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Thread: “knapsack tent” of Gilham’s manual...

  1. #1
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    Default “knapsack tent” of Gilham’s manual...

    Can anyone help expand on this in layman's terms?

    I would like to experiment with alternate shelters (outside the realm of all-too-common dogs and A-frames). In my limited search I stumbled on this phrasing having to do with a gum blanket as the main component of this type shelter's construction. I myself in an effort to get away from the afore mentioned commonality of the A and Dog tents have thought once or twice on how I could potentially turn a gum blanket/poncho or two into a livable makeshift shelter that would spice up the company street at the very least!

    Any thoughts/ diagrams/ links to how to's and the like would be immensely appreciated, thank you in advance first to the Mods of this forum that enable this great tool of knowledge sharing from which we all benefit and second to my cyber Pards who take their time to help me out!

    For what its worth I portray a Private in the 42nd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Reg't, Company I. Mustered at/around Oxford, MS in April of '62 and stationed in Richmond, VA on Prison guard and provost duty until joining Lee's ANV on the Pennsylvania Campaign, Summer of '63. First major action was seen at Gettysburg on 1 July. (I give this brief in case any of my pards on here think of any material I may have come in contact with that would aid in the creation of a functional makeshift shelter) Thanks again!
    (Living History) Pvt. Zachary Mark Henson
    Company I 42nd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment
    "Mississippi Reds"

    "The last romantic and first modern war."
    - Shelby Foote

    "If this cause, that is dear to my heart, is doomed to fail, I pray heaven may let me fall with it, while my face is toward the enemy and my arm battling for that which I know is right."
    - Major General Patrick R. Cleburne

  2. #2
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    I would wonder why you would want to deviate from the 'norm' as that is the goal for most reenactors. It would be interesting to learn the details for sure as all knowledge is good knowledge but I would suggest that especially for a company street your Sergeant might object to deviating from the norm. Any type of shebang you can come up with in the woods would work so that may be more appropriate.

  3. #3
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    In my research the availability of tentage for the confederacy was scarce. A shebang of some sort works well, along with the basic ordinary blanket and gum, just laying on the ground. What you can do is if you have a poncho or an extra gum blanket is create a leanto to sleep under when there is dew or light rain It even helps with sunshine as a place for shade. A few sticks and some light weight rope works fine. Or even as mention out in the woods and a couple of trees to tie to.
    Cris Westphal
    Civil War Reenactor

  4. #4
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    I agree that this not the type shelter that would work in a by-the-book company street, but for a soldier on campaign in a roadside bivouac I applaud any who wants to break from the norm. Is a norm what most want to achieve? It shouldn't always be. As soon as somebone says "they wouldn't have done this or they wouldn't have done that" is forgetting the spirit of independence that motiviated many soldiers on both sides. I doubt if John Billings and his illustrator Charles Reed would have described/drawn so many shelter variants in Hardtack and Coffee if they weren't used enough to become "norm" in their proper context.
    - Ernesto Serna

    "...I'm struck by the contradiction at the core of Civil War reenacting. On the surface it's a hyper-macho hobby, focused on guns and battle. But the longer I hang out with hardcores ... the more they remind me of supermodels, chatting endlessly about their jackets and shoes and hair and how many pounds they've lost since the last event." - Tony Horwitz

  5. #5
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    My Company 1SG is actually the man who encouraged us to go for more of an expedient and or variant "on campaign" type shelter. He created a nice lean-to/ Shebang from his Dog tent. I am just curious as to other methods employed so that I have some choice within the perimeters of "on campaign" housing. It would be especially useful to me if the shelter created's components could be transported either in a knapsack and/ blanket roll as my pards and I tend to do a fair amount of campaigning, it is convenient for our health physically and intellectually that we live in southern Pennsylvania and can often do weekend trips to places like Gettysburg and Antietam. That partly is why my first instinct was to utilize a good groundcloth as I have one Federal issue as well as a CS Painted Gum, these have both served me well through a few weekend ventures.
    (Living History) Pvt. Zachary Mark Henson
    Company I 42nd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment
    "Mississippi Reds"

    "The last romantic and first modern war."
    - Shelby Foote

    "If this cause, that is dear to my heart, is doomed to fail, I pray heaven may let me fall with it, while my face is toward the enemy and my arm battling for that which I know is right."
    - Major General Patrick R. Cleburne

  6. #6
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    If you're looking for something for more than one man, you might consider trying a raider's bunk.
    Bernard Biederman
    30th OVI
    Co. B

  7. #7
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    Thanks for completely misrepresenting what I said Mr Serna. If you have such a strong need to make a point, please use your own words and don't dishonestly reinterpret someone elses.
    Thanks
    Last edited by mosbysgirl; 12-16-2013 at 09:22 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mosbysgirl View Post
    Thanks for completely misrepresenting what I said Mr Serna. If you have such a strong need to make a point, please use your own words and don't dishonestly reinterpret someone elses.
    Thanks
    Excuse me? I have no idea what I did to earn you scorn or to merit such an intemperate retort. I posted an observation; an opinion, to the thread in general. Note that I did not use "reply with quote" to any post you made.
    It is possible that I might have misunderstood your post. I would normally profusely apologize for perhaps misunderstanding you, but in this case I will refrain from making myself the scapegoat.

    You could have replied to me in a in a cogent manner and pointed out where I may have misundetstood your point of view, but instead you very rudely went on the attack instead of providing a measured and analytic response. Classy.
    Last edited by Che; 12-18-2013 at 02:33 PM.
    - Ernesto Serna

    "...I'm struck by the contradiction at the core of Civil War reenacting. On the surface it's a hyper-macho hobby, focused on guns and battle. But the longer I hang out with hardcores ... the more they remind me of supermodels, chatting endlessly about their jackets and shoes and hair and how many pounds they've lost since the last event." - Tony Horwitz

  9. #9
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    I'm not sure in what context the term was mentioned in Gilhams but early war there was sort of a fad for multi purpose items like knapsacks that would unfold to become a tent or the Day's Patent Poncho Tent that served as poncho, shelter half, groundcloth, et al.

  10. #10

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    I think the problem of those combination devices was that they tried to do several things at once and ended up doing all of them inadequately, rather than doing one task and doing it successfully. For instance, you could use Days as a poncho, or a tent, but not both at the same time. And just where do you stash all of your gear meanwhile?
    Che: I think the two of you may be caught in a misunderstanding. Using quotation marks for a quote makes the quote look like sarcasm, even if it's not, whereas a reply with quote doesn't.
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

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