As it turns out, John Stewart Walker and the members of his company, the Virginia Life Guard, didn’t wear butternut or even gray. In fact, they wore blue. Louis H. Manarin’s 15th Virginia Infantry says this on the subject:
‘[The Virginian Life Guard's] uniform consisted of blue flannel cloth hunting shirts with blue fringe and Virginia buttons, black pants, blue cloth caps, and white gloves’.
Unfortunately, that description raises as many questions as it answers. What is a ‘blue hunting shirt with blue fringe’? What exactly is meant by ‘cloth caps’? Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
We know from his letters that John Stewart Walker at least added a pair of gaiters to his uniforms, and he probably wasn’t the only one to do so. Undoubtedly this uniform was replaced with the more standard gray at some point, but I have no idea when. So far in his letters Walker hasn’t mentioned a new uniform, so we can feel pretty safe that the company wore these uniforms at Big Bethel. My guess is that they were still wearing them during the Seven Days.