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R.A. MacLean
05-10-2006, 11:12 PM
First of all I haven't posted in quite a while and I hope those who I've posted with in the past are in good health and spirits.

I'm ready for the new season armed with various items I had to replace including a very torn up Enfield Cartridge box (CS impression). Most likely I'll be one of a few (If any) individuals who are using English Accoutrements in our brigade. My question proposed to you is why is the use of Imported English Items largely ignored in our hobby?

Dare to be different,

R.A. MacLean

flattop32355
05-11-2006, 12:19 AM
First of all I haven't posted in quite a while and I hope those who I've posted with in the past are in good health and spirits.

I'm ready for the new season armed with various items I had to replace including a very torn up Enfield Cartridge box (CS impression). Most likely I'll be one of a few (If any) individuals who are using English Accoutrements in our brigade. My question proposed to you is why is the use of Imported English Items largely ignored in our hobby?

Dare to be different,

R.A. MacLean

One possible answer is that, by using "captured" federal gear, you can more cheaply swing both ways at need.

ewtaylor
05-11-2006, 11:47 AM
I have recently started wondering the same thing. I think the enfields are overrepresented in this hobby, but who can afford more than 1 weapon? Most people just get the generic CS or US stuff. Ive noticed the mainstreamers will use the enfield bayonet scabbard and frog, but not the enfield cart. box. Seems to me you would get both or neither. I carried generic CS leathers from Missouri Boot and Shoe while totting around my enfield. Never really thought about buying the enfield stuff.
I think the most underrepresented weapon is the 1842 Springfield, especially for early war, western theatre.
good question,
ew taylor

cblodg
05-11-2006, 01:27 PM
To echo what was said by flattop, the hobby has really been moving in the last two-to-three years to a more generic approach. I know that the NR has been tossing about the ideas of becoming more generic in its field impressions.

However, it should be mentioned that most of the Enfields that were issued to the troops, did come with the British accoutrements. Some simply just "traded in" the cartridge box when one "came available." I bought an Enfield Cartridge box for my impression, I just found it to be really bulky, and out of sorts with the rest of my company. So, I went to the genereic brand, cartridge box instead.

Of course, I also use a Springfield bayonet scabbard for my Enfield bayonet.

Chris

tompritchett
05-11-2006, 01:57 PM
Does the Enfield cartridge box come with tins and if not, does anyone sell them. A pard of mine (yes I do have a few :) ) recnetly bought one but it had no tins. While I personally think tins as a safety requirement is an overblown issue (has anyone know of a case of a spark setting off a reenactor's cartridge box), it is a safety requirement of the ANV and consequently all men of my unit, myself included, are required to use tins.

TimKindred
05-11-2006, 01:57 PM
To echo what was said by flattop, the hobby has really been moving in the last two-to-three years to a more generic approach. I know that the NR has been tossing about the ideas of becoming more generic in its field impressions.

However, it should be mentioned that most of the Enfields that were issued to the troops, did come with the British accoutrements. Some simply just "traded in" the cartridge box when one "came available." I bought an Enfield Cartridge box for my impression, I just found it to be really bulky, and out of sorts with the rest of my company. So, I went to the genereic brand, cartridge box instead.

Of course, I also use a Springfield bayonet scabbard for my Enfield bayonet.

Chris


Fellers,

The idea that Enfields came with British pattern accoutrements is not supported by existing documentation, nor by photographic evidence. It is true that there was some limited use of British pattern accoutrements by federal troops, but in each case it was a specific regiment at a specific time, and there are only 2 regiments that I am aware of that got both British pattern accoutrements as well as Enfield rifle-muskets. Those were the 44th and 6th MVM, both 9 month's regiments.

Massachusetts purchased 20,000 sets of British pattern accoutrements early in the war, to offset the lack of American pattern sets in her arsenals. By the time they were available for issue, however, sufficient stocks of the American pattern were on hand, and the British pattern were set aside for later issues. That came with the second call from the federal government. Even then, however, those sets were parcelled out to fill gaps in the American pattern sets. Some regiments got American pattern boxes and slings, with British belts and cap pouchs and bayoney sheaths. Others got British boxes, but with American pattern belts, cap boxes, etc. Again, it was a time and unit specific thing. In each and every case, however, all knapsacks issued were of American pattern. I have yet to find any Northern purchase of british pattern knapsacks.

Having said that, there were considerable amounts of British pattern accoutrements issued to Southern regiments. Again, caution should be used regarding entire sets of these accoutrements, and with which weapon they accompanied. Just because a Southern unit had Enfield rifles, or rifle-muskets, doesn't mean then men carried British pattern accoutrements. The reverse is also correct. In fact, British pattern accoutrements would only be found with regiments carrying .58 calibre weapons. The boxes were too small to accomodate .69 ammunition, and too large for .54 cartridges. Specific boxes would be required for those types of ammunition. However, again, that would have no bearing on whether the belts and cap boxes and bayonet sheaths were of British or CS patterns. Again, time and unit specific things.

Now that I've tossed all that out, Rob has an excellent point. There should, indeed, be more British pattern equipments in Southern units, but they should not be all willy-nilly. These would have been part of a larger issue, so the majority of men in a unit ought to be carrying the same type of box, either British or American pattern. Same with the other accoutrements. That way, it gives the impresion of large issue and uniformity within each regiment, something that many reenactors can't come to grips with.

Respects,

ewtaylor
05-11-2006, 04:23 PM
Thanks for the post Tim, it brings up very good points for not only equipment but uniforms as well. Research the unit you are portraying. Most people (like myself) will more than likely stick with the generic look for economic reasons. Of course that doesnt make it right though.
ew taylor

R.A. MacLean
05-26-2006, 01:47 PM
Does the Enfield cartridge box come with tins and if not, does anyone sell them. A pard of mine (yes I do have a few :) ) recnetly bought one but it had no tins.

The Enfield Box should come with tins but I have discovered that some sutlers sell boxes that are about an inch and a half shorter in width than the original box. I think that's why you don't see many Enfield tins for sale on their own.

Make no mistake, the Enfield Cartridge Box is a Large Cartridge box. I've heard complaints about using them on the field but I've never had a problem. I put entire packs in the spaces in between and one for loose rounds. Works great for me.

R.A. MacLean
5th TX

Jim Mayo
05-26-2006, 03:30 PM
I'll have to agree with Tim. The evidence is just not there for large quantities of English leather gear being routinely used by either side. Enfield bayonet scabbard tips are an example. The ANV had many enfield rifles but recoveries of bayonet scabbard tips do not reflect a large number of this type scabbard being used.

I don't have the source for this information but there were supposely armories in GA. that were taking apart the longer enfield cartridges imported from England and re-making the rounds to fit in CS cartridge boxes. The large ness of the Enfield box would be one reason not to choose it over the domestic variety. It would be more difficult to remove the domestic rounds.

Nighthawk
05-26-2006, 03:54 PM
<I think the most underrepresented weapon is the 1842 Springfield, especially for early war, western theatre.>


Undoubtedly THE most underrepresented weapon is the Austrian Lorenz. Second most imported arm next to the Enfield!

MStuart
05-26-2006, 04:04 PM
I looked at my CS Echo's of Glory (realizing it's not all encompassing) and the Enfield accouterments seem to be brown leather. According to EOG a set was a waist belt w/snake buckle, cap, and cartridge box. My knowledge of English leathers is lacking, so I don't know if that info is correct or not. It may have been the only thing they had to photograph.

That being said, is there a "correct" color to the English leathers?

Mark

TimKindred
05-26-2006, 04:33 PM
Comrades,

One thing that is often overlooked, and Rob touched upon it, is what the English box was designed for. Jim Mayo strikes it square regarding the American pattern rounds being smaller than the English rounds.

The English box was designed to hold packets of rounds up right and ready to use. The American box was designed to hold lose rounds upright and ready to remove. Similar systems, but differing approaches.

What the English did was to envision the cap box upon the cartridge box strap, or upon the front face of the cartridge box itself. In fact, the Massachusetts' English boxes came with the cap boxes sewn directly to the outer face of the box, towards the wearer's front, and resting underneath the outer flap. Massachusetts paid a couple of firms to remove those cap boxes and add belt loops to the back so they could be worn directly on the waistbelt, ala the American system. Extant boxes both north and south show evidence of the cap boxes being removed (holes where the stitches were) and some still have the cap boxes attached.

Anyway, the Brits used a large pouch with an accordian pleat, known as an "expense pouch" and worn upon the waistbelt. It was about the size of a pistol cartridge box. It was worn where the American cap box was worn. the idea was that the soldier would take a packet of 10 cartridges from his cartridge box, open it up, and place the loose rounds into his expense pouch. he would then use these up, and when the expense pouch weas empty, he would repeat the process. In the American system, of course, the soldier kept 20 rounds at the "ready" in the top of the tin trays in his box, and drew from them until they were expended.

Thus the deep box with equal sized tins for the English system. It was designed solely to transport and protect the cartridges, not as a means of having them available for use. The differing philosophies of the two systems are seen thus in the design of the tin inserts in each cartridge box.

Respects,

TimKindred
05-26-2006, 04:47 PM
I looked at my CS Echo's of Glory (realizing it's not all encompassing) and the Enfield accouterments seem to be brown leather. According to EOG a set was a waist belt w/snake buckle, cap, and cartridge box. My knowledge of English leathers is lacking, so I don't know if that info is correct or not. It may have been the only thing they had to photograph.

That being said, is there a "correct" color to the English leathers?

Mark


Mark,

the sets actually came in two colors and three varients. The sets for the line regiments and rifle regiments were made both in black and in russett. Those for the Guard regiments had black boxes and pouches, but buff leather straps and slings. There were also some variations as to the tin compartment arrangements, the line boxes having 5 comparments, but those for the sergeants having only three larger ones. Again, the sgt's pattern was designed so he could "feed" spare ammunition to his men from his own box if needs be.

Guard regiments, and rifle regiments had the seperate cap box designed to be worn on the box sling, vice the belt. No seperate cap box was provided for wear on the belt during our period, or shortly thereafter. The best information on this can be found in Captain Martin Petrie's "Equipment of Infantry" a pamphlet printed in 1865 and illustrating exactly what was produced and issued to the English forces.

There is a cap box design that is claimed to be English, and reproduced by some sutlers, but I have yet to see it either illustrated in period literature, or in images. The cap boxes i have seen are either thos attached to the cartridge box, the same removed and modicied for waistbelt use, or those designed to be worn on the cartridge box strap, or American pattern cap boxes issued with the English waistbelt.

Again, either russett or black is correct, although those are for smooth leather. Buff leather starps were guard issue items, and would thus be in white, although perhaps redyed black by a later user.

respects,

ewtaylor
05-26-2006, 05:52 PM
<I think the most underrepresented weapon is the 1842 Springfield, especially for early war, western theatre.>


Undoubtedly THE most underrepresented weapon is the Austrian Lorenz. Second most imported arm next to the Enfield!

I agree, but you can buy a repro of the springfield without going broke.
ew taylor

davim19
06-20-2006, 03:14 AM
Being a British re-enactor of the period as well as a confederate, I can safely say that the british army leathers were most definately composed of a black cartridge box, white expense pouch, and all strappings were of buff leather highly whitened. Apart from the Rifle Brigade who were issued with black leather work to aid in the skirmishing duties accorded to them. The cap box was either attached to the cross belt or the waist belt and was of either blancoed leather or russet depending on the issue, there is no evidence of the cap box being attached to the cartridge box in the British army at the time.
The snake buckle had ceased being used before the Crimean war and the surplus buckles were sold to other countries such as argentina, US along with the equipment as a means of purging the stores. Many officers bought these as private purchase for themselves.
It's highly believed that what was sold to the North American beligerents were not British army stock but of similar design by the same manufacturers.
As a confederate, I portray an ex-pat who has served in the British Army in the Crimea and India, and hence carry mainly british equipment for ease, but own a set of federal leathers for that late war, picked up look.
If you're worried about the tins in an Enfield box I can make a suggestion. If you have small lips on your cartridges these hook over the tins nicely and make it easier to grab them, I know we have guys that have upped their rate to 5 rammed or 6 tapped rounds per minute doing this.