I am actually an ACW reenactor and have experienced first hand the color of the era's uniforms. (albeit reproduction, but usually all painstakingly accurate) I have seen anything from sky blue/aqua for winter overcoat's to navy blues, even purple. Fading is something to take into consideration of course. Some of the navy blues fade to a brownish-purple. The bright colors of blue in the overcoats fade away to a duller tone, sometimes even graying. I reenact as a 5th Texan, (there on the good old Dixie side ) my jacket is a cadet gray color when brand new it tends towards a bluish gray tone. As time has gone on it has faded to a dull gray. Just as an example. Likewise the butternut color you hear about, actually the butternut was the already exposed worn out result of the original dye after use, from what I hear.
My apologies. I defined the U.S. infantry and left out their cavalry. Really however there isn't much difference in color. A dark navy blue or even dark purple would work. Again taking into account the fading in material, if you are depicting a "veteran" unit. We have a 7th Michigan unit that always tags around our events. Lots of gold and yellow piping on their uniforms. Seems like most federal cavalry used such piping. Red neck kerchiefs also seem to be a favorite with them, verses hollywood's yellow western versions . Hope this has been helpful.
When asked by Cromwell what O'Neill thought of the surrender of Clonmel, White blankly replied; "I cannot answer that as O'Neill is no longer in Clonmel." from IRELAND 1649-52
Lord William Burke wrote:Likewise the butternut color you hear about, actually the butternut was the already exposed worn out result of the original dye after use, from what I hear.
The cheap dyes the Southerners had to use were often from butternuts (ie. the little pumpkin thing) as well as walnuts, sumac plants and other plants and vegetables. The cloth would start out grey and would indeed fade or gently rot away to a dull brown.
"You're a big man, but you're in bad shape. With me, it's a full time job." – Lt. Bromhead to Prince Dabulamanzi before the Battle of Rorke's Drift.