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Hospital Stew
11-21-2007, 02:14 AM
Hi everyone.

My name is Dan Burch and I am new to reenacting and to medical reenacting in particular. I have been been watching (and learning) from this forum for a while now and very much appreciate the excellent instruction I have received from you all. I was a member of a Federal infantry company this summer, but because of health issues, I am developing a hospital steward impression for next year and have been reading and looking at all the websites I can find concerning hospital stewards. I am familar with the dress uniform of a hospital steward, but my question is, what did his fatigue uniform consist of? Surely, a dress uniform would not be practical. I can assume it would be a fatigue blouse and sky blue trousers. In short, a basic Federal uniform but I am not at all sure and desire to protray a correct impression. If a fatigue blouse is correct, would he have worn his hospital chevrons? Would he have worn a NCO belt and plate? Its the details I'm not sure of. If someone could point me in the right direction where to find this information, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

Dan Burch, "a rookie, but willing (and wanting) to learn."

Marc
11-21-2007, 09:48 AM
I am sure Noah will have your answers to this one. He did one of the best Steward Impressions I have ever had the honor to work with.

"Doc" Nelson
11-21-2007, 11:02 AM
Dan,
Browse through period photos and, look through period manuals. There is a ton of information out there that, shows a lot of variations of uniform articles worn. Some would depend on the Regiment/Brigade/Division/Corps you were with. As, some commanders had personal preferences. A suggestion would be, just go with what regulations call for. It makes things allot simpler ;).

Regardless if you had a fatigue coat or, frock . . I'd say wear the chevrons. Noah, would be a better person to look to. He has a great Steward's impression.

Hope this helps some :mrgreen:.

NoahBriggs
11-21-2007, 05:37 PM
The Hospital Steward's Manual by JJ Woodward is to be your new best friend. It mentions a fatigue uniform - fatigue blouse with the chevrons. Stripes on the trousers optional. It's dang near impossible to ge the crimson stripes for the trousers. I have a set I can sell, but they are real faded. Sometimes I am mistaken for artillery. Do not waste time with a belt or a sash, especially if you are in the field. Don't put the stew's insignia on the cap; it's for the dress hat.

Jarny makes the best frock; their crimson trim is the closest to the original. I have a size 38 available to sell if interested.

Buy the Steward's Manual before you get anything else. Read how a general hospital is supposed to be run, then read Civil War Pharmacy by Michael Flannery. Why? Because the stew was an overglorified pharmacist who was to dispense prescriptions and handle minor work at surgeon's call. Oh, yes. And paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. You will read it from us time and again, this is the type of impression which requires oodles of reading before doing anything else.

NoahBriggs
11-21-2007, 09:33 PM
I should mention, but I forgot 'cause I was too wrapped up in myself.

Welcome to this forum! Please read up on previous subjects so you can get a feel for where we are right at the moment. Bonus round - for extra points, find the list of simulated medicines, and the bibiliography (which should be a start, not the destination).

Shoot us questions, the more specific the better.

Hospital Stew
11-22-2007, 03:02 AM
Thanks so very much for your advice and warm welcome. I will definately be doing alot of reading, and, as in my theatre acting days, "researching my part." Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving...I would take you up on that frock coat, Noah...but unfortunately I would have to loose a few sizes first...ha ha.

Very Respectfully,
Dan Burch

csa steward
11-26-2007, 03:09 PM
noah have you got a maual left i can get.keith

csa steward
11-26-2007, 03:12 PM
noah where can i find the manual on about the hosptial steward.What was there rank in the war and pay.

NoahBriggs
11-26-2007, 03:45 PM
Disclaimer: The following only applies to Federal Hospital Stewards:

Unfortunately the Hospital Steward's Manual is not available online. Otherwise I would have plastered the link onscreen here, in glowing letters with lots of shiny arrows.

You can buy it via Amazon for about sixty bucks, but don't quote me on the price. It's in hardback, and it will fit right into correct-looking reference materials in the field without screaming "Look at me! I'm farby!".

In an effort to steer business George Wunderlich's way, you can pick up a copy at the Museum of Civil War Medicine.

Typical pay for a Federal steward was about $20 a month. It rose to $22 a month in April? 1862. A steward was considered a staff-noncommissioned officer (cue crimson branch-of-service color), which meant he answered to the surgeon and the assistant surgeon, or to a senior steward, if one was appointed above him. He could not issue orders to the enisted men unless said soldiers were placed under his direct command by a senior officer. His NCO's warrant was to be approved personally by the Surgeon-General. In theory he was the equivalent in rank to a sergeant-major.

"Doc" Nelson
11-26-2007, 08:17 PM
Disclaimer: The following only applies to Federal Hospital Stewards:

Unfortunately the Hospital Steward's Manual is not available online. Otherwise I would have plastered the link onscreen here, in glowing letters with lots of shiny arrows.Ah ha! I beg to differ my friends. Here's a link to google books. You can download the manual to your hard drive. Unless you want a hard copy (which I'm ordering). Anyway, here's the link http://books.google.com/books?id=FBMCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA172&dq=hospital+steward#PPP1,M1. Hope this helps.


In theory he was the equivalent in rank to a sergeant-major.Actually, all information I have read states that, a Steward is equivalent to that of an Orderly/1st Sergeant. Is it SgtMaj. or Orderly/1st Sgt.? AHHHH!! Too much information, LOL ;).

NoahBriggs
11-27-2007, 08:44 AM
And to correct myself further - the pay for an acting steward (one temporarily appointed, or one waiting for the formal paperwork to go through), is paid $20 a month, a stew was $22 a month until April 16, 62, then it was $30 a month.

Rank was equivalent to an ordnance sergeant. I have no idea how that relates to the rank of an orderly sergeant, because that was a staff NCO as well.

Thanks for the link! We need to add that to our master list of references.

"Doc" Nelson
11-27-2007, 02:57 PM
Rank was equivalent to an ordnance sergeant. I have no idea how that relates to the rank of an orderly sergeant, because that was a staff NCO as well.You're right. I stand corrected. Sorry ;). I have no idea where I got that from??

NoahBriggs
11-28-2007, 12:38 AM
I have no idea where I got that from??

Two NCOs, both with a lot of informal command power, even over officers?

Think on it. A "hint" from a senior sergeant to a lieutenant/captain/above tends to carry theological authority, especially because NCOs are trained to shave with Occam's Razor.

Parault
11-28-2007, 05:09 AM
Noah;

I need to contact you via PM or e-mail about some instruments,and all the sites that I have visited,and several more questions.

Thanks

NoahBriggs
11-28-2007, 07:08 AM
My E-mail is listed on page two of "For your consideration" thread.

Hospital Stew
12-04-2007, 05:57 PM
I am getting conflicting info concerning whether a steward would be armed in the field. I have read the post concerning armed surgeons and common sense would say that the same advice would hold trure for stewards. But whereas a steward was responsible for medications and especially alcohol, would he have need to be armed with a pistol? Has anyone been armed in their imoression, or would this be over the top?

Thank you for your opinions and advice,

Dan Burch

NoahBriggs
12-04-2007, 11:01 PM
Mr. Burch,

It's going to vary from impression to impression. Officially the same rules for surgeons are going to apply to the stewards - no guns for the reasons afore mentioned. More to carry with the cleaning kit, ammo, etc., something else to lose.

Unofficially I would not be surprised if a steward might have had a small holdout pistol. I don't condone it myself- it may not necessarily "over the top" but it can distract from the primary purpose of the impression, which is to show the steward was a pharmacist and paper-pusher. You are unlikely to see personal guns on the stewards because of the surrounding security of other regiments and the provost.

Robert A Mosher
12-05-2007, 02:51 AM
Mr. Burch,

It's going to vary from impression to impression. Officially the same rules for surgeons are going to apply to the stewards - no guns for the reasons afore mentioned. More to carry with the cleaning kit, ammo, etc., something else to lose.

Unofficially I would not be surprised if a steward might have had a small holdout pistol. I don't condone it myself- it may not necessarily "over the top" but it can distract from the primary purpose of the impression, which is to show the steward was a pharmacist and paper-pusher. You are unlikely to see personal guns on the stewards because of the surrounding security of other regiments and the provost.

Noah -
Does this information come from personal experience?

Robert A Mosher

NoahBriggs
12-05-2007, 03:55 AM
Does this information come from personal experience?

Yes. Recon IV (Into the Wilderness) I got "shot" by Confederate guerrillas because I was in the right place (the field dressing station) at the wrong time (talking with civilian refugees). I had a pistol with me but I had removed the belt prior to sitting down, so it was not within immediate reach, and it was unloded anyway. (It had never been fired because it would be a hassle to strip and clean afterwards. See a pattern here?)

the "shot" itself was a blank from a Rebel shotgun but it was close enough between my feet that I was startled. I also felt the hot gases through my trowsers, and it was pretty terrifying. I stumbled backwards and fell down, which was interpreted as me being shot in the leg with a femoral hit. If this case went to a military tribunal it could be argued that the Rebs were legit cav (in uniform, or what passes for it) who shot a hospital steward who was technically armed and thus not covered by the Lieber Code rules.

They also found a letter I had written previously and intended to deliver to the Federal CO sometime during the event which indicated any captured Confederate patients were from the 14th Tennessee, thus demonstrating that the hospital could be used to gather further intelligence on the opposing force and its current health condition in the course of the engagement.

"Who is more foolish - the fool, or the fool who follows him?" I'd prefer the new folks learn from mistakes and my own personal stupidity by reading about them here, rather than waste money on something, only to discover it was not necessary. If that makes me a fool, then Deus Vult.

Robert A Mosher
12-05-2007, 04:38 AM
Noah -
I've also heard it said that "Experience is the best teacher." Thanks for sharing yours so generously - and for putting up with my bit of fun at your expense this morning!

Robert A. Mosher

NoahBriggs
12-05-2007, 05:08 AM
"As long as you can laugh at something - anything - you are not defeated."

US Air Force meteorologist stuck on Soviet-occupied Iceland, Red Storm Rising

Good philosophy - and one to which I attempt to adhere, even if I give the impression of having little, if any, sense of humor.

Hospital Stew
12-05-2007, 05:14 AM
Noah,

Thank you for the advice and sharing your experience. As a "newbie" I appreciate your time. You're a great teacher.

Dan Burch

NoahBriggs
12-05-2007, 06:25 AM
You are welcome!

If I ain't learnin', then I ain't teachin'.

2nd_mi_johnny
02-10-2008, 06:57 PM
1454. The uniform coat for all enlisted foot men, shall be a single-breasted frock of dark blue cloth, made without plaits, with a skirt extending one-half the distance from the top of the hip to the bend of the knee; one row of nine buttons on the breast, placed at equal distances; stand-up collar, to rise no higher than to permit the chin to turn freely over it, to hook in front at the bottom and then to slope up and backward at an angle of thirty degrees on each side; cuffs pointed according to pattern, and to button with two small buttons at the under seam; collar and cuffs edged with a cord or welt of cloth as follows, to wit: Scarlet for Artillery; sky-blue for Infantry; yellow for Engineers; crimson for Ordnance and Hospital stewards. On each shoulder a metallic scale according to pattern; narrow lining for skirt of the coat of the same color and material as the coat; pockets in the folds of the skirts with one button at each hip to range with the lowest buttons on the breast; no buttons at the ends of the pockets.

1553. For a Hospital Steward--a half chevron of the following description,--viz.: of emerald green cloth, one and three-fourths inches wide, running obliquely downward from the outer to the inner seam of the sleeve, and at an angle of about thirty degrees with a horizontal, parallel to, and one-eighth of an inch distant from, both the upper and lower edge, an embroidery of yellow silk one-eighth of an inch wide, and in the centre a "caduceus" two inches long, embroidered also with yellow silk, the head toward the outer seam of the sleeve.

1489. For Hospital Stewards the cord will be of buff and green mixed. The wreath in front of brass, with the letter U.S. in Roman, of white metal. Brim to be looped up to side of hat with a brass eagle, having a hook attached to the bottom to secure the brim-on the right side for mounted men and left side for foot men. The feather to be worn on the side opposite the loop

1506. For all Sergeant Majors, Quartermaster Sergeants, Ordnance Sergeants, Hospital Stewards, First Sergeants, Principal or Chief Musicians and Chief Buglers-red worsted sash, with worsted bullion fringe ends; to go twice around the waist, and to tie hind the left hip, pendent part not to extend more than eighteen inches below the tie.

1472--For Enlisted Men, except companies of Light Artillery--dark blue cloth; sergeants with a stripe one and one-half inch wide; corporals with a stripe one-half inch wide, of worsted lace, down and over the outer seam, of the color of the facings of the respective corps.

1473. Ordnance Sergeants and Hospital Stewards--stripe of crimson lace one and one-half inch wide.

some helpfull uniform guide lines from the 1861 revized army rules and regulations in regaurds to the Hospital steward uniform. So if you can find a heavy artillery/ordenance frock, it is infact the same frock that would have been used by hospital stewards for dress uniforms. and... on a side note, you can get the Crimson Stripe and the dress jacket stripes sewn on and all from the Quartermaster shop of Port Huron, Michigan. If you buy threw Jeff you'll sae over buying from Fallcreek Sutlery, because he's their main supplier. A page I found and I'd like to give a shout out too is this guys.

http://www.geocities.com/hospital_steward/Welcome.html?1032410457340

He's done real nice with it.. Hope it helps

2nd_mi_johnny
02-10-2008, 08:09 PM
Unofficially I would not be surprised if a steward might have had a small holdout pistol. I don't condone it myself- it may not necessarily "over the top" but it can distract from the primary purpose of the impression, which is to show the steward was a pharmacist and paper-pusher. You are unlikely to see personal guns on the stewards because of the surrounding security of other regiments and the provost.

I was taughtby my mentor that it also depended on the situation, for example if a hospital steward was assigned to the task of standing gaurd over the medical stores, He would have had the option of a pistol for that reason. Though this was as I have been braught to understand more intended as a deturant for the over ambisious wounded soldier. Also a hospital steward BEING an NCO was expected to act as a File Closer, meaning part of his job would be to provent desersions by the walking wounded.


Thats just what I was told being braught up in the field as a hospital steward. Also I will point out I was trained as a REGIMENTAL Hospital steward, Not a Hospital Corp hospital steward. (The important differance being that one is apointed by the Surgeon General staff, and the other is recomended by his Units Surgeon.)

TimKindred
02-10-2008, 08:14 PM
Comrade,

Buying through Jeff or fall Creek is throwing away your money on costumes vice uniforms. The QM ship makes and incredibly well-made and strongly-sewn article, but it is NOT an accurate uniform by anymeans other than coincidence.

HS dress coats had crimson piping, a darker red, almost wine color, than the scarlet of the heavy artillery. To date, I know of no one except perhaps Historic Clothiers who can reproduce this coat accurately. Even then, it would require you to purchase the material for the trim from, say, Wooded Hamlet, and then dye it yourself, as no one currently makes the correct crimson trim material. Using a Heavy Artillery coat would be incorrect.

For what it's worth, and I will reiterate again the historical advice, unless you are portraying a Hospital Steward in a general hospital, your most accurate coat will be a fatigue blouse, with your half-chevrons sewn upon the sleeves, and a forage cap or plain hat.

For the very best in HS half-chevrons, contact Wendy Osman, or go through Orchard Hill Sutlery, which also carries her wares.

Lastly, there are many extant images in the field of HS's wearing either the fatigue blouse, or the mounted services jacket sans trim, with the half-chevrons attached, as well as two other variations. One is an oval emblem of green wool with the cadeuces sewn in yellow silk upon it, approx 6" X 4". the other is shown below in the attached image.

Respects,

NoahBriggs
02-11-2008, 12:01 AM
The important differance being that one is apointed by the Surgeon General staff, and the other is recomended by his Units Surgeon.

Ideally all Steward's appointments were to be approved by the SG. In many cases, though, a stew could be appointed Acting Hospital Steward by the battalion's commander when the usual bureaucracy was too cumbersome (ie, they need one now on campaign).

Also a hospital steward BEING an NCO was expected to act as a File Closer, meaning part of his job would be to provent desersions by the walking wounded.

That's the job of the first through fifth sergeants and the corporals. And the Provost Marshal, since everyone seems to forget about them for some reason. Again, the steward is a battalion NCO, on staff, taking orders from the surgeons wherever the hospital is, and does not have time to be deserter-herder.

Again, I reiterate - the ordnance NCOs and the medical NCOs were two separate departments. The fact they were staff NCOs means their uniform coats will be trimmed in crimson, not artillery red. Something Brother Tim was reiterating in his last post as well.

I confess I am stupid. (Math was mayhem in my disorganized mind.) Too stupid for sublety, it seems. Hence I am still puzzled why there is lingering over details like armed stewards and bloody cuffs, when several of us just expanded the biblio and laid out some good clues on making bandage rollers.

Post scriptus:
For a while I wore the fatigue blouse with the chevrons on it, because it was a cheap alternative to a $350 Jarny frock. I wound up getting the $350 jarny frock anyway, and I sold off the blouse when I shed my infantry kit. I mention Jarnagin's products because I want you all to understand that I may come across as an accuracy tight-*ss but my kit is not perfect in any sense of the word.

I keep the stew's frock because:

A) relic of old decency.

B) Occasionally I guess I might be a stew at an event, but it's rare. Unless some of you gents want to join me on staff at upcoming events/LHs, at which point I'll be your stew to boss around for the weekend, with a constructive debrief after the event's conclusion.

C) I cannot sell it off, because nobody wants a tight, proper-fitting size 38 frock coat when they could have the poorly-made loose version that fits (in the modern sense). Gods forbid we should try for accurate clothing with proper nineteenth century fit.

More demerits towards forum banishment. Bring it on, baby.

TimKindred
02-11-2008, 08:21 AM
Noah,

When appearing as a stewardm I usually wear the blouse, for the reasons I alluded to in my earlier post. It was simply suggested by those in charge that it was a better garment for both field use, as well as for use when working in the wards, etc, especially when there was a chance of it being stained by various fluifd, chemicals, etc.

I won't ever tell about your frock.. :) Besides that, it's amazing how many folks who claim to be such experts in clothing can't tell who makes what, when worn properly. Certainly there are some bad items out there, especially the Barney coats, but in a crown, I don't think you'll have too many complaining about it. And I'd love to be able to wear a 38 again.....

Respects,