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    You want to be a staff officer? Get a dip pen...

    You want to be a staff officer? Get a dip pen and some forms and learn to write. Go to Google Books and look at the General Orders. Read Craighill, Butterfield, and all three volumes of Kautz. ...
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    Truth -- bears repeating...

    Truth -- bears repeating...
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    Apparently you're on target, Mr. Berg. Smiles...

    Apparently you're on target, Mr. Berg. Smiles were considered silly and photos were portraits: http://petapixel.com/2013/09/23/didnt-people-smile-old-photos/ "In a letter to the Sacramento Daily...
  4. I've poked little holes in the wool covering and...

    I've poked little holes in the wool covering and pressed the brass down as Curt describes. If you don't mess around too much with it you can remove the stuff at the end of the weekend with no...
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    I've wondered the same thing, Hank. Perhaps it...

    I've wondered the same thing, Hank. Perhaps it comes from a postwar recollection slightly corrupted by time, or the assumption that any flour used by the Confederates must have been cornmeal. That...
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    Agreed. It was all downhill from Rich Mountain...

    Agreed. It was all downhill from Rich Mountain and the military appropriations act of FY61. :)
  7. The trailer looks great!

    The trailer looks great!
  8. Agreed. There's lots of interesting music...

    Agreed. There's lots of interesting music actually from the era to hear before we fall back on things that just sound olde-timey...
  9. There was an earlier discussion about clean-out...

    There was an earlier discussion about clean-out screws and I think the rough consensus was that folks just burning powder built up more fouling than folks actually loading bullets. Hence the...
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    I don't know about contracts, but here are the...

    I don't know about contracts, but here are the basic specs according to Kilburn:

    "FRESH BEEF.

    "Contracts for fresh beef should require steers, (not bulls, stags, heifers, or cows,) and over...
  11. Like. That's good to know.

    Like. That's good to know.
  12. How it got lost is a mystery to me. It was there...

    How it got lost is a mystery to me. It was there at the beginning of a five mile walk and gone at the end. I can only think that somehow in handling it I loosened it and it fell out on the last...
  13. Thank you, Curt and Bernie. I'm pretty...

    Thank you, Curt and Bernie. I'm pretty scrupulous about cleaning but I'll take some measurements too. Right now the short ones are just a backup. I plan to be at Spotsylvania, so I may be able to...
  14. Question about replacing a 61 Springfield clean-out screw

    I'm a little embarrassed not to know this, but not so embarrassed that I won't ask help from more knowledgeable folks here.

    Several months ago, after a march of a few miles, I discovered that...
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    http://books.google.com/books?id=il1RBHv577YC&prin...

    http://books.google.com/books?id=il1RBHv577YC&printsec=frontcover&dq=intitle:ration+inauthor:horsford&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tPRCU7_GJrbJsQSz6oDoAw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Second the cake flour...
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    I've mentioned this book before but it's worth...

    I've mentioned this book before but it's worth another look in this context. One of the challenges faced by the Subsistence Department was the weight and quality of the ration when it finally got to...
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    Yes, but notice that it's not dropping that far,...

    Yes, but notice that it's not dropping that far, and it starts dropping from the beginning of data collection at the end of the 18th century. The high point is 48. The discussion this chart's...
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    "Very likely" may be overstated. I've been...

    "Very likely" may be overstated. I've been having this conversation with some fellows elsewhere. During the period we're mostly concerned with, average life expectancy at age twenty was somewhere...
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    Second that. Taking the question literally,...

    Second that. Taking the question literally, neither would fit anywhere in the infantry company chain of command, as neither one exists in an infantry company. As such, any NCO in said company would...
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    Para. 932 in the Regs mentions an enlistment term...

    Para. 932 in the Regs mentions an enlistment term of five years. Maximum age for enlistment in the regulars was under 35. Not many made it to fifty. Pete Bereczuk posted the vital stats on the...
  21. It's hard to imagine that they couldn't at least...

    It's hard to imagine that they couldn't at least take a gum blanket -- I'll have to have another look at that part of Lincoln's book. I do remember him saying that the regimental staff were...
  22. You can position one on each side of the "box"...

    You can position one on each side of the "box" portion next to the back, heels out under the shoulder flaps, tie the laces together, and strap the knapsack shut. Or you can stick them in the back...
  23. Here's another order about carrying stuff: W....

    Here's another order about carrying stuff:

    W. S. Lincoln, in "Life With the Thirty-Fourth Mass. Infantry" records Hunter's Department of West Virginia G.O. 29 for May 22, 1864, which reads in...
  24. Part II Series I, Volume 25, pp. 544-547 CAMP...

    Part II Series I, Volume 25, pp. 544-547

    CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., May 29, 1863.
    Brig. Gen. M. C. MEIGS,
    Quartermaster- General U~ S. Army, Washington, D. C:

    GENERAL: I have the honor...
  25. “An Experiment in Knapsack Weight” From the...

    “An Experiment in Knapsack Weight”
    From the Official Records, Series I, Volume 25, Part II, pp. 486-489

    SPECIAL ORDERS, HEAD QUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
    No. 65. Camp near Falmouth, Va., March...
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