Official Uniform and Equipment Regulations
9th Texas Infantry, CSA

 

Uniforms

The following information in regards to uniforms is provided as a guide for new members of the battalion.  New recruits are encouraged to talk with their company commanders, company noncommissioned officers or veteran members prior to purchasing any uniforms, accouterments, or equipment.  Prices for these items will vary.  Your company commanders and noncommissioned officers can advise concerning individual item costs.

 

Jackets

The most common jacket worn by the Army of Tennessee (AoT) was the waist coat.  For the common impression that we normally present, the jacket of choice is the Columbus depot types II and I. If you are new to the hobby, this is the first jacket that you should be purchasing. These jackets represent the most common Depot manufactured uniform coat used by the AOT.  These jackets were generally manufactured for the AoT and issued regardless of state affiliation. They must be constructed using the proper natural or gray jean material with the proper medium blue wool collars and cuffs. Osnaburg was most commonly used for the lining and thus should be used for reproductions. For buttons, you may use the Confederate issue “I” (block style or script), the Federal Eagle, the wooden two hole ¾”, or a combination of the three on this jacket.   Please not that state buttons were rare at best and should not be sewn on your jacket.

Once you have purchased your Columbus Depot jacket, you may wish to have an alternative jacket for various events (rule permitting).  Alternative jackets may include the following:

Atlanta depot, this is a good mid war jacket. This jacket was made of plain gray jean material without a blue color of cuff. The jacket had six buttons and an osnaburg lining. Buttons seen on the surviving examples are of the block I variety.

Department of Alabama, Jackets of this pattern are similar in construction and material to the Columbus Depot pattern.  This particular version does not have the traditional blue trim on the sleeve cuff but it does have a dark blue cotton/wool jean collar. The surviving examples have 5-6 buttons and are usually found with wood, 2 hole, ¾” buttons. They are lined with cotton osnaburg. This jacket was issued after November 1864, to the surviving members of the AoT in the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana.  If purchased you will be limited in the reenactments where this jacket would be worn.

Plain “Commutation” Jacket , or any pattern jean jacket that can be documented from a reliable source.  These jackets were also made of jean material.

 Frock coats.  These knee-length jackets were issued whenever possible.  They were always constructed of jean material with an osnaburg lining.  The trimming varied concerning the collars and sleeve cuffs.  There were many plain jean coats and a few that simply had a blue collar.  Normally these jackets had seven federal eagle buttons, however, there are some surviving jackets with block or script I buttons.  Note:  State buttons will mot be used for this jacket.

       

 Front and rear of actual frock coat. Most were hand stitched.

 Hand stitched buttonholes. As a rule all visible buttonholes should be hand stitched.  This is a simple process that is not only authentic but also practical for a jean jacket.  Although there was quite a bit of machine stitching in the 1860’s it was very different than the machines of today.  In many cases (compared to today’s machines) machine stitching looks hand sewn.  Therefore it is necessary to hand stitch. Beyond that however, hand stitching reinforces the buttonhole and prevents fraying and excessive wear.

Trousers

Purchasing a pair of cotton/wool jean cloth trousers should be your first priority.  The trousers should be the correct military or civilian pattern for the 1860s.  For early war events, the use of an appropriate civilian material is accurate.  Note:  The use of Federal Kersey (Sky Blue) trousers are unacceptable.  These trousers were either rare or non-existent in the AoT.

Shirts

Shirts should be of the proper pullover pattern and should be made of the correct material, preferably homespun cotton.  Buttons should be calico, milk glass, antique metal or shell (Mother-of-Pearl).  Plastic buttons should never be used.

Under garments

It is highly recommended, both for authenticity and comfort, that each man wear lightweight muslin/cotton under drawers correct for the 1860’s.  These are full-length drawers that usually button down the fly.  Remarkably, wearing of these drawers help greatly in keeping cool during warm days.

Socks

During the war, socks were often knit by family members or by lady’s societies who organized to make socks for the boys from their state or community. Most were made of wool and were plain in terms of design. Socks were always welcomed by the men.

Brogans/bootees

Shoes should be of the Jefferson brogan type commercially available. Boots were not common in the infantry and should be strictly avoided.

The wearing of period canvas/cloth “camp” shoes is discouraged because these were mainly an item of private purchase in the Federal Army. There is written documentation of Confederate “ersatz” canvas and leather bootees but there is neither photographic evidence nor surviving examples of these types of shoes. Your impression as a Confederate soldier in the AOT is better served by purchasing a pair of straight last natural brogans or a pair of Federal issue “Jefferson” pattern brogan.

Members in the rank are prohibited from wearing cowboy, Wellington or army boots. Work, combat, moccasins, and hiking boots are also prohibited.

 Braces (suspenders)

Braces are required to hold the trousers up in place. An historically-accurate pair of braces attached to buttons on the front and rear of the trousers and were usually not sewn together. 

Head gear

The most common hats worn by AOT soldiers were civilian slouch hats.  The actual historic ration of slouch hats to kepis was closer to 50/50.  For many re-enactors today, good kepis are hard to find.  Correct kepis were usually made of jean material and normally did not have a blue band.  As a norm, straw hats did not last more than 5 months in civilian life and that reason were they quite rare in the Confederate army.  These should be avoided.  Captured federal headgear should be very limited. Hat blanks, cowboy hats or hilly-billy hats should be strictly avoided.  A quality hat from Clearwater Hat Company or Dirty Billy’s will run $80.00 to $100.00 but it will be well worth it!  They are not only correct but last for years in all kinds of weather.  Cheap hats look bad and tend to have a short life span.

Belts

Belts should be leather or painted canvas with the proper belt plates. Oval C.S. plates similar to the U.S. plates should not be worn.  Georgia frame, forked tongue, roller buckles, Rectangle CSA, plain brass or brass Star buckles are all excellent choices. White buff is appropriate for early war impressions, such as Shiloh.

 

Cartridge box

The following models are recommended for the Army of Tennessee: US Model 1839 .69 caliber box, US Model 1857 .69 caliber box, British Enfield box, Shelbyville .69 caliber box, .58 caliber Baton Rouge Belt suspension box.  Strap should be leather or painted canvas.  Brass breastplates or box plates should be avoided, as they were not common.

 

 

 

 

Cap pouch

The following are models recommended for the Army of Tennessee: US early war shield front, US 1850 model, British Enfield cap pouch, CS single back strap and Baton Rouge shield front.

 

 

Rifles

Three band rifles are the only rifles that will be carried within the battalion.  A report in April 1863 revealed that 44% of the arms in the AOT were .69 percussion smoothbores (1842 Springfields); 37% were Enfields, and 14% were rifled Springfields.  The rest varied.  It was not until the Spring of 1864, that Enfields began to take prominence.  At that time 55% were Enfields, 32% Austrian and 11% had smoothbores.

Ideally one should have an Enfield (or a rifled Springfield) and a .69 smoothbore to use depending upon the scenario.  If you are buying your first rifle, you should purchase an Enfield.  Each rifleman will carry a period correct rifle. It will be inspected prior to every event by company officers or NCOs. Improperly cleaned or unserviceable rifles will not be permitted on to the field.

The use of a sling is optional. Examples of these rifles can be found below.

1842 Springfield

British Enfield

1861 Springfield

The type of bayonet and its proper scabbard depends on the type of rifle carried. The bayonet scabbard is worn on the same belt as the cartridge and cap boxes. Make sure the bayonet fits properly on your rifle. File and polish off any wording that refers to a country of origin (like INDIA). 

Knapsacks

As a general rule, a good mid-war AOT impression should have 7 of 10 men carrying Knapsacks (according to some period QM reports).  Men should, as a general practice, wear these into battle, as did many veterans on campaign.  Bedrolls are self-explanatory. As for knapsacks, some good choices would be an early war (Mexican war) soft pack, CS Single bag, Isaac Campbell’s import bag or a hard pack.

Because packs were awkward to carry and hurt the shoulders, many men simply placed their few belongings in their blanket, rolled it up tightly, tied the rolled ends together and threw it over their shoulder. Others carried soft packs dating back to the Mexican War. A number of men carried hard-sided packs made of tarred wood and canvas with leather straps and metal buckles.

The following articles are some of the personnel belongings which could have been found in the knapsack of a CS soldier:  of a CS soldier: Newspaper, Bible, period night cap, tin or glass photo, wood or bone toothbrush, toothpowder {a tin of baking soda works very well and is accurate}, lye soap, folding knife, bone or wood comb, period pipe, tin or brass tobacco box, match safe, housewife, course paper, period nib pen, wood pencil (no eraser), small bottle of ink, extra socks and/or a shirt (on a typical weekend two extra pairs of socks and one extra shirt will be needed).  These items should be homemade, purchased from an antique store, or carefully selected from a sutler.  (*Note: the haversack was for food and utensils only.)

Blankets

A good quality (preferable light) 100% wool civilian blanket is the best choice.  There are a few manufactures of authentic reproductions that are expensive but well worth the money.  These make a good impression and look fantastic.  Quilts are another option so long as they are made of natural material and are period in style.  Wool coverlets or jean blankets are also appropriate.

Gum or Tarred Blankets

Confederate troops were issued a painted canvas (tarred) blanket which was a canvas section painted with a black paint and linseed oil mixture.  The common gum-blanket during the war was the rubberized Federal issued pattern.  To maintain accuracy, the Federal issued pattern only should be used about 30% of the time.

Haversacks

These should be made of plain white or off-white cotton canvas.  Federal issue haversacks should be used in limited quantity.  Straps should be worn so that the top of the haversack rests on the top of the hip at the natural waist line.  Note: CS haversacks were generally closed by means of a button while US haversacks were closed used a strap and roller buckle system.

Canteens

There are a variety of period canteens that are appropriate.  Wooden, tin drum, federal smooth side and CS stamped tin drums are all appropriate.  All canteen covers on federal smooth or bulls-eye canteens should be brown/gray jean.  Neither the federals nor the Confederates used sky blue as a canteen cover very often.  Therefore it is best to NOT use sky blue.  It is important to note the canteen was normally worn lying on top of the haversack.  As with the haversack, the strap of the canteen should be adjusted so that the canteen rests at the top of the hip in line with the top of the haversack.

 

Tinware

A cup or a boiler is appropriate so long as they are made of tin.  A soldier needs only one or the other.

 

Plates & Skillet

The idea of a soldier on campaign (which is what we portray when we recreate at reenactments) is to travel light and carry only those items needed.  Therefore forget about the iron skillet or the idea of having both a plate and a frying pan.  At a reenactment you should plan on carrying either one or the other.  Canteen halves are recommended as they can be used for both cooking rations and eating your food.  A canteen half is just that…half of a smooth side canteen that one can fry with or eat out off, depending on your preference.

The four man mess

His was the way of the CS soldier.  Company cooks were very rare (if they even existed) so men usually shared cooking items and responsibilities.  It is recommended that four men share a small coffee pot, skillet and broiler.  Actually, you can skip the coffee pot and just boil coffee grounds in a tin cup.  The point is to forget about a massive cooking set up.  Men cooked their rations in small groups (called messes).  Although it will take some adjusting and patience, you will find that period cooking is easy, and once cooked, the period foods taste good and keep your appetite from returning.

Eyewear

Spectacles were rare among civilians or soldiers who had poor eyesight.  So the best idea is to do without them if you can.  If not, try contacts.  Otherwise it is important to buy period frames (modern frame glasses are discouraged and will not be worn on to the battlefield).  It is not unusual to find frames at antique stores for price range of $10 to $20.  There are suppliers on our approved sutler list who sell period correct frames.  Prices vary depending on the vendor.  Small oval frames are period correct.  A limited number of rectangular frames would be acceptable, however round frames are not.  Do not use tinted lenses as these were only for individuals with STDS and even this was extremely rare. 

 

Food Rations Authenticity Guidelines 

First, all members of the battalion should read the article entitled Rations, The Reenactor’s Dilemma.  This will give tremendous insight into the world of period rations.  One will quickly find that a period diet is much better than the common practice of using modern canned meat and other products. 

Second, the haversack is for food and cooking utensils only.

Third, coolers and modern cooking equipment is not necessary and should be strictly avoided.   Only cooked or cured meat should be carried thus a cooler is unnecessary.  Non-period drinks may be stored at your vehicle or purchased from non-historic vendors who sell at many events.  Our camps should be kept free of these anachronisms that always damage a good impression.

Fourth, let us establish a simple rule.  No plastic or modern containers, ever.   These are not necessary and they can ruin an impression for you or your file mate who is trying to “get lost” in the time period. Even if you choose not to carry period food items, remove what you have from its plastic container and put it into a period correct container.  The following are some ideas:

Cotton drawstring poke sack – simple inexpensive bags that can be adapted to carry anything.

Brown Wax Paper or Plain Brown Paper – perfect for cooked or greasy meat.  Brown wax paper is now being manufactured and carried in many grocery stores.

Small tin or glass containers – good for small herbs, salt or pepper.  Glass containers should have cork tops or screw zinc lids. 

Food

The following is a list of foods appropriate to the Army of Tennessee:

Meat: Salt Pork, Cured Ham, boiled Beef, Slab Bacon

Bread: Cornbread, biscuits or corn fritters (hoe-cakes).  Hard tack should be limited.

Drinks: Coffee (beans or course ground) or tea.

Grains: Cornmeal, grits, and rice.

Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, potatoes, turnips, corn on the husk, black-eyed peas, carrots, beans, hominy, and of course peanuts (although this is not actually a vegetable).

Herbs: Garlic, rosemary, coriander, basil, Tabasco pepper and bay leaves

Sweets: The best idea for a sweat tooth is Ginger snap cookies, which were very common and easy to find in today’s markets.  The most correct sugar to carry is the “Mexican” cone sugar often found for $1.00 per 7oz in the Spanish foods section of your market.  The other alternative is raw or brown sugar.  Molasses is another very good Southern alternative. 

 

Military Camp Authenticity Guidelines 

Camps for CS troops should consist mainly of canvas flys and shelter halves.  A-tents should be avoided.  Why?  Because these men were on campaign and often, as we read historical accounts, we find that they moved well ahead of the baggage trains.  Thus, the men had to camp with what they had on their backs.  However, if A-tents must be used, it would be more correct if three men shared a tent. The thing to avoid is having one man per tent.  This was not at all correct.

Camp furniture should be virtually non-existent.  This means no chairs, stools or tables except perhaps for the battalion staff.  Men should use logs or their ground cloths for sitting round the fire.

 

NOTE: Bug spray, 1st Aid items or medication are exceptions, of course.  These can be carried indiscreetly in a cloth bag (Polk Sack) inside a knap sack or haversack.