Hello everyone . When wearing brogans with mounted services trousers are the instep straps worn with the strap outside the brogans around the arch of the foot ? I know the purpose is to prevent the trousers from riding up when wearing boots and Iam assuming the same would be true when wearing brogans but I did not know for sure or if the straps were removable or not . Iam hoping that someone will write back to me about this .
Post by Dave Myrick on May 6, 2008 15:06:22 GMT -5
Allen, The straps are indeed removable. There are two buttons on the inside of each side of the cuff on each leg to attach the straps. When the trousers are tucked into the boot, they can not ride up. They are to prevent them from riding up while putting the boots on!
Those instep straps are a good question. I don't know if a set came with each pair of trousers or how they were issued. Theoretically, troopers turned out for dress parade with their trousers strapped down over their boots. Off the parade ground, and as troopers outfitted themselves with higher boots to look cool and protect their legs, they frequently tucked their pantlegs into their boots when in the saddle or walking around their muddy campgrounds.
If you were in a regular U.S. Cavalry regiment, instep straps were probably a daily fact of life (they were generally not permitted to tuck their trousers). In a volunteer unit, they were probably ignored except when required, as in winter camp when dress parade was attended to.
You mentioned brogans. The evidence for cavalrymen wearing brogans is pretty slim, especially as you get into serious war. I've scanned the clothing accounts for the 1st Mass. Cavalry, 1863-65, and the only issuance of shoes was to one trooper when he was in the hospital. All the others were for boots. And when you're spending every day around horses, and riding knee-to-knee, only boots make sense. Many troopers bought themselves tall, knee-high boots or double-soled boots to protect themselves from wet feet and injury to their legs, so they knew that low, soft footwear was not practical.
Dave and Andy thank you both for what you wrote . You two are very knowledgeable and informative about what you write in the forum . I realise the advantages of boots over brogans . However being that brogans were government issue Iam certain that some Union cavalrymen used them throughout the war and if in the regular or volunteer cavalry wore the instep strap worn over the brogans for the same purpose as worn with boots . To keep them from riding up . Although Iam quessing that this was the rule instead of the exception in the regular Union cavalry . I was originally going to purchase myself a pair of reproduction cavalry boots but from what I have been reading on some of the guidelines to follow for authenticity on some cavalry reenacting websites brogans are preferable over boots . That is why I brought up the question about brogans and instep straps .
Allan, As Andy stated, there are numerous accounts of both regular and volunteers writing home and asking for boots. I have to tell you, I wear both and found from personal preference that my boots are winning over my brogans. This past event especially as I started with my brogans, and after some hard riding, my left calf had a bruise about the size of a baseball. Seems that the stirrup strap and girt strap pinched and rubbed my skin, so I switch back to my boots. Of course not having my sweat leather on my stirrup straps doesn’t help either. But having boots would not be as incorrect as you think.
Ken Doyon Bugler 1st Maine Cavalry "Sound out mighty bugles, Blow with strength to end battles. Pierce the smoke-heavy air with Your strains of noble commands. Calls for the weary, Calls for the wounded, Sound out to guide, Sound out to fortify. Warm the soldier’s heart, Ease the officer's burden. Sound out gentle bugle. Sound out to end this war." Jerry Pollard
Post by Dave Myrick on May 7, 2008 16:35:47 GMT -5
Allen, Andy alluded to the fact that the current research is showing that Army shoes, ie brogans do not show up in the clothing returns, nor in the regimental requistion reports. The Army did in fact issue boots to mounted troops. They are not the knee high boots with flaps that all too often appear in the photographs. They are much shorter and are sometimes referred to as Artillery Driver's boots. They are a 12 inch boot with a one piece vamp and a 2 piece upper. The soles could be either stitched or pegged.
Addressing the note on some authenticity standards, I think this is aversion to boots is a reenactorism. In an effort to separate one's self or group from the inauthentic's, things emphasized for the wrong reasons.