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2nd_mi_johnny
01-12-2008, 07:23 PM
Something I'm stuck in the never ending debate about, is which Wall tent to get. I am planning to do a realistic (Not neccisarally what the Army Protocal of the time states) field hospital set up. I know this will concist of a wall tent, and alot of those sutlers running around have these wonderfull rediculous 15 L X 14 W X 11 T with four foot walls.

Those are nice and all, but compleatly unpractical. I can't help but wonder how many of these field hospitals how ever were little more then tent flies, or maybe the luxury of the Hospital stewarts Personal 'sargents tent' that My question to any one who has been doing Medical for some time, is can I get away with either an Awning set up, or a sargents wall tent set up as a field hospital.

I was an active Hospital Stewart for 10 years and only started doing Artillery about 5 years ago when I first came to know that my unit was doing Artillery, and I was quite litterally the only one in the unit doing an infantry impression any more. So I know how to do the Hospital stewart persona, but I've never been actively in charge of taking care of the set up, and aquasition of field hospital, and medical equiptment before.

This being said in that department I am many years behind practice by comparison to my fellow veterns in the medical field. If any one can offer me helpfull hints, for the set up and up keep of my field hospital, it would be greatly appreaciated. things I either have or plan on getting for sure include a wooden bucket (to gather and 'dispose of limbs' with for amputation scenes) Four Canvas buckets, two for water with ice, the other for a mixture of water and gatorade and ice. I have several 'field cots' at my disposal, assentually given to me from my units former field hospital set up which is no longer active. "Arms and Legs" which I am going to be getting from a holoween store, also feet, hands, and the like. I also plan on making custome tables which will have spots for a soldiers legs and arms to tuck down threw for when an amputation scene is done after a battle. I have started to collect Medical bottles of all manner of nature. Please let me know if I'm missing any thing.

Thanks much.

John W. Knecht IV
Hospital Stewart. 2nd Michigan Medical/
Private Hudsons Battery

NoahBriggs
01-13-2008, 07:59 AM
What's a "Hospital stewart?"

2nd_mi_johnny
01-13-2008, 02:09 PM
What's a "Hospital stewart?"

A Hospital Stewart (I may be thinking of the word Steward instead but I'm pretty sure its Stewart) Was the Non commissioned officer that ranked either as an Ordanence Sargent, or a Sargent Major (See customs of Service for the refferance of equivalency by pay grade and privalage) that are either promoted to that rank by suggestion of their unit medical officer, (Forgive me I have very bad spelling.) Their responcibilitys are the well being of the paitients, the maintainence of the hospital stores, the management of the Orderlee's, and the keeping of documents, and taking care of the small stuff like sueturing of a wound, pulling out slivers, removing of limbs when the surgeon is too tasked to attend to such things. By army regulations each old army unit was allowed one hospital stewart, every NEW army regiment was allowed up to three, (That was one main Hospital Steward and then two that were his assistants. Notable Hospital Stewarts through out History, include Sarah Emma Edmonds o the second Mi. Company F. (Though she might have only been an Orderly the duties are concidered the same, the rank equivalency is differant.) And Jerome Robbins.

Hope that helps clear up any questions you might have.

John Knecht IV
Private hudsons battery/
hospital Stewart 2nd Mi. Medical.

mmartin4600
01-13-2008, 03:05 PM
It's "Hospital Steward". And when was Gatorade invented? You need to read. Start with the "Hospital Stewards Manual". Then maybe "Civil War Pharmacy". I'm sure others can suggest more books. Forget about the fake limbs and amputation scenarios, it's too cheesy. Start small. Get an accurate uniform and pocket surgical kit. Then work on some basic medicines. There is some great info on this forum, I suggest you look at it. I'm sorry if I sound like a jerk, but a majority of us on this site are trying to do an authentic and accurate impression.

2nd_mi_johnny
01-13-2008, 04:15 PM
It's "Hospital Steward". And when was Gatorade invented? You need to read. Start with the "Hospital Stewards Manual". Then maybe "Civil War Pharmacy". I'm sure others can suggest more books. Forget about the fake limbs and amputation scenarios, it's too cheesy. Start small. Get an accurate uniform and pocket surgical kit. Then work on some basic medicines. There is some great info on this forum, I suggest you look at it. I'm sorry if I sound like a jerk, but a majority of us on this site are trying to do an authentic and accurate impression.


to be bluntly honost the thing about the Gatorade is because up in michigan part of our duty on the field i to actually tend to the heat issue, by taking water or lemonade or the like to the soldiers on the field. a trick threw SEVERAL years of experiance, my self and the majority of OTHER people on the field have learned is that LEMONADE has sugar in it which when proventing Heat exaustion/stroke/etc is NOT a good thing to get into the blood stream. Gatorade rehydrates a little too well so when you cut it down with about a two to one water ratio (That is about half as much gatorade as there is water) it helps Hydrate the body.

You ARE coming off as a jerk, and the reason is THIS, did you actually read my initial post? You're nit picking at practical common sence stuff, that will never be SEEN by the public, it will never actually even be noticed in the drink. I want to do an accurate acount, of what the hospital stewards in the civil war did, but I'm frankly not going to give up common sence to do it, sence a large part of what I do DOES have practical aplications in the well being of others.

I thank you for the helpfull resorces, but if you're going to nit pick about things that are a widely excepted practical aplication of modern technolagy (Such as gatorade in lemonaid flavor) then you risk steping into the realm of being picky and siesing to be a service to your fellow reenactor. Yes I realize that Amputation scenes are chesey IF DONE IMPROPERLY trust me I've seen my fair share of cheesey amputation scenes, **** my god father profected them and was actually so good at it that he was on the advisory staff of more then a few Ted Turner civil war movies. But Doc Mitchell (My late god father aka Uncle Mike to me) told me a very valuable tid bit once; and I will part this post on that quote. If you wish to nit pick about one or two little things, don't bother responding to this, because I frankly won't entertain it, on a cautionary note, not ALL of us are progressive's aka hardcore.

"I know that its cheezy and in the medical field we do some really unaccurate stuff, but its a neccisary evil to do one or two amputation scenes in a weekend, and to farb out when it comes to the hydration of the troups, The people need to see where we are now in comparison to where we came from medical practice wize, and the amputation scene on occasion though cheezy is helpfull in that, and its entertaining. On the note of farbing out with the Hydration of the troups, all it takes is for us to screw up even a little by giving a guy deluted lemonaid, and having him go diabetic or into heatstroke faster from the sugar content, and medical will not be alloud at that event next year, OR worst case scenario the guy passes, and due to isurance reasons the event is no longer held."

No I will not nit pick with you on if the use of Gatoraid for a practical and widly used reason is accurate, I know its not. But if its my job at an event to see that no one on that battlefield gets heat stroke (which lets face it people, we run around in 70 to 100+ tempatures in WOLE (Sp?) Uniforms. its a DESTINCT POSSIBILITY) I'm a hospital steward, between my self and the two nurses that work with me or the what ever happens to be at any given event, what ever we slug around on that field has to be VERY good at what it does. If that means I'm going to farb out a little in some VERY minor detail that no one is ever going to know about if commited right, then SO BE IT.

NoahBriggs
01-14-2008, 12:44 AM
It's good to see another person who is willing to work on a steward's impression. I myself took the stew route to an assistant surgeon for two reasons - curiosity under the tutelage of my mentor, and also to keep an eye on said mentor so he did not conk from the heat.

If you consult the the manuals of the period the term is "steward".

The following are only suggestions, with zero malice intended.

Tents - I can't answer your question there; I have deep-sixed all my canvas ages ago; I don't know which makers are the best. Back in my day it was Panther Lodges. Too much of a hassle to set up. Ditto surgical tables. Wooden buckets I think have been addressed on CWReenactors somewhere before. If not here, then on the Authentic-Campaigners forum. Canvas buckets, I understand, are not correct for the period. Don't take my word for it, though. You might want to chaeck around.

If you are serious about going the stew route, then I recommend your first priority should be to read up heavy on the pharmaceutical side rather than the surgery. Previous threads here have listed some excellent primary and secondary sources on said topic. Bonus - the primary sources are FREE (my favorite four-letter "F" word) because they are listed on Google Books. Likewise we have posted where to pick up good medicine bottles, and a few tips to acquire or make your own labels. Take a moment to browse the previous threads; we've had some hefty discussions on small things which could make or break a medical impression.

If you do get the rubber limbs at least be sure to invest in better-quality than the usual Halloween stuff. Part of the "cheesiness" comes from the fact the visitors are not stupid and have been brought up watching Bones, CSIand the Court TV documentaries. They will know when something is fake, and the cheap Halloween stuff is just that - cheap. There are anatomical supply places online which sell limbs, moulagees and the like for disaster scenarios. You may want to invest in Ben Nye makeup in order to "paint" said limbs to look gangrenous. This is not to jack up the "gross-out" factor but to be honest with the represnetation of real ballistic damage. A quick google image search on "gun shot wound" will bring up photos showing some nasty trauma.

We flung around a discussion on the whole Gatorade issue. You might want to read up on it, if only for professional interest, since nobody can really stop you from dosing your folks with the stuff. In short, a careful critique and comparison using several nutrition websites found Gatorade is not the best thing for reenactors, and that a couple of period receipes are actually better and would cost less to make a large batch than the Gatorade.

Uniform - so far as I know Jarnagin is the only vendor who makes a frock coat with the close-to-correct color crimson trim of a staff NCO. Unfortunately nobody makes the correct crimson trowser stripe. That's okay; one can do without. Wendy Osman used to make some terriffic repro stew chevrons. Dunno if she's in business. Otherwise, Your Average Vendor will have a pair. I'd suggest not getting a kepi with a green bandaround the base. I've seen several stewards do that, and it is not correct. Those were for the ambulance drivers after August 2, 1862, per McClellan's orders.

Shaky start for you. But welcome aboard anyway. Good luck in your endeavors. If you have questions after you read, drop in and post. Make sure to check previous posts, though. It's possible your question has been addressed before.

PS: Not all of us are jerks.

Just me. :cool:

NoahBriggs
01-14-2008, 01:41 AM
A couple of other things -

You're encouraged to read, read, read before you buy anything, in an effort to save you money in the long run by purchasing better reproductions. Many new(er) folks what to hop right in, so they buy the "basics" in an effort to be out in the field right now. Then, as their research and impression improves, they spend more money "upgrading" to better-quality/researched stuff.

Another aspect of being a steward - paperwork. Three-fourths of the Manual will be about the myriad forms used to keep track of inventory and patients and pay. We have discussed paperwork in the past on this forum, so you might want to investigate that, too.

Hospital Stew
01-14-2008, 03:02 AM
Hi Noah

Don't know about the jerk part...but I know I learn alot about my steward impression every time you post about Hospital Stewards...thanks. One word about gatorade...if a reenactor is diabetic (such as myself), I would think the sugar content, even a small amount effects me, would not be appropriate..."nothing better than water to hydrate," as my platoon sergeant would say...and welcome 2nd MI johnny...I look forward to your input.

Dan Burch

mmartin4600
01-14-2008, 10:12 AM
I said I was sorry. But, I've been called worse.

2nd_mi_johnny
01-14-2008, 11:18 AM
Sorry it just caught me at a really bad moment. I know I came off overly deffencive. I'm sorry.

cwmed
01-14-2008, 12:49 PM
Dear Sir,

I too put alot of work into making an excellent amputation senerio. I also found that they are NOT for the campaigning style reenacting which I like. They are only practical for groups and schools (if they will allow). In order to get a good looking limb you have to go to Hollywood (via enternet of course). I know a guy that has worked with many movies on thier props his name is BJ Windslow. He is excellent at what he does and can even sculpt the permanent wound into it as well as add toenails and hair. However he is an artist and they cost money so be prepared to spend at least $700.00 for a good leg. You also need to read the two books reffered to at the top, you will learn ALOT.

Luke Castleberry

2nd_mi_johnny
01-14-2008, 11:51 PM
Dear Sir,

I too put alot of work into making an excellent amputation senerio. I also found that they are NOT for the campaigning style reenacting which I like. They are only practical for groups and schools (if they will allow). In order to get a good looking limb you have to go to Hollywood (via enternet of course). I know a guy that has worked with many movies on thier props his name is BJ Windslow. He is excellent at what he does and can even sculpt the permanent wound into it as well as add toenails and hair. However he is an artist and they cost money so be prepared to spend at least $700.00 for a good leg. You also need to read the two books reffered to at the top, you will learn ALOT.

Luke Castleberry

Luke I would like to thank you for your incite, and would like to offer some of my own. I have learned that when working with legs and arms and stuff of that nature that yes to get a good end product I am going to be either extensively altering the existing product, making my own (which I know how to do I've had to help on the production of other peoples) or consulting a professional to do the work for me. All these things cost money, (Especially when you use parts from a resin skeleton to form the bone structure of said limb) Then you take into effect the cost of professional modeling clay, a good finish lacquer, the convincing synthetic fibers for hair, and other such things. I know that this is all going to cost me.

On further subjects that I have not been able to address until now. I know that the cost of setting up a field hospital is going to be enormous, and that it is going to set me back several hundred (If not thousands) of dollars. I also realize that non of what we do for the public is for the uninitiated, or ill prepared. C & D Jernigan makes/sells very good stuff, but another such place that I can buy my dress uniform jacket is threw Jeff O’Donnell at the Quartermaster shop. I may spend about 40 bucks on gas just to get to the Port Huron area, but since I grew up there, I can make a day trip out of it. Since he DOES supply to most of the other sutlery in the united states, and I know his work, he doesn't make crap, I can justify the 170 dollar price tag for the Jacket, that he charges. He will also make a pair of trousers custom fit to my needs with the proper stripe down the leg. I have how ever come to realize that a hospital steward will only be wearing this uniform IF he was appointed by the Army medical corp. (Which at that time they were actually appointed by the surgeon General threw the Ordinance Department of the military. Which is why the proper jacket and striping is the crimson ordinance/heavy artillery.) If you were how ever appointed by the recommendation of your unit surgeon you would have just been wearing your sack coat, with the steward chevron, or maybe even just a black or green stripe across your sleeve to represent that you were a 'medical orderly'

I know that every one when the read my first post was assuming that I was wet behind the ears in this field, but I HAVE been doing it for the last ten years. I'm no spring chicken. I know the task which I have set before my self, is daunting and not intended for the unprepared or faint of heart. I am going to be saving for over two years to get things to do my impression right. I have been looking for the two books earlier mentioned, but I have not been able until just recently to find a sutlery that sells them. I have found them but they have always been paperback, which is frankly not a historically accurate book, and I have no desire to own it, as I intend on using it for reference at a civil war event.

Brigtest blessings
Johnny out

NoahBriggs
01-15-2008, 12:55 AM
. . . If you were how ever appointed by the recommendation of your unit surgeon you would have just been wearing your sack coat, with the steward chevron, or maybe even just a black or green stripe across your sleeve to represent that you were a 'medical orderly' . . .

The Hospital Stewrd's Manual actually recommends what we'd call a "fatigue" vs. a "dress" uniform for a stew out in the field. Fatigue blouses (erroneously referred to as "sack coats" by most of us) and enlisted trowsers are more the order of the day in the hospitals, both field and general. The frock was technically a dress coat. Personally I think a good mix of the different coats is acceptable.

. . . I have how ever come to realize that a hospital steward will only be wearing this uniform IF he was appointed by the Army medical corp. (Which at that time they were actually appointed by the surgeon General threw [sic] the Ordinance [sic] Department of the military. Which is why the proper jacket and striping is the crimson ordinance [sic]/heavy artillery.)

Stews were (on paper) supposed to be recommended directly by the SG. I don't understand why one would need to go through the Ordnance Dept. to get their NCO warrant. That's not in the regs or the Hospital Steward's Manual. The crimson branch of Service color indicated a staff NCO, meaning that technically the hospital staff was on the same level as the regiment's colonel, major, adjutant et al., as they were assigned to the regiment, not to a specific infantry company, artillery detachment, or cavalry company/squadron.

The green "stripe across the sleeve" is a plain green half chevron attached at the same position as a steward's half-chevron on your average fatigue blouse, and they, along with the ol' kepi with the green band, indicated an ambulance corpsman. (It was red in the 18th Corps, so there are exceptions.)

2nd_mi_johnny
01-15-2008, 01:57 AM
The Hospital Stewrd's Manual[/I] actually recommends what we'd call a "fatigue" vs. a "dress" uniform for a stew out in the field. Fatigue blouses (erroneously referred to as "sack coats" by most of us) and enlisted trowsers are more the order of the day in the hospitals, both field and general. The frock was technically a dress coat. Personally I think a good mix of the different coats is acceptable.

Thank you for that I was suspecting as such from the get go but it's very nice to hear some one support my theory.


Stews were (on paper) supposed to be recommended directly by the SG. I don't understand why one would need to go through the Ordnance Dept. to get their NCO warrant. That's not in the regs or the Hospital Steward's Manual. The crimson branch of Service color indicated a staff NCO, meaning that technically the hospital staff was on the same level as the regiment's colonel, major, adjutant et al., as they were assigned to the regiment, not to a specific infantry company, artillery detachment, or cavalry company/squadron.

No what I was trying to Indicate was that from what I read was that while they were apointed by the SG him self, I was led to the understanding that they were actually concidered to be in the Ordenance department, (Which is why the assistant stewards carry the equivalency rank of Ord. Sgt., and the Head Stewards carried the rank by Equivalency of Sgt. Mgr.) They were assigned to the Regiment THREW the ordenance department, (As was all other military equiptment.) I hope this better explains what I was trying to say.


The green "stripe across the sleeve" is a plain green half chevron attached at the same position as a steward's half-chevron on your average fatigue blouse, and they, along with the ol' kepi with the green band, indicated an ambulance corpsman. (It was red in the 18th Corps, so there are exceptions.)

Again thank you for Clarifying on this. I have been studying the Hospital profession for many years and I've run across like three differant explinations for the Green, and The Black stripes on the uniform. The most popular I've heard about the green half chevron have been as follows, Ambulance Corpsman, and hospital Orderly. (Which as I understand it is simular to a private or corperal in the hospital, that were assistance to the Hospital steward) the Three I've heard about the BLACK stripes were that they were Burial Detail, (Grave diggers) Hospital Orderlys, Or the Personal assistents to the unit Chaplin.

NoahBriggs
01-15-2008, 02:22 AM
No what I was trying to Indicate was that from what I read was that while they were apointed by the SG him self, I was led to the understanding that they were actually concidered to be in the Ordenance department, (Which is why the assistant stewards carry the equivalency rank of Ord. Sgt., and the Head Stewards carried the rank by Equivalency of Sgt. Mgr.) They were assigned to the Regiment THREW the ordenance department, (As was all other military equiptment.) I hope this better explains what I was trying to say.

The Hospital Department was a separate entity from the Ordnance Department.

The Ordnance Departmenth was in charge of Ordnance in your case of your artillery, the horse equipments, the guns and the limbers and caissons, and any swords/pistols and their leathers you might carry. Of course, ammunition as well. Ordnance was typically "onsite" at forts, and rear depot areas and only rarely showing up in the field. As usual there are exceptions.

The hospital Department was run by the Surgeon-General. Indeed the pay of a stew was the equivalent of an ordnance sergeant, which indicates both were specialists and ranked higher pay. I believe the Steward's Manual covers how a steward is supposed to be issued a warrant declaring him to be a hospital steward. (He does not receive a direct commission, else he'd be an officer.)

By 1863 the hospitals have been consolidated into division and corps level. Thus we have the senior steward running the junior stewards, and typically their "chain of command" was determined by who received their NCO warrants first. The head stew would probably get the equivalent of Sgt. Major, but I'd have to verify that.

Hospital orderlies could be privates detailed temporarily or permanently from their companies. they acted as nurses and scut-work boys, or as the clerks (who helped the stew fill out the paperwork).

2nd_mi_johnny
01-15-2008, 04:32 AM
I cannot find my "Customs Of Service" 1863 Edition, or is it 1864. At any rate, if you look under the section about Hospital Stewards (I believe its right around the Mid fourty pages don't quote me on that) It lists the two differant pay grades of the hospital stewards.

2nd_mi_johnny
01-15-2008, 05:18 AM
I have to correct my self about the customs of service. I just looked, all it said about their pay was that it was a flat out thirty dollars a month. I also don't know exactly which edition it is, out side of the fact that its post 1862. Its still a very usefull book to have.

NoahBriggs
01-15-2008, 05:50 AM
If I recall correctly stews got about $20-$22 a month but later in the war it went up to $30. Again, I don't have all of my references at hand.