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"ACW uniformology" Topic

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17 Oct 2023 1:54 p.m. PST
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hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2023 7:04 a.m. PST

Hello everyone

For weeks I have been listing my 25mm figurines from MiniFigs which are the only figurines I have left for my personal use and also the only ones that I like.

As hundreds of them passed through my hands, I noticed that in the ACW range from MiniFigs, there were figurines which for the most part are in generic uniforms.

At the Battle of Gettysburg were there regiments with special uniforms?


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Oct 2023 7:16 a.m. PST

Well, the zouaves were there.

But by 1863 industry had really kicked in and uniforms on both sides were, for the most part, standardized. No Rush's Lancers or other fancy outfits…

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2023 7:26 a.m. PST

Agree with EC, by the time of Gettysburg. For the AoP, a few zouave regiments and of course there are the black-hatted Iron Brigade and the green-uniformed US Sharpshooters (or jacketed – some sources indicate standard-issue blue trousers); all the rest would be generic sack-jacketed or frock-coated troops. In the AoP there would have been a rather larger proportion of forage-cap wearers than was the case for Federal forces out west.

Even less variety for the ANV – the days of unique Confederate uniforms were over. Large majority of men in depot-issue shell jackets with some men (recently returned from leave?) in homespun frock- or sack-coats. Such distinctions as the Texas stars or Maryland Calvert crosses on the hats would be a matter of paint and not separate figures in 25mm.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2023 7:53 a.m. PST

Supposedly the Washington Artillery of New Orleans maintained red kepis.

Also some northern regiments were issued shell jackets rather than sack coats.


35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2023 11:38 a.m. PST

You would be safe with sacks for most Union. But I mix shells and frocks as well just for variety. Same with hat wear. In East a lot of forage and kepis, but I like to throw in some slouch hats. I actually have some original photos of eastern soldiers wearing slouch hats.

People have covered most of the specialty units

With Confederates you can mix uniform coats, hats and uniform colors, even in the same regiments. Makes them more fun to paint.

I did Western units where uniformity was even less.

Look on the web for don troiani prints of units at Gettysburg or other 63/64 prints. He is very accurate

donlowry17 Oct 2023 5:01 p.m. PST

The 14th Brooklyn still wore French chasseur uniforms, though leggings might have vanished by Gettysburg.

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2023 2:37 a.m. PST

Thank you everyone,

With the 25 mm minifigs, can we make federals with the Confederacy figurines and vice versa?

And the figures in overcoats? The indians ,the blacks ect…


I didn't know that the Confederates had "regular" troops like the U.S. Army?

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2023 3:47 a.m. PST

There were a very few "Confederate States" units but they had little importance, and at any rate this taxonomy by Minifigs is entirely useless. US Regulars in the field, for example, looked exactly like state troops. What is needed is primarily to know what coat and hat the figure is wearing. Do you (or anybody else) have photos or sample figs of these figures?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2023 8:17 a.m. PST

You can mix and match what you want, in my opinion. I would write to them to clarify what they mean by "regular" and "Irregular" infantry and cavalry.

The irregular cavalry might work for Indian troops. Osprey has some books on them if you want images.



The US Colored Troops would look like US infantry. Absent a USCT line, you would have to paint the figures as black instead of white.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2023 4:44 p.m. PST

They might have sculpted the union regulars in frock coats and hardee hats, which would have been the original regulation issued uniform. Frock coat would have had infantry blue piping.

You can find images on the web

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2023 5:06 p.m. PST

"can we make federals with the Confederacy figurines and vice versa?"

Generally speaking, yes. Depends on how fussy you get about years and theaters. When some Army of the Potomac units were sent west in late 1863, they commented that the "western" Union regiments could only be told from Confederates by the color of their coats. The western regiments sometimes referred to the eastern units as "paper collar troops" which one hopes was an exaggeration. And there are a few cases of Confederate troops in new uniform "Richmond Gray" uniforms being shot by their own side as Yankees because the uniforms were so dark.

Oh. Everyone knows but no one has posted here. The Union Iron Brigade would also have had the frock coats and Hardee hats of the pre-War regulations--probably not universally so by Gettysburg, but I bet they kept the hats in some form. You wouldn't want people not to know you were in the Iron Brigade.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2023 6:05 p.m. PST

Yes most but not all the soldiers in the Iron Brigade kept those Hardee's.

You can bet, this is pretty accurate

Subject: Don Troiani – Iron Brigade – July 1, 1863 – Signed & Numbered Print


hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2023 3:49 a.m. PST

Thank you all,

So at Gettysburg, Which unit (infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineers or other) wore a mix of kepis and hats and which unit only wore hats?

And which regiments of the two armies still wore more or less Zouave uniforms?

No black or indian soldiers in Gettysburgs yet even individually?

And in both camps what are the "Sharpshooter" units?

There were no infantry or cavalry units that fought completely in overcoat?

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2023 4:04 a.m. PST

At Gettysburg there were no black or Indian _combatant_ soldiers on either side (there were black teamsters, cooks, etc.). The battle was fought in the high July heat so I doubt anybody wore an overcoat!

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2023 3:44 p.m. PST

Paskal you were looking for an example of a Zouave regiment that still had Zouave uniforms at Gettysburg.

Here you go

114th Pennsylvania (Collis' Zouaves), being attacked by Barksdales Confederates

Subject: Barksdale's Charge – Don Troiani Limited Edition Civil War Proof Print | #1759622312


ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Oct 2023 5:47 p.m. PST

The troops of Weed's Brigade of the Union 5th Corps had been awarded specially made chasseur uniforms as a reward for their excellence in drill. Not Zouaves but the coats were mostly a lighter blue with colored trim. The 1st and 2nd US Sharpshooters (Berdan's) mostly had green coats and sometimes pants. Initially they had problems getting replacement clothing in green, but by 1863 a factory in Philadelphia was turning them out so they were pretty well supplied. There were other sharpshooters units (mostly company-sized attached to line regiments) on both sides, but they would not have had special uniforms. The US Regulars had turned in their fancy dress uniforms (frock coats, Hardee Hats, and brass shoulder scales) very early in the war and at Gettysburg they were wearing sack coats and forage caps.

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2023 7:01 p.m. PST

Right now there are a large number of small lots of 25mm Minifigs ACW figs for sale on eBay, so I've taken a look at the pics. I gotta say, Paskal, it's a real shame you're dead set on these figs – they are of very mixed accuracy. I get the charm of Minifigs – some of my all-time favorites are my 15mm Minifigs Napoleonics – but their 25mm ACW line seems to be short of choice for figures in the most common dress, particularly when it comes to the ANV.

"US Regulars" – are wearing caps and carrying knapsacks with rolled blankets/greatcoats atop, so you'd think they'd be OK for Union troops. But their coats seem to have no skirts at all – i.e. shell jackets. Although as Mr Garryowen mentions there were a few Union regiments that were issued shells, there weren't that many. Now shell jackets were by far the most common coat for the Confederates – but the boys in grey didn't favor caps and certainly seemed to lean towards the blanket roll and not the knapsack. Not to say there weren't some Rebs that wore caps (photos prove this) and some that carried knapsacks, but these would have been in the minority. An entire wargame unit of Confederates in caps and carrying knapsacks is going to stand out and not in a good way.

"Confederate Regulars" – As I noted before, this is a silly and unhelpful name. What the Minifigs figures of this name are actually wearing is hats, mostly with the brim turned
up on one side, sack coats (i.e. skirts down to the upper thigh) and knapsacks. These would actually be perfect for the majority of Union troops in the Western armies, but again as noted before caps were more common (though not universal) in the AoP.

"Union Irregulars" – I have no idea what these figures are supposed to represent. They're wearing caps, shell jackets, and either short boots (boo) or trousers tucked into socks (acceptable). So far, so good for cap-wearing Rebs although one would wish for more hats – but the sculptor entirely neglected to give the advancing pose cartridge boxes! Don't know what they're going to do about reloading. The firing pose has cartridge boxes, but appear to be armed with carbines rather than muskets.

"Negro Infantry" – OK, this is better. Cap-wearing troops in sack coats with cartridge boxes. As the sculptor made no real attempt to capture negro features – they have the same Minifigs faces as all their non-bearded men from Ancient Egypt to WW1 – these would be quite acceptable for the bulk of your Union troops.

Unfortunately there were no pictures of "Confederate Irregulars" on eBay, so I can't comment on that type.

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2023 2:40 a.m. PST


Ok thank you for your help!

We'll have to swap heads between the figures and add the equipment they are missing with "Green Stuff"to restore realism!

If I understood correctly, we avoid kepis and backpacks for the Confederates and we avoid hats and shell jackets for the federals.

Unfortunately there are no dismounted riders but I have some from the Wild West – Indian Wars – reference IW9 DISMOUNTED TROOPER KNEELING FIRING range (in fact they don't shoot and they also have hats!).

There is not even the 12 howitzer cannon, nicknamed the Emperor's Canon or Napoléon Canon in homage to Napoleon III, which was a French field cannon and howitzer used from 1853 by the French army but above all the most used cannon during the American Civil War, fate is coming down hard on me.


Ok thanks for your help!

So there was at least one, the 114th Pennsylvania (Collis 'Zouaves illustrated page 83 of "UNIFORMS AND WEAPONS: SOLDIERS OF THE UNITED STATES, VOLUME 1 (L&F. FUNCKEN)".) and no others?

And among the Confederates?


Ok thanks for your help!

So all the troops in Weed's Brigade of the Union 5th Corps had been issued French Chasseurs à pied uniforms?

What were the regiments of this brigade?

The "83 rd Pennsylvania Volunteers" or "The Erie Regiment" also had worn French Chasseurs à pied uniforms (page 77 of "UNIFORMS AND WEAPONS: SOLDIERS OF THE UNITED STATES, VOLUME 1 (L&F. FUNCKEN)".)…

For all:

So at Gettysburg, NO federal units (infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineers or others) wore a mix of kepis and hats and NO federal units only wore hats?

And for the uniforms of the cavalrymen and artillerymen of the two camps?

What rules to follow?

And it seems that historically all types of cannons had a standard carriage?

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2023 8:54 a.m. PST

Google this: zouave regiments at gettysburg

Then research the units and uniforms

Confederates wore kepis, they wore a mix of hates. Supply was worse for the Confederates so replacement was lacking. Uniform colors varied with them, even in the same regiments.

Look at that print I recommended and others on the web.

Union troops wore shells, frocks and sacks. Again it depended on supply and how quickly uniforms wore out. You can mix and most people won't care nor know about a specific regiment and what they wore at a specific time.

Cavalry normally fought dismounted, but not always

You can research almost any regiment on the web anymore.

Pick a brigade, division or Corp and research the regiments, if you like. But other than specific units like the Zouaves or Berdan sharpshooters, most units are generic.some of the confederate Wheat's Tigers may have still had their zouave uniforms or parts at Gettysburg, but they had been so shot up at the time they were combined into another regiment. I painted that regiment as mostly generic Confederates but with a stand or so, still in Zouave full or part just to add color and variance.

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2023 9:41 a.m. PST


I don't have a Facebook account and don't want one but there were ten Union Zouave regiments that participated in the Battle of Gettysburg …

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2023 10:56 a.m. PST

I don't have Facebook either. But it did say 10.

Bill N20 Oct 2023 3:32 p.m. PST

There is a surprising amount of ACW uniform information available on the internet for anyone willing to expend a minimum of effort. For example the 55th Virginia fought as part of Heth's division at Gettysburg on both July 1 and July 3. This site link provides a decent amount of information on the 55ths uniforms during the course of the war. Even though it may be from a reenactor site it includes sources.

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2023 1:22 a.m. PST


Yes, but you would have to find this information without being a Facebook subscriber.

@Bill N

Yes, but for information, nothing beats TMP where there are many great, trustworthy experts.

For example, according to information sent to me by a TMP member:

-There were no Confederates in Zouave uniforms at Gettysburg.

-The 74th New York had only one company wearing the Zouave uniform.

-The 73rd New York had a mix of Zouave and French Chasseur à pied uniforms and they were not separated into different companies and the different uniforms were therefore mixed.

-The 14th Brooklyn wore a French Chasseur à pied uniforms.


There were ten Union Zouave regiments that participated in the Battle of Gettysburg, anyone have their list?

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2023 7:34 a.m. PST

10th, 41st, 44th, 73rd, 146th New York
23rd, 72nd, 95th, 114th, 155th (the 155th did not become Zouave's until 1864) Pennsylvania

Only the 84th and 147th New York and 114th Pennsylvania appeared in full Zouave uniforms at Gettysburg.
The 95th just retained the Zouave jacket
Some of the others were a mix of Zouave and normal union infantry dress.

That is what article says

I don't have Facebook, but was somehow able to read it, but not easily.

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2023 2:06 a.m. PST

Bravo & thank you

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Oct 2023 5:57 a.m. PST

Oops! Correction to my prior post concerning Weed's Brigade at Gettysburg. It seems that the brigade (91st PA, 140th NY, 146th NY, and 155th PA) did not receive their fancy chasseur uniforms until January 1864. The 146th NY had some men from the old 5th NY Zouaves in their ranks at Gettysburg (because they foolishly signed 3 year papers -sound familiar?) who may have been wearing their zouave uniforms.

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2023 2:30 a.m. PST

Bravo and thanks for your correction,because that changes everything !

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