9. The Union soldier was often poorly equipped in the early years of the war
Because of widespread corruption among the government and its contractors, the Union soldier in the first year of the war appeared to be well-equipped but in many, if not most cases, he was not. Uniforms were of inferior material and quickly fell apart. The same was the case with shoes, which were issued in identical pairs, rather than distinct left and right. Overcoats were of such poor quality that they did little to ward off the winter chill. Clothing was nearly impossible to replace early in the war, since the highest priority of the quartermaster corps was the acquisition and care of horses and mules which moved the army, and the soldier who found his uniform falling apart had little recourse but to attempt to repair it himself.