PDA

View Full Version : New to Reenacting



Soldat251
08-25-2006, 01:39 AM
Hello all. My friend is in the 1st PA reserve and I have decided to get into Civil War reenacting and join his unit soon. I am not new to reenacting as I do WWII but I have no idea where to start to get stuff for CW. Can anybody point me to some good sutlers where I can get my basic uniform kit and such. Thanks.

Rob
08-25-2006, 02:42 AM
Bent's Cookie Factory (hardtack)
C. J. Daley Historical Reproductions
Carter & Jasper Mercantile
Clearwater Hats
Company Quartermaster (de-farbed Enfield muskets)
Corner Clothiers
Dell's Leather Works
E.J. Thomas Mercantile
Elk Creek Saddlers
Eyeglass Warehouse (vintage eyeglasses)
Grand Spectacle (reenactor eyewear)
Haversack Depot
Jersey Skillet Licker
L.D. Haning and Company
Lodgewood Manufacturing
Mattimore Harness
Missouri Boot and Shoe Company
Myrtle Avenue Clothiers
N J Sekala, Clothing Designer
Orchard Hill Sutlery
Osgood Historical Reproductions
Otter Creek Tinware
Regimental Quartermaster
Robert Land Footwear Ltd
Semancik Forage Caps
Stony Brook Company (Federal army trowsers)
Sullivan Press
Tim Allen Hats
TP&H Trading Company - Hats by Tim Bender
Trans-Mississippi Depot Company
Wambaugh, White, and Company
Woodburn Blankets

GrumpyDave
08-25-2006, 06:14 AM
Did you think of checking with the Officers and NCO's in the unit?

jademonkey
08-25-2006, 07:24 AM
Hello all. My friend is in the 1st PA reserve and I have decided to get into Civil War reenacting and join his unit soon. I am not new to reenacting as I do WWII but I have no idea where to start to get stuff for CW. Can anybody point me to some good sutlers where I can get my basic uniform kit and such. Thanks.
Hey,

It is unfortunate that the AC forum is down at the moment since there is a great approved vendors list with links and /or contact info for the various vendors. Rob's list is pretty complete, but as a caveat, certain vendors are better for certain items. Also, make sure that what you are buying is appropriate for the unit/units you are portraying and for the particular period of the war represented.

As with anything, research will be your most important aquisition and in addition to establishing a solid impression it will aid your descision making as to what articles to buy. Many people when they first start out assume that b/c someone is selling something that is must be correct. Not true. Very few vendors are the ones who actually research the products they sell. My recommendation before you buy anything is to read as much as you can about CW material culture and the daily life of the average soldier. Below is suggested reading for you if you havn't read these already.

Echoes of Glory : Arms and Equipment of the Union
For Fatigue Purposes
Johnson's Cartrridge Boxes of the Union Infantryman
Brassey's History of Uniforms : Union Army in the American Civil War
Hard Tack and Coffee

and since it sounds like your impression will be portraying an eastern theatre Federal:
The Columbia Rifles Research Compendium

That's a start anyway, and I appologise for not having complete references. If anyone has others feel free to post. Hope this helps and feel free to email me off forum if you would like. I am always happy to help. Good luck,

Garrett jademonkey74@yahoo.com

Altecfive
08-25-2006, 09:06 AM
Which 1st Pa Rsv Company did you join?

NC5thcav
08-25-2006, 10:07 AM
Rob summed it up pretty well. If you do Confederate I would also suggest Gabriel's Banner for easern and Homespun Wares for western. I have several items from Jason Rich at Homespun Wares and he does excelent work for a realy good price.

flattop32355
08-25-2006, 12:18 PM
Hello all. My friend is in the 1st PA reserve and I have decided to get into Civil War reenacting and join his unit soon. I am not new to reenacting as I do WWII but I have no idea where to start to get stuff for CW. Can anybody point me to some good sutlers where I can get my basic uniform kit and such. Thanks.

Lots of good sutlers out there. For specific needs for the unit you join, get with folks there.

Dodge the cheap stuff, but shop the rest for good quality. Make sure what makes an approved vendor "approved". Is it because a fee was paid, or because the wares have been confirmed by trusted others to be period correct, or both? Could be the vendor is just a friend of the one who made out the list. You don't know until you ask.

Gear comes in all prices. You need to decide if you want to spring for the most top-notch providers (higher cost along with the good quality), or go with someone else who is less known, possibly less expensive, but still does good work. That information is not always easy to find. Also, a vendor may be excellent in some wares, but not so hot in others. Generally, given a choice between an American manufacturer and a foreign one, go with the American made; it will last longer and probably be more accurate, and the price difference usually won't be all that great, especially in the long run.

Before you buy, do some research and make inquiries from multiple sources. Filter out the contradictory information; some folks just are partial to a given vendor and dislike another, while other folks run the opposite. Base your decisions on what you've learned, not so much on what you've been told.

Ebay can jewels among the chaff, but you have to search well to find them. Items sold on these fora tend to be decent, or the seller gets hooted about it. You can save a lot with well tended used gear.

Get the basics for what you need first, then start collecting the "wants" and frillies.

As with all advice, consider the sources, and then be confortable with your own end decisions.

jademonkey
08-25-2006, 03:27 PM
I just noticed that there is a list of vendors on this site - how about that:
http://www.cwreenactors.com/sutlers.htm

Again, at risk slapping around that deceased horse, this list or the AC list are not definative, but are good places to start after you have do some research into your impression. There was also a good thread on here recently about fatigue blouses, does anyone remember that?

Soldat251
08-26-2006, 01:24 AM
Thanks for all the responses and pointing me to all those sites. Now I can start looking around and getting my kit together.

And I have not joined the unit yet but I a going to join the unit fourth ftom the top http://www.2ndregvincents.info/units.html, the 1st PA Res. My friend is in it and he told me it was real small so I figure I'll boost their numbers a bit.

bob 125th nysvi
08-27-2006, 10:31 AM
find out what THEIR requirements are before you spend a nickle. They may have very specific items they want you to get or even specific sutlers for specific items in order to provide a uniformity to the unit all armies have.

And draw on the experience of the members to find what you HAVE to have, what's nice to have and what is a luxury item.

And most of all what is completely unnecessary.

They should assign you a mentor.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperence, NY

Mint Julep
08-27-2006, 01:34 PM
Are you getting into CW reenacting as a favor to your friend or because you are interested in the Civil War?

How authentic do you want to be?

Does the unit you are considering joining meet your expectations?

Just something else to consider. I haven't got a clue about the unit in question, haven't even checked out the website link. I'm just offering a thought.

Would you marry a woman because she was available or because you loved her? Join a unit with the same thought process.

MJ

Rob Weaver
08-27-2006, 02:36 PM
Contact the unit first and get their uniform and equipment guidelines before you buy anything! Their guidlines may be very general or very specific, but they will help you not only to avoid buying things you can't use or don't want, but can help you prioritize your buying so that you get the stuff you need first. The tone of your posts gives me the impression that you're still young, my apologies if I mistaken! Remember to get uniform items that will allow you to continue to grow. You leathers and musket will last you through a lifetime of service, but you don't want to be replacing expensive clothing items next year because you had a growth spurt.
(PS - Not bad incentive for us oldsters, either. I got in shape several years ago, in part because $1,000 in reenacting clothes no longer fit me and I didn't have the scratch to replace them!)