Image Description from historic lecture booklet: "Many of the boulders and pebbles of the till are found to be glaciated, or marked with parallel scratches. Often they look as if engraved with a sharp need. Sometimes the scratches are deep and rough. A marked polish is seen on some stones. If we dig through the subsoil to the bed-rock, we shall often find the latter scratched in the same way, or even deeply grooved and carved into fluting's and the folding. The glacier, shod with stones at its base, drags these over the bed-rock, and thus both the moving fragments and the floor over which they move are polished and graven. The direction of the scratches corresponds to that in which the erratic boulders have been moved, and so, putting these other facts together, we have full proof that glaciers have done the work."
The central foreground figure with scarlet trouser stripe and sash and a chapeau is recognized as a General of Artillery in full dress. As shown by the single white star on forearm and epaulettes, he has the rank of Brigadier-General. The aiguillettes hanging on the right breast and arm of all these men show that they are General Staff Officers. The officer in the left foreground with yellow trouser stripe is a Lieutenant-Colonel of Cavalry, his rank being indicated by the four-fold stripe of the Austrian knot on forearm. The Lieutenant-Colonel wears a silver leaf on shoulder. The star on forearm has a brass center and is not the solid white star of the Brigadier-General. The second officer from the left, as shown by buff stripe on trousers, coat and hat band, is a Lieutenant-Colonel of the four-fold Austrian knot. The left officer of the two men in the background, as shown by his orange corps colors, is the Major of the Signal Corps. He, also, has a gold leaf on the shoulder knot, indicating the rank of Major. The man on the right coming down with him, with black and crimson trimmings on coat and hat, also two-stripe Austrian knot, is a Captain of Ordnance. The Captain also wears two bars on his shoulder knot. The officer in the right foreground, coming down the steps, as shown by the white trouser stripe, also, collar and cap trimmings, and two-stripe Austrian knot, is a Captain of Infantry. The officer on the extreme right with scarlet and white trouser stripes, coat and hat trimmings and two-fold Austrian knot, is a Captain of Engineers.
In this view showing uniforms of about 1812, all features of dress suggesting Revolutionary times, have disappeared. Instead of the long cut-away coat with facings previously worn, we have in this period a close buttoned, single-breasted, modern coat of the present. The three cornered hat of the Revolution has entirely disappeared. All the officers, both mounted and on foot, wear a high "chapeau bras" style of hat, while the men wore for a short time high hats, of the form of the modern silk hat, as here shown with white plumes. Another noticeable feature of the dress of the officers and men in our view is the short hair and the absence of the queue so generally worn in the Revolutionary period. In 1801, for sanitary reasons, soldiers were ordered to wear their hair short and not to wear whiskers lower than the bottom of the ear as shown here. This order regarding whiskers was rescinded in 1853, and they were permitted, provided they were neatly trimmed, but the order regarding the keeping of the hair short is still in force.
In the group of officers here, is shown the campaign dress of the 1840's and the Mexican War. The two stars on the shoulder of the officer at the right, also, his buff sash, shows he is a Major-General and the commanding officer. He is recognized as General Taylor with his staff holding a field consultation in Mexico during the campaign of 1847. Here first appears the modern frock coat worn by officers, and the soft, flat forage cap. Buff no longer appears on collars and cuffs of General and Staff Officers. Velvet was substituted for General Officers, as shown on the collar of the Major-General here.
In our view here we have the campaign dress of the enlisted men of the period of 1847. The cross belts are no longer worn, but one body belt and a waistbelt. The solider on horseback is a Dragoon. The soldier at the extreme left in grey is a foot Rifleman or Voltiguer. The other two soliders in light blue with white trimmings are Infantrymen. In the distance a battery of Light Artillery is going into action in an engagement with the Mexicans.
Previous to the Revolutionary period, the military uniforms worn were those of the separate militia companies of the Colonies, especially the independent companies in the cities. While the Provincial Militia as a whole were not uniformed in the modern military sense, most of them fought in the garb of the hunter or woodsman. Fond as Washington was of military display and formality, he had recommended its adoption by the troops in his campaigns against the Indians in Virginia. At the extreme left of the view is one of his Virginia riflemen. This form of campaign dress consisted of shirt, trousers, leggings, rifle, bags for bullets and the powder horn hung over the left shoulder. In the campaign against the French fort, Ticonderoga, the New England Rangers wore this type of dress. The uniform of the militiaman seated on the stone shows that he is a member of the Governor's foot-guard organization of Connecticut, an organization still in existence which wore, as shown there, the scarlet coat, bearskin hat and brown gaiters. The Quakers of Pennsylvania finally overcame, in part, their distaste for military organization. Benjamin Franklin was elected Colonel of a regiment of independent companies that had been formed in Philadelphia in view of the impending trouble with the mother country. The soldier at the right is a Philadelphia Trooper of this command dressed in a brown coat with white facings, white breeches, high boots, round leather cap with buck's tail on top and a silver cord, also representing an organization still in existence. The man at the back with rifle in hands is a member of that most famous of all military organizations formed just before the outbreak of the Revolution--the "Minute Men." At the extreme right approaching is a mounted courier, the swiftest message bearer of that period, and in the left background is a colonial farm house.
Here are shown the modern overcoats with which the Army was subsequently equipped. Here the forage caps are also worn. The officer at the left is a General or Staff Officer, his cap ornament being a gold wreath encircling the letters, "U.S.". The two officers at the right are shown by swords and yellow trimmings on their uniforms, to be of the Cavalry. The crossed cannons on the cap of the second officer from the right, show he is an officer of Artillery.
We recognize here General Sherman and General Scofield. They wear buff sashes across the body from left shoulder to right side as all officers above the grade of Brigadier-General were allowed to do. Staff officers wore the chapeau of the form lying on the table, decorated with black ostrich feathers, three for the General-in-Chief and two for the others. United States between and two stars for Major-General.
The officer in the foreground holding a field glass is Brigadier-General Nelson A.Miles, the general in command of this group, his rank being indicated by the single star on shoulder straps. The white trouser stripe and the gold and silver leaves on shoulder strap of the officer to the left and back of General Miles, show he is a Major or Lieutenant-Colonel of Infantry. He wears a forage cap with gold cord. He is talking to a soldier whom we recognize from his sword and red trouser stripes and shoulder straps to be an officer of the Artillery. The sword and yellow trimmings of the figure at the right of General Miles, show he is an Officer of Cavalry. Notice the enlisted men mounted, in the right background wear a belt for cartridges, as the old-fashioned box worn at the waist belt during the adoption of the breech-loading rifle. Here is shown the comfortable soft felt hat, instead of the tall stiff hat of the Civil War period. These are all mounted officers as shown by their spurs. One of the defects of Army equipment at this time was the absence of rubber clothing, so necessary in field campaigning.
Here are shown General Sheridan and some members of his Staff. His rank of Lieutenant General is shown by three stars on his epaulettes and saddlecloth. The mounted officer saluting him, as shown by his scarlet trimmmings and plume in his helmet, is an officer of Light Artillery. The officer at the extreme right is General Sheridan's brother, Michael Sheridan, who is here an Assistant Adjutant-General. The other officers at the back are a Staff Officer, wearing a chapeau and a Calvary Officer wearing the helmet with yellow trimmings and plume. Here also, the modern white linen collar appears above the coat collar in place of the old-fashioned black stock. In 1881, helmets were ordered for all regular troops, those of field officers being decorated with plumes with cord and tassel of the color of the corps-- white for Infantry, scarlet for Light Artillery and yellow for Cavalry. Enlisted Infantrymen and Heavy Artillerymen wore simple spikes in their helmets.