16th Tennessee Volunteer
Clothing, Arms and Equipment
'The coat is to be a short tunic of cadet grey cloth, double-breasted, with two rows of buttons down the breast, two inches apart at the waist, and widening toward the shoulders.—The pantaloons are to be made of sky blue cloth, full in the legs. The buttons to be of plain gilt, convex form, three-quarters of an inch in diameter....the trimmings blue for
infantry....(they) will bear only the number of the regiment'
'Savannah Republican', Georgia, 6 June, 1861.
Above is what the should have been worn the reality follows:
'Reduced to the minimum, the private soldier consisted of one man, one hat, one jacket, one shirt, one pair of pants, one pair of drawers, one pair of shoes, and one pair of socks. His baggage was one blanket, one rubber blanket, and one haversack.'
Memoir of Carlton McCathy 'Detailed Minutiae of Soldiers Life in the Army of Northern Virginia'
Another Southern wrote 'I wore a cartridge box and bayonet holder on my belt. Extra cartridges were placed in pockets. Around my shoulder hung my wool blanket and a captured Yankee gum (poncho) in which I wrapped my few belongings....I also had a haversack in which my plate, knife, spoon and fork rested with what few meager rations we received. I tied my coffee boiler to my canteen to be ready to scoop up water at the first well or creek we passed.'
Willy Dame, Richmond Howitzers, Army of Northern Virginia, wrote 'each man had one blanket, one small haversack, one change of underclothes, a canteen, cup, and plate of tin, a knife and fork, and the clothes in which he stood. When ready to march, the blanket, rolled lengthwise, the ends brought together and strapped, hung from the left shoulder across the right arm; the haversack - furnished with towel, soap, comb, knife and fork in various pockets, a change of underclothes in the main division, and whatever rations we happened to have in the other - hung on the left hip; the canteen, cup and plate, tied together, hung on the right; toothbrush, at will, stuck in two buttonholes of jacket or in haversack; tobacco bag hung on to a breast button, pipe in pocket.'
During the Peninsular Campaign, May, June, July 1862, the Army of Northern Virginia was reported as 'Some were wrapped in blankets of rag-carpet, and others wore shoes of rough, untanned hide. Others were without either shoes or jackets, and their heads were bound in red handkerchiefs, Some appeared in red shirts; some in stiff beaver hats; some attired in shreds and patches of cloth; and a few wore the soiled garments of civilian gentlemen; but the mass adhered to homespun suits of grey, or 'butternut', and the coarse blue kersey common to slaves....' the Confederate Army in Tennessee would be no different.
A Maryland woman on Robert E Lees army marching to Sharpsburg, September 1862 'They were tired, dirty, ragged and had no uniforms whatever. Their coats were made out of almost anything that you could imagine, butternut colour predominating. Their hats looked worse than those worn by the darkies. Many were barefooted; some with toes sticking out of their shoes and others in their stocking feet. Their blankets were every kind of description, consisting of druggets, rugs, bedclothes, in fact anything they could get, put up into a long roll and tied up the ends, which with their cooking utensils, were slung over their shoulders.'
Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Fremantle, June 1863: 'The men were....well-clothed, but without any attempt at uniformity in colour or cut; but nearly all were dressed in either grey or brown coats and felt hats. I was told that even if a Regiment was clothed in proper uniform by the Government , it would be parti-coloured again in a week, as the soldiers preferred wearing the coarse home-spun jackets and trousers made by their mothers and sisters at home.' Also 'there is the usual utter absence of uniformity as to colour and shape of their garments and hats: grey of all shades, and brown clothing, with felt hats, predominate.'.
The deliberate destruction of Confederate records at the end of the war leaves us incomplete records. Due to this various diaries and letters have been used to try to fill the gaps plus information from other units, Brigade and Division. Much of the information depicted here isn't specific to the 16th Tennessee but is generic. In what follows what is specific to the Regiment is shown in black, the remainder in blue.