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Clothing Issue Records for Company E, 4th Virginia Infantry

by Bret Sumner, 4th Virginia 

The following itemization of clothing issuances for Company E of the 4th Virginia Infantry (“The Montgomery Highlanders”) was transcribed from an original document that Jason O’Brien and I were able to view at the Virginia Tech Special Collections Library. We were even allowed to make a photocopy of a photocopy of the original document. The original document was in fair condition and quite legible. The original records covered only October 1863 until the first week of May 1864. The document was on lined paper and each member of the Company was given his own page, which indicated the date clothing was issued to the man and the quantity. The document recorded only clothing issued to enlisted men, not officers. While this document covered only a brief period of time for just one company, of one regiment in the Stonewall Brigade, it does provide tremendous insight into the quantity of clothing issued to Confederate soldiers.

As we all know, the Confederate Clothing Depots were quite successful in manufacturing uniforms and clothing items, the more serious problem which could not be overcome was the lack of necessary transportation infrastructure to transport these items to the soldiers in the field.

To place the issuance of these items into some context: October 1863 through the first week of May 1864 was a period of relative monotony and quiet for the Stonewall Brigade. After Gettysburg, the Brigade nursed its wounds and slowly tried to recruit and rebuild its numbers, which had decreased so drastically during the bloody campaigns of 1862-63. The Brigade spent most of September and October 1863 on picket duty, and had only a minor encounter with some Federal troops at Bealton Station. From late October through November, the Brigade camped near the Rapidan River and spent its time building breastworks and defensive fortifications. In late November, the Brigade participated in the Mine Run Campaign and suffered fairly heavy casualties (especially the Fourth Virginia) in the Battle of Payne’s Farm, which was a relatively brief and unknown, but bloody engagement. Afterwards, the Brigade went into Winter Camp near Pisgah Church and was responsible for guarding the fords of the Rapidan. The Brigade remained in this vicinity for the rest of the winter and did not break camp until the first week of May, 1864, when it marched off to participate in the Wilderness Campaign and its eventual annihilation at Spotsylvania.

I would like to share some thoughts and observations regarding this itemization of clothing issuances:

Interestingly, during this time period it is well documented that the Stonewall Brigade (and the rest of the ANV) suffered tremendously for a lack of socks. Upon observing the lack of socks by his men in winter quarters, General Robert E. Lee even made a personal appeal to the citizens of Virginia to assist the Stonewall Brigade by supplying them with socks. While a plethora of uniforms and other clothing are accounted for in this record, there are very few instances of the issuance of socks.

There were issuances of half soles and heel taps, as well as consistent issuances of shoes. Between November 2, 1863 and March 18, 1864, Corporal Robert M. Harris was issued three jackets and five pair of shoes!

Overcoats were occasionally issued to some of the men.

Drawers were issued fairly regularly.

There were three types of shirts issued: (1) “Overshirts” (2) “Shirts” and, (3) “Cotton Shirts”

Private John Peck was issued two jackets on November 18, 1863.

“Caps” (which I interpret as “kepis”) were still being issued.

Blankets were also still being issued, although in small numbers.

Some men were issued nothing, or next to nothing. One possible reason is that these men were receiving clothing from family back home.

I hope you find this information interesting. Jason and I went beserk when we found this document. It provides a tantalizing glimpse into one of the hobby’s most controversial and often debated areas – uniforms and clothing. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to share additional observations regarding this document.

 


Itemization of Clothing Issued to Company E, 4th Virginia Infantry (October 1863 – May 1864):

Sam B. Heyman – 1st Sgt. November 18, 1863 – 1 Jacket, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of shoes,

John W. Slusser – 2nd Sgt. November 24, 1863 – 1 Blanket, March 14, 1864 – 1 pair of half soles, April 29, 1964 – 1 shirt.

Thomas M. Hearvey – 3rd Sgt. November 7, 1863 – 2 Caps, November 18, 1863 – 1 shirt, November 24, 1863 – 1 shirt, December 9, 1864- 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of drawers, March 29, 1864 – 1 pair of shoes , April 20, 1864 – 1 pair of drawers April 29, 1864 – 1 shirt.

Charles L. Gordon – 4th Sgt. December 19, 1863 – 1 pair of drawers, 1 shirt

David Robinson – 1st Corporal ,November 7, 1863- 1 cap, November 18,1863 – 1 pair of pants, 1 shirt, December 4, 1863 – 2 shirts, 1 cap

Robert M. Harris – 2nd Corporal, November 2, 1863 – 1 shirt, November 7- 1 pair of drawers, November 15 – 1 pair of drawers, 1 jacket, 1 pair of shoes November 18- 1 jacket, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of shoes, December 12, 1863 – 1 jacket, 1 pair of shoes, December 15 – 1 cap, 1 shirt, February 5, 1864 – 1 pair of shoes, March 18, 1864 – 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of shoes

James Kirby – 3rd Corporal, nothing listed or recorded

S.S. Howe – October 8, 1863 – 1 pair of socks, October 27 – 1 pair of pants November 2, 1863 – 1 overcoat, November 15 – 1 shirt, November 18- 1 pair of shoes, 1 jacket, 1 pair of pants, November 23 – 1 blanket, December 9, 1863- 1 jacket

William A. Bell – nothing listed; service records indicate he was a prisoner from Oct. 1862 until March 1864.

Robert Bibb – October 8, 1863 – 1 pair of socks, November 24 – 1 shirt, February 11, 1864 – 1 pair of shoes.

Dabney W. Burket – November 15, 1863 – 1 shirt

George C. Collins – October 27, 1863 – 1 shirt, November 2, 1863 – 1 pair of drawers, November 7 – 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants.

Albert Craig – November 2, 1863 – 1 pair of drawers, November 15 – 1 pair of shoes, November 18 – 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants, December 9, 1863 1 jacket, 1 pair of drawers, 1 cap, February 7, 1864 – 1 pair of shoes,

Adam Cunningham – November 2, 1863, 1 pair of drawers, November 7, 1 cap, November 15, 1 shirt, November 18, 1 pair of pants, 1 jacket, January 9, 1864 1 pair of pants, April 20, 1 pair of drawers.

Robert Dawson -September 17, 1863 1 jacket, 1 pair of pants.

William Franklin – October 8, 1863 1 pair of socks, October 27 1 pair of pants, November 2 , 1 pair of shoes, 1 pair of drawers, 1 jacket.

Samuel Fisher – nothing listed; captured at Gettysburg July 3, 1863.

Joseph Gordon – December 9, 1863 1 pair of drawers, December 18 1 shirt January 9, 1864, 1 pair of pants, February 7, 1864 1 pair of shoes, 1 jacket, April 29, 1 shirt, 1 pair of shoes.

James Gordon – February 2, 1864, 1 pair of half soles.

John Hodges – October 8, 1863 , 1 pair of socks, 1 pair of pants. November 2, 1 overcoat, 1 pair of drawers. November 18, 1 pair of shoes, 1 jacket, 1 pair of pants. December 9 1 pair of drawers, 1 cap. December 15 1 shirt, 1 pair of drawers. January 27, 1864 1 blanket. April 20 1 pair of drawers, April 29 1 shirt.

John Harvey – October 29, 1863 – 1 pair of pants , 1 shirt.

W. Jernell – October 8, 1863 1 pair of shoes. October 27 1 shirt. December 9 1 pair of drawers, 1 cap. December 12 1 cap.

George Washington Jones – April 20, 1864, 1 pair of drawers. April 29, 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants. May 2, 1 pair of drawers, 1 pair of shoes.

Samuel Keffer October 8, 1863, 1 pair of socks. October 27, 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants. November 2, 1 jacket. January 9, 1864, 1 pair of pants. January 27 1864, 1 pair of shoes.

J.S. Kinzer – April 18, 1864 – 1 pair of pants April 20, 1 pair of drawers.

A.W. Luster – October 27, 1863, 1 shirt.

R. Kinsley – October 9, 1863, 1 shirt, 1 pair of drawers.

James Linkous – April 20, 1864, 1 pair of drawers. April 29 1864, 1 shirt.

James Linkous – February 2, 1864, 1 pair of half soles. February 20, 1 pair of pants, 1 jacket. April 20, 1 pair of drawers.

Levi Lowe – Returned to regiment on January 27, 1864 February 15, 1864, 1 pair of shoes. April 5, 1 pair of pants. April 20, 1 pair of drawers. April 9, 1864, 1 shirt. May 2, 1 shirt.

J. Miller – October 27, 1863, 1 shirt. November 2, 1 pair of shoes, 1 pair of drawers, 1 overcoat. November 18, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of drawers, 1 pair of shoes. Captured at Battle of Payne’s Farm on November 27, 1863

George Miller – November 7, 1863- 1 shirt.

Peter J. McLemore – October 27, 1863, 1 pair of shoes, 1 over shirt. November 15, 1 shirt. November 18, 1 jacket, 1 pair of pants. December 4, 1 cotton shirt. December 15, 1 over shirt. April 20, 1864, 1 pair of drawers.

J.McCroskey – nothing listed – captured at Payne’s Farm on November 27, 1863

J. McDonald – April 20, 1864 – 1 pair of drawers.

R. Peck- nothing listed. Wounded at Groveton 8/28/62; did not return.

John Peck – October 27, 1863 1 over shirt . November 2, 1 overcoat , 1 pair of drawers. November 7, 1 cap. November 18, 1 pair of pants, 2 jackets.

Erastis Price – April 5, 1864, 1 jacket. March 14, 1 pair of shoes. March 20, 1 pair of drawers. March 29, 1 pair of pants.

John Parkins – No date, 1863, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of drawers. April 18, 1864 1 pair of pants. April 20 1 pair of drawers. April 29 1 shirt, 1 pair of drawers.

William Paine – October 8, 1863, 1 pair of socks. October 27, 1 pair of shoes, 1 shirt. November 2, 1 pair of drawers. November 18, 1 jacket, 1 pair of pants. January 9, 1864, 1 pair of drawers. April 5, 1 pair of pants. April 20, 1 pair of drawers. April 29, 1 shirt. May 2, 1 pair of drawers.

George Rutledge – October 27, 1863 1 shirt, November 15 1 shirt. December 9, 1 pair of pants. February 5, 1864, 1 pair of shoes. February 20, 1 jacket.

George Richeson – November 7, 1863, 1 cap. November 18, 1 pair of shoes, 1 shirt, 1 pair of drawers. February 2, 1864, 1 pair of half soles and heel taps. March 14, 1 pair of pants. March 18, 1 jacket. March 29, 1 pair of shoes. April 29, 1 shirt, 1 pair of drawers.

J. Slusser nothing listed.

James Smith nothing listed; captured at Gettysburg .

John Snider – October 27, 1863 1 pair of shoes, 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants. November 2, 1 pair of drawers. November 7, 1 jacket, 1 pair of drawers, November 18, 1 pair of shoes. December 9, 1 jacket, 1 overshirt. December 15, 1 pair of drawers. January 9, 1864, 1pair of drawers.

William Taylor – November 2, 1863 1 pair of drawers, November 18, 1 pair of pants, 1 jacket. January 9, 1864 1 pair of drawers. February 20, 1 pair of shoes. April 6, 1 pair of shoes. April 18, 1 pair of pants. April 29 1 shirt.

James Vaden – conscript mustered into service on January 27, 1864 March 14, 1864, 1 pair of half soles. April 20, 1 pair of drawers. April 29, 1 shirt, 1 pair of drawers, 1 pair of pants.

John Witson – November 2, 1863 1 pair of drawers November 7 1 cap, November 18, 1 pair of shoes, 1 pair of pants, 1 jacket. November 23, 1 blanket. December 21 1 cap. February 5, 1864 1 pair of shoes.

A.J. Watson mustered into service on January 25, 1864 February 15, 1864 – 1 pair of pants – 1 pair of half soles

A. J. Ellis October 8, 1863 1 jacket, October 27 1 pair of shoes,

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