A Union Soldier's Uniform from the Civil War, around 1865
In the north a certain number of men between the ages of 18-45 from each community were drafted into the Union army. Soldiers, except for officers were issued uniforms. Officers were expected to purchase their own and had to make sure that they met strict military requirements. Companies that had contracts with the government made the uniforms. For the most part they were sewn on treadle sewing machines, although some shirts were hand sewn and some of the finish work on the uniforms was done by hand. A dress code for all soldiers was strictly enforced except when they were on the battlefield. Anyone found in violation was made to pay a fine. In the later years of the Civil War the dress code was not as strictly enforced.
Navigate to each layer of this activity by clicking on the "Next" and "Previous" buttons. Using your cursor, roll over each image to learn about the unfamiliar clothing. (requires Flash Player)
Non-flash, non-interactive, printable version of this activity
top of page