The Confederate captain wore jaguar pants

If you thought cheetah, leopard, and jaguar print clothing was a strictly modern phenomenon in the West, take a gander at the outfit of Captain Samuel J. Richardson, commander of the W.P. Lane Rangers, an independent Texas cavalry that fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Richardson wore trousers made of jaguar hide, with a pair of matching holsters. While Richardson's outfit may have been one of the more flamboyant marching about Texas, it wasn't the most elaborate use of animal skin. Texas Republic President Sam Houston was himself known for wearing a jaguar vest, and members of the 8th Texas Cavalry were said to wear bearskin pants-one even had a full bearskin suit.

[Spotted on Retronaut]

Illustration for article titled The Confederate captain wore jaguar pants
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DISCUSSION

Mok, the Magic Man

Dearest Martha,

Ever more I long for you, and yet this terrible war of brother against brother continues. Following our reverses at Yellow Tavern and Spotsylvania, not to mention the tragic loss of General Stuart, we find ourselves again on the move, harried at every step by the Yankee aggressors. Fighting spirit is still high among the men, but munitions, victuals and other necessaries are increasingly scarce. I fear we may soon be unable to prosecute any further hostilities against the Union armies, and must then cede the initiative to the invader. What's more, it appears that my trousers have not had the effect upon the Yankee that I had initially hoped. What I thought might inspire awe and terror within the hearts of our opponents has instead made me the object of generalized ridicule within the Federal ranks. I begin to suspect as well that even my own soldiers, rather than being inspired to feats of bravery by my wonderful trousers, have also made them the subject of some mirth. It is almost too much for a Southern man to stomach. My only comforts are that this war will one day end, and that I shall return to you, and that at least I'm not some fool in a bear suit.

Until I once again gaze upon your luminous visage,

Your Loving Husband & Obedient Servant,

Samuel