View Full Version : Harness makers?

01-19-2007, 10:58 PM

I have grown tired of playing soldier and wanted to stay in the hobby! I have begun to make leather goods for reenactors, and even do field repairs as was common in the timess. I am ondering if any one else is doing this "impression"? I am looking for tips as well as information on tools and books relating to our era.

Jeremy G. Richardson
The Mad Mick

Delia Godric
01-23-2007, 02:28 PM
I don't know anyone in the hobby. I do know of a few guys locally who do leather work focusing on different eras - 1700s for one; early 1800s for another; one that is rather broad. I will see if I can contact any of them for recommendations.


01-25-2007, 09:03 PM

Thank you!!! That would be great!!!! I have also been making some gear for F&I and Rev war reenactors, so the info would help!!!

The Mad Mick!!!

02-11-2007, 10:24 PM
I do not know of anyone doing a harness maker's impression, but there is a similar impression. Have you thought about being an Articifer? This is a position within the Ordnance department that was assigned to a unit, primarily Cavalry and Artillery that is the maintenance guy, fixing carriages harness etc. The articifer has his own rank insignia, it looks like a round knife! It is really cool and is underrepresented. (We have a battery located in East Tennessee and could use one ourselves.) There is alot you can do with this impression, set up a tent and work on harness, leather stuff etc. Just a thought.

Take care,
Steve Cameron

02-12-2007, 07:40 AM
Hello, and thank you!

I am familiar with the term. I have seen the head knife emblem, but was unaware if it was a Civil War or post war emblem. Do you know where I could come across info of such position? I have been trying to stay away from the Military side of things, (I hate guys with ego's!) but may be interested in trying this on for size! I live in Illinois most of the events around here have dried up, but I am willing to do some travelling and have some fun! If you can give me any direction, I would appreciate it!


02-13-2007, 03:56 PM
Great. I have always thought the articifer is neat. Here is some info I came across. This is from www.cwartillery.org/hansen.html

"Artificers and Farrier
These men were specialists who were paid an additional rate like teamsters. In winter camps and during lulls in active campaigning they broke out their tools from the battery wagon and forge and went to work. The ariticifer was primarily a blacksmith-he repaired the wood and iron parts of the battery carriages......There is some evidence that a few batteries had an articifer assigned to each platoon (this is per gun). However most records indicate that only 2 men or a maximum of 3 were assigned in a single battery. They received their instructions form the 1st Sergeant and traveled in the rear of the battery with their tools"

Now I can add to this with what little I know.

1. The 1864 Field Artillery tactics manual says that 6 articifers were alloted to a battery (of 6 guns, 4 for 4 and 2 in peacetime)

2. The articifer rides on the limber of the traveling forge. He is to have no duties during the march as his work begins at the halt, repairing carriages, rolling stock etc. ( I can't remember where I read this)

3. The articifer's rank is red for artillery batteries and yellow for Cav troops.

4. In case you are not familiar with it, a battery is made up of 6 guns, and 6 limbers for each gun. In a 6 Pdr Battery (or 3" rifle battery) each gun has a limber and caisson. In Heavy field batteries (12 Pdr guns, napoleons, 20 Pdr Parrott rifles) each gun has 2 limbers and 2 caissons. There is then a traveling forge pulled by a limber and a battery wagon pulled by a limber. This is in addition to baggage wagons for other items. Lots of stuff to keep rolling. A 6 Pdr Battery has 84 horses and a 12 Pdr Battery has about 100. So you can imagine the harness required for all of these animals! A battery is a huge collection of equipment men and animals!

As far as that goes, I would have to put out a plug for our unit. I am with Burrough's Battery. We do horse drawn artillery. We do reenacting, live fire competitions and living histories. We have 5 guns and a mortar, 2 full bored mtn howitzers with limbers and 1 caisson, 2 Cadet 6 Pdr Guns, 1 CS 3" Rifle (looks like an 1841 6Pdr, but with a 3" bore) 1 3" Blakely and a 24 Pdr Coehorn mortar. All guns except the blakely are bronze. The rifles guns are rifled. We have 3 teams of horses and adding quickly. I have made the gun carriages, limbers and most of the harness we use. So I know a little about the ordnance side of things (that was my branch when I was in the army) We field 1/2 guns at events, but would like to field more. We attend events in the southeast. We will be going to Shiloh and Mill Springs as well as the Camp Grayling long range artillery matches in Michigan in July. You are welcome to come take the field with us at Shiloh. You will find the artillery branch in general is much less high strung than the infantry. If you send me your mailing address I can send you a packet of info on our unit with pictures etc.
Aside from that, if I can be of any help with articifer info please let me know. I think a search on the Authentic Campaigner site and the web in general would be a good place to start.

Take care,
Steve Cameron