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toptimlrd
09-11-2006, 09:48 AM
I have heard but have been unable to find documentation that there were soldiers who carried an empty ticking mattress they could stuff with straw, leaves, etc. Does anyone know where such documentation may exist or have any information as to construction or dimensions? I know these existed in garrison events as there are examples of these, but were they ever made so they could be carried empty and filled when needed?

TimKindred
09-11-2006, 11:59 AM
Comrade,

Well, I cannot vouch for it being of ticking material, most likely it was made of duck... however...

The 1861 Maine Adjutant General's Report contains a list of those items of initial issue to the Third Maine Infantry. Included amongst these are:

966 Red Blankets
624 Rubber Blankets
1700 Towels
766 Bed Sacks
912 Knapsacks,

&ct....

These "Bed Sacks" are mentioned as being carried with the regiment when they left for Washington in 1861. The list itself is quite eye-opening and, I feel, is pretty indicative of the types and amounts of stuff a newly-raised regiment was issued.

However, if the 3rd Maine got these items, then it's a fair bet that both the 1st and 2nd got them as well, and perhaps the 4th also. It seems a handy item to have, and certainly small and light enough to roll up and pack within a knapsack of blanket roll.

Respects,

toptimlrd
09-11-2006, 12:49 PM
Comrade,

Well, I cannot vouch for it being of ticking material, most likely it was made of duck... however...

The 1861 Maine Adjutant General's Report contains a list of those items of initial issue to the Third Maine Infantry. Included amongst these are:

966 Red Blankets
624 Rubber Blankets
1700 Towels
766 Bed Sacks
912 Knapsacks,

&ct....

These "Bed Sacks" are mentioned as being carried with the regiment when they left for Washington in 1861. The list itself is quite eye-opening and, I feel, is pretty indicative of the types and amounts of stuff a newly-raised regiment was issued.

However, if the 3rd Maine got these items, then it's a fair bet that both the 1st and 2nd got them as well, and perhaps the 4th also. It seems a handy item to have, and certainly small and light enough to roll up and pack within a knapsack of blanket roll.

Respects,

Tim,

Thanks, this is the type of information I was looking for. I have a few yards of ticking and had heard that there was evidence of the "bed sacks" or "ticking mattresses", or whatever they may have been called being used in the field. At Ft. Clinch near me they use straw ticking mattresses on the cots (only sewn shut on all sides) and I had heard some soldiers had similar items in the field. It seemed like a reasonable assumption these would have existed and it wouldn't seem to be too difficult an item to make. I think I will try my hand at making one with a buttoning flap at one end and see how it works in the field. Who knows, I might actually get a decent night's sleep while campaigning if it works.

AZReenactor
09-11-2006, 01:08 PM
From the United States Army Regulations of 1861 (http://www.usregulars.com/library.htm)

1149. Bed-sacks are provided for troops in garrison, and iron pots may be furnished to them instead of camp-kettles. Requisitions will be sent to the Quartermaster-General for the authorized flags, colors, standards, guidons, drums, fifes, bugles, and trumpets.

I've seen references to bed-sacks being issued and carried from location to location but not any reference to them actually being used outside of garrison.It would seem rather impractical on the march to try and find enough leaves or straw to fill the bed-sacks of a company, yet alone a regiment or even larger formation, each night. As I am just speculating on this I'd certainly be curious to see any references to their use in the field.

Somewhere I've seen the pattern for an issue bed-sack but cannot recall it at the moment. I do recall that it was sewn out of ticking and had a flap at the top that folded over and buttoned with several paper backed tin buttons. If I can locate the source I'll make certain to share it.

DaveGink
09-11-2006, 01:13 PM
This doesn't specifically cover whether or not soldiers regularly took these sacks with them on the march - but 1861 regs did call for Federal troops to be issued bed-sacks while in garrison.

1861 U.S. Army Regulations: Uniforms & Equipage

ALLOWANCE OF CAMP AND GARRISON EQUIPAGE.

1149. Bed-sacks are provided for troops in garrison, and iron pots may be furnished to them instead of camp-kettles. Requisitions will be sent to the Quartermaster-General for the authorized flags, colors, standards, guidons, drums, fifes, bugles, and trumpets.

EDIT: OOPS, Hows that for timing Troy? You posted while I was typing. :)

AZReenactor
09-11-2006, 01:48 PM
The following are from Excerpts from the Quartermaster General's annual report for the year ending June 30, 1864 (http://www.cjdaley.com/1864QMreport.htm) that CJ Daley has posted on his site.


Of the principal articles of clothing and equipage these depots have
supplied during the fiscal year the following quantities
...
Bed sacks 220,429
...
The stock in the principal depots ready for issue, but not issued to
troops at the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 1864
...
Bed sacks 199,555

Received at the depot of clothing and equipage, New York, for the fiscal year
ending June 30, 1864.
...
Bed sacks, single 75,964
...
Received at the depot of clothing and equipage, Philadelphia, Pa., during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864.
Bed sacks 108,889
...
Received at the depot of clothing and equipage at Cincinnati, Ohio, during the
fiscal year ending June 30, 1864.
...
Bed sacks: Single 10, 923
Bedsacks: Double 5, 852
...
Received at the depot of clothing and equipage at Saint Louis, Mo., during the
fiscal year ending June 30, 1864
...
Bed sacks: Single 8, 981
Bed sacks: Double 9, 820
...
Total amount of the articles of clothing and equipage, below enumerated, manufactured, purchased, &c., at the several depots of the Quartermaster’s Department during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864.
...
Bed sacks, single and double 220, 429

I suspect a number were used in hospitals, but again, I am merely speculating.

toptimlrd
09-11-2006, 05:20 PM
Well at least I don't feel silly for asking now. I just remembering hearing in a presentation somewhere that these sacks were used and I was unable to find references as to how or where they were used. It seems this is one item that is somewhat in question. Considering the relative small size and light weight, it just seemed to me that at least some soldiers might have carried such an item and on a more selfish note may help that sore back in the morning. As to filling them I would hazard a guess that it depended upon where you were and what season you were in.

Thanks for the input.

GrumpyDave
09-11-2006, 05:44 PM
Personally, If I can stuff (insert soft sleeping material here) under my gum, why do I need to carry anything extra? If I'm in garrison, they'd be issued.

TimKindred
09-11-2006, 07:47 PM
Comrades,

The thing is, at least as far as the 3rd Maine is concerned, these guys were never anywhere where cots or bunks were available until winter quarters of '61. When they mustered in, they were using Common tents for all enlisted/NCO's, as well as Company Oficers. When they went to Washington, they were still in common tents, and remained so through the winter until sometime in 1862 when they were issued with shelter halfs.

The first semi-permanent camps they built where ad-hoc bunks may have been available was the winter of '62. Therefore, they were hauling those 'bed-sacks" around somewhere.......

Respects,

NJ Sekela
09-11-2006, 08:20 PM
Friends:

I have records of supplies being sent to Ordinance Detachments, of which included bed ticks. Oddly enough, they also requested larger size uniforms and up to a size 40 waist.

The more things change...

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

Sgt_Pepper
09-11-2006, 11:52 PM
Mr. Sekela:

Are you perhaps implying that some ordnancemen tend to take advantage of the proximity of large established supply centers to enjoy more and better food which, combined with relatively lesser physical exercise than is the lot of the typical infantryman, renders them a bit more likely to accumulate excess adipose tissue? Because if you are, Sir, then I... am forced by a respect for truth and honesty to agree with your implication.

What's for dessert? ;)

NJ Sekela
09-12-2006, 03:05 AM
Sir:

I thought that it was a funny historical footnote.

Sort of like water finding its own level.

On another note, there was correspondence to indicate that the mattress ticks were hand sewn. A "bill of materials" listed skeins of linen thread to be used, which normally connotes hand sewing. I also read that Bone buttons were used. Also, judging by the construction techniques of the day, I honestly believe that they were made using full widths of fabric, either 3/4 or 4/4 goods.

The references that I saw in the National Archives indicated that they were issued and used until well after the cessation of hostilities. The correspondence from Washington to New York requested shipments to established forts and government installations.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

Sgt_Pepper
09-12-2006, 10:31 AM
Funny indeed, Mr. Sekela. Oh, the stories I could tell about the soft life enjoyed by the REMFs (the veterans know what that means). :)

tompritchett
09-12-2006, 09:25 PM
Oh, the stories I could tell about the soft life enjoyed by the REMFs (the veterans know what that means).

Bill Maudlin had some choice words about them during WW II too.

NJ Sekela
09-13-2006, 05:03 AM
Well, what was suprising was the large number or silk Ordinance Sgt chevrons that were issued. What I saw was "full frontal Ordinance", with shoulder scales frocks, "star chevrons" and so on, as late as 1864 and 65. The items were produced in New York and shipped all over the country, ie Boston, Chicago, and Wilminton De.

I guess Ordinance was the land of milk and honey.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manf'r.
N.Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com