I wanted to share a few photos from my database that helps illustrate the wide variety of chevrons worn by Sharpshooters in both regiments. Most of the examples provided below date to the mid to late-war period. I will give information about the individual soldiers as well as my observations on the insignia.
First Sergeant Abner Colby, Co. G 2nd, likely photographed during his veteran furlough in 1863/1864. Colby enlisted in 1861 as a private and was promoted to corporal in Feb. '62 and 1st Sgt. in Nov. '62. He became the 1st Lt. of Company G in May 1864. Barely discernible on his visible sleeve is a hollow 1st Sergeant's lozenge but no stripes. This style of insignia can be seen in a few other examples from the infantry, mostly among western regiments. In this case the lozenge would be dark green, likely attached to a dark blue or green private purchase sack coat. (Photograph courtesy of Rick Carlile)
Sergeant Lyman D. Grover, Co. F 1st, photographed after July 3rd, 1863. Grover enlisted as a private in 1861, was promoted to corporal in December 1862, and sergeant on the field at Gettysburg on July 3rd. He was wounded at Gettysburg and the Weldon Railroad, did not re-enlist, and mustered out in 1864. Grover is wearing incredibly dark green sergeant stripes on his army issue dark blue blouse. Although hard to make out in this image, I noticed the individual stripes are sewn directly onto the sleeve when I viewed this CDV in person. Grover's sky blue trousers have an NCO stripe sewn to the out-seam. (Photograph courtesy of Rick Carlile)
Corporal George Denniston and his brother John Denniston, Co. G 1st, posed in front of the infamous "US Picture Tent" that shows up in so many 1863 photos taken in the field. The Denniston brothers (George, John, and Hans) all enlisted in August 1862. Their story is tragic: George died of wounds received at Spotsylvania in June '64, John was killed at the Wilderness, and Hans was wounded at Chancellorsville and discharged in December 1863. Corporal George Denniston is shown here in a dark green forage cap, dark green trousers, and blue blouse bearing very lightly colored chevrons. These are privately purchased (as opposed to field-made), likely to be light green stripes sewn to a dark blue panel. (Private Collection)
Corporal Edwin Parks, Co. K 1st in dark green uniform coat with a forage cap decorated with an officer-grade Third Corps badge, stamped brass letters "USSS" and company letter "K" below it. Parks enlisted in March '62 and was wounded at Malvern Hill, Gettysburg, Petersburg, and Deep Bottom before mustering out in October 1864. His corporal chevrons are likely emerald green and sewn to panels that appear darker than his uniform coat in the photo; they may simply be cut from a shade of green cloth darker than his coat. Chevrons comparable to these are present on an original uniform coat worn by Cpl. William Henderson (Co. K 1st) and are made from emerald green facing cloth identical to that used for the piping, hand-sewn to a panel of dark green cloth matching that of the uniform coat. In this case, Henderson's frock appears to have been issued by Schuylkill Arsenal with the chevrons already on it. I have seen this in other original S.A. uniform coats but it was not an overly common occurrence. (Private Collection)
The Sharpshooter below came out of a loaded Company F 1st album several years ago. While he is not positively identified I believe that he may be Corporal David French. Highly noticeable on his sleeves are dark corporal stripes applied to a panel that is lighter in color than his uniform coat. I believe that the stripes are so dark due to light absorption; this would point to a "plush" fabric such as velvet rather than a worsted tape or strip of highly finished wool. This type of chevron would have been a strictly private purchase item and is similar to those on the original coat worn by Sgt. William Tilson (Co. E 2nd). (Courtesy of Rick Carlile)
Corporal Carlos Eugene Mead, Co. F 1st, shown here after his promotion to corporal in August 1863. The original photograph, under scrutiny, reveals that Mead's chevrons stripes are vertically-ribbed worsted wool tape and sewn by hand directly to his sleeves. Judging from the gray scale value of the chevrons against the uniform coat, they were likely a medium-dark green. Mead enlisted in July '62 at the age of 17 and was wounded in November '63 at Kelly's Ford, captured at Weldon Railroad in June '64, and was wounded at an unknown location in September 1864 after returning to his company. (Courtesy of Rick Carlile)
While this is a pretty small sampling of original photographs it gives a good look at the wide variety of chevrons being worn by the U.S.S.S. during the mid to late war period. There are even examples of original rank insignia in public and private collections that further illustrate this point.
_________________Brian WhiteWambaugh, White, & Companyhttp://www.wwandcompany.com
Randolph Mess, U.S. Sharpshooters