

Thanks guys

Yes Frederick that is the mental image I had in my head until I started looking at more and more pictures from the Web which kind of planted the seed of doubt lol.
I was thinking of doing all grey jackets , some with yellow trim . The officers jacket I was thinking of the blue grey colour ala Gettisburg film. The trousers as these tended to wear out quickly , a few light blue,the rest grey (perhaps a couple of different shades) and perhaps one pair of brown thrown into the mix .

donlowry09 Oct 2017 9:25 a.m. PST

As for the yellow trim: The 1st Va. Cav. and, I think, some others, originally used black trim. Whether they still did as late as Antietam, I don't know.

Ryan T09 Oct 2017 10:20 a.m. PST

The artist Alfred Waud was caught behind the Confederate lines and sketched the 1st Virginia Cavalry. The drawing, published shortly afterwards in the 27 September 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly, illustrated the black trimmed uniforms worn by the officers of the regiment. The article accompanying the sketch provides some additional uniform details.

"They seemed to be of considerable social standing, that is, most of them F.F.V's, (First Families of Virginia) so to speak, and not irreverently; for they were not only as a body handsome, athletic men, but generally polite and agreeable in manner. With the exception of the officers, there was little else but homespun among them, light drab-gray or butternut color, the drab predominating, although there were so many varieties of dress, half-citizen, half-military, that they could scarcely be said to have a uniform. Light jackets and trowsers with black facings and slouched hats, appeared to be (in those cases where the wearer could obtain it) the court costume of the regiment. Their horses were good; in many cases, they told me, they provided their own. Their arms were the United States cavalry saber, Sharps' carbine and pistols. Some few of them had old swords of the Revolution, curved, and in broad, heavy scabbards. Their carbines, they said, were mostly captured from our own cavalry, for whom they expressed utter contempt a feeling unfortunately, shared by our own army. Finally, they bragged of having their own horses, and, in many cases, of having drawn no pay from the Government, not needing the paltry remuneration of a private. The flag represented in the picture is the battle flag. White border, red ground, blue cross and white stars."


Bill N09 Oct 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

Did Confederate cavalry act to support the Confederates defending the sunken road?

Trajanus09 Oct 2017 4:11 p.m. PST

No, the action around the Sunken Road was an all Infantry affair with some Artillery support.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2017 5:56 p.m. PST

Thanks guys for the info. My reference to the Sunken Road is just to pin an era to the models I am collecting, My Naps for example are all of 1815 era but I still use them for club games of earlier battles than Waterloo. Sorry for any confusion over the historical conflict of the Sunken Road.

Trajanus09 Oct 2017 10:47 p.m. PST


You obviously have a thing about battles with Sunken Roads! :o)

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2017 12:01 p.m. PST

It is just hard to give any advice on this. I have spent years painting using a variety of appropriate uniform colors. After a while you will learn what color of uniform by the year, locale and campaign. What depot made them and when. You will get a feel for it. But a little variety is what you want.

The CSA during the Maryland Campaign had a very difficult time supplying basic uniform items like shoes. So a specific uniform for any one regiment wasn't much of a priority.

I use all the usual uniform sources. But an often overlook source are contemporary ACW artist, like Don Troiani, Mort Kunstler, Don Sitvers and Rick Reeves.


I have purchased a few prints from these artist, putting me on their mailing list. I get small mailers with pictures of their new prints and I have collected them and put them into a notebook to use as reference.

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