Saturday, June 1, 2013

1800's American Militia Uniforms

One of my interests is the American history of militias. The height of Militias was in the 1800's.  By the 1830's the idea of every man turning out for drill was pretty much a thing of the past. However, Volunteer militias started blossoming in cities throughout the country. They tended to be more social clubs of the merchant class and upper class. They chose their own uniforms and names. While most units were of company, battery or squadron strength, some units were regiment strength. These formed the basis of both the Union and Confederate armies at the start of the Civil War. Even after the Civil War  the Militia was an important part of the United States military and continued to wear uniforms of their choice until the early 1900's.  
Several years ago I came across some old cigarette cards featuring Militia uniforms of the late 1800's. Shown below are some of them. I think they would be ideal for painting Peter Laings for use with imaginations. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.        

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