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Some pre-1916 private purchase shirts.

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I recently began to seek-out shirts to complete portions of
my collection. Shortly thereafter, I came to discover how
difficult it is to find original issued items. Unlike a
military uniform, a decent shirt could still be worn in
civilian life upon discharge; therefore, items like shirts,
hats, and marching shoes could be put to use on the farm.

The shirts I am displaying in this post are all private
purchased items that were similar to their army issued

The blue wool shirt resembles the 1883 issued shirt with
the exception of the omission of the two breast pockets, as
well as a tab that buttons under the collar, nor is it lined.
The buttons are the same.



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This private purchased shirt resembles the khaki flannel shirt
(Spec 994 Aug. 21st, 1908) issued by the Army.

The bottom of the pockets isn't quite rounded like its military
counterpart, and there is an additional 4th button along the
front placket, and a second button on the sleeve. Like the
issued shirt, there are no elbow patches. This shirt feels
very soft compared to the pre-WWI (Spec 1092 Oct. 18th, 1910)
olive drab wool shirt.




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This last shirt is embroidered at the collars to H Company, and at the
shoulders to the New York 7th regiment. It is gray wool. There are
pocket flaps, which are not found on earlier pattern military issued
shirts. This one too has four buttons along the front, and had a tab
that buttons under the collar. There is an additional sleeve button,
but the elbows remain un-patched unlike the latter shirts.

The pocket flaps have a subtle point to them. Later issued shirts have
a flat pocket flap, except those for the USMC.



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The three placed upon a 1903 blanket for color comparison.

The first photo of the blue wool shirt doesn't look correct
due to the indirect sunlight entering the room which makes
the blue brighter. In fact, this shirt is very very dark.

I tried to take all these photos with the flash on, with
the flash off, and differing levels of ISO sensitivity.
While not perfect, the posted photos are closest to the actual
colors under the lighting conditions at the time they were

For information about original issued shirts, a well written
post may be found at:



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Excellent examples, the NY militia one is very interesting! These are difficult to find and pricey when they come up on ebay.


Currently looking for WWI items, specifically photos of the 116th infantry regiment, and any material related to the USS Olympia.

Always on the lookout for any rations, miscellaneous personal items, pack filler, care package stuffers, knit Red Cross material, and oddball equipment to supplement the Doughboy display.
Have some extras? I help friends fill out their living history kit, and could always use more loaner gear!

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That's great! Now we have to see them with the corresponding coats...

In Memoriam

My Father, Henry W. Milton, USAAF, Burma, 1943-1945, Lost May 2, 2017
My Grandfather, Nathan Hale, US Navy, USS Rhode Island, 1915-1918, Lost 1968
My 3X Great Grandfather, Sgt. Frederick Hale, 55th New York,
wounded and captured at Malvern Hill, Virginia, July 1, 1862,

died as Prisoner of War, Richmond, July 24, 1862


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