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Tennessee Regulation Uniforms

Tennessee did not have a recent set of regulations governing the dress of the state military force. The most recent militia law was passed in 1836 and allowed companies to choose their own uniform if they did not wish to clothe themselves in the suggested blue hunting shirt. Many of the companies seem to have taken the opportunity to dress in a very distinctive manner; for example the "Bell Rangers" from Franklin wore zouave hats decorated with feathers and plaid hunting shirts hung with small bells!

However, Tennessee uniforms do appear to have used a set of regulations which were published on May 25, 1861, in the New Orleans Picayune. These regulations were subsequently published in at least two versions of "Regulations for the Army of the Confederate States", one version was published by Henry P Lathrop and the other by George Ellis; both of New Orleans.

These regulations are shown below because the rank insignia appears to have been used by a number of Tennessee officers. These regulations, if indeed they were regulations and not someone’s best guess, were superseded by the issue, on 6 June 1861, of the Confederate States War Department General Order No 9 which laid down a full set of uniform regulations. So it would appear that the probable time frame for these regulations was less than one month, but time enough for a number of officers to have uniforms made with rank insignia conforming to these regulations.


Army regulations have been issued for the uniform adopted by the War Department of the Confederate States, and are as follows:

Coat — Short tunic of cadet gray cloth, double-breasted, with two rows of buttons over the breast, two inches apart at the waist, and widening towards the shoulders. Suitable for cavalry as well as infantry

Pants — Of sky-blue cloth, made full in the leg and trimmed according to corps.—blue for infantry; red for artillery; yellow for cavalry. No other distinction.

For the General and officers of his staff the dress will be dark blue cloth, trimmed with gold; for the Medical Department, black cloth with gold and velvet trimming.

All badges of distinction are to be marked on sleeves and collars. Badges of distinguished rank, on collar only.

Brigadier - General—3 large stars

Colonel — 2 large stars

Lt. Colonel — 1 large star

Major — 1 small star and 1 horizontal bar

Captain — 3 small stars

1st Lt. — 2 small stars

2nd Lt. — l small star


For a General and staff officers' the buttons of bright gilt, convex, rounded at the edge—a raised eagle at the center, surrounded by 13 stars. Exterior diameter of large-size button—1 inch; of small size—l/2 inch.

For officers of the corps of engineers the same button will be used except that instead of the eagle and stars, there will be a raised E in German text.

For officers of the artillery, infantry, riflemen and cavalry, the buttons will be a plain gilt; convex, with a large raised letter in the centre - A for artillery, I for infantry, etc. the exterior diameter of large size button — 7/8 of an inch; of small size, one-half inch.

For all enlisted me of artillery, a large A, raised in the centre of a thrre-quarter inch button.

For all enlisted men, the same as for artillery, except the number of the regiment shall be substituted for the letter A.

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