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Berdan Sharpshooter Uniform
Division of Armed Forces History, National Museum of American History

Berdan Sharpshooter Uniform

Catalog #: 24939    Accession #: 64127
Credit: Division of Armed Forces History, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 35" H x 16" W

Physical Description

Jacket and pants of army wool dyed a distinctive green color. Green wool forage cap with leather trim. Frock coat of green wool. The brass buttons were replaced with hard, black rubber buttons to prevent a reflection of the light.

General History

Uniform and hat of soldiers of the 1st Regiment of U.S. Sharpshooters who were better known as Berdan's Sharpshooters. Mustered in 1861, this unit was commanded by Colonel Hiram Berdan. Berdan was an inventor considered by some to be the best marksman in America. At the outset of the Civil War, Berdan believed the infantry tactics being used were outdated. He wrangled a meeting with President Lincoln and presented his idea of forming a special unit of soldiers. These soldiers would be “Sharpshooters” from every state. Their goal would be to fire on specific targets rather than simply firing en masse. Lincoln was impressed with the idea and authorized 100 men to join Berdan. They were the only volunteer unit in the war to bear the designation “United States” and they were the only unit supplied by the Federal Government.


Keywords

Country: United States
War: Civil War
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