Click on individual uniform items, or scroll through the information for uniform guidelines.

Items in blue italicized text are extracts from the Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States, 1861.

Head Gear

Forage Caps

The Model 1858 forage cap is the preferred head wear for members of Co. K.

For fatigue purposes, ...: dark blue cloth, with a welt of the same around the crown...

Although there seems to be no historical record for such, today forage caps are generally grouped as
Type I or Type II. Type I caps generally have a smaller diameter crown and cresent shaped bills while
Type II caps have larger diameter crowns and bills that are more rectangular in shape. The bills on Type
I caps also tend to be more slanted than those on Type II caps. Historic evidence tends to the Type I
caps being more common during the first 2 to 3 years of the war. While our primary impression is early
war, we leave it up to the individual to determin which style of hat to buy.

Quality forage hats will generally be made out of a tightly woven, light weight wool with a polished cotton
lining of dark brown or black. There will be visible seams (welts) where the crown and bill join with the

Chasseur Cap (Kepi)

There is little, if any, evidence that shows chasseur caps (kepis) were anything other than private purchase.
Recruits should purchase the preferred forage hat. Troops joining Co. K from other units, if not already
owning a forage hat, should plan on purchasing an acceptable forage hat within the first year.

Dress Hat (Hardee)

-of black felt, same shape and size as for officers, with double row of stitching, instead of binding, around the edge...

For dress occasions a Model 1858 Uniform dress hat can be purchased. These are not generally field items
and should only be purchased, as an optional uniform item, after the purchase of an acceptable forage hat.
When worn for dress the left side brim should be pinned up using an eagle "hardee" hat emblem.

Civilian Hats

Civilian hats are discouraged but will be accepted if a proper forage cap is unavailable. When worn, civilian
hats must have ribbon sewn around the crown and edge and must have a proper, attached, sweat band.

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Frock Coat

The frock coat is the preferred uniform coat for members of Co. K.

The uniform coat for all enlisted foot men, shall be a single-breasted frock of dark blue cloth...

High quality reproductions, like most originals, feature functional cuffs, pockets in the skirts, and chest
padding. Sky blue trim is required for infantry. The wool used in frock coats was very tightly woven and
there is little or no evidence to show that the skirt was hemmed by the manufacturer.

If you choose to become a member of Co. K, and decide to purchase a good quality frock coat,
look for the following features:
      Proper sky blue trim on the collar and cuffs
      Functional cuffs w/two buttons
      Pockets in the folds of the skirts (tails)
      Body half lined with polished cotton, stiffened and quilted

At a minimum the frock coat should have the following features:
      Dark blue wool extending about midway between the waist and knees
      Sky blue (infantry) trim on the collar and cuffs

If the coat does not have functional cuffs, and does not have buttons on the cuffs, purchase 4 half-inch
general service buttons (available through several sutlers) and sew them in place to simulate a funtioning

Avoid frock coats that do not include the sky blue trim on the cuff - as this is a very visible error that is
difficult to correct.

Fatique (Sack) Coat

The sack coat is to be considered a secondary impression for members of Co. K.

A sack coat of dark blue flannel extending half-way down the thigh, and made loose...

Per the 1861 regulations, recruits were to receive sack coats that were lined, regular troops, unlined. At
this time there is no preference between lined and unlined sack coats for members of Co. K. In a like
manner, there is no preference given to sack coats based on a specific contractor pattern (J. T. Martin
and William Deering being among the most common).

Most quality reproduction sack coats, regardless of contractor, display common features - among these
are low, rolled collars (1 1/4 to 1 3/4 inches in height), a kidney shaped pocket in the left breast, sleeves
with shallow slits in the cuff (1 inch or slightly less).   Sack coat wool was usually of a loose weave with a
marked wale (fabric ribbing). Being of a looser weave than frock coat wool, sack coats should be hemmed.

Sack coats, when purchased, should meet as many of the above as possible. If buying a lined sack coat
the lining should be short of the wool hem and should not be attached. This allows for shrinkage. If buying
an unlined sack coat make sure the interior seams are flat-felled to prevent fraying.  At a minimum the sack
coat should be of a dark blue wool material and have 4 buttons.

Sack Coat Color:
Surviving original sack coats display a wide range of shades of blue (mostly darker, shades), thus there
is no single, specific shade of blue required.   Note, however, that the indigo dyes of the Civil War period
generally remained fast and did not fade or shift color. Many low price sack coats use wool made with
inexpensive dyes prone to fade and color shift


Various types of state issued shell jackets, as well as shell jackets from a different branch of service,
are inappropriate and cannot be worn into battle by regular members of Co. K.

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Federal issue shirts and federal contract shirts are preferred. Properly constucted civilian shirts are acceptable.

Flannel shirt...- the same as now furnished.

Federal issue shirts were generally one size - with a 16 inch collar and fitting a chest size of 42 inches. The
shirts had a square cut body, underarm gussets, shoulder reenforcements, and a falling collar between 1 and
1 1/2 inches. For early war issue shirts the neck opening is a split front, closed by a single button (1/2 inch
tin faced) at the collar.  Per the uniform regulations from 1851, '57, & '61 the issue shirt is flannel.  Further,
the Quartermaster manual specifically lists the material as wool domet flannel, which is an off white or cream
colored wool cotton mix.  Many sutlers sell cotton shirts as issue shirts.  While these may be issue styled
shirts they are not issued shirts and should not be represented as such.

In addition to the standard issue shirt there were many types of shirts contracted during the war. Some were
made of a knit cotton or knit wool but most were still made of various wool flannels. Civilian shirts can be made
out of cotton. There are several sutlers that make good quality issue, contract, and civilian shirts. Additionally,
sources exist for proper 19th century patterns and fabric that will allow individuals with basic sewing skills to
construct their own shirts (civilian or issued).

Shirts may be machine or hand sewn. However, avoid shirts with oversized buttons and long floppy collars. Civil
War era shirts seldomly had large buttons - 5/8 inch or smaller was more typical.   If buying fabric to construct a
civilian shirt select only natural fabrics such 100% cotton, wool, linen, etc.

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Dark blue foot pattern trousers are the preferred uniform for Co. K at Fort Tejon.

Trowsers...dark blue cloth;...Privates - plain without stripe or welt.

In the late 1850s the U. S. Army went from sky blue trousers to a dark blue trouser. The dark blue fabric,
using more dye, was somewhat more expensive, and so, in December of 1861, with tens of thousands
of volunteers enlisting, the switch was made back to sky blue. Many contractors produced trousers
during the war using somewhat different patterns.  Regardless of pattern, Civil War trousers tend to have
some common features.

These include:
    a straight leg with the bottom hem having a vent (split)
    a narrow waist band 1 1/2 to 2 inches in front, tapering to 3/4 to 1 inch in the back
    a yoke or trapizoid shaped gusset in the back
    a watch pocket.

Prior to the war there was one primary provider of uniform items - the Schuylkill Arsenal in Pennsylvania.
Because Co. K does an early war impression, dark blue trousers should be of this pattern. Sky blue trousers,
worn for our secondary impression can be any of the patterns (T. J. Martin, Wm. Dearing, etc.) common
in today's market.

Members should buy trousers with a looser fit than modern trousers, allowing them to be worn about level
with the navel.

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Shoes and socks

Shoes (Jefferson bootees)

Jefferson bootees (black in color), often referred to as "brogans", are the preferred foot wear.

Jefferson, rights and lefts, according to pattern.

At this time there is no preference between pegged and sewn soles or between the leather being smooth or
rough side out. Heel plates are also left up to the buyer.


There is no preference between wool or cotton socks. The vendors page (under links) includes several vendors
that make or sell cotton and wool socks of acceptable appearance and quality. While somewhat more expensive,
there are also vendors who sell top quality hand knit socks. Since there is a wide range of inexpensive, acceptable
socks there is little excuse to wear modern socks such as modern backpacking / camping socks,  rag wool socks
or various types of cotton socks such as tube or crew socks with stripes or modern logos.  Incorrect socks
should be replaced within the first year.

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