The photograph on this page was sent to me in February 2000 by Sheila Schweitzer of Ocala, Florida, who is a great-grandniece of Albert James. She had received it from her brother, Ray Farrington of Syracuse, New York. All rights to the image are retained by Mr. Farrington. It appears here with his permission.
Mr. Farrington, in an email message of February 15, 2000, provided me with additional information concerning uniforms. Rather than paraphrase him, I will quote him dirctly:
I understand that my sister, Sheila Schweitzer, has sent you a photograph of our great-granduncle, Albert James, who was a member of the 12th NY Cavalry. It's difficult to ascertain from this photo as to whether he is wearing the uniform of a cavalryman or artilleryman. He was enlisted in both branches during his military career. And both branches wore the similar short "shell" jacket. I suspect that this photo was taken during the latter part of his military duty as the uniform appears to be somewhat worn. His kepi appears to have some insignia attached to the front but it's too dark in the photograph to make out the branch.
"As you are probably aware even in the Federal service there was a wide range of uniforms and styles. I know that most troops were issued a fairly standard Federal regulation uniform by the middle of the war. The exception to this were the volunteer regiments from Connecticut, New York and Ohio. These states had a specific uniform style that they dressed their state troops in, even down to the belt buckles and buttons. I believe that Albert James is dressed in the "regulation" state Uniform for the cavalry from New York. If he were in a Federal Uniform, His collar would have been somewhat higher. I also have a Button from his original uniform and that again was a state issued button with the NY state seal and the word, "Excelsior" on it.
"There are plenty of books available showing the uniforms from the different branches as well as the accoutrements for the various branches. One good book that you might find helpful is The Civil War Collector's Encyclopedia by Francis Lord and published by Castle Books."
I am presenting here the image of a button that I believe is of the design to which Mr. Farrington refers.
Designed by a member of