44TH TENNESSEE CONSOLIDATED INFANTRY
These guidelines have been created for Members and Recruits of the 44th Tennessee Consolidated Infantry as a tool to maintaining the highest levels of authenticity and military bearing. Many of these standards are also applicable to C.S. forces in general. These standards are based upon standards used by other campaign units which include the 10th Texas, the Rowdy Pards, and the 37th Virginia. Heavy reliance has been placed upon the authenticity guidelines for the Living History Volunteers of Pickett's Mill State Historic Park of Dallas, Georgia.
Nearly all of the uniforms & equipment recommended by these guidelines are illustrated in the set of Time-Life books, Echoes of Glory: 1) Arms & Equipment of the Confederacy and 2) Arms & Equipment of the Union, therefore, images from that series are included to each particular item in these guidelines by book & page number. Items will be abbreviated as [EOG/CS] for the Confederate book & [EOG/US] for the Union book. References to Echoes of Glory are included only as a visual reference only, and are not a source of documentation for the items below. These series of books can be obtained at most popular bookstores and libraries.
General Note of Caution to all new members
(and even some old hands):
Few things are more annoying than an individual who makes an inappropriate purchase then approaches other reenactors asking them, "Is this O.K. for me to wear?" Avoid the hassle. Ask before you buy, that way you won't get stuck with something you just won't be able to wear.
The below standards are stiff. Few reenactors presently meet these standards; however, they are goals to which every reenactor should, and can, achieve. For a short time, standards in the 44th Tennessee will be relaxed to get soldiers on the field. This does not mean that there are no standards. It is still an, ask-before-you-purchase system. For present reenactors who choose to join the 44th, your present gear is grandfathered and is acceptable - for now. However, any replacements of gear should comply with these new standards. For example: a Type II Richmond Depot jacket is incorrect for this unit. An old soldier will be allowed to continue wearing the jacket, but it should be replaced when wore out or as soon as practicable.
A. What is Expected.
New recruits ("fresh fish") have 14 months to purchase their initial items. After 12 months, fresh fish no longer have priority on loaner items.
Uniform: shirt, trousers, braces, jacket, socks, shoes ("Jefferson" Brogans), head wear
Equipment: haversack, canteen, tin cup, mess gear
Equipment: poncho/gum blanket, cartridge box, cap pouch, waist belt, GA frame buckle, wool blanket, two shelter halves
Equipment: 1842 or 1861 U.S. Springfield, bayonet/scabbard
After possessing all the above items, you may request "veteran status." This involves a full lay out of your initial items and an inspection. Any items that do not pass must be replaced before you receive "veteran status." Your attitude and knowledge of drill will also be considered.
B. Purchasing Clothing and Equipment.
Hats are probably one of the biggest sore points among veterans, and can be the crowning glory or the peak of farbiness, depending on what is done to them and how they look. However, minor changes can often transform the farbiest piece of headgear into a perfectly authentic item.
There has been an ongoing dispute among Confederate re-enactors as to whether the kepi, forage cap (bummer) or slouch hat was most prevalent among the southern soldier. Based upon the few existing photographs of Confederate regiments and P.O.W.'s, the overwhelming majority of Confederate soldiers wore slouch hats, some wore kepis, and a few wore forage caps. A civilian spectator to fighting in Petersburg wrote, "I saw that it was true, that the enemy were near the city....I knew the men I saw were Federal soldiers by the caps they wore, our men wearing slouch hats." Therefore, the company should mostly have slouch hats, but a kepi or two can't hurt.
In an effort to have some uniformity, jackets for the 44th Tennessee will be available only from the 44th's quartermaster. All will be of the same cut and from the same type of jean cloth. The below types are noted to provide an example of types that are generally allowable.
Jackets should be of jean cloth material and of documented construction and pattern. Jackets should be fully lined. The 9-button front is standard type. NCO insignia shall be worn on the sleeve despite one's rank within the unit. When rank insignia is worn, only cotton or woolen tape trim shall be used, which should be hand sewn directly onto the trouser seam, not jacket sleeve. Examples of jackets include:
("Trousers" was a period term; however, many period documents consistently list them as "Pants.")
Trousers should not have belt loops or leg creases. There should be no stripes or piping of any kind except on NCO's or officers trousers. The pockets should be side-slit or especially mule-ear. All trousers must have button flies. Either tie-backs or belt backs are acceptable but belt back trousers are preferred. Buttons should be made of either bone, pewter or lacquered metal.
No zippers, back pockets, and especially no trousers "converted" from modern pants, please!
On the practice of "blousing" of trousers. Many re-enactors tuck their trouser bottoms into their socks, a practice known as "blousing". This helped prevent ticks, insects, dust and dirt from getting up their pants legs. This was not considered stylish or "proper." However, it was practiced on fatigue duty or on active campaign. Under no circumstances is blousing permitted during inspection or parade. In fact, the "fashion statement" of the soldiers of the day was to have the trousers jauntily cuffed up, just above the center of the shoelaces. Southern soldiers tended to be very vain about their appearance, and would try to be "in-style." So keep your trousers unbloused unless the situation calls for it. Check period photographs and you can verify this for yourself.
("Braces" was a period term; however, many period sources consistently list them as "Suspenders.")
They should be made exclusively of period materials (cotton, canvas and especially linen). Please don't buy elastic suspenders, regardless of what the sutlers might tell you.
Period drawers help prevent chafing and help keep the skin clean (if washed betwen events). Long drawers often had ribbon ties at the ankles. Short (summer) drawers ended just below the knee, and had no ties.
Many reenactors let their drawer legs protrude from beneath their cuffed pants leg. Consequently, the drawers become soiled and grungy. Period photographs suggest that this was uncommon among the soldiers. Evidence suggests that soldiers rolled up their drawers with their trouser legs.
Any plain gray rag wool socks are temporarily acceptable for now, and most sutlers sell these at a reasonable price. However, knitted socks are really more accurate (these can be purchased at a very reasonable cost from Michael Black, Boyd Miles, etc.- see Sutler list). Wool for the winter months and cooler weather, and cotton for the warmer part of the year. They should be white, dull blue, gray, brownish-red, or brown. Also, a number of new, very authentic sutleries are selling well made, inexpensive, knitted woolen socks. Check with the unit "old hands" for sources of these.
Absolutely no hunting, hiking or athletic socks (i.e. gray wool with red or orange stripes around the top and so forth).
was a period term; however, period documents consistently list
them as "Shoes.")
For adults, period boots or brogans are the only acceptable footwear! Brogans are more comfortable for walking, and cooler, although many Confederate soldiers did prefer to wear boots. Metal heel-plates will extend their life and prevent excessive wear on the leather heels. Also, cork insteps increase their comfort. Custom made boots are also an option, however due to cost they are not recommended for new re-enactors (or poverty stricken veterans!).
Some re-enactors say that period shoes did not have grommets or metal eyelets. This is not true. Some period shoes did have metal grommets, metal eyelets and buckles. Most of these were manufactured in England and supplied to the Confederate Army through the blockade. However, they do not look like modern work shoes or work boots. Bob Serio of Missouri Boot and Shoe makes these types of shoes. Please do not buy modern shoes that look "old" and assume they are acceptable!
Going barefoot is an acceptable practice, however, shoes and/or boots should be worn during drill and battle, both for correct uniform requirements, liability issues, and reasons of basic safety.
All that being said, the first purchase should be the Federal 1855 Jefferson bootee. [EOG/US - page 191]. Either smooth or rough side out is acceptable. Then you should purchase one of the types listed below.
II. BLANKETS, TENTAGE & ETC.
Soldiers used blanket rolls extensively. Some soldiers never liked wearing knapsacks and discarded them quickly for the more evenly distributed weight of a blanket roll.
They should be dense and strongly woven, in dull colors. Beware of cotton quilts (once they get wet, they stay wet).
Shelter tents are the only authorized tentage, as a campaign style impression shall be the norm at the vast majority of events.
C. GUM BLANKETS/GROUND CLOTHS:
Blanket rolls are usually wrapped in a tarred canvas oilcloth or a rubber blanket. Ponchos have that infamous neck slit that never quite seals. It may be good for wearing as a raincoat, but tends to get you wet when you cover up at night to sleep in the rain! Purchase a gum blanket or oil cloth and fasten it around the neck instead.
C. CARTRIDGE BOXES:
Pattern of 1857 or Pattern of August, 1861
Pattern of 1839 or Pattern of 1861
Pattern of March, 1857 or Pattern of 1861
D. CAP POUCHES:
E. BELT PLATES/FRAMES & WAIST BELTS
Belts and belt buckles are available in many styles. Most are acceptable, but limit your impression to those readily available and documentable. Black, two inch leather belts fitted with a simple roller buckle [EOG/CS - pages 192 & 195] or "Georgia frame" [EOG/CS - page 190 & 195] are excellent choices. Do not use the oval CS or CSA buckles because the originals look very different from the ones sold by sutlers. Based upon the few relics dug from areas where the Confederate armies spent considerable time (e.g. Fredericksburg, the "Manassas Line", or the camps along the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers), few have been located. Frame buckles, on the other hand, were very common and have been heavily documented from these areas.
Many reenactors are beginning to use "tarred" or painted canvas belts and slings which are perfectly acceptable, especially when fitted with a roller buckle. However, if you purchase one of these items remember that tarred canvas was meant to be temporary. They never last as long as their leather equivalents. Interestingly, they cost almost as much as leather belts. Therefore, equip yourself first with a well made leather belt.
Other acceptable buckles:
F. BAYONET SCABBARDS: (Bayonet should fit its matched weapon)
G. KNAPSACKS (Optional):
Many people are making knapsacks, so it is easy to become confused about what to buy. For comfort, the "soft-pack" knapsack is the preferred item.
Federal knapsacks of the 1853/55 pattern are acceptable, but CS knapsacks are highly encouraged.
All original muskets must look new and be in proper working order. Proper modifications of reproduction weapons must include removal of all anachronistic workings, burnishing of questionable parts, replacement of barrel bands, and stamping of correct markings.
V. AMMUNITION (BLANK CARTRIDGES)
A soldier's daily ration from Mike Murley of the Rowdy Pards. Generally, keeping within the below list is safe and correct.
VIII. COOKING EQUIPMENT
Note: No Company personnel will use any enameled "speckleware" of any color. It was not available until the 1870s and its use will not be tolerated. This same goes with stainless steel cups, boilers, plates, &c.
Soldiers will be subject only to orders from their own Officers and NCOs. Nevertheless, all enlisted men shall show proper military courtesy to the Officers and NCOs of other units within the Battalion.
Drill techniques will be predominantly taken from Hardee's C. S. Drill Manual, dated 1861 (known today, as "Goetzle's Edition") or Hardee's C. S. Drill Manual, dated 1861 (known today, as the "North Carolina Drill Manual").
OF CLOTHING AND TEXTILE TERMS
(from Fairchild's Dictionary of Textiles)
Broadcloth- A twilled woolen cloth with a smooth lustrous face and dense texture.
Homespun- Any loosely woven woolen or linen garment made with handspun thread. Most often a plain weave.
Jean Cloth- (pronounced as in "blue jeans" or "janes") A twilled fabric, most often used in work garments. "Jean wool" is made with a cotton warp and a woolen weft or fill, showing heavy diagonal wool ribbing.
Kersey- A heavy grade of all wool, twill fabric with a pronounced diagonal pattern. Named for the town in England where it originated, it was most commonly used in work clothes and uniforms.
Linsey-Woolsey- A variety of homespun popular during pioneer days and made with a heavy linen or flax warp and wool weft, hence the name "Linsey" (linen)/ "Woolsey" (woolen).
Satinette- A woolen fill, cotton warp, satin weave cloth, made to look like all wool broadcloth by having the woolen weft thrown to the front and the cotton warp hidden on the inner surface.
Twill- A woven textile in which the weft threads pass over one and under two or more warp threads, resulting in a pattern of diagonal lines. Most jean cloths are a so-called 2/1 or "two over one" twill.
Warp- The heavier threads in a weave, they extend the length of the loom. and are crossed by the shuttle or weft.
Weft- The yarn used on the shuttle, which crosses the warp during weaving. Sometimes referred to as the "fill" or "woof".
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