At the onset
of the war the U.S. Quartermaster ordered 10,000 complete
uniforms from Paris, Which consisted of caps, jackets
,pants , leathers,cleaning brushes ,shoes, canteens and
hair covered knapsacks as well as other uniform items. The
order was filled and arrived in November 1861.
sets were first issued to the 83rd Pennsylvania, 62nd
Pennsylvania and 18th Massachusetts. The
knapsacks being made of black veilskin for "Les Chasseurs
and Le Zouaves". The Federal troops found the actual
uniforms for the most part too small and they were
returned to the Q.M. Dept but it is believed the other
equiptment was retained for use .
accounts state large numbers of Confederate
prisoners captured at the Battle of Malvern Hill in July
1862 were equipted with ox skin knapsacks, it is
speculated they might have been left behind by
Federal troops and picked up by C.S. forces.
accounts state that Federal forces came upon a fenced area
containing hundreds of knapsacks covered with hair at the
Battle of Bristoe Station Va., that were left by General
Early's Brigade who were the rear guard at this
engagement. It is documented that they were dropped
to make a rear action charge and the troops never returned
to collect them. Early's Brigade consisted of
the 13th, 25th,31st,44th,49th, 52nd and 58th Virginia
here is did French manufacturer Alexis Godillot provide
said equiptment for both sides or were these packs passed
back and forth on the battlefield.
offering both documented patterns made from assorted
brown/black calfskins with black leather straps and trim.