Civil war 1861 Artillery boot

See Uniform Regs 1851/1861 .

Your feet are our best salesmen.

Fugawee's Civil War Artillery Boots Sometimes called Ankle Boots. See Uniform Regs 1851/1861. Also see :

..Dress regulations throughout the period ... mention only the "ankle boot" and the "Jefferson boot."   Both types were prescribed for officers and the mounted service....It can be concluded that the ankle boot was a medium height riding boot without lacing and otherwise called a 'half boot..' "Since the mounted man's boot (if he wore such instead of bootees) were, by regulation, covered by his trousers.........they must have been of the Wellington pattern."

From: American Military Equipage 1851-1872 The Company of Military Historians-Providence, R.I......

These fine boots are made to Fugawee's specifications by one of the few bootmakers in the world that still produces the antique molded front piece. I don't think that any other two-piece CW boot made in America has the accurate molded shape.  Without it, the boots tend to   wrinkle in the front  and cause blisters on the instep. 

We sent the master boot maker an actual, unworn original model 1859 Ankle Boot made in 1865.  In that year it was placed on a mannequin of the Drummer Boy of Shiloh and so was preserved in a museum exhibit until 1968. Our boot maker copied it exactly. Look at the original on the right in the picture and the Fugawee model on the left.


We made two changes. We bought the originals  when the museum broke up.  They were machine pegged, nine pegs to the inch. We used stitching because we haven't found a machineand no craftsman today can duplicate the work of an 1860s pegging machine. For your comfort, we lined the boot with leather from top to toe. Sizes from 7ee through 15ee.

We have been producing this boot for fifteen pluss years.  The other day we received a letter in which Mr. R. Midkim complained that our boots are not "authentic" because they have no welt in the side seams.  We have sold thousands of pairs of the Artillery Boot and this is the second time that we have had this complaint. Or maybe it was one man complaining two times.  Be advised that we have no side-seam welts.  Today's sewing machines don't rely on them the way that 1865 chain-stitch machines did.

Members of World War One groups are buying this boot for German and Austrian impressions.

Note: Many re-enactors have been influenced by the Cinema and television  and think that the issued Civil War cavalry boot came to the knee with a flap or knee guard in the front.   We have plenty of antique photos of CW cavalry with their trousers worn outside the Ankle Boot as per regulations.  Both sides dressed this way but some officers bought their own flamboyant Jeb Stuart type of Cavalier boots.  No, we don't plan on carrying them. 

     In or out? Up or down? What's that little flap on the front of the boot?  The flap or rise is to keep your pants cuffs out of the manure.  When you are going to stables or when the wheels of the Parrot gun churn up a muddy slop, you raise the front of your trouser leg and place it behind the flap. About 1870 the flap became more pointed.

It's the same principle as the modern cowboy boot with its front and back notches to hold the bottoms of your pants out of the mud and manure in the corral.

 By the way, only forty percent of the shoes or boots issued during the entire Civil War were pegged.  Pegs didn't meet military specs and bootees made with pegs were purchased from the contractors for about seventy cents a pair less ($1.95 versus $1.25) than sewed boots or bootees.  Read Colonel Crossman's letter of 1861. Click here

The leather in our boot is a semi-rough cowhide especially selected by the master boot maker after studying our original boot.  The finish will take a shine after a few polishings or it  will take Lexol for a "field-worn" look. The boot is lined with calfskin from top to toe. It has a sewn sole with a roundish  shank pegged into place, the only place where we use pegs. This boot has a comfortable square toe, a tight-gripping heel and bedroom slipper comfort.   

 This boot covers an amazing time period.  It is ideal for many impressions from just after 1800 through 1900 and beyond. It is suitable for reunions of  the Grand Army of the Republic, the 1800s miner, teamster, cattleman, farmer, Indian Wars, Cowboy Shootist, etc..    I have seen mail order catalogues printed in the 1890s that show a wide assortment of prices and qualities in styles just like the 1871 model 

Sizes 7EE to 15EE   The top of the boot is about 12" from the ground, depending on the size.

 Facts about  Original Civil War Shoes 

Before the war, almost all army shoes were made at Susquehanna Arsenal.  The pieces were cut out in the arsenal and then "farmed out"  to independent workers  who put them together in their homes on piecework basis  It was the same system that was used for uniforms.    

Historically, shoe uppers always had been considered women's work and this may be all that was done by the home workers but it is possible that the welting and sole stitching was done at home as well.

The largest pair of bootees on record still exists.  They are smooth  side out, size 17. Three pairs were specially manufactured for a large Swedish draftee.  The shoes never reached him.  A target of his size was just too tempting and the Confederates killed him before his custom-made shoes got to him. One pair of his shoes remains in a museum at Susquehana. 

 Fugawee calls our Northern or Federal shoe a Contract Bootee because, contrary to pre-war practice, Army footwear was built by contractors. Naturally, there were slight variations in the shoes issued to the Northern troops.

We have a letter dated January 1862 from Colonel Crossman, Assistant Quartermaster General describing the purchase of 1,102,700 pairs of boots and bootees from contractors all over the North.  Contracts were as large as 120,000 pairs from one manufacturer at Sing Sing, NY (did they have the prison then?) or as small as 300 pairs from another factory in Pennsylvania.  The shoes apparently included work shoes already on hand. They had been manufactured  on lasts (the forms on which shoes are built) already in the factories.  You may be sure that contractors produced  variations in design and fit.. This is borne out in the Congressional hearings early in 1862. Some of the testimony is hilarious.

One manufacturer, faced with the fact that he had supplied shoes that foot soldiers wore out in three weeks replied, "But those shoes were supposed to go to the Cavalry." So help me, it is in the Congressional Record of the Washburn Committee..

  In early 1862 Crossman reported his purchases to Congressman E.B. Washhburn, Chairman of the House Committee to Inquire into Government Contracts (Page 1569, Record of the 37th Congress, 2nd Session) click to read the letter and apologized for having accepted a small quantity of pegged bootees which had been accepted only because of the urgency of the war.  Regulations called for sewn shoes but cheap work shoes for the immigrant trade and those for the plantation (slave) trade had been pegged together since  a labor-saving machine that set nine pegs to the inch came into use.  

Which is correct, pegged or sewn?

The army did everything it could to force the contractors to deliver sewn shoes.  While a pair of sewn shoes brought the contractor $1.80 to $2.00 per pair, the Government would pay only $1.25 for pegged shoes. With Cavalry boots the prices were $3.25 for sewn and $2.50 for pegged. The Army accepted only  265 pairs of pegged of cavalry boots out of 183,997 pairs purchased by Colonel Crossman.

 In a total of  1,102,700 pairs of shoes and boots purchased  by Col. Crossman only 5.43% were pegged. The Colonel felt that he had to explain that he had bought the inferior pegged shoes only because of the exigencies of the war, even though they cost the Gov't one third less.

Here  is a picture of the sole of an original Civil War issue pegged  boot.  The split-apart pegs are diamond-shaped (remember the machine?) and  are  in two staggered rows that total nine pegs pr inch.  Although it is hard to tell,  this is a left/right shoe.

 The shank is riveted in place and the heel has a close-set row of cut nails to extend wear. The boot is machine pegged, nine pegs to the inch.   

No, that is not stitching, it is two rows of pegs. They are staggered for strength and to get as many pegs in the row as possible. Note the rivets on the shank and the close-set nails in the heel.

Forty percent of Civil War shoes were made on a pegging machine invented in 1838, It was much like a two needle sewing machine and almost as fast.  The first station was an awl which made a hole, then the second station  drove a peg into the hole.

 This machine took a block of wood that had been cut across the grain and was of a thickness equal to length of the pegs. The end grain was scored in both directions, making a "card" full of diamond points.  The card was then split by the machine to free the hundreds of pegs.  These fed directly into the next step in the machine which inserted them in the shoes. 

One of the big differences between the nine-to-the-inch machine-pegged shoes actually used in the Civil War and the three-or-four-to-the-inch pegging seen  on Sutlers' Row  is the fact that machine-set pegs were driven all the way through the leather until they were flush with the sole. The points that went into the interior of the shoe were then cut off with special tools before  the insole was glued in. Those pegs were square and straight-sided all through the leather.  

Most of today's reproduction shoes are made with round, polished pegs which are actually made to hold the shanks of modern cowboy boots. The pointed ends of the pegs are driven in only until they encounter the metal form  inside the shoe.  When the points of the pegs  reach the metal, they are cut off on the outside: This means that the smooth,  pointed  peg is  in a tapered hole. Thus, the shoes have three or four round, polished and tapered pegs instead of nine straight-sided, split-off pegs to the inch .  The shoe is held together mainly with glue. The pegs are mostly cosmetic.

Fugawee made "pegged" shoes until our research showed that the sewn shoes were not only appropriate, but had been preferred by the military. 

About forty percent of all boots and brogans purchased by the US Army during the Civil War were constructed with the less expensive pegging process.

During the days of the Soviet Bloc,  the East Germans and Poles used some machine-pegged boosts in their armies.  I don't know where you would find a pegging machine today. Fugawee Jefferson bootees are all sewn as per the basic military regulations during of the Civil War.  Fugawee Jefferson bootees are built on lasts taken directly from an 1865 boot.  

Here are some of the sutlers and tailors 

who stock Fugawee Bootees

   Frazer Brothers 

Loafer's Glory             CSA Galleries

James Country

           Milk Creek            No Name Sutler               

Uniforms of Antiquity       Sunberry Merchants

The Fugawee guarantee follows the shoes, no matter where you bought them.

For a copy of Colonel Crossman's  letter about 1,102,700 pairs of Brogans click here

See a Confederate bootee from the Charleston Museum of the Confederacy

Brogans  are also called Jefferson Bootees.   

The Army used the term "Jefferson".  The reason goes back to Thomas Jefferson: 

 During the French Revolution, large, fancy shoe buckles  were considered  the mark of the Aristocrats.

Shortly, wearing any shoe buckles at all could cause your head to leave  your body. Shoe buckles quickly went out of style in France. 

 In the United States, Thomas Jefferson was a strong supporter of the French Revolution so, at his inauguration in 1801 he wore laced-up shoes..  This set a fashion. All laced shoes soon were called "Jefferson Shoes."  

The term "Jefferson" continued to mean laced shoes until the early twentieth century.   "Bootee" is a diminutive of "Boot" and signifies a short boot.  "Brogan" is derived from "Brogue", an English term for a rugged shoe that almost covered the ankle as opposed to a shoe which was lower and a boot which was higher. 

The majority of Confederate shoes came through the blockade and were made much in the fashion of an English military boot and of riveted or nailed construction.  The British did not make many shoes with pegs until the 1870's when they started to use them in leather sea boots because pegs were not corroded by sea water..

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