We are fortunate in the sense that the unit we represent is pretty well documented with records, research, images, and original items that exist. Without getting too far into the weeds on research, I want to try to simplify the research on 2nd Maryland uniforms so each of you can understand the research and in turn it will help us better in recreating what the men from 2nd Maryland Infantry may of looked like in person. Below I am using items to reference such as excerpts from diaries, original images, photos of originals, and actual service and pay records. I may blow a few myths away but at same time present unknowns. I only base my timeline below with facts and will try to stay away from speculation. I have cross referenced original images & pics of original uniforms with service records and existing pay chits.
In order to talk about 2nd Maryland Infantry uniforms, I want to briefly talk about it's predecessor the 1st Maryland Infantry Regiment (1861-1862). 1st Maryland was an early war regiment that formed for a one year of service (like many early war units). When they served their 1 year contract...the Regiment was disbanded. Those that remained willing to serve in a Infantry unit became the nucleus of the newly formed 2nd Maryland Infantry. The 2nd MD was mustered in the fall of 1862 (Sept). Both Maryland units had much thanks to give Gen. Bradley Johnson's wife and her help with clothing and arming both Maryland units. Maryland never succeeded so hence Maryland never paid for its own troops uniform and weapons like the other Confederate states did. It was only due to the connections Mrs. Johnson had with well placed wealthy North Carolinians, that Maryland got the proper logistics needed to function (Note photo 000 below). That said, note Maryland enlisted troops were under the "commutation system" of clothing. This means the men were not outfitted directly from the Confederate Government....the men actually received extra money in their pay which in turn they had to "pay" for their uniforms etc. The uniforms were issued and later deducted from their pay (note ex of pay chit photos 3a and 9b as examples). The 2nd Maryland's first uniform issue was of a Richmond Depot Type 2 or Type 3 styles (which the men paid for out of their pay). Despite popular belief, jackets without shouler straps and resembling what is today known as a Depot Type 3 jacket were in fact issued to some Marylanders in fall of 1862 (note photo 4). Also, despite popular belief that British Army blue grey kersey wool was only a late war item (1864-65), the Marylanders were one of the first units to receive uniforms made with that wool in late 1862 with the exception on Company A & B. (refer to photos 0, 7, 7b, 1, 1a, 2, 3, and 7a as a few examples that support style and color). Photo ex 0 is an excerpt from Maj. W.W. Goldsborough (2nd in command of the 2nd Maryland). The Marylanders received a regular clothing issue once per year (pay chits state when issued). It seems they got issued clothing each August-September. They were definitely paid in October of each year (please refer to photos 3a, 9c, and 9d as a few examples). Using research data we can formulate a pretty solid timeline of Maryland uniforms.
• Issue Fall 1862= RD2 and RD3 style shell jackets (under the commutation system). Material- blue grey wool English Army Cloth. (note photos 0, 1, 2, 3, 3a, and 9d). This excludes Companies A and B from Sept 62-Sept 63. Please refer to our findings for those companies by clicking HERE. There were also various commutation style shell jackets per photo 4. In photo, it shows Pvt Skinner of Company C wearing what appears to be an RD3. The RD 3 style jacket was hobby myth to be issued post Gettysburg. Pvt Skinner was wounded at Gettysburg in 1863 and became a prisoner at Point Lookout for the rest of the war (note photo 4a). Knowing his service record places Skinner’s photo at 1862-63 (pre Gettysburg).
• Issue Fall 1863= RD3s in blue grey wool (note photos 5, 6, 7, 7a, 7b, 7c as possible evidence-unfortunately there is no way of connecting date. Images could be as early as fall of 1862 per Skinner image) . Theory; It is possible some men were also issued surplus stock of any RD2s still left as well.
• Issue late summer/Fall 1864=Imported “Tait" uniforms (also made with blue grey kersey wool) note photo 8 and 8a.
• Issue March 1865= Last issue of uniforms (only worn 1 month). Those uniforms were form the North Carolina Depot as that was the only clothing making it through Petersburg lines. (note photos 9, 9a, 9b, 9c, and 9d) Some RD3s could have been still in service at this time as well (note photo 7b and 7c).
excerpt from Dan Hartzler’s book
referencing Charles Harding’s
Tintype image comparison between a modern tintype of our members and an original image.
“Don’t judge a image because it’s black and white ”