Mustaches at Mackinac

The Fort Mackinac rifle team in 1886, proudly displaying their trophy and their mustaches.

The Fort Mackinac rifle team in 1886, proudly displaying their trophy and their mustaches.

Today, people wear all sorts of hairstyles, jewelry, tattoos, and other adornments to personalize their look. In the late 19th century, however, only one accessory would do for the fashionable and well-dressed man: a mustache.

Private Amos Wilkie

Private Amos Wilkie

Unfashionable for most of the 18th century, facial hair came back into style in the early 19th century. While beards were popular by the 1850s (think Abraham Lincoln), as the years passed mustaches became increasingly fashionable.

 

 

Here are just a few of the mustachioed men who served at Fort Mackinac between the 1870s and 1890s:

A company of the 23rd Infantry on the parade ground in the 1880s- how many mustaches can you see?

A company of the 23rd Infantry on the parade ground in the 1880s- how many mustaches can you see?

A close up of the group and their mustaches.

A close up of the group and their mustaches.

Captain Leslie Smith, commanding officer 1869-74

Captain Leslie Smith, commanding officer 1869-74

Captain Edwin Sellers, commanding officer 1879-84

Captain Edwin Sellers, commanding officer 1879-84

Captain Greenleaf Goodale, commanding officer 1886-90

Captain Greenleaf Goodale, commanding officer 1886-90

Quartermaster Sergeant John Fletcher, 1885-93

Quartermaster Sergeant John Fletcher, 1885-93

Lieutenant Edmund Smith, 1890-92

Lieutenant Edmund Smith, 1890-92

Captain George Brady, commanding officer 1884-86

Captain George Brady, commanding officer 1884-86

 

 

to “Mustaches at Mackinac”

  1. Mark

    Of the three decorations in a row that Captain Greenleaf Goodale is wearing, the left one is a Military Order of the Loyal Legion Medal and the right one is Rifle Marksman Badge – Sharpshooter. What is the cross in the middle? The thin badge above the three is a Rifle Marksman Badge; and he has Marksman Buttons on his collar. Any idea what the cross suspended by two chains is? My Capt Goodale replica uniform is complete except for this missing piece.

    Reply
    • Dominick Miller

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve forwarded it on to our historian, and he’ll be in touch (most likely after the holidays). Thank you!

      Reply
    • Dominick Miller

      Hi Mark,

      Our director has done some research on Goodale, and this is what he had to say:

      “I believe that the unidentified medal in the Goodale portrait is a Civil War period 6th Corp badge.

      Goodale served in the 6th Maine Volunteer Infantry from May 1861 to January 1864 (when he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant in the 77th United States Colored Troops). From May 1862 to August 1864, the 6th Maine was attached to the 6th Army Corp, Army of the Potomac, Union Army. The 6th Corps badge was a Greek cross (arms of equal length).”

      I hope this helps – thank you!

      Reply

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