More than inspired, wearing military clothing by civilians.


More than inspired, wearing military clothing by civilians.

For decades, collectors have been automatically attributing as Confederate, men in otherwise civilian clothing, with a solitary piece of military clothing. This was baseless, and only served to increase the resale value of what would have been an ordinary image.

What has not been posited, was that military clothing was avaible for wholesale and retail sale to the public. The wholesale availability, allowed people who had absolutely no involvement in the manufacturing process, to simply buy uniforms and equipment and flip them to the government at a profit, creating an unnecessary middleman. 

What we today accept as "contract pieces", proliferated among the working class civilian population, that there were attempts to legislate civil forfeiture of military clothing. This aspect is a detail that is not only apropos, but commonplace to a wartime urban working class impression.

Civilian men in military caps


Newport Mercury February 14, 1863


This article was published on Monday 31 January, 2022.
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