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Civil War Jefferson Bootees and  Ankle Boots

Brogans are also called Jefferson Bootees.

More on Old TJ and the Bootee

The Army used the term "Jefferson". The reason goes back to Thomas Jefferson:

During the French Revolution, large, fancy shoe buckles were considered the mark of the Aristocrats.

Shortly, wearing any shoe buckles at all could cause your head to leave your body. Shoe buckles quickly went out of style in France.

In the United States, Thomas Jefferson was a strong supporter of the French Revolution so, at his inauguration in 1801 he wore laced-up shoes.. This set a fashion. All laced shoes soon were called "Jefferson Shoes."

The term "Jefferson" continued to mean laced shoes until the early twentieth century. "Bootee" is a diminutive of "Boot" and signifies a short boot. "Brogan" is derived from "Brogue", an English term for a rugged shoe that almost covered the ankle as opposed to a shoe which was lower and a boot which was higher.

The majority of Confederate shoes came through the blockade and were made much in the fashion of an English military boot and of riveted or nailed construction. The British did not make many shoes with pegs until the 1870's when they started to use them in leather sea boots because pegs were not corroded by sea water..

Civil War shoes are pretty hard to tell apart. Once they have been stomped through the mud a few times your eye can't tell where they came from. That's when your feet will tell you that you are wearing Fugawee's Civil War shoes.

Your feet are Fugawee's best salesmen.

Price is $131.98 plus $12. S&H.

Most Civil War bootees were issued in smooth leather (right)

but rough out (left) seems to have taken over among re-enactors.

Fugawee'sContract Bootee has four lace holes.

Price is $131.98 plus $12. S&H.


Fugawee's Civil War Contract bootees are available in smooth top grain or rough flesh-out .Our leather is staked until pliable before cutting out the pieces for the uppers. This is the reason that Fugawees need no double socks to protect against blisters and no soaking in order to break them in.

Because of a glitch in naming the widths of our very first Bootees, our E width is more like a standard D. Be sure to allow plenty of room if you wear heavy socks. We suggest that you take a half size larger, for toe room as these do not have a modern toe box. The modern toe box did not come into use until after 1864.

Northern (black) brogans available from 5E to 15EEE in full and half sizes Rough or smooth out.

Mouse Controllable image

The Southern or Monticello model.

Price is $131.98 plus $12. S&H.

also appropriate as a work shoe  from the early 1800's until the present day,  is built on the same lasts as the Federal Contract Bootee. It has five lace holes and a pull tab on the back of the boot. It's color is russet or natural and the rough-out model takes on a beautiful color when given a coat of  Lexol or other oil.  Rough out only.

 Sizes are from 7E to 14EEE in full and half sizes.  Same guarantee, of course.

Fugawee brogans come from the factory with fabric laces but we put a pair of leather laces in every box so that you can have your choice.------------

The Monticello was patterned after the shoes shown on a Gettysburg statue of Civil War Confederate soldiers around a mounted Gen. Robert E. Lee.  It is reputed that the Confederates had a shoe factory at a Florida town called Monticello.  However, there is also a Monticello  in Alabama. We find no trace of the Monticello, Florida factory. 

The Monticello or Civil War Southern shoe is the losest thing to a ready-made1800s  work shoe that  you will find.  Shoes like these were packed 100 pairs to the barrel and shipped from Boston to St Louis  and on to Taos; they were sold to the Mississippi riverboat men; and went on to the Western frontier and  any seaport that the Stars and Stripes traded with.  This  type of shoe was worn by the Yankee seamen  who, in the 1820s,  rounded Cape Horn to load cattle hides in the tiny Spanish port of Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de California. (read "Two Years Before the Mast") The hides went back to Boston, where they were made into more shoes.

Our standard guarantee :  Return re-saleable shoes for proper size or refund. On size changes, we pay the freight back to you.  If the shoes have been in use and  you find any problems in manufacture,  materials, or if the shoe breaks down, call us.  For  small problems, we'll tell you to have it fixed in your home town and send us the bill.  If it seems more serious, send the shoes back and we'll either repair or replace them. We have had this same guarantee for ninteen years.  It is just like the LL Bean guarantee.  We can do this because our Mexican factory also makes shoes for LL Bean. 

You may order by phone at 1-800-605-8280

Southern brogans (natural) size 7E to14eee in full and half sizes, Rough-out only.

Ankle Problems?

A number of men with ankle problems have turned to our Black-Half Boot for extra support. It is black, rough-out, and built on the Civil War last.  The Black Half-Boot is about two inches higher than the Jefferson Bootee of 1861.  Actually it was regulation from 1812 through the Mexican War.      " the Jefferson shoe rising above the ankle  " as stated in  CHANGES IN THE UNIFORM OF THE ARMY which you may read at: <>

Here, too, you will find the regs for the Mexican War. "Mounted officers wore high military boots, while other officers had the short boots. " Bootees were worn by the enlisted men of all corps, "under the pantaloons, laced, extending four inches above the ankle joint."

Black Half boot



Questions answered at   800-605-8280 direct 850-765-1826 Warehouse 850-745-6340

 Facts about  Original Civil War Shoes 

Before the war, almost all army shoes were made at Susquehanna Arsenal.  The pieces were cut out in the arsenal and then "farmed out"  to independent workers  who put them together in their homes on piecework basis  It was the same system that was used for uniforms.    

Historically, shoe uppers always had been considered women's work and this may be all that was done by the home workers but it is possible that the welting and sole stitching was done at home as well.

The largest pair of bootees on record still exists.  They are smooth  side out, size 17. Three pairs were specially manufactured for a large Swedish draftee.  The shoes never reached him.  A target of his size was just too tempting and the Confederates killed him before his custom-made shoes got to him. One pair of his shoes remains in a museum at Susquehana. 

 Fugawee calls our Northern or Federal shoe a Contract Bootee because, contrary to pre-war practice, Army footwear was built by contractors. Naturally, there were slight variations in the shoes issued to the Northern troops.

We have a letter dated January 1862 from Colonel Crossman, Assistant Quartermaster General describing the purchase of 1,102,700 pairs of boots and bootees from contractors all over the North.  Contracts were as large as 120,000 pairs from one manufacturer at Sing Sing, NY (did they have the prison then?) or as small as 300 pairs from another factory in Pennsylvania.  The shoes apparently included work shoes already on hand. They had been manufactured  on lasts (the forms on which shoes are built) already in the factories.  You may be sure that contractors produced  variations in design and fit.. This is borne out in the Congressional hearings early in 1862. Some of the testimony is hilarious.

One manufacturer, faced with the fact that he had supplied shoes that foot soldiers wore out in three weeks replied, "But those shoes were supposed to go to the Cavalry." So help me, it is in the Congressional Record of the Washburn Committee..

  In early 1862 Crossman reported his purchases to Congressman E.B. Washhburn, Chairman of the House Committee to Inquire into Government Contracts (Page 1569, Record of the 37th Congress, 2nd Session) click to read the letter and apologized for having accepted a small quantity of pegged bootees which had been accepted only because of the urgency of the war.  Regulations called for sewn shoes but cheap work shoes for the immigrant trade and those for the plantation (slave) trade had been pegged together since  a labor-saving machine that set nine pegs to the inch came into use.  

Which is correct, pegged or sewn?

The army did everything it could to force the contractors to deliver sewn shoes.  While a pair of sewn shoes brought the contractor $1.80 to $2.00 per pair, the Government would pay only $1.25 for pegged shoes. With Cavalry boots the prices were $3.25 for sewn and $2.50 for pegged. The Army accepted only  265 pairs of pegged of cavalry boots out of 183,997 pairs purchased by Colonel Crossman.

 In a total of  1,102,700 pairs of shoes and boots purchased  by Col. Crossman only 5.43% were pegged. The Colonel felt that he had to explain that he had bought the inferior pegged shoes only because of the exigencies of the war, even though they cost the Gov't one third less.

Here  is a picture of the sole of an original Civil War issue pegged  boot.  The split-apart pegs are diamond-shaped (remember the machine?) and  are  in two staggered rows that total nine pegs pr inch.  Although it is hard to tell,  this is a left/right shoe.

 The shank is riveted in place and the heel has a close-set row of cut nails to extend wear. The boot is machine pegged, nine pegs to the inch.   

No, that is not stitching, it is two rows of pegs. They are staggered for strength and to get as many pegs in the row as possible. Note the rivets on the shank and the close-set nails in the heel.

Forty percent of Civil War shoes were made on a pegging machine invented in 1838, It was much like a two needle sewing machine and almost as fast.  The first station was an awl which made a hole, then the second station  drove a peg into the hole.

 This machine took a block of wood that had been cut across the grain and was of a thickness equal to length of the pegs. The end grain was scored in both directions, making a "card" full of diamond points.  The card was then split by the machine to free the hundreds of pegs.  These fed directly into the next step in the machine which inserted them in the shoes. 

One of the big differences between the nine-to-the-inch machine-pegged shoes actually used in the Civil War and the three-or-four-to-the-inch pegging seen  on Sutlers' Row  is the fact that machine-set pegs were driven all the way through the leather until they were flush with the sole. The points that went into the interior of the shoe were then cut off with special tools before  the insole was glued in. Those pegs were square and straight-sided all through the leather.  

Most of today's reproduction shoes are made with round, polished pegs which are actually made to hold the shanks of modern cowboy boots. The pointed ends of the pegs are driven in only until they encounter the metal form  inside the shoe.  When the points of the pegs  reach the metal, they are cut off on the outside: This means that the smooth,  pointed  peg is  in a tapered hole. Thus, the shoes have three or four round, polished and tapered pegs instead of nine straight-sided, split-off pegs to the inch .  The shoe is held together mainly with glue. The pegs are mostly cosmetic.

Fugawee made "pegged" shoes until our research showed that the sewn shoes were not only appropriate, but had been preferred by the military. 

About forty percent of all boots and brogans purchased by the US Army during the Civil War were constructed with the less expensive pegging process.

During the days of the Soviet Bloc,  the East Germans and Poles used some machine-pegged boosts in their armies.  I don't know where you would find a pegging machine today. Fugawee Jefferson bootees are all sewn as per the basic military regulations during of the Civil War.  Fugawee Jefferson bootees are built on lasts taken directly from an 1865 boot.  

Here are some of the sutlers and tailors 

who stock Fugawee Bootees

   Frazer Brothers 

Loafer's Glory        

James Country

           Milk Creek                          

Uniforms of Antiquity       Sunberry Merchants

The Fugawee guarantee follows the shoes, no matter where you bought them.

For a copy of Colonel Crossman's  letter about 1,102,700 pairs of Brogans click here

See a Confederate bootee from the Charleston Museum of the Confederacy

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