South Carolina Military Cadet Uniform

South Carolina Military Cadet Uniform

Ever since winning our independence from England, America has celebrated a tradition of military
schools for the development of boys into manhood.  By the early 19th century, there were scores of military schools scattered across the nation.  Most wore uniforms modeled after those worn by cadets at the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point.  This tradition persists to this day.

For over 200 year, the dress uniform at West Point has featured a tight-fitting grey wool cutaway tunic with stand-up stiff collar, and three vertical rows of brass ball buttons with additional buttons on each sleeve, collar, and tails.  Piping decorated sleeves, collar, tails, and front.  Insignia was sewn to sleeves.  Trousers featured matching cloth and color, sharply creased, with broad stripes on each leg.

Headgear has changed more drastically.  From the stiff leather tall hat (called the tar bucket) to the stiffened cloth version with pompom and large insignia, to the kepi, and to today’s army style class A dress headgear the military schools generally follow suit.  The uniform was augmented with bright polished shoes, cross belt, sash, gloves, and winter greatcoat.

This uniform follows the traditional pattern with South Carolina state seal buttons instead of plain ball buttons.  The buttons bear the backmark identifying the uniform’s maker:  Jacob Reed’s of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Reed was a tailor who started his own shop before the Civil War on the southwest corner of 5th and Market Streets.  His business was assumed by his sons and flourished until 1970 when it merged with Hart, Shaffner, and Marx.

The buttons are of a post-war style and the various details of the coat along with zippered trousers identify it as an early to mid-20th century military cadet uniform possibly from the prestigious Citadel Military Academy.

SKU: A21

Price: $250.00