SoSkAn undertakes to portray our chosen period of history as authentically as is reasonably possible. Whatever American Civil War impression you choose to portray, your clothing and equipment must be appropriate and correct to the unit you represent.
This document aims to set out what SOSKAN considers to be the minimum level of authenticity expected of its members.
The period chosen by the Society to re-enact is 1863. Any impression should therefore be representative of the issue of equipment and clothing available at that time.
When in the Authentic Camp, Members and Guests of the Society, should not be in modern civilian clothing at any time during the event except when unloading at the beginning or loading at the end of the event.
One major point on uniforms, we are not a "make do" organisation. Please ask about items of equipment and clothing from your own experienced Company members before buying to ensure you purchase what is correct for your units' impression. The obtaining of correct kit was once a difficult task, now, however, things are easier with suppliers in both the U.K and America within easy reach. As with all hobbies kit costs money and whilst you may be able to purchase the whole shebang at once, we fully appreciate that most of our members are on a tight budget.
To achieve a realistic impression of either a soldier or civilian during the period of 1863 is not an easy or simple task. As you can appreciate, not only must the correct clothing, equipment and armament be obtained, but also a 19th century attitude and manners be developed, especially for the 100% living history events. Whilst everyone is only too willing to help and advise you, some of these aspects will rely on your own research and interpretation. As they say "The more you put in the more you get out.".What follows are the MINIMUM standards required, Please make sure that when buying your equipment that: * In addition to the Minimum Standards, you are fulfilling the unit's own regulations and criteria. * That you seek advice from an experienced and knowledgeable member.
Below are the MINIMUM uniform standards required for Confederate Army enlisted/volunteer men, each individual unit that you join or belong to may have slight variations so please check first, however all the below are available.
Jackets : The choice here most certainly will depend on the individual unit in question:
Depot 2 Richmond jacket for an Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) impression
Columbus Depot jacket for an Army of Tennessee (AOT) impression. Both in jean-cloth, cassimere, satinnette or Lindsey-woolsey, NOT wool.
It may be possible to mix in a North Carolina jacket into any unit, both ANV and AOT.
A small amount of frock coats (mainly in butternut colour) may still have been in use during 1863. It is also permissible for a few civilian style sack coats of the period to be observed in Western regiments. By this time though, the regiments would have had several issues of new clothing and these would have been of the 'shell' type listed above.
Trousers : Army Trousers, Foot Pattern Military or civilian pattern and cuts. These trousers have suspender buttons of stamped metal or wood affixed. They usually have a back adjustment tie string of leather and the one-inch split on the outer cuff. These trousers may be obtained in any of three pocket styles:
* The regulation single/side top entry pocket.
* The mule-ear pocket.
* The side seam pocket
They all have the wide and high waistband. Very few Union captured trousers should be seen.
Shirt : The1851 issue shirt was a four-button pullover shirt with yoke in the back. One-button cuffs and gussets in the armpits. During the war, a white calico shirt of the same pattern was very much in evidence, and civilian production provided coloured and print shirts of similar cut. It is worth noting that during the 19th century, it was considered 'un-gentlemanly' to be seen without a jacket whilst in the presence of ladies
Forage Cap or Slouch Hat ; During the war, some enlisted men were issued a forage cap of grey, jean cloth or wool, a crescent shaped visor of leather, a leather chin strap with a brass slide and two general service buttons. However, civilian slouch hats were found to be more comfortable and practical keeping out the rain and shielding the hot southern sun.
Boots : Jefferson Brogans (Booties) 1860 is the accepted issue military shoe although any period correct boot may be considered as acceptable. Not all new members can afford these ( £45 -£50) so "Desert Boots" dyed black, with the eyelets removed, and leather or rawhide laces will be acceptable for a maximum of one year, especially in the case of the growing young men or boys.
Socks: Grey or off-white wool or knotted cotton socks are worn. Other colours are accepted
Cartridge Box : The Cartridge Box holds your black powder charges. They are a safety item and must be worn with the tins. They were issued with or without a leather shoulder belt, but can be worn on the belt. It is not uncommon to find these also in brown or tan.
Cap Box ;
The Cap Box holds the caps used for the musket. It may be black or brown leather, or canvas and leather. The Union type is most available and recommended.
Waist Belt : The Waist Belt goes around the waist and holds the rest of your leather gear in place on the uniform. It may be black or brown leather only. A brass Georgia frame is the most common.
Haversack : The Haversack was traditionally meant only for food. Other items were meant to go in your haversack, blanket roll or pockets. Various white linen, canvas, or coloured Confederate types are available. The US tarred type in black is the best because of being waterproof.
Canteen : The Canteen carries your drinking water - only. Recommend any good Gardner pattern in cedar, tin drum in number of varieties as well as the US smooth sided and bulls eye type, with or without brown or grey jean wool covers.