Devils in Clean Shakos

Perhaps the most famous and most often-reproduced image of the U.S. Marines in the Civil War is this one, showing a detail of Devil Dogs (before they earned the name) clad in full dress uniforms to include frock coats with large fringed epaulets, crossed buff leather belts, bayoneted rifled muskets and shakos.

Via National Museum of the Marine Corps:

In 1859, the Marine Corps adopted the French-style uniform-cap or shako. The shako remained the standard headgear until replaced by a smaller version in 1875. This enlisted model is adorned with period Marine Corps insignia, an infantry bugle with the silver letter “M.” The red pompom is a reproduction. ⁠

For more on the Corps during the War Between the States, check out the (free) 36-page booklet United States Marines at Harper’s Ferry and in the Civil by War Bernard C. Nalty (PCN 19000410300).

One comment

  • Louis Steven Boone

    The Confederates also had their Marine Corps, doing the same things their Yankee brethren were doing.

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