The 1st Regiment was issued green Martin & Bros. frock coats at Weehawken NJ before leaving for Washington.  New recruits who came to Washington were issued the remaining green frock coats and those who did not receive green frock coats were issued blue blouses until more green frock coats were sent from New York City.  All the men were eventually issued both a blue blouse, green frock coat and sky blue trousers. The blue trousers were later exchanged for green trousers.

 The 1st Regiment initially marches to war in blue blouses, green M&B coats, sky blue pants, green caps, gray hats and gray overcoats. The grey overcoats are soon exchanged for skyblue cavalry or infantry "great coats" as they were being shot at by rebel and union troops.

Company records, letters and journals made many references to turning in the green "dress coats" for blue blouses as early the end of February and as late as June depending on location and time frame. They apparently did not wear green frock coats often during the summer campaign months. 

Berdan cloth contract: Contract with Pilling & Co. mills for the government-made USSS coats. This contract was fulfilled in the first quarter of 1862. The contract filled, declared the cloth to be "11 ounce fast-dyed green kersey," meaning eleven ounces per linear yard, diagonal weave cloth of a color dyed-in-the-wool to dark green (that means the yarn was dyed first and then woven).

Trim for these coats was medium emerald green as the trim was on the originals before fading

Original Berdan Green Frock coat in NPS Museum at Gettysburg


Were green coats worn in the summer campaigns?

There is solid evidence that the 2nd Regiment turned in all green coats in June 1863 and got them back in Sept.

The 1st Regiment received their green coats back in November 1863 but we don’t know for a fact that they turned in all of their green coats in June.  There are some period accounts of 1st Regiment men being clothed in blouses and there is a July 28th issuance of blouses to the 1st Regiment.

Possible “what they wore and when” outline.  Most of this is fact and some of it is educated speculation.


Members of 1st Regiment receive green Martin & Bros. coats at Weehawken NJ before being sent to Washington.  Men arriving at Washington were issued remaining green coats and those who have not received them are issued blue blouses until more green coats are sent from NYC.  All men are eventually issued both a blue blouse and green coat.


1st Regiment goes to war in blouses, green M&B coats, sky blue pants, green caps, gray hats and gray overcoats.

2nd Regiment turns in their green coats for blouses in February.


April/May issuance of new dark green coats made by Schuylkill Arsenal;

2nd Regiment receives issuance in full, 1st Regiment in the field on campaign probably stored them at Alexandria until a later date.  Green pants are also issued to some men.


1st Regiment serves in the Seven Days Campaign dressed in blouses, blue pants, and green caps; no current references to green coats while on summer campaign.

2nd Regiment wears green coats throughout the summer.

2nd Regiment wearing mostly green coats at Antietam with a possible mix of blue blouses.

1st Regiment may also have a mix.  1st Regiment gets a very bad uniform inspection in December.

Recruits arriving in both regiments late in the year are dressed in state-provided
clothing such as blouses and blue dress coats; blue coats possibly exchanged
for whatever was on hand at the time.


Complete green uniforms (caps, coats, trousers) are issued to both
regiments after bad inspection reports in late 1862 and possibly because of
the impending review by Pres. Lincoln (in April).  Both regiment’s march off to the Chancellorsville Campaign in green clothes and full packs;
Spare green clothing that was put inside the knapsacks were later found during the Overland Campaign of ‘64 inside the FULL knapsacks that were dropped and left behind during Chancellorsville.


 In June the 2nd Regiment turns in all green coats for blue blouses.  1st Regiment accounts at Gettysburg place men in blouses as well.  Late July clothing requisition in the 1st Regiment shows that 59 new blouses were issued.

Gen. Birney issues orders in early Sept. for all regiments in 1st Div. to draw state jackets or dress coats and turn in blouses.

1st Regiment receives their “bundles” of previously turned-in green coats in November. 2nd Regiment receives theirs in September.


In early August 1863 an inspection of all regiments of the 3rd Corps was made.  The inspector reported that all men in the 2nd Regiment had the regulation green cap and all men in the 1st Regiment except for the Sergeant of The Guard had a green cap.  He was posted in front of Col. Berdan’s tent and gave the excuse that he had lost his green cap and picked up a hat in its place.

The number of new green caps issued on July 28th was 19; these 19 men had brand new caps during the August inspection.


The infamous Major Mattocks threatens to court-martial 1st Regiment men for not drawing green coats early in the year; excuse given was that blue blouses were still good to wear and they were not going to pay for coats they didn’t need.

Identified men from both regiments are photographed in March/April wearing blue blouses and green trousers. It’s highly possible that both regiments go into the Overland Campaign with blouses (Wyman White 2nd Regiment, William Kent 1st Regiment, both mention wearing blouses during the Wilderness).  It’s not known when green coats were drawn by anyone later in the year but whoever was left at that time may have done so.