The American Militia circa 1840s
Here's a partial image of the American militia as seen through the eyes of a small and impressionable boy:
"There was no guidance in dress or adornment; a preponderance of hat and ancient lace was not a reliable indication of rank. The laciest figure on the scene was a mere captain from Mount Vernon [New Hampshire], gorgeous in a red flannel coat with yellow facings and brass buttons, gilt braid swarming on his sleeves and down the seams of his pantaloons, big spurs projecting murderously from his heels, and on his head a Bonapartist hat with an astonishing eruption of red and white feathers. He was a tired farmer when at home; here, he surpassed my gaudiest imaginings of Marshal Murat.[Murat was a cavalryman elevated to nobility by Napoleon. He was known for his gaudy uniforms.] In his fiery steed covered with trappings, no one would have recognized the old grey mare which yesterday was hauling manure with the captain for driver. Animals as well as men developed unthought-of qualities on parade."
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!