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Sholder Boards

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The Arapaho Kid:

This is a picture of me in my Civil War Cavalry Colonels uniform.  Note the sholder boards.  There seems to be some controversy about those.  Some say that Confederate officers didn't wear the boards and others say they did.  The way I understand it is...after the first year of the war, Confederate officers did away with them....except....the ones who had graduated from VMI.  I've been told that they kept the boards.  So could some you experts put some input on this?  Thanks

I just dug through my books on Confederate Unirforms and could not find a single surviving example of a uniform with shoulder boards....that, of course, does not mean there were not any.  A good reenactor group would probably give you some crap over them but this is CAS so it really doesn't matter to most....besides, this would actually be post-war so your character would probably be one of those living off his past glory days....like many on both sides, so don't take that wrong......wear 'em if you like 'em.

Major Matt Lewis:
I don't know about the VMI thing, but if you are going for the authentic generally accepted CSA Cavalry look, I would ditch the shoulder boards and get some gold stars for the collar.  The gold stars are easy enough to find.






The Arapaho Kid:
Major Matt:  They are hard to see in that picture, but there are three gold stars on each side of the collar, but no wreaths around them like would be on a Generals uniform.  The way I understand the VMI thing is that when the order came down to remove the boards, the VMI graduates decided not to do that because of their pride in their school. I have seen a couple of old Civil War pictures showing Confederate Officers with the boards.

Major Matt Lewis:

If you have seen it documented, I would say that you are "golden."  I would also ask this question over on The Frontier Spot under the Grand Army o the Frontiers web board.  One of us may be a VMI graduate or know more than I do about it.  Are you a VMI graduate?  They had some fine officer's when I was in the Marines.


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