Ranks and insignia of the Confederate States
The ranks and insignia of the Confederate States were a rank insignia system devised by the forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. While based on the Union rank system, changes were introduced to differentiate the "gray" from the "blue".
Junior officers up to captain had a less elaborate pattern of braid on their tunic cuffs and wore collar insignia of three horizontal bars for a captain, two for a first lieutenant and one for a second lieutenant. Majors, lieutenant colonels, and colonels wore respectively one, two, and three stars on the collar, and all grades of general had the insignia of three stars (the middle being slightly larger) in an open top wreath pattern.
Most officers wore tunics with buttons in two rows of seven. Generals could be recognised by the eagles on their buttons and the placement of the buttons in groups of two. While there was no official distinction for different grades of general, some major generals adopted the pattern of their Union counterparts by wearing two rows of nine buttons in groups of three.
|Confederate Army Officer|
|General||Colonel||Lieutenant colonel||Major||Captain||First lieutenant||Second lieutenant|
|Confederate Army enlisted rank insignia|
|Sergeant major||Quartermaster sergeant||Ordnance sergeant||First sergeant|
|no insignia||no insignia|
Ranks were worn as chevrons on the right and left sleeves above the elbow. They were colored according to service branch:
- Infantry = Blue
- Artillery = Red
- Cavalry = Yellow
- Engineers = Yellow (or Gold)
- Ordnance = Crimson
Brass shoulder scales were worn on dress uniforms, with different features to signify enlisted ranks. Shoulder scales were not normally worn on service or fatigue uniforms. When in full dress and sometimes also in battle, Sergeants in non-mounted service branches carried the M1840 NCO Sword suspending on a leather belt (except for Hospital Stewards who carried a special sword model). Additionally all ranks above Sergeant (i.e. First Sergeant, Ordnance Sergeant, Hospital Steward, Sergeant Major etc.) wore crimson worsted waist sashes (In the Confederate States Army, all Sergeant ranks wore swords AND worsted waist sashes: red for Artillery and Infantry, yellow for Cavalry).
- Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
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