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Thread: My New Kit: Applications & Improvements Upon...

  1. #1

    Default My New Kit: Applications & Improvements Upon...

    progress_by_ijnredshirt-dc87eew.jpg

    OK so I've spent the last few years very busy, finishing off a long term internship at Lakewood's Oldest Stone House and will soon start work a the Civl War Soldiers & Sailors Monument in downtown Cleveland: my first real paid job! I wound up doing a civilian impression of an 1840's era teacher for the last two years, and that has gone remarkably well. The kid really love my


    Anyhow, I've in the meantime been building up my kit with the help of my mother who is very active nowadays on civilwartalk. Anyhow, I've no gotten myself a fairly decent tin cup (though I am pretty sure it is actually stainless), a lovely tarred black haversack, proper forage cap\kepi, artillery hat insignia, and belt plates for the cartridge box, us infantry, & a nco\cav rectangular belt plate. I also have just gotten a very nice sack coat (albeit I think the wool may be a bit on the thick & cheap side) and a pair of reenforced riding trousers. Right now, I am planning on either being a cavalryman (cue boos at dismounted cav, although I do intend on doing a photoshoot on horseback at some point) or a driver for an artillery team, since that seems to align best with the gear I have a the moment. I'm not planning on doing hat brass, though so I can feasibly switch between impressions of cav, arty, and infantry at will. An old friend of mine has an retro Ames saber I might borrow at some point.

    (Edit: My new riding trousers are in fact light blue-grey, sorry it dosen't show in the picture it was a rainy day and there wasn't much light. Anyhow I know they aren't infantry trousers, hence my interest in possibly making a second pair of trousers in another style & color.)

    I'm considering possibly also having a pair of dark blue infantry trousers done to supplement my riding trousers, with the one navy blue wool I posted about a few years back... I feel like I once read that there were some early war units that wore sack coats & dark colored trousers, but can't place the regiment (though probably a New England one?). Anyone recall wherein I might have come across this claim?

    Also on the matter of trousers, any recommendations on doing alterations of rep trousers? My new pair are long enough in the leg, but need to be taken in a the waist, lest I scandalize the ladies!

    In terms of footwear, I am seriously considering substituting Russian\Soviet made Sapogi for more expensive repro boots: would this be generally acceptable? They might find dual use in another impression at a later date. The boots are hobnailed, just like Civil War boots, although they are designed to be worn with foot wraps rather than socks which might make for some comfort issues in the long run... but they seem to sell for around $50-60 which is much cheaper than retro riding boots.

    Alos any suggestions on improvements I might make to my current equipment? Obviously, the next thing on my list are a good canteen, any other suggestions?

  2. #2

    Default

    I'd actually recommend kersey blue trousers instead of dark blue ones. Dark blue are so early war specific. Get a pair of shoes or boots. Your sapogi will hide under your trouser legs, but they'll never be right. Comfortable though. They're the most comfortable military boots I've ever worn.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Dark blue is fine for US Regulars out west, but stick with the lighter blue for Eastern impressions. And good, proper footwear is a must, because the wrong ones just look weird. Nothing ruins an impression like modern-looking shoes. Even the cheapest online sutler shoes look better than modern footwear. Which unit do you want to represent?
    Michael R.
    NPS Volunteer representing Company A or G, 5th US Infantry Regiment
    Private/new recruit, Company A, 3rd US Artillery Regiment
    Museum collections manager in northern New Mexico

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Near Gettysburg PA
    Posts
    132

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    I always recommend talking to the leaders of the group that you plan on falling in with. Find out what equipment they use , and who they purchased it from, so that you don't stick out.
    David Einhorn, Author of the book titled, "Civil War Blacksmithing" available from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Blac...+blacksmithing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    95

    Default

    A certain amount of "sticking out" is acceptable, if it can be justified by research and evidence. For example, there is plenty of photo documentation of groups of soldiers. If you can find one of the regiment you are portraying, look at uniforms and variations within. If the vast majority are wearing piped military jackets, go with that. If it is a blend of jackets and fatigue coats, go with whichever you prefer. For everything, the easiest thing to do is to go with the federal issued/regulation items for the unit you are joining, and as you get more comfortable with the unit, you can explore civilian items and alternative items. Pretend that you are a new recruit, and perhaps one of the hired substitutes or a very down-on-your-luck individual who could not bring anything from home when you passed the medical inspection.

    And like I said earlier, non-period footwear sticks out like a sore thumb. Nothing as bad as seeing velcro or the big raised "NB" on a black tennis shoe. Even if it is the cheapest pair from the most questionable of online sutlers, go with a period brogan, and just save up for a good pair later. The cheap brogan will fall apart by the time you have saved up the $350 for a good pair from Missouri Boot and Shoe.
    Michael R.
    NPS Volunteer representing Company A or G, 5th US Infantry Regiment
    Private/new recruit, Company A, 3rd US Artillery Regiment
    Museum collections manager in northern New Mexico

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