Common to Both Confederate & Union Troops

Bayonet & Scabbard

Both Enfield and Springfield bayonets are usually purchased with the appropriate scabbard as a set. There are differences between the two so make sure you get the right bayonet and scabbard for your musket. The frog is attached to the scabbard to keep it on the waist belt. Springfield bayonet scabbards have the frogs attached to them when purchased. The Enfield Frog must be purchased separately. Make sure you get the 'privates' Enfield frog and not the noncommissioned officers frog (unless rank dictates of course). "Bayonets must be securely fastened in their scabbards" (SOSKAN Rules and Regulations, 6.7).


The three-band British Enfield or three-band American Springfield muskets were more commonly used. Both of these muskets were the backbone of both the Southern and Northern armies during the War and therefore accepted by all infantry units. It is acceptable to have a few other correct period weapons within Confederate units, remember though this is 1863. The leather sling is recommended for Union use, whilst a leather and canvas sling may be used for Confederate use.


If you need to wear glasses, period frames must be used (see Acceptable List).

Eating Utensils

All the plates, bowls and cups should resemble tin. No enamel or aluminum. Knives, forks and spoons should be of period design.


The blankets you use should be either wool or wool and cotton blends. Period plaids are acceptable along with period style quilts. U.S. troops should have dark grey with a black stripe.


The poncho (as originally issued to the cavalry) is worn to protect you from the rain and doubles as a groundsheet. A Civil War type is black rubberised canvas with a slit in the middle and brass grommets around the edges. The black painted type canvas style is also acceptable for the Confederate infantryman and is worn as a cape. Other period overcoats may also be acceptable.

Optional Items for Both Sides


Was used by the various regiments.


Foot Pattern (Great coats) of Federal Sky Blue. These heavy wool overcoats were prized by their users during the War, as they are by their owners today. Foot overcoats have the roll pleated stand up collar, are single breasted, have the elbow length cape and back belt, and are lined. Sleeves are made with the cuff, which can be rolled down to serve as a mitten.

Underwear - Army Pattern

The soldiers of the 1860's were issued undergarments of heavy cotton 'Canton' flannel. The undershirt was mainly used, except during the coldest weather, as a regular shirt worn around camp. Drawers seem to have seen universal widespread service, worn long as issued during the cold weather and being cut off above the knee in warm weather. Buttons should be of wood or bone.

Vests (Waistcoats)

Military or civilian types are accepted so long as the type of material and buttons are correct for the period.

Cooking Utensils

If you buy any, black cast iron or tin cookware are correct for the period. Coffee pots should be tin. Do not use enameled items as they were not in common use until the 1880's.

Acceptable List


Were usually wire rimmed with flat lenses. Flat lenses are not required. Glasses with bone, pearl, and wood nosepieces are acceptable, no plastics. The metal used to make the frames were brass, silver, gold and bronze. Styles were small oval and rectangular. Tints should be avoided. Sometimes old frames can be bought at car boot sales, flea markets and antique fairs.

Acceptable Period Materials

Cotton, Jean Cloth, Cassimere, Linen, Muslin and Wool.

Accepted Buttons

Wood, Shell, Bone, Glass, Mother-of-pearl, Metal, Pewter, Brass, Tin, Copper and Bronze.

General Rule. MUST be natural materials. NO plastics, be natural fibre materials, not man-made.

Closures. Button closures. Hand-sewn buttonholes are correct. It is possible to oversew the original buttonholes of an article hiding the fact they are machine stitched. Having said all this, it is worth noting that good hand stitched buttonholes sometimes look machine stitched anyhow. Hook and Eye – there are two types, modern and period, the latter of course are more authentic. Other closures are tie and lace up. NO ZIPS OR VELCRO.

Women in the Ranks

Any women fighting in the ranks must be convincing. We would recommend that the 'Ten Yard' rule be adopted for those units that accept women into their ranks. Any womanly attributes should be disguised, no make up to be worn other than that used in obtaining a male impression, hair to be kept short or hidden. Remember, convincing female soldiers are probably some of the best re-enactors out there, certainly more convincing than a supposed starved Confederate weighing in at over 15 stone.


It is also worth noting here that the hair length of men during the War was normally only worn as long as the collar - no longer.

Facial Jewellery

For obvious reasons, no facial jewellery must be worn.