The War for Southern Independence is known as the War of the Blue and the Gray, describing the colors of the uniforms worn by the two sides, but in reality there was not total conformity on either side, especially during the early months of the war.
Dr. Thomas Turner in his “101 Things You Didn’t Know about the Civil War” tells us that although the regular army had an established uniform, that the majority of participants on both sides were volunteers from state militias who often demonstrated their independence and esprit de corps by dressing in flamboyant uniforms of their own designs.
Often the Confederate troops wore yellow-brown instead of gray. Rank was indicated by stripes on their sleeves (remember Ashley Wilkes from Gone With The Wind?). Rank was also indicated by buttons and insignias. Generals wore three gold stars, one larger than the other two while Colonels had three stars of equal size.
Soldiers on both sides were expected to carry all their provisions, including clothing, equipment, personal effects and weapons. A fully equipped infantryman might carry 50 pounds. No wonder they were “lean and mean fighting machines” by the time the war was ended!