UNIFORMS

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Both Confederate and Union soldiers wore uniforms.  Uniforms helped armies identify friend from foe.  The Union (North) wore primarily blue uniforms.  The Confederates (South) wore primarily gray uniforms.  The choice material for uniforms of the armies on both sides was wool.  The armies used wool for several reasons.  One reason was that wool is very durable and can withstand the service of military life.  Wool was more accessible to cloth entire armies.  The main reason, though, both armies wore wool was it acted as a source of protection for the wearer against cold.  Wool is very hot to wear especially in the summer months, but even in the summer the temperature drops at night especially in some mountain regions.  Each soldier was issued only one wool blanket to keep himself warm when he slept.  The wool uniform acted as a 2nd blanket for the wearer.  It is easier for one to get cool when they get hot versus trying to keep warm when one gets cold.  Wool also kept the wearer’s body warm when wet from rain.  This was extremely important for a army that was constantly exposed to elements. The uniform consisted of a jacket, trousers, undershirt (linen), long underwear(linen), socks, and headwear of some sort.  Men that served in the 2nd Maryland Infantry wore a Kepi.  A kepi is a french term for a short crowned hat was in style during the era.  The photo above is of a member of the Confederate 2nd Maryland Infantry.  He is holding his kepi in his hand.