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Posted By: Ken Dombroski on: 06/19/2002 01:24:41 CDT
Subject: RE: Uniform Guidelines

Message Detail:
Gentlemen,

When I was in an artillery battery, I developed a similar list of uniform and personal equipment needed for new reenactors based on immediate, mid-term, and optional items, and then added my two cents worth on recommended sutlers. Since then I've modified it for our signalmen.

We out here in California have a relativley limited number of sutlers at our events with varying degrees of quality goods. I tend to recommend some of the bigger outfits back east because I've had good service with them and their gear is good mainstream reenactor quality.

I offer this list as an example. Depending on the location of the reenacting signal unit, the time period portrayed, and affiliated unit (inf, arty, cav), your needs and requirements may differ, as well as your recommended sutlers.

SIGNAL CORPS DETACHMENT

UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS

We recommend you purchase the below listed items within the first six months of joining the unit. Before buying from any manufacturer or sutler not on the recommended list, check with the Signal Sergeant. Some suppliers offer some uniform and equipment parts that are just not up to our standards. We highly recommend that you buy a complete basic issue before getting fancy and buying non-essential items such as pistols, sabers, Hardee hats, boots, etc.

BASIC ISSUE ITEMS:

PHASE I items needed before you can participate in a reenactment:

US Model 1858 or 1861 Forage Cap, dark blue
US Sackcoat, dark blue
US Mounted or Foot Trousers, sky blue
Linen braces (suspenders) with leather button tabs (no snaps)
Period cotton shirts (recommend two): white, blue, or red
Gray Wool Socks (two or three pair)
US Model 1851 Jefferson Brogans, black with heel plates
US Model 1858 Smoothside or Bullseye Canteen, dark or sky blue cover

PHASE II items needed within six months:

US Model 1856 Waistbelt (black leather) with US Oval Belt Plate
US Regulation Haversack (black weather-proofed) with inner bag
US Model 1851 Army Tin Cup
Period Knife, Fork, and Spoon
Tin Plate
Poncho, black
US Model 1851 Blanket (gray)
US Model 1862 or 1864 (recommended) Shelter Tent

RECOMMENDED ITEMS:

US Overcoat, Mounted Pattern, sky blue
US Model 1851 Knapsack (soft, double bag)
Wool gloves
Period leather gloves or gauntlets
Wooden ammunition box to store gear
Period camp stool
Period lantern

OPTIONAL ITEMS:

US Shell jacket, 9 to 12 button, untrimmed, dark blue
US Model 1854 Saber Belt (enlisted style) with Eagle Buckle
US Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber
Colt or Remington revolver (.36 or .44 caliber)
Holster, ammunition box, and cap pouch

NOTE ON FIREARMS AND SABERS:

While sabers, pistols, rifles, and carbines usually were issued to signalmen during the Civil War, normally, signalmen will not be using weapons during reenactments. Check with the Signal Sergeant before buying any weapons

LIST OF RECOMMENDED SUTLERS:

C & D JARNAGIN Company
THE QUARTERMASTER SHOP
FALL CREEK SUTLERY

COMMENTS: Jarnagin makes a lot of their products and provides good quality for the money, but you may have to wait awhile for your order. Most of the items on the basic and recommended lists are carried by Jarnagin. The Quartermaster Shop makes only uniforms, but they usually have most sizes in stock and provide very good quality uniforms for the money. Fall Creek quality is fairly good and they carry most of the items on the basic and recommended lists including Quartermaster Shop uniforms.

RECOMMENDATION: The best uniforms and gear are handmade by craftsmen, but the cost may be prohibitive for folks new to the hobby. Start with Jarnagin for uniforms, haversacks, knapsacks, brogans, leather items, and tents. Fall Creek for the rest of the items. Forage caps are a problem - the best are made by small shops. Jarnagin and Quartermaster shop make passable caps, but talk with the Signal Sergeant before buying a cap from sutlers at events - many are inferior quality designed for the tourists.

Ken
333

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