The Bucktails may refer to one of two organizations that were particularly characterized and identified by the wearing of the tail of a buck (male deer) in their hat.
1) The Bucktails (1818–1826) were the faction of the Democratic-Republican Party in New York State opposed to the canal policy of Governor DeWitt Clinton. It was influenced by the Tammany Society. The name derives from a Tammany insignia, a deer's tail worn in the hat. The name was in use as early as 1791 when a bucktail worn on the headgear was adopted as the "official badge" of the Tammany Society. The wearing of the bucktail was said to have been suggested by its appearance in the costume of the Tammany Indians in the vicinity of New York.
2) Also, during the American Civil War, the members of the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves were widely known in the Union Army as Bucktails because each soldier wore a bucktail in his hat. The flagstaff of the companies which formed the nucleus of this regiment was a green hickory pole surmounted by a bucktail.
- Adams, James Truslow, Dictionary of American History. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940