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Special Interests - Groups & Societies => The Barracks => Topic started by: Major Matt Lewis on August 26, 2006, 04:39:39 pm

Title: Berdan's Sharpshooters
Post by: Major Matt Lewis on August 26, 2006, 04:39:39 pm
So, I have FINALLY finished my book on the First Maine Cavalry this morning.  Having won the Belt Buckle at EOT this year, next year I have to use a different uniform.  So, I am thinking of doing something with the US Sharpshooters.  I have bought a couple books.  I am looking forward to the Diary of Wyman S. White....but, the one thing I can't find yet is the specifics on the Divisional Patch that was sewn onto the Sharpshooters hat.  All I can seem to determine thus far is that it is a red diamond shape.  Anybody out there with information on the USSS that they would like to share.
Title: Re: Berdan's Sharpshooters
Post by: River City John on August 26, 2006, 06:59:57 pm
There were companies of the U.S.S.S. posted with various Corps at one time, used mainly as skirmishers. The companies posted to Fifth Corps wore the Maltese cross in red. If you want a breakdown of which companies (usually organized by state) were assigned to which Corps at any given year, send me a PM, Major, with the units you are interested in researching and at what time period during the conflict.
Title: Re: Berdan's Sharpshooters
Post by: St. George on August 27, 2006, 12:57:02 am
The idea of the Corps Badge is attributed to MG Philip Kearny, who ordered the men in his Division to sew a two-inch square of red cloth on their hats to avoid confusion on the battlefield.

This idea was adopted by MG Joseph Hooker after he assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, so any soldier could be identified at a distance.

MG Daniel Butterfield, Hooker's Chief of Staff, was assigned the task of designing a distinctive shape for each Corps badge.
Butterfield also designated that each Division in the Corps should have a variation of the Corps badge in a different color.

So - while Civil War Corps badges were specified as to design/shape - and though supplied - some soldiers would make them out of wool or cloth - some would buy the metal variety that quickly became available from the various Sutlers, or found in patriotic periodicals that were rife with ads for same.

Original badges were generally worn on the top of the kepi, left side of the hat, or over the left breast.

Issued enlisted men's badges were cut from colored material.

Officers' badges were privately purchased and often of higher quality.

Both metallic and cloth examples of both officer and enlisted badges exist.

The metallic badges were often jeweler-made, pin-backed and engraved with the soldier's name and unit.

Designator colors are:

Red = First Division of Corps
White = Second Division of Corps
Blue = Third Division of Corps
Green = Fourth Divsion of 6th, 9th and 20th Corps
Yellow = Fourth Division of 15th Corps
Mulicolor = Headquarter or Artillery Elements (certain Corps)

I did an article for 'North-South Trader's Civil War Magazine' a few years ago that dealt with Corps Badges and Veteran's Badges.

I'll see if anything will scan.

Meanwhile, a quick anecdote on Corps Badges and their use:

The story goes that in the fall of l863, the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps under General Hooker were sent to aid in the relief of Chattanooga.
Being from the East - it became apparent that those soldiers were better-dressed than their Western Theater counterparts and it was a bone of contention - often causing a stir - and the idea of a Corps Badge was a novelty in the Western Theater.

One day, an enlisted man in Major General John A. Logan's Fifteenth Corps was asked where his Corps patch was.
 
Clapping his hand on his cartridge box, he said "Forty Rounds. Can you show me a better one?"

Shortly thereafter General Logan issued General Order No. 10 prescribing that the badge for the Fifteenth Corps should be "a miniature cartridge box and above the box will be inscribed the words 'Forty Rounds.'"

There's a book that's sometimes available at certain libraries, and while there are a number of inaccuracies - it's still worth the read, though long out of print.

'Civil War Corps Badges and Other Related Awards, Badges, Medals of the Period: Including a section on post Civil War and Spanish-American War Corps Badges (Unknown Binding)
by Stanley S Phillips'

Vaya,

Scouts Out!






Title: Re: Berdan's Sharpshooters
Post by: Major Matt Lewis on August 27, 2006, 07:51:07 am
Thanks for the information.  And a place to start looking.
Title: Re: Berdan's Sharpshooters
Post by: US Scout on August 27, 2006, 08:47:13 am
Bear in mind there were two regimens of US Sharpshooters (with companies from a number of different states).  Each was usually assigned to a different corps - thus would have had a different corps insignia.

Recommend you select your company and regiment, and look at a time frame or battle of interest (such as Gettysburg) to determine what corps insignia you want to wear.

US Scout
Formerly C Co, 2nd USSS
Title: Re: Berdan's Sharpshooters
Post by: Major Matt Lewis on August 27, 2006, 11:55:17 am
Ahead of you Scout.  Looking at F Co. 1st US SS and Co's E & F 2d USSS.  The New Hampshire Companies.... ;D
Title: Re: Berdan's Sharpshooters
Post by: US Scout on August 27, 2006, 04:23:43 pm
The Originals will get you yet...
Title: Re: Berdan's Sharpshooters
Post by: Major Matt Lewis on August 27, 2006, 05:18:33 pm
They just may....But NCOWS time period starts in 1865, so I will be a little early for that.
Title: Re: Berdan's Sharpshooters
Post by: River City John on August 27, 2006, 09:22:48 pm
As far as the Originals storyline, you could have been a member of the unit from an earlier year and either in hospital, POW or on "French Leave" and are wearing earlier unit markings. Or you could have put away your old kepi because you had gone to wearing a slouch hat because it shaded your eyes better and . . .


If I know you, Major, the uniform you're getting for yourself is most likely parade dress-ready, so don't worry about trying to justify wearing it as an Original. Just be the GAF'fer you are and wear it in all it's splendor.   8) ;) ;D