First Lieutenant of Artillery


Retired User
Jun 13, 2016
Bloomington, IL Corvette Gold
There was joy indeed at Oakland when the news of my promotion was received there; and the young ladies set themselves to work at once to contrive ways and means whereby my gray Navy coat could be converted into the tunic of an Artillery officer. The most troublesome part of it all, we found, was to get the Austrian knot on the arm, the “curleyqueue,” as we called it, into the right shape. It is so long since, and these things are so soon forgotten, that it may not be out of place to mention here that my new uniform was a gray tunic with scarlet cuffs and scarlet collar; an Austrian knot of gold braid on each arm; two bars of gold lace, denoting the rank, on each side of the standing collar; gray trousers with broad red stripes; a scarlet kepi, trimmed with gold braid, and commonly known, by the way, as the “woodpecker cap.”

One important consideration for me about this time was, how I should get the money to pay for a horse and other necessary equipments. Mr. Raines had two sons in the service, and was, as I knew, supporting the families of several soldiers from the neighborhood. He came to me, however, and told me that he had instructed his factors at Petersburg, to honor any drafts that I might make upon them; and that I must go there and get the money necessary for a horse, and anything else that I wanted. This was more than I was willing to accept; but I had not much choice in the matter; and Mr. Raines assured me that it was a pleasure to him to be able to assist me in preparing myself to fill properly the position that I had won. So off I went to Petersburg, and thence to Richmond,[56]in all the brilliancy of gray and scarlet and gold; the little darkies on the plantation, as I drove off from Oakland, singing the refrain that I have mentioned before.

Source: Reminiscences of Confederate Service, 1861-1865; Francis W. Dawson

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