We received strict orders today to take care of our equipment, especially our clothes and guns. Then we have to wear brass epaulets on our shoulders, which makes a great deal of extra work as they have to be kept polished.2
2 When we once got into active e service, these epaulets were discarded, and the "dog collars" went with them.—A. G. D.
Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 16