As we prepare for the July 4th holiday and enjoy the fireworks celebrating American independence from Great Britain, it is hard to realize that our country faced a rather treacherous beginning. I thought about that when reading a series of militia brigade orders from the 1790s.
Even if you are not a fashion historian, you have likely seen images of the clothing people wore in the past. Whether you saw them online, or in your own family photos, the outer garments of individuals are fairly visible. But what about what lies underneath? What does that look like???
Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? Continue reading
We recently acquired the Connecticut Adjutant General’s records of clothing provided to soldiers serving in the Connecticut Volunteers during the Civil War. The Regiments are 1st Cavalry, 1st Heavy Artillery, 2nd Heavy Artillery, 7th Infantry, 8th Infantry, 10th Infantry, 11th Infantry, 15th Infantry and the 16th Infantry. Not all companies in each regiment are covered in these volumes. The records include the name of each soldier; the cost of and the date the clothing was issued; his signature or mark; notes about discharge, desertion, being taken prisoner and being mustered out; and any amount due the government at the end of the war or when the account was settled.
Several volumes include detailed records of equipment issued to the men, such as haversacks, canteens, and rubber blankets, as seen at the end of the entry below. The men slept on the ground, and the rubber blankets were put down to keep them dry.
Our manuscript holdings on the Civil War include numerous letters and diaries from soldiers, muster rolls, and some government records. Many of our collections(those we had up to about 1990) can be seen at the Civil War Manuscript Project page on the CHS website, http://www.chs.org/finding_aides/kcwmp/index.htm.