E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Garibaldis Red Shirt.
The red shirt is the habitual upper garment of American sailors. Any Liverpudlian will tell you that some fifteen years ago a British tar might be discerned by his blue shirt, and a Yankee salt by his red. Garibaldi first adopted the American shirt, when he took the command of the merchantman in Baltimore.