A Well Dressed Johnny Reb (Confederate Infantry)
The photo above is a representation of what a regular Confederate Infantry Soldier would have looked like. Notice the nice clean uniform. The musket, canteen, nice hat, bayonet hanging from his belt. There is even a backpack to hold rations and personal belongings. Wow. Looking at this you would think that this fellow was part of a well supplied and outfitted army.
Of course everyone started off with a nice clean uniform. There were a number of regulations that attempted to standardize the type of shirt and pants, the color of the fabric and the hat that should be worn. Unfortunately the South had a difficult time with the mass fabrication of uniforms. There ended up being a lot of variety.
Once the Southern industrial base caught up to war effort the uniforms became more standardized and better supplied. Being able to access cloth imported from Britain also helped. Some of the CSA units at the end of the war were better uniformed than at the start.
The hat worn here is not the regulation Kepi, but a wide brimmed usually wool hat that provided much more protection from the weather. These hats were popular among the enlisted and officers and were almost always of civilian origin.
The grey color of the uniforms was chosen for a number of reasons. First, many of the state militias uniforms were of that color. Or at least a shade or two off. Secondly, is was a cheap color to dye the cloth. Third, even though not actually intentional, the grey provided a basic level of camouflage against the tree lines.
Uniforms that came out of the the Richmond facilities maintained their color. The grey uniforms that were made in the Western and Deep South facilities often faded to a brown or tan color. Sometimes homespun fabric was used that was a similar color. This “butternut” color became almost as iconic as the grey you see above.