Original Civil War US 1st Sergeant of the Infantry Silk Chevrons
Original Civil War US 1st Sergeant of the Infantry Silk Chevrons – During the Civil War period, the First (or Orderly) Sergeants wore chevrons with three bars of half inch tape in the branch of service color with a lozenge(diamond) on top of the V of the three stripes. Period infantry companies included five sergeants – a first or orderly sergeant and four, line sergeants. All five sergeants wore three-stripe chevrons; the first sergeant’s chevrons were delineated by the addition of a diamond or lozenge at the intersection of the top V. In action, the sergeants performed the field duty of closing the ranks’ files, assisted by the company’s lieutenants; the latter officers would stand behind the two-rank files or line of battle, in an attempt to maintain some semblance of order during the chaotic conditions induced by combat.
There were a variety of chevron types, as seen in extant, period images, many types not directly adhering to government regulations. This pair of chevrons adhere to period regulations, although they are a finer level of manufacture. Most Civil War chevrons were constructed of a worsted wool, sewn to a dark wool backing. This pair was constructed of a fine grade of sky-blue silk, sewn to a dark blue wool backing. The chevrons are in overall good condition, exhibiting some minor areas of loss of color and fabric. Original, Civil War, 1st sergeant chevrons are rare; this is the first pair we have had. In addition, silk chevrons, for any rank, are equally rare.