Once again we have been given an Article on how to do something. In this case the article is in the September 2006 CCG "Low Cost and No Cost Ways to Improve Your Impression" by Ross Lamoreaux
I am sure that Mr. Lamoreaux's information is accurate in that this is how SOME civil war soldiers did what they did. Maybe even a great number of them, maybe even a MAJORITY of them.
And I beleive his article is intended to improve the hobby.
It is in Mr. Lamoreaux's (and countless other 'How To' suggestors, I am just using him as an example that can be cited and verified having nothing against Mr. Lamoreaux, I don't know the guy) belief in absolutes, as in this is the ONLY way.
In that I respectfully disagree.
Let me point out that in 1860 the Regular Army consisted of under 20,000 men and officers and had contractors used to supporting a peacetime army of that strength.
By the end of the CW the total number of men who had served in both armies numbered over 300 TIMES the size of the prewar army. And both sides had enough problems supporting those men with the materials of war that they resorted to importing massive amounts of equipment. And just about every manufacturer in the country got involved in filling orders for war material.
John Tobey's article ("Frankenrelic") in the Sept/Oct 2006 Civil War Historian shows original equipment issued and used that if it showed up on today's reenactment battlefield would be ridiculed as "farby".
In his article Mr. Tobey points out that in 1860 strict specifications did not exist for many military articles and the detailed "Quartermaster's Manual" of 1865 was never even published.
You had states contracting to provide material for regiments they raised. You had the government sending written descriptions to contractors and accepting the product if it was servicable. Even if it wasn't 'exactly' what they expected.
To beleive that there were massive variations in the quality and design among the different manufacturers is only logical.
To expand the theme to beleive there was only ONE way to wear a canteen, haversack or cartridge box in civilian based armies numbering MILLIONS of men is just plan illogical.
I do not doubt that 'advisors' like Mr. Lamoreaux are accurate in being able to cite examples of what they preach. I don't doubt that they beleive if their advice is followed that the hobby will be 'improved'.
What I doubt, is in America's first mass mobilzed, industrial revolution, continent wide war, that there was only ONE way to do anything.
Unfortunately, far too often this is what we are told.
Co C 125th NYSVI