Days Gone By - stories from the pastGenealogy Information

This article from 1861 describes what volunteers for service in the Confederacy had to furnish from home

During the War Between the States, men who volunteered for service from the South had to furnish their own clothing and equipment while in service. Below is an article with suggestions that appeared in The Spectator on June 2, 1861, Elmore County, Alabama at the beginning of the War.

6th Alabama Infantry reunion at Jackson’s Lake in Elmore County, Alabama. Seated, left to right: Whitten; Higgins; M. B. Kirkpatrick; Ben Chapman; Leary;and Tom Scott. Standing, left to right: Frank Vickers; Tom Herbert; Finegan; Felix McManus; George C. Clisby; and Wade McBride.


A general order from the Executive Headquarters of Georgia recommends the following outfit for Volunteers in service:

  • 1 Coat or Jacket (as may be the uniform)
  • 2 Pairs Trousers
  • 1 Forage or Fatigue Cap
  • 2 Flannel Shirts
  • 2 pairs Drawers
  • 3 pairs Socks, Woolen or Cotton, Woolen best
  • 2 pairs Bootees, Ankle or Jefferson, or Brogans, with full broad soles (sic) and low flat broad heels
  • 2 colored pocket handkerchiefs
  • 1 light black neck tie
  • 1 comb
  • 1 strong pocket knife
  • 1 small ten cup
  • 1 iron spoon
  • 1 knife, 1 fork

It would be well also, if each man would take with him a flannel band, of from eight to ten inches wide, provided with strings, to be worn over the abdomen, next to the skin, for the prevention of camp diarrhea or dysentery when exposed to damps, or on the first indication of a change of habit.

Red for flannel shirts is to be avoided, as it presents an excellent mark for the enemy. Green or Blue are the better colors.

High or narrow heels to the boots or shoes should not be worn, as they are injurious to the feet. Bootees are far preferable to boots of any kind in summer.

Such articles are not worn or carried about the person to be neatly packed in, or be attached to the knapsack or valise.

To facilitate arrangements for securing a regular supply of clothing from home it is recommended to companies to consider the advantages of turning over to the Captain, or other responsible agent, their commutation, as paid, to be applied in such manner as may have been determined upon.

It is essential to the health of the soldier, whether in barracks or camp, that he be clean in person, regular in his habits, and physically exercised. – The two first can be attained by dividing each company into four squads or messes, and assigning to each a subaltern, or non-commissioned officer, to supervise the persons, habits, and diet of the men, who by word of friendly counsel when required may correct neglect in either. The third, or physical exercise, rests with the Captain or Commander of the company, who for its discipline and efficiency, should in some manner or other employ his men actively every day.

Faith and Courage: 2nd edition -A Novel of Colonial America Inspired by real people and actual events, the family saga of colonial America continues with Ambrose Dixon’s family. Faith and Courage presents the religious persecution of Quakers in Pre-Revolutionary War days of America intertwined with a love story.

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

Liked it? Take a second to support Alabama Pioneers on Patreon!


  1. This is a good read

  2. Hi there,

    I can’t read the names of the people in the picture because of the side bars. I am particularly interested because of the Wade McBride and would like to know the other names. McBride’s are in my ancestry.


    1. Seated, left to right: Whitten; Higgins; M. B. Kirkpatrick; Ben Chapman; Leary;and Tom Scott.
      Standing, left to right: Frank Vickers; Tom Herbert; Finegan; Felix McManus; George C. Clisby; and Wade McBride.

    2. 6th Alabama Infantry reunion at Jackson’s Lake in Elmore County, Alabama. Seated, left to right: Whitten; Higgins; M. B. Kirkpatrick; Ben Chapman; Leary;and Tom Scott. Standing, left to right: Frank Vickers; Tom Herbert; Finegan; Felix McManus; George C. Clisby; and Wade McBride.

  3. There was no such thing as Elmore County until 1866, it would have been Autauga County

  4. The first line of the article is incorrect, by one word. It should say “SOME men who volunteered…” The regulations varied from state to state, and (since many units were privately raised militias) even from unit to unit in some cases. Numerous supply depots contracted with local manufacturers to produce uniforms and other goods on government contracts, and the CS government paid for the import of many goods from oversees.

    Many Confederate soldiers did have to provide much for themselves, especially toward the end of the war; but it is incorrect to imply that such was a universal norm throughout the war.

  5. And none of this was actually going to help.

  6. Ms. Causes,

    I thought you’d find this article interesting:

  7. Very interesting. Thank you.

  8. Thank you for reminding us of what our forefathers went through. I’m so proud of my Southern heritage.

  9. Direct descendant of 4th Alabama infantry veteran He surrendered at Appomattox. Walked home to Alabama

    1. Thanks June, love the reunion group photo.

    2. Glad you liked Tim! I thought it was neat too.

  10. Melanie Stickler Falconer

  11. I am curious and have no clue about the flannel band for dysentery. Can anyone explain? Thanks.

    1. Ok. I found an answer. Apparently, military doctors in particular at this time believed diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues were caused by exposure of the abdomen to cold and a soldier catching a chill on his midsection. The band was to keep the abdomen warm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.