The Arms & Equipment in the Civil War Message Board - Archive

Re: Which Grey?
In Response To: Which Grey? ()

>>>> I've read two different diaries from men in the Fourth LA INF Battlion, and both made refrences to being "reoutfitted" a couple months prior to the battle of Chickamauga. My question is this. What shade of Grey would have been most likley issued to the Fourth? I know the mills in Tuscaloosa and Tullahoma were close by, but could they have received these supplies from elsewhere? <<<<

Check out the reference at, which deals with the Confederate quartermaster's clothing system.

The terms of grey wool that you find such as "Tuscaloosa grey", "mixed grey," and even "butternut" are for the most part modern-day fabrications used by 20th/21st vendors of shoddy goods. The Confederate regulations refer to "cadet gray" but as you will find in the aforementioned articles, uniforms were never made according to these standards.

Confederate textile manufacturers made grey cloth using natural dyes such as sumac, logwood, iron salts, or a mixture of these dyes. Sometimes the wool was dyed before being woven, in other cases it was piece-dyed after being woven. In either case the dyes were not lightfast, so on exposure to sunlight and the elements, they started to fade. I have one jacket made of piece-dyed jean using the Richmond Depot's recipe for 'cadet gray' that started out as a deep blue-gray, and has now faded to a pale light gray and is well on the way to a golden butternut color. In another jacket, made of undyed "sheep's gray" or "drab" wool, the color has held pretty well, but the dust of a number of campaigns has given it a drab, dusty color that borders somewhere between gray and butternut... it's just "drab."

From around November 1862 until after the Atlanta campaign, the Confederate Army of Tennessee was supplied mostly from the Georgia clothing depots, which produced what is sometimes called the "Columbus Depot" jacket pattern (See or "Georgia jackets." These are usually a light gray or "drab" color. Geoff Walden has an excellent site on the Columbus jackets which is currently off-ine, but you can see some nice reproductions of these styles at, at least until Geoff's site comes back online again...

Piece-dyed jean of appropriate colors, using the original CS dye recipes, can be found at Wool-dyed jeans, and the occasional batch of sumac-dyed jean can be found at County Cloth ( or Family Heirloom Weavers (

hope this helps...


Messages In This Thread

Which Grey?
Re: Which Grey?
Walden's Columbus Depot Website
Re: Color
Re: Walden's Columbus Depot Website
Tuscaloosa grey
Re: Tuscaloosa grey
Re: Tuscaloosa grey
Re: Which Grey?