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 Posted: Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 02:41 pm
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Roger
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What type of buttons would have been worn on the green coat worn by 2nd US Sharpshooters c.1862? I have a feeling it could be either brass or the black rubber ones but would appreciate any thoughts on the subject.

Roger



 Posted: Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 03:23 pm
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Texas Defender
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Roger-

  It looks like you can go either way with the buttons. Perhaps the type has something to do with whether the person was in the field or not.

  This source shows a member of the 2nd US Sharpshooters and says that the buttons were made of guta percha. My tendency would be to go with this type.

Berdan Sharpshooters Online

  This source shows a uniform coat with what must be brass buttons.

 

http://www.ushist.com/wardrobe/inc/images/qm-0501b_frockcoat_enlisted_us_berdan_l.jpg

 

 

 



 Posted: Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 03:28 pm
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Roger
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Thanks TD I've been looking at the Berdan sharpshooters site alot over the last couple of days and it's been really useful. Thanks also for the other link I hadn't seen that one before.
I'd pretty much come to the conclusion either could've been worn but I wondered if anyone could provide info I might have missed.
Thanks again, your input is appreciated.

Roger



 Posted: Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 03:28 pm
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Johan Steele
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TD is correct on this,I know early on everything was gutta percha buttons but have read enough to know reality vs what the QM wanted. As the war progressed the mixture intesified. I suspect though that the 62 campaign would have been mostly gutta percha, especially in the field where these boys were fighting for real.



 Posted: Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 03:34 pm
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Johan Steele
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Now that said I recall reading an account of a rather sneaky sharpshooter (whether in Berdan's I don't know) who in an effort to find out where a Rebal sharpshooter was who had been given some irritating harassing fire rigged up a string w/ a button cut from his coat so that w/ a twitch of the string he could catch the light(can only be a brass button). The irony is they drove off the reb irritant w/ cannon, not rifle, fire! I think that speaks of the ranges involved either that or a serious case of one upmanship.



 Posted: Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 03:35 pm
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Roger
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Thanks, black buttons it is then. As you've probably noticed accuracy's important to me and even if the figure sits in the cabinet with only me looking at it and I've only guessed at some detail it'll irritate me:P

Roger 



 Posted: Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 03:38 pm
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Roger
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You just sneaked that second post in while I as typing. They might well have been wearing blue coats with brass buttons by then.



 Posted: Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 06:21 pm
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ole
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Berdan's units were early enough in the war that there may well have been a supply of brass buttons stashed in depots. Probably safer to go with gutta percha.

Running out of line-time TD. Will read those links tonight.

ole



 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 12:05 am
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susansweet
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Roger I looked at the pictures of the Berdans reeneacters I know.  Their buttons are black.  I had a picture I was going to post but can't seem to figure out how to do it . 

It has the buttons shown quite well because of the close up of the picture I took.

Sorry I don't seem to know how to post pictures. 

Susan



 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 06:00 am
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Roger
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Thank you Susan. Don't worry about the pictures it's fine. The buttons are painted black now.
I appreciate you taking the time to help though.
Thanks again,

Roger



 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 08:08 pm
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ole
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Roger, I might be wrong, but Berdan's people wore a green uniform.

ole



 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 08:15 pm
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Roger
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ole, correct but as I understand it as the green uniforms wore out they were replaced with blue with green trim and green rank badges for nco's.

I'm sure I read somewhere that by Gettysburg they were mainly uniformed in blue.

If anyone knows different or can confirm or correct my information I'd appreciate it.

Roger



 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 09:12 pm
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Johan Steele
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I'm not up on Berdan's men but I know their green uniforms came and went and came again. I don't know about Gettysburg as I've heard both arguments. The best argument I've heard seems to be that if a Baerdan's man was wearing a frock it was most likely to have been green if a sack coat it was blue. But like anything in life or the CW there was no such thing as a sure thing.



 Posted: Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 09:27 pm
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Roger
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There were occasions when we were dressed like tramps in my time in the forces, let alone in the 1860's.

As you might've guessed I'm working on painting one of these blokes:D

Here's a sneak preview, it's based on a Troiani print and he will be climbing a fence, which is why it looks a bit odd at the moment without it.

 



 Posted: Mon Feb 4th, 2008 06:52 pm
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younglobo
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Very cool as always roger.

Think I would want to be wearing green to blend in with the background (in the summer months at least). Weren't these gentlemen the early snipers?



 Posted: Tue Feb 5th, 2008 01:11 am
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ole
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Berdan broke all the rules. There were sharpshooters before, but never regiments of them. With a distinctive uniform already.

I don't remember the exact specs, but you didn't get to be a sharpshooter in Berdan's outfit unless you could plunk one in a 12 inch square at 500 yards. (Or something like that.) Don't know about your eyes, but at 500 yards, I wouldn't be able to see the target, let alone a one-foot black square.

Favorite story. At Gettysburg when the sharpshooters were dueling, the Confederates in a stone barn could see the smoke and duck away from the window before the slug would arrive. So the Federal shooters teamed up. One would shoot at the window and the next would shoot at the same window about 3 seconds later. The Confederate would stick his head and rifle out just about in time to receive the second ball.

Second favorite story. Forgot which book but it was about Ft. Donelson. Seems like, when Grant got into his assault mode, the sharpshooters were called forward. And "they melted into the ground." Seems that shooting wasn't their only talent. They could vanish. Now that's scary!

ole



 Posted: Tue Feb 5th, 2008 06:19 pm
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younglobo
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ole thanks for the last great stories. Is there a book out on these fellows?

Last edited on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 06:20 pm by younglobo



 Posted: Tue Feb 5th, 2008 10:14 pm
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ole
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For shure, young lobo. But I don't have it and can only recommend that you google Berdan.

ole



 Posted: Tue Feb 5th, 2008 10:17 pm
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Johan Steele
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Sword, Wiley, Sharpshooter: Hiram Berdan, his famous Sharpshooters and their Sharps Rifles, Andrew Mowbray Inc., 1988.

 

I'm a big Sword fan and greatly enjoyed the book; although I believe I've heard that some of the research is a bit dated.  It's a good book.



 Posted: Wed Feb 6th, 2008 01:43 am
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Dixie Girl
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pretty cool Roger



____________________
War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


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