View Full Version : Smoke break!

05-19-2006, 06:19 AM
But what the heck do I smoke? Its not a retarded question as I know smoking on the field with powder just BEGGEN to explode upon my person would be bad. But for things like LH and what have you, because lets face it, CW soldiers smoked. I have a "meersham" pipe on hand that is an antique of the erra and have no hang up usen that but were these pipes even on this side of the pond at the time? Such a personal item, it would be hard to say really.

So more readily at hand would be cigars. Are leaf rolled cigarellos way out or did they have these things kicken about? Or were all cigars the "president" style that we commonly see? Last thing I want is to be called out by a "farb hunter" because my cigar is wrong! ;)

Thanks in advance for any information!

and here is a link that may be of some interest. http://www.havana59.com/cigarhistory.html

05-19-2006, 09:13 AM
I Aint That Much Of A Smoker But The Most Authentic Tobaccoo Is Probably Capn Black Or Prince Albert. You Dont Have To Keep It In Its Plastic Bag, Put It In A Tote Bag. Quite A Bit Of Soldiers Did This For Personal Use During The War Between The States. Pipe Wise, You Could Use Corn Cob, Clay Or Tavern Pipe. Any Kind Of Rough Cut Cigar Could Do Too.

Cprl. Ben Taylor
37th Ga

05-19-2006, 03:41 PM


The most common use of tobacco was chewing, followed by pipes and cigars. Chewing required no equipment, not even a match. Cigarillos (long, thin cigars nicknamed "stogies" because the teamsters who drove the Conestoga wagons smoked them ubiquitously) could be chewed or smoked.

Chewing and pipe tobacco came in "twists" and "plugs" which could be cut off or bit off and chewed, or crumbled between the fingers to fill a pipe.

Cigarettes were available from France and England and began to be mass-produced in the US in 1864, but they were considered effeminate and didn't catch on until the last quarter of the 19th century, although there were those who rolled their own long before.

Clay and dense hardwoods such as brier root make the best pipes. Cpt_Invictus, your meerschaum ("sea foam") pipe is also a fine smoking item, but IMAO it's too delicate to take into the field, and if it's an antique you have no business taking it out of the house, let alone to some place you might end up falling or stepping on it. Put it in a nice rack and admire it as you break in a new one while wearing cotton gloves to keep your fingerprints from marring the finish.

Trivia Time: The famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes is usually shown smoking a calabash meerschaum, but in fact his favorite pipe was what his friend and biographer Dr. Watson called his "disreputable clay". He smoked a powerful blend of black weed which he kept in the toe of a Persian slipper on the mantelpiece.

05-19-2006, 03:42 PM
I would stay away from the corn cob pipes.From my research, corn cob pipes didn't come around until the 1890s,and even then were only smoked by the poorest of the poor.If you've ever smoked a crude corn cob,you'd know why.A carved pipe out of a tree root or clay pipe with a river reed stem would work for the working class impression.As far as middle class,just a simple briar pipe would work.That is what I smoke,and it seems to work fine and dandy for my impression.As far as tobacco,just what ever you feel like.From my experince with hardcores and pipe tobacco,that's the one thing that doesn't seem to come up in question.I smoke a smooth calibash tobacco that just about all enjoy to smell the smoke.So any tobacco would work for pipes.Carry it in either a simple homemade tobacco pouch for working class,or a tarred tobacco pouch for middle class.A silk tobacco pouch would work as well for middle class.

Cigars are far more complicated.We have to remember that cigars were "expensive" to the soldiers.If you can get one cigar at say .50 cent that will last you one hour, or an ounce of pipe tobacco at the same price that will last you a week,which will you get?If you did smoke a cigar,it was not going to be an "el presidenta'" cigar.Your character was only making $11-13 a month,and that's when he was paid.An "el presidenta'" cigar would have been about $1.50.Too expensive for a private,maybe even a sgt. would is living on just his megar salary.The cigars our enlisted characters would smoke are the small things,like the White Owls and Prince Alberts.A small cigar you pay $1.50 for five is period correct.They are small,rather cheap,and would have been affordable for our ancestors.

If nothing else,Marsh Wheelings are period correct.The company was around during the war,and they would have been in-expensive.They would have been about maybe .40 cents.Alittle costly,but not too expensive.They are good smoking,period correct,and you can usually get them from some sutlers for .50 cents at an event,or about $1.00 from their site.Heck,a box of 50 cigars from Blockare Runner costs only $35.00.That is less then a dollar a cigar for some of the best cigars out there.If nothing else,go to Blockade Runner and get a box.Take it to the next event and load some up into a cigar tin.Good way to relax at night.
Cullen Smith

05-19-2006, 04:26 PM
You are quite right Frenchie, I will leave the smokeing man Meershaum at home. I dont think I truelly realised how much it was worth till I started looking and doing some research. The pale color of the pipe suggests that its hardly been used at all. Im going to have to do more diggin on the pipe and I will let you guys know what I find. When I get a wooden stem for it, I will post some pics of it.

Which leads me to a question about the cigarellos. Do any of the Sutlers that show up at events have decent tins? I have a hammered brass case with black leather made in germany. It is however not an antique, the elastic holder bands inside gives that away. So this will most likely not do, even in a pinch.

So does any one have an example of these tins that are correct?

05-19-2006, 04:54 PM
Sir,alot of sutlers do.Jaragin,Village Tinsmith,Blockade Runner.I'm sure Nick Sekala makes one.He makes everything else except a period kitchen sink,which he's probably working on right now,:D.Those are the ones I can think of right now.You could always do the old "Sharpsburg" trick.Wrap it in a piece of paper.Just make sure it doesn't have orders written on it.
Hopes this helps.
Cullen Smith

05-20-2006, 01:59 PM
As has been pointed out already, cigars would have been an expensive pastime for the enlisted soldier. In my pipe, I use "twist tobacco" which was commonly used by westerners and traded to Indians. It looks like a dog t--d but you can smoke it in any of the pipes discussed on this thread or chew the stuff. Be aware you can catch quite a "buzz" from it, which is not a good thing when you have a grumpy Irish Sergeant on your butt. You can acquire authentic twist tobbaco from www.crazycrow.com for $7.95 per twist which lasts me the better part of a season. Also keep in mind when finding your favorite smokin' pipe, that since tobacco was sorta expensive and difficult to acquire for the Union soldier, get a pipe with a smaller bowl. You wont stuff so much in it thereby being more economical with your favorite blend.

If you portray an officer, you could possibly afford a cigar now and again. The most authentic currently made cigars I have found are called cheroots. You can get a good authentic cheroot from www.jrcigars.com They are called "Kentucky Cheroots" and are made with no binder but use a leaf wrapper as was done in the "old days". You get a box of 40 (or is it 50, cant remember) cigars for $36. They last a very long time and once again, are fairly potent. I also smoke the Backwoods Cigars but they are quite crude looking. Good for a front line impression perhaps but I wonder if they wouldnt be a bit crude for a higher grade officer impression.

Enjoy but dont blame me for the headache, you asked for it!!!

05-21-2006, 02:23 PM
Crazy Crow's was the place that I got my M1850 sword back in 1999 (I live about 50 miles from there). Since I have a "tax number" from the State of Texas I was able to purchase it at "wholesale" which was significantly less than "retail".

Now the sword that I purchased turned out to be an original although definitely post Civil War (possibly early 20th century). Somehow they had purchased a "stash" of brand new originals with leather scabbards. When I got it home there was some surface rust (actually a "dusting") on the blade but that wiped off with an "oily" rag.

I paid somewhat under $100 for the sword and believe that I "lucked up"!

What they have 7 years later is most probably reproductions. However, there is always a chance that you might get an original (but definitely post Civil War) one.


05-23-2006, 01:06 AM
That's a pretty interesting story but I don't quite see what it's got to do with a discussion of tobacco products. Post on the wrong thread perhaps?

05-23-2006, 10:57 AM
Nope, just to reinforce Crazy Crow's as being a good place to purchase things.


05-23-2006, 11:24 AM
Nope, just to reinforce Crazy Crow's as being a good place to purchase things.


Oh, and that makes a heck of a lot of sense. Please don't spam the forum, it is discourteous and ignorant. If you want to promote a product or business why not start your own thread and do it in an honest and forthright manner. Yor approch only makes your "good place to buy things" seem all the more suspect and less than reputable.

05-23-2006, 12:06 PM
Actually, I did not interprete Glen's post to be spam. Remember policies and interpretations do change when you go from one forum to another. Please, the next time that you find a post that would violate a policy on your network and you believe violates one of ours, use the Alert function, which is the exclamation point inside the red bordered triangle, to send an alert to the staff here so that we can take appropriate action. However, you must remember that for us appropriate action may be to take no action at all.

Thomas H. Pritchett

06-15-2006, 02:11 PM
Pardon me gentlemen, but I thought I would give an amusing update on the smokin & chewin issue. Bunch of us fellers was a-layin round the campfire tuther night havin a smoke. I was workin away at cuttin up some twist tabakker for my pipe and Sergeant O'Malley allows that smokin was for Norwegians 'n Swedes. Well, I says to his Irishness, "here then, have a chew of it". Being the prideful Irishman that he is, he realized he had back himself into a cornor so he bit off a chunk. The Corporal, believing he had been ordered to take a chew, bite off a bigger hunk. I do tell you lads, it was worth an extra shift on guard duty just to watch the shade of green they turned. I think I may have found out how the color green has come to be associated with the Irish!!!!

Another note, I have found the Captain Blacks "Lane Limited" pipe tobacco has a very similar color and texture to it as what my twist tobbacco looks like when I get it cut up for usage. I have taken to putting that in my poke along with a chunk of the twist. Kinda cheatin I suppose but a heck of a lot faster gettin a pipeful for a smoke.

Enjoy but dont tell your Sergeant you heard it from me!!!

06-15-2006, 02:36 PM
Harley,that's not cheating.Just about no body,not even most progressives,would care if you smoked loose cut tobacco.