Author Topic: Saluting in the Civil War era?  (Read 3168 times)

Cyrus Cassidy

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Saluting in the Civil War era?
« on: December 01, 2006, 11:46:57 AM »

I just finished watching "Gettysburg" for the umpteenth time.  One thing that always grabs my attention is the sloppy saluting.  Their hands were turned up almost British style (although not QUITE that far), fingers and thumbs were not "extended and joined" smartly, but rather loosely, they saluted with cigars and other items in their saluting hand or items in their mouths, etc.  In today's Army, these are all big no-nos.

Having been an officer in the Army this really chaps my hide.  I always chewed out sloppy salutes from the troops, and I always made DAMN sure my return salute was sharp (I hate hypocracy).  You have to figure that as an officer, I was either returning a salute or saluting a higher grade whenever I passed ANYONE, so I rendered about 150 per day (that's why officers tend to have the sloppiest salutes of anyone).  But, I always made sure mine was sharp and professional.

Now to the question:  During the Civil War, was it normal to salute like they did in the movie, or did Hollywood just forget to teach the actors how to do it properly?

Cyrus Cassidy

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Re: Saluting in the Civil War era?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2006, 08:42:04 AM »
I posted this last year, around the last time I watched the movie.   I didn't get much response then, either.

Sagebrush Burns

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Re: Saluting in the Civil War era?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2006, 09:21:33 AM »
Post this on the GAF page at CAS City - a lot of knowlegeable folks there and you should get an answer.

Steel Horse Bailey

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Re: Saluting in the Civil War era?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2007, 11:16:11 PM »
Howdy, Cyrus!

If you haven't been to CAS City yet, you'll find that their "sloppy" salute WAS THEN by the book.  Yeah, as a former NCO PSG (AND acting PL during the 1st Gulf War) it bothered me a lot, too.  Things change. 

I hate the sloppy bent wrist/arm salute of so many modern Hollyweird Military movies/TV shows, but ESPECIALLY the haircuts that would've gotten Extra Duty for any of MY troops.  >:(   ;)

Let's all sing together ...

Hoo-ray for Hollyweird ....   ::)   ;D
Former M1A1 Master Gunner & Cavalry Trooper (4th & 11th Armored Cav)

NCOWS, SASS Life, NRA Life, GAF, ~Warthog~, SBSS, SCORRS, STORM, and a few others