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"The Ragged Rebel"


DP Veteran
Jun 23, 2009
Reaction score
Bagdad, La.
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
A comment in another thread, about the Confederates running out of equipment being one of the main causes of their defeat motivated me to start this thread, because in reality the, "ragged rebel", is largely a myth. I've proved the link to an article that goes into great detail of 10 Confederate troops that were killed at Fort Mahone--part of the Petersburg line--during the assault by the Federal IX Corps, on 2 April 1865--only seven days prior to Lee's surrender. You'll notice that they're all wearing issue uniforms that are of Confederate, or Irish manufacture and they're practically new. Some of the clothing looks to be only a few weeks old, to me. The visible muskets are all proper military muskets that are American, British and Belgian made; most strikingly, they're all .58 caliber. All but two have shoes, that are great shape. The author believes and I concur that the two barefooted soldiers have lost their shoes to souvenir hunters. The one young man with one bare foot and one socked foot reinforces that idea.
The Confederate Soldier of Fort Mahone - Adolphus Confederate Uniforms offers Frederick R. Adolphus' scholarly research, articles, and his book Imported Confederate Uniforms of Peter Tait & Co...as well as large images with construction detail.
A close look at contemporary Confederate records, in*cluding those for the blackest period of the war, reveal some startling statistics. For example, during the last six months of 1864 and including to 31 January 1865, the Army of Northern Virginia alone was issued the following:

104,199 Jackets 140,570 Pairs of Trousers 167,862 Pairs of Shoes
157,727 Cotton Shirts 170,139 Pairs of Drawers 146,136 Pairs of Shoes
74,851 Blankets 27,011 Hats and Caps 21,063 Flannel Shirts
4,861 Overcoats

These were field issues only, and did not include issues to men on furlough, detailed at posts, paroled and exchanged prisoners or any other issues. Moreover, these were over*whelmingly central government issues, and did not include issues by any states except part of North Carolina's. During this same period, Georgia provided to the Confederate Army as a whole, over and above the figures quoted above:

26,795 Jackets 28,808 Pairs of Trousers 37,657 Pairs of Shoes
24,952 Shirts 24,168 Pairs of Drawers 23,024 Pairs of Socks
7,504 Blankets

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