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Re: Infantry belt (for Stephen)

Posted by Stephen B, McCartney on Monday, 11 July 2011, at 10:16 p.m., in response to Re: Infantry belt (for Stephen), posted by Thomas Jacobson on Monday, 11 July 2011, at 8:01 a.m.

By the late 1870's, few infantrymen were using the plain leather belt of the 1872 or 1875 patterns, or, for that matter, the cavalry leather belts w/M1872 beltplate, for field service. Very few used the cartridge boxes by 1876. After 1876, the first arsenal made prairie belts were being issued, and modified (see McChristian) and, after 1880, the new Mills belts, of various patterns, would issued. Patterns within a company might range from the 1876 Fort Abraham Lincoln modification (so called) with three rings for bayonet, etc., to several styles of Mills belt. Bayonets, too, were rarely taken into the field. Photographic evidence is strong on these points. It was, as Doug McChristian, and others point out, a very ununiformed army due to having to use up Civil War issues, budgetary constraints and unstable dyes for uniforms. In the 1890 Sioux campaign soldiers noticed that hardtack boxes were dated 1863. Dates of adoption for uniforms or equipment did not mean immediate issue and what was already in use was hard to justify replacement, unless worn out in the extreme or destroyed.


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