I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
- Jul 19, 2004
- Reaction score
- Out of Bounds
... I see that, particularly in the early days of the war, there was little standardization of uniform elements. The photos show that oval, rectangular and, in at least one case, a rounded-triangular belt buckle were worn by union troops. Furthermore the variety of footwear was huge, from the black, square-toed boots you mention, to lighter-coloured ankle-boots and even moccasin-style shoes. ...
Yes - I agree that all these points complicate the evaluation of the ptp photo. However, there are certain elements of the photo which narrow down how much variation one could expect in an authentic period photo.
The most drastic variability was at the beginning of the war. The soldiers' attire in the ptp photo could not be representative of that most chaotically-dressed early period, because:
- the lighter-colored kepis some of the figures are wearing weren't issued until after the first year or so; and
- the 4-button sack coat they're all wearing wasn't standard issue at the war's outbreak.
With the exception of the kepis, the ptp photo figures exhibit a uniformity among their uniforms / ensembles you'll be hard pressed to find in any authentic period photos - particularly photos of soldiers in the field.
The uniformity of their apparel - combined with the fit, cleanliness, and lack of wear on the metal and leather accessories - add up to make the ptp photo suspicious at face value, with or without the beast. If this photo is authentic 'period', it displays a group photographed almost immediately after receiving new uniforms and accessories.