Uniform Study: CS "Artillery" Trowsers
by Christopher Daley
(click on any image for a larger view)

Every once an a while a garment comes along that is just extraordinary enough for me to take notice. Normally trowsers don't make us scratch our heads or raise our eyebrows, but one pair I examined earlier this year has. On the surface they don't appear to be any different than other CS trowsers we've seen in the past, but a few oddities pop up that make it interesting enough for us to feature it as our monthly uniform study.

The trowsers are currently housed in the archives of the Gettysburg National Military Park. They were purchased in the late 1980's along with several other pieces and other than being id'd as "Civil War Pants" have little history. They do have a red welt which runs down the out seam from the cuffs up to about 1.5" from the top of the trowsers. Not sure if you would call these 'artillery' or not, but for arguments sake I have. Although they are not id'd, they do show signs of heavy use and there is wear in the seat as well as the cuffs. The trowsers have a 4 button fly and back belt for adjustment. There are shell and bone buttons throughout, but few of them match.

The first thing you'll notice in looking at the accompanying photos is that these trowsers have no waistband. I've seen a few civilian period trowsers without a waist band, but this is the first military pair I've seen. They are also very wide in the hips and have rather large darts in the waist, this along with the taper in the leg makes them look like jodhpurs. They are hand sewn throughout and are made from grey satinet with a brown warp. They have two side seam pockets and one watch pocket.

An extremely odd detail to me was there was no topstitching on any of the pockets. While topstitching is usually used to keep a seams shape after pressing, it was very odd to see these lacking that detail without some other stitch to hold the pocket opening to form. You can see by photos of the watch pocket, this has already distorted the crisp opening you'd like to see. While there is no topstitching, there are bar tacks at the ends of each of the pockets to reinforce them from splitting. The side seam pocket do have a narrow facing on the rear of the pocket bag, but not the front.

The waist band and pockets are cut from a cotton drill and the cuffs are lined with a cotton duck material.

At this time we don't have any plans to reproduce these trowsers. If you would like to reproduce these and need more photos or notes, please let me know and I'll try to answer your questions the best I can about the pattern and construction.


The author would like to thank Gettysburg National Military Park
for permission to use these photographs in this article.


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