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James Wolfe
11-12-2006, 01:12 PM
Hello, reenacting is something I have wanted to do for quite some time.
I was wondering as to what equipment one would need to reenact. (Clothing, canteen, rifle, revolver, etc....)
And if anyone could post some links to good suppliers that would be great!
Thanks!

VaTrooper
11-12-2006, 01:34 PM
James we need a little more information from you. Federal? Confederate? Infantry? Cavalry? Artillery? Mainstream? Progressive? And since your new Id suggest you find a unit to join first as they may have their own guidelines.

Western Blue Belly
11-12-2006, 02:16 PM
...Id suggest you find a unit to join first as they may have their own guidelines.


This is very sound advice.

tompritchett
11-12-2006, 02:52 PM
Spend the next year visiting events in your area, Living Histories as well as actual reenactment and getting to meet the various units. Get a feel for what style of reenacting best meets your personal expectations out of the hobby and then in the Fall select a unit that you feel will best meet your expectations. Then ask these same questions of your new unit as well as the priority they recommend for obtaining them (few individuals can afford to buy all their equipment and clothing at one time). It is much better to pick the right unit for you the first time than bounce around finding a unit that best fits you for several years.

White Horse
11-12-2006, 09:29 PM
Hello, reenacting is something I have wanted to do for quite some time.
I was wondering as to what equipment one would need to reenact. (Clothing, canteen, rifle, revolver, etc....)
And if anyone could post some links to good suppliers that would be great!
Thanks!

Some real basic guidelines considering the lack of information you provided.

Rule number ONE A - RESEARCH WHO YOU INTEND TO PORTRAY! Do NOT take any reenactors word for it, and DO NOT TAKE ANY SUTLER'S WORD EITHER!

Rule number one B- if you can't carry it a mile, you don't need it!

Rule number two, if its cheap, it probably is cheap and likely very unauthentic. A 69.00 dollar jacket or a 39.00 hat is likely incorrect, they are probably some Paki's idea of what something from the AMerican civil war should look like...

Rule number three- If it says "stainless steel" don't buy it!

My advice is worth exactly what you make of it...
Happy re-enacting

Richard Schimenti
11-12-2006, 10:17 PM
James, in addition to doing what the others have suggested. I would also add that you start reading as much material on the hoby as possible.

A good book to start with is Reliving the Civil War, A Reenactor's handbook by R. Lee Hadden.

there is some very useful information in that book

richard Schimenti 2nd Kentucky Cav. Co.D

Mint Julep
11-12-2006, 11:30 PM
James, in addition to doing what the others have suggested. I would also add that you start reading as much material on the hoby as possible.

A good book to start with is Reliving the Civil War, A Reenactor's handbook by R. Lee Hadden.

there is some very useful information in that book

richard Schimenti 2nd Kentucky Cav. Co.D

I've never heard of that book, so I can't say it is a good investment or not.

But, I would highly recommend that any reenactor, fresh fish or veteran, purchase the Columbia Rifles' Research Compendium II. The information contained therein will tell you more about being a Civil War soldier than any book on reenacting. And, isn't the point to be like a Civil War soldier and not like a reenactor?

MJ

madisontigers
11-12-2006, 11:52 PM
James,

I would like to echo what the others have stated earlier within this thread. However, I will attempt to answer your question, which seems pretty clear.

I.What will you need? The guys are right, as it depends on which branch you decide to portray, and or which side you decide to reenact. However, I can give you a pretty good idea ("ball park figure") on what BASIC things you will need, regardless of what branch you decide upon. PLease keep in mind that other decision you need to make may also effect EXACTLY what you need.

A: You will need a basic uniform, and again, whichever impression you decide upon will deem exactly which uniform is needed. However, expect some sort of coat/jacket, shirt, underdrawers, trousers, socks, footwear, and headgear.
B: You will also need accoutrements, granted you decide upon infantry , which will include, but is not limited to: Cartridge box(for rifle/musket blank ammunition), cap pouch,waistbelt, and blanket roll or knapsack. You will also need a period canteen, as well as a haversack.
C: Musket or rifle musket, maker depends on desired impression. For a good weapon, which is accurately reproduced, expect to spend anywhere from $350-500. If your unit requires a bayonet, plan on forking out $ for one, as well as a bayonet scabbard( I guess I should have put these items within the section dealing with accoutrements).

All in all there are several items you would need. My preffere dsuggestion would be to try and locate a good book which will give you a clear and consice idea about what these men carried. Some of the "soldier account" books would serve you well. You can go to amazon.com and look around. I believe if you search in listmania, you will find someone who presents a list of books which give accounts of the soldiers.
FIND A GOOD UNIT, AND TAKE YOUR TIME IN MAKING A DECISION. Don't just go out and start buying gear. Feel free to end me a PM for further inquiries.

Regards,
David Long

So, y

Rob Weaver
11-13-2006, 07:42 AM
Guys - I think you're missing the boat a little bit here. The poster is a new reenactor asking the most basic question. There''s a proverb: "My pupil asked me what time it was, so I taught him to build a watch."
The simple answer to your question is as others have said: It depends on your branch of service. But common to each is the basic uniform. You should join a unit before buying anything. Your unit can guide you. As a beginner, you will want to concentrate on the basics. Most units have loanable gear, and a build-up period for a new member to get stuff. Under the guidance of your unit, your first goal is to get your basic uniform and equipment. Rule of thumb: Enough gear to be authentic and functional during daylight hours. You should be to be able to march and participate in drill and battle scenarios. Camping, sleeping and eating gear comes next, because you may be figuring out what style of reenacting fits your personality. Sleeping on the ground in a blanket is pretty cheap in the long run, but uncomfortable much of the time. Some people prefer a unit where tents, cots, etc are more common. Others trail a motor home to events or stay in motels. The latter two options, obviously, are more expensive. I've done all of the above at different times and places. Remember as a reenactor, you're a work in progress. Stuff will wear out; you'll discover you don't like certain things or styles; you'll discover that certain things you've been doing or carrying are wrong. Your starting point, however, should be with a unit, and getting what is necessary to function as a public member of that unit.

hanktrent
11-13-2006, 08:32 AM
I've never heard of that book, so I can't say it is a good investment or not.

It's basically how to be a mainstreamer. Good if that's what you want, not good if it isn't. For a while a few years ago, the author was on an email list I was on, and that seemed to be his area of focus within the hobby.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

toptimlrd
11-16-2006, 10:20 AM
Along with some of the other suggestions placed on the board, it is almost a requirement to have the "Echoes of Glory" set of books as well. Once you decide on the impression you wish to protray, these books are fantastic for looking at what your gear should look like.

Like everyone else has stated, do your research before buying anything! Learn from many of our mistakes and don't buy out of emotion to get into the hobby. Like many, I've had to replace almost every piece of gear I purchased when I started in an attempt to improve my impression.

Memphis
11-16-2006, 11:24 AM
James,

Your best friend can be a library card combined with a good working relationship with a librarian. Most libraries are willing to work within the interlibrary loan system, which greatly expands their holdings beyond what may be in the stacks at any particular branch. While this at first comes across as a smart aleck answer, the truth of the matter is the amount of money saved in that critical first year is difficult to estimate, but let us just say $1,500 spent on "must read" books sitting on the shelf can go a long way towards the essentials.

Reliving the Civil War by R. L. Hadden is a good primer and hits the middle span of the hobby which neither really bad nor really great. Some of the safety rules are found in few other places, and the bibliography is an excellent checklist.

Hardtack and Coffee by John Billings is without a doubt the first memoir genre book any budding reenactor should read, IMHO, and then look up the author Bell Wiley for some expansion readings.

One more word of advice, when you borrow a musket, shoes, tinware, clothing, or anything else, return it in as clean or cleaner condition than it was loaned to you. This should be inscribed somewhere right up there with The Golden Rule.

Good luck.