First of all, let me say I am also a great admirer of your work, both books and magazine articles and columns. Regarding pre-war militia uniforms, my own research has turned up very little with respect to the 2nd Mississippi, but I thought it might be fun to post an extract from Sam Hankins "Simple Story of a Soldier" for a description of the "uniform" adopted by one enterprising company commander in the early training camps:
"Our company numbered one hundred and eight. None of us, including officers, had any military training. The captain was a splendid man and well posted in civil matters, though ignorant as to military tactics. He was irritable by nature and vain. He would not appear on the drill ground in citizen's dress, but went about in search of a military suit and found one, although the like of it could be found nowhere else in America. The coat of unknown cut was bedecked with many large buttons and extra long epaulets, while the trousers were on the Zouave order. The hat was about two feet tall, with an additional height of ten or twelve inches of red, white, black, green, and blue feathers. The oldest citizen could not tell to what tribe or nation it had originally belonged. He also wore a sword, with a copy of Scott's "Military Tactics" protruding from his pocket."