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"PA reserve Regiments Early War" Topic

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893 hits since 30 Oct 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

marshalGreg31 Oct 2017 8:27 a.m. PST

My next project will be the 3rd Division of Union V Corps with the PA res regiments ( 3 brigades)
MY search is not making a clear image for the units in 1862.
I see some companies in Hardee hats


And this is supported to some degree in Troiani's new book.
I concern that this one of the units of the 1st DIV that received the French uniforms!
I also see photos ( during searches) of such troops with the Blue pants and sometimes with a strip ( red? and not desegregating a sergeant)

So how have some you, who have done these units:
1) painted them up or recommend,
2) used what figure types or recommend ( Iron brigade or standard Union troops or mix? or?),
3) And Why to that scheme or that specific recommendation?

thanks for your replies/recommendations!


Esquire Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2017 4:09 a.m. PST

I have stayed with the mid to late war look. The early war uniforms lasted for just such a brief period -- but it would be great to have them in the collection anyway! As I understand, that photo shows the standard infantry uniform that was provided to some regts and included the blue pants, gaiters, and the Hardee hat. But it did not last long, except with the Iron Brigade which had lighter blue pants and usually the feather decoration. Good luck.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Nov 2017 6:06 a.m. PST

That's a really great photo. Notice the band in the rear. Gaiters were not part of the regular uniform, but many volunteer units wore them early in the war. Hadn't heard that the PA Reserves did.

Ryan T02 Nov 2017 2:13 p.m. PST

Frederick Todd, American Military Equipage, 1851-1872, Vol. II, State Forces, (1983) makes four mentions of the Pennsylvania Reserve uniforms.

1st PR (32st Vol) "white duck pants and flannel shirts…fancy gray Jacket, sent from home, while Caps and Overcoats were issued by the government."

2nd PR (31st Vols) "light blue pants, neat dark blue blouses and fatigue caps."

13th PR (42nd Vols) "Wore tail of deer attached to cap or hat."

15th PR (1st Vol Cavalry) "US reg cav dress with dress hats, etc. including dark blue pants in 1861."

marshalGreg03 Nov 2017 7:23 a.m. PST

Thanks Ryan T
I can see now why Esquire went with mid year ( simplify…simplify)
Navigating in muddy water….


Clays Russians12 Nov 2017 7:36 a.m. PST

Four buttons, forage caps, lite blue trousers, blanket rolls, by summer of 62. Can't really go wrong there

Ryan T12 Nov 2017 1:08 p.m. PST

In mid-1862 you can still give a portion of your troops dark blue trousers as detailed in this link:


Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 3:37 p.m. PST

I understand that several units had dark blue paints at the beginning of the war. The Vermont regiments were supposed to have had an all dark blue uniform. The PA troops in the photo certainly do.

67thtigers14 Nov 2017 3:26 a.m. PST

FWIW, the Pennsylvania Reserves were never part of Fifth Provisional Army Corps. When the Corps were formed they were placed in First Army Corps.

Following the Seward mission in May '62, the cabinet recommended to Lincoln that he immediately send First Army Corps and Shields' Division of Fifth Army Corps (not to be confused with Fifth Provisional) by water to McClellan:

"Providence Forge, May 14, 1862


We [Seward, Chase and Tucker] think that you should order whole or major part of General McDowell's, with Shields, up the York River as soon as possible, and order Whyman's flotilla up the James River. General McClellan moves to White House tomorrow morning.


Lincoln only allowed McCall's Pennsylvania Reserves to go by water, and they arrived as orphans. They still remained a 1st Corps formation though, and they assumed 1st Corps place in the line.

McClellan had designated 1st and 5th Corps to the left bank of the Chickahominy, with McDowell in overall command. With the other three divisions diverted and McDowell not present, Porter was senior officer and commanded both 5th Corps and the part of 1st Corps present, but that part of 1st Corps was certainly not incorporated into 5th Corps.

The 5th Corps got a 3rd division in September '62, when 8 new regiments were formed into a division under Humphreys, and they just missed Antietam.

historygamer19 Nov 2017 4:30 p.m. PST

Interesting to note that while the men up front are wearing fancy uniforms, all the men in the back staring at them are not.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 10:21 a.m. PST

It is clearly a 'company portrait' with the captain out in front and everyone wearing full dress uniforms. This sort of things was done a lot. My reenactment group's namesake, the 61st New York, did a series of company photographs just before the Wilderness Campaign in 1864 and every man is wearing a frock coat.

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