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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:35 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
After looking at the picture of the jackets many times, I finally checked out the Brogans. And I must say that it looked like it took half a hide to make those. Are those from a giant U.S. Sharpshooter from Wisconsin or Minnesota? I heard that those men were big men.

The one thing that I am also curious about is pegged vs. sewn sole. I read the Quartermaster General Report over brogans stating that he prefered sewn over pegged soles. The cost didn't matter but in many ways it was better than pegged. Why are so many reenactors going pegged soles than sewn and why are there a lot of sutler supply pegged sole brogans?

Joseph Edwards
The Deadeye Mess
Company C 2nd United States Sharp Shooters

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:09 am 
Probably has to do more with availability and cost when it comes to what brogans reenactors choose to buy.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Joe and Fellow Sharpshooters

If you examine the Gettysburg Requisition article I contributed recently to the Forum, it gives you a nice distribution of the quantity and sizes requisted by the 1st USSS

Since 'big' and 'huge' are relatively generic references I've typed out the number of men who requested size 10-11; there were no size 12 shoes or larger.

Size 11
Co. A (Swiss German-New York)= 1
Co. F. (Vermont)=2
Co. K. (Michigan)=1

Size 10
Co. B. (New York)=2
Co. D. (New York)=1
Co. E. (New Hampshire)=1
Co. F. (Vermont)=3
Co. H. (New York)=1
Co. K. (Michigan)=3

By State
New York=5
New Hampshire=1

Granted, this is a small sample size, but one of the few opportunities we have to examine the shoe sizes that were being requested by soldiers following an active campaign. In this situation at least, the Easties are clearly the winners in the 'Big Foot' catagory compared to the Boys from the Old Northwest.

I'll review my USSS files to see if I can locate any additional information on this subject.

With regards to the type of bootees; these would have been issued as they were recieved by the Division Quarter Master, and then down to the Regimental QM (I believe this would have been Ben Calef in the 1st USSS--Wm. Shreve's cousin)
It would be his responsiblity to issue it to the Company QM Sgt. for distribution for the men. I don't believe the men had the opportunity to request pegged or sewn bootees.

I can't speak for other reenacting/living historians. I've owned two pair of pegged sole bootees (Jarnigan, Missouri Boot and Shoe) and they are both still going strong...the first layers of sole leather are worn on both pairs, but the second layer still shows it will last or a season or two as of yet. Some USSS fellows add hobb-nails to the soles of their shoes, others add heel plates. I don't have any research or letters documenting the number of USSS who performed this on their own bootees.

Bill Skillman
Randolf Mess-USSS

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:21 pm
Posts: 60
Location: Upstate New York
Stupid question...rough or smooth-side out? Jarnigan says most were issued rough-out, but Fugawee says smooth-side. Any opinions?

Mr. Jason G. Wolczanski
Co. C, 2nd U.S.S.S.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 164

Contractors made brogans in both smooth-out and rough-out leather. I've seen original examples of rough-out brogans that were blackballed so heavily that the rough uppers looked shiny and smooth. It's also how I treat my own pair.

As for reproductions, I listed some top notch vendors below. They're more expensive than standard sutler-row varieties but the quality is going to be better and they are guaranteed to be made by band in the USA by a skilled artisan rather than mass produced. In my opinion you get higher comfort, quality, longevity, and authenticity for your buck. I own a pair of Missouri Boot & Shoe #JB-2 brogans that have lasted me for ten years without any repairs aside from replacing the leather strings and keeping them well blackened after every event. ... StoreFront

And if you want the absolute best pair of shoes made since the Civil War, bar none, here's the place.

Brian White
Wambaugh, White, & Company
Randolph Mess, U.S. Sharpshooters

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 7:38 am
Posts: 104
Out of curiosity, what do folks use to re-blacken their brogans? And how does it compare to period blackballing them?


Mike Thomas

140th PVI, Co A

1st USSS, Co H

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