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Thread: Shelter half, Pole Height?

  1. #1
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    Default Shelter half, Pole Height?

    OK, I have searched here and on Google. Can someone help me out here?

    What is the basic height of the Federal issue shelter half vertical pole? (From pictures I would guess 40 to 50 inches), but was there a standard?

    Thanks!
    "In the heat of battle it ceases to be an idea for which we fight... or a flag. Rather... we fight for the man on our left and we fight for the man on our right... and when armies have scattered and when the empires fall away... all that remains is the memory
    of those precious moments... we spent side by side."

    Paul Bennett

  2. #2
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    Denmark
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    NJ Seleka's shelter half pole is 46" inches long and 7/8" in diameter. It should be a copy of an original, so the measurements should be okay.

    http://www.njsekela.com/OSCommerce/c...50d2bcf2fb23b4

    Hope this helps.
    Regards
    Jeff

  3. #3
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    There's the official length of the official two piece uprights, and then there's what was done in the field by individuals. Low and wide gives more room underneath than tall and narrow. Then, there's setting up for shebang, lean-to, etc. that will affect how long the uprights need to be.

    I used to have mine at about 48". Now, they're down to about 36".
    Bernard Biederman
    30th OVI
    Co. B

  4. #4
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    Then again, a steep roof will shed water faster than a shallow slope. As others have advised you:

    - there's the length of the repro pole based on an original.
    - you can go low and wide
    - you can go tall and narrow
    - you can assemble yours with any number or pards to make a "shebang" limited only by your numbers, imagination and shelter half engineering skill.

    I would say that "field expedient rigging of the shelter half using whatever "pole" you have available or a shebang would be most representative.

    Just my two kopecks.
    Last edited by dixieflyer; 07-20-2011 at 09:35 AM. Reason: operator headspace and timing
    Warren Dickinson

    Member of the original Pickett's Mill Interpretive Volunteer Staff & Co. D, 17th Ky Vol. Inf
    Former Mudsill
    Co-Creator of the States Rights Guard in '92

  5. #5
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    Apparently the regulation poles often failed to make the trip. Try putting a two-foot pole in with your on-your-back gear sometime and one reason becomes apparent: While not impossible, it's at best inconvenient, leading many fellows, in all probability, to assess it as not worth the trouble of transport.
    Bill Watson
    I write about history for people who regret not being there when it happened.

    Books
    Brother William's War, Illustrated, about a Southerner's war
    The Ludlam Legacy, Illustrated, about a young Yankee orphan's war.
    Seize the Day! A best-practices guide to wringing more satisfaction from your Civil War weekend
    The Little Book of Civil War Reenacting: An introduction for those who want to try it out

  6. #6
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    There is much speculation and little hard fact when it comes to the shelter tent pole provided by the government. There are little to no surviving examples and only a handful of images. They were designed to be two-piece, with slotted ends that met in the middle at a metal socket which was pinned to one piece. The intent was to tie them to the side of a knapsack when not in use, and in that capacity it works well with little fuss, but I would imagine that over time, the inconvenience, weight, and usual availablity of tree branches, sticks, and other assorted fixtures made in unnecessary to carry them. There is an excellent drawing in "Hardtack and Coffee" that shows that muskets with afixed bayonets were used often. Just place them barrel down with the bayonet in the ground, run a cord or rope through the trigger guards and down into the ground as a ridge, and you've got two poles.
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  7. #7
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    Ross, I am part of a very mainstream artillery unit. We all enjoy our hobby. Many are very authentic and make an excellent impression. Others, (like myself) are always trying to improve. I think that this constant striving to be better, makes the hobby more interesting. My question involves tentage/shelter. In our unit, officers use wall tents/dining flys. Enlisted use wedge tents. No one uses shelter halves or shebangs. We portray a mid-war unit. Since shelter halves were not widely issued, then perhaps a shebang would be more appropriate? If I was to construct a shebang, it would lend me to believe that anything could be used; canvas tarps, hemp rope, gum blankets, ponchos, etc.

    What is your opinion?
    Gerald Henry Calderone Jr.
    Simi Valley, CA

    sponger and rammer of cannons

    Richmond Howitzers

  8. #8
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    Sorry Im Not Ross, but I might could weigh in...

    Artillery can use the gun tarp if its not covering the gun, or under the caisson. A tarp or fly would work well as a shebang for a few gunner, or just do without..... I know the part of California your from sir, and unless its winter time, its usually pretty conducive to going sans tent...
    Bobby Hughes
    Co A, 2nd Battalion Ga Sharpshooters/64th Illinois Vol Infantry "Yates' Sharpshooters"
    Savannah Republican Blues
    Co C, 3rd US Infantry
    Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum & William Scarbrough House, Savannah, GA


    "I hope to live long enough to see my surviving comrades march side by side with the Union veterans along Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I will die happy." - James Longstreet at a Memorial Day Parade in 1902.

  9. #9
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    The esteemed Mr. Hughes is correct - for artillery a gun tarp is quick, easy, and documented. I sent you answers to your PM as well, but as a Confederate unit, you've got a lot of options from tent flies, painted cloths, groundcloths, etc., and in a variety of materials from cotton drill, cotton duck, heavy linen (although linen usage dropped as the war progressed due to flax shortages), and hemp linen.
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  10. #10
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    As part of our campaign impression, we tend to use the artillery tarpaulin, which is strapped to the limber chest. We stretch it out over the gun and limber, while limbered, crawl in underneath, and go to sleep. It's nice and cozy. We've even buttoned shelter halves and stretched them out over the limber pole, in numerous configurations.
    Michael Dec
    McClung's Tennessee Battery
    http://armydrawers.echoes.net/

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