Braces (suspenders), while not issued items will almost always be needed due to the fit of Civil War era
trousers. Period braces are generally believed to have been constructed of cotton or linen between 1 and
1 5/8 inches wide. Period photos show that stripes were very popular, but being a privately procurred item,
a wide range of patterns is acceptable. The very simplest of braces are, today, called 'Poor Boys' and are
simply two separate straps of cloth, each having button holes at either end. Poor Boys have no means of
adjustment. Adjustable braces were very common - the adjustment being made by means of a forked buckle.
Ends were either fabric, with button holes, or leather tabs with slots (or key-holes) to allow the buttons to
pass through. Elastic, is known to have been used in braces, but would have been less common. The main
thing to avoid are braces which have a modern tab type clamp buckle.


Like suspenders vests were not issued items. If worn military style vests are preferred over civilian style
vests. Military style vests should be made from a dark blue wool cloth, have 2, 3, or 4 pockets, a standing
collar, and 9 smaller brass, eagle style buttons. The fabric used for the back should be a dark colored
polished cotton.

Great Coat

All other Enlisted Men - of sky-blue cloth; stand-up collar; single-breasted; cape to reach down to the elbows
when the arm is extended...

A great coat is an item needed, perhaps only a few times each year, and some years not at all. If you
choose to purchase a great coat look for one made of the same sky blue fabric as used in the trousers
(either the same sky blue color or somewhat darker) with the body lined, half-lined with a heavy wool.


Both issued and private purchase drawers (long underware) would be high waisted and loose fitting like
the trousers. Drawers will generally be made of either canton flannel (a cotton flannel with a nap on one
side) or a light cotton material such as muslin. Drawers most often have draw strings at the ankles and
the waist to adjust fit and are closed at the waist by two bone buttons.