Photographic Compilation of Federal Enlisted Men Wearing Dark Blue Trousers in 1862 and Beyond
By Paul A. Boccadoro
In an attempt to add some interest to an otherwise "standard" Federal 1862 impression, I have compiled the below examples of dark blue trousers being worn in the field by Federal enlisted men during mid to late 1862 – and even later into the war. It was the Secretary of War's General Order No. 108, dated December 16, 1861, that changed the standard trouser color from dark blue to light blue, with a dark blue welt for officers and dark blue stripe for NCO's (source). The change was made due to the higher cost of dark blue dyed material as compared to lower cost of light blue dyed material. In other words, the lighter the color, the less expensive it was to dye.
Despite the General Order being put out in very late 1861, there were still stockpiles of unissued dark blue trousers which were distributed throughout the following years, as evident in the below photographs and documents. Please examine these photographs to study the existence of dark blue trousers mixed within the Federal ranks through 1862 – and even beyond – and considering wearing a pair to some of your upcoming events.