Sometime in the winter of 1864 (the exact date is not specified on the document), the Chief Quartermaster of Heth’s Division, A.P. Hill’s Corps submitted a special requisition to Richmond for unusually large clothing, larger than the sizes ordinarily produced by the Clothing Bureau, “for men who are above the ordinary size and who in consequence have received no clothing this winter.”
Although Confederate Government issue jackets are not size marked, the U.S. Army sizing system appears to have been followed, with coats or jackets issued in size 1 through 4, ranging in chest size from 36 to 42 inches.
30 Jackets, Size No. 4
29 Jackets, Size No. 4 1/2
51 Jackets, Size No. 5
6 Jackets, Size No. 5 1/2
15 Jackets, Size No. 6
The size 4 jackets would simply be additional supply of the largest standard issue size, with a 42 inch chest. Most interesting is the request for half sizes, with 4 1/2 representing a 43 inch chest, and so on in one inch increments until we reach the six size 6 jackets, at 46 inches chest circumference.
Things get more remarkable when we come to the pants. Desired waist sizes are not specified, but the inseams run as follows:
20 Pair Pants, Inseam 34 inches
36 Pair Pants, Inseam 35 inches
63 Pair Pants, Inseam 36 inches
20 Pair Pants, Inseam 37 inches
21 Pair Pants, Inseam 38 inches
4 Pair pants, Inseam 40 inches
1 Pair pants, Inseam 43 inches
Since a six foot tall man generally wears a 32 inch inseam (at least I do), all of these pants are for men considerably above that height. The pants requested at inseams of 40 and above must have been for true giants. A 43 inch inseam is 11 inches longer than the 32 worn by a typical six footer, and as someone that much longer in the leg is presumably also longer in the torso, we must be looking at an individual over seven feet tall.
Since this requisition sits alone among random, unrelated documents in the Confederate Quartermaster Department files, there is no way to know if the above clothing was actually produced and issued, or if this document was unique or part of a larger effort, duplicated in other divisions, to supply the largest soldiers in the army, who must have on many occasions experienced great difficulty in finding adequate clothing to wear.