Confederates Looking 1864
One aspect of the hobby that will increase both your knowledge and enjoyment of an event, is tailoring your impression to the specific event. This allows you to learn more about the material culture as well as giving the public a better vision of the troops of the period.
The common CS soldier during this campaign traveled light and looked hard. They still would have been covered in road dust, and since the Central Government was now in charge of supplying the men, the look was far more uniform than seen previously.
At this point in the War, many units would be receiving uniforms of English cloth. This darker blue/gray cloth is NOT cadet gray, but rather a darker hue with a green cast on some extant examples.
Also British manufactured clothing was showing up more frequently, so items such as trousers and jackets, not to mention accoutrements would be fairly common.
Keep in mind the clothing a NC Soldier wore during this period, may or may not have differed from that which a VA private wore. Some individual states did equip many a regiment, such as North Carolina, but there is no hard rule that says if you are from North Carolina you would have been wearing a North Carolina Jacket. However, this is a detail grossly under represented in our hobby.
Each item is listed in order of preference, with the first listed being more common and the final listed item in each category being less so.
There are many choices, and your decision would be based upon what unit you are depicting.
-Properly blocked and lined Civilian Hats, with little or no decorations and Hat Brass.
-Jean Cloth Kepi of gray or brown. You can see good examples of these in the Confederate Version of Echoes of Glory. Havelocks were not worn by this period.
- British cloth Kepi- as above but out of English imported cloth.
- British hat- there are several examples of British made “civilian style” black hats still extant. These tended to be black and low crowned, with a 3-4 inch brim and lined.
There are several options for this as well.
Richmond Type II or Type III is the preferred coat.
Richmond Depot II-This is a 7-9 button jean, satinette or English cloth short jacket, with epaulets, some having belt loops as well. These were mostly lined in osnanberg, with either Block I or Federal General Service Buttons. Light gray was the most common color seen, with various undertones of brown, blue and green for jean or satinette.
Richmond Depot III- 7-9 button plan short jacket produced in imported English Cloth- mostly dark “blue gray” in hue. Block I or Script I buttons were the most common seen.
Other coats seen during this campaign, and thus as options are-
NC Jean Shell Jacket
Peter Tait Jackets
As with coats there are a few variations of trousers you could wear. Basic Richmond or Civilian trousers should be the majority of trousers seen, with no trim on the seams.
These were sometimes lined 8 inches up from the bottom, allowing the trouser to fall naturally over a pair of boots. Notice I said over a pair, not tucked in, except for mounted officers.
These trousers should be made out of jean or satinette, with some broadcloth and kersey trousers seen in the ranks. THIS DOES NOT MEAN FEDERAL ISSUE TROUSERS. This is a “reenactorism”, and highly overdone in the hobby. The fact is the CS Government did issue some Sky Blue trousers, but these were their own pattern, and not that of the Federal Government.
Also English Cloth trousers were becoming far more common, in either “British blue/gray” or a royal blue color.
- CS Issue Jean, satinette or English cloth trousers
- British manufactured trousers
- Civilian trousers in jean, satinette, twill or cashmere
At this point in the War, CS or Civilian Shoes would prove to be the most common, as the number of Federal Shoes worn by CS troops has been highly over estimated.
- CS issue shoes
- British shoes
- Federal brogans
- Civilian shoes
This is one other area in which you can “appear 1864”
Most Veteran Troops would have confiscated Federal Smooth side canteens and tarred haversacks, however the common plain tin drum, with cloth or leather strap would have been seen with newer units as well as the common white CS issue Haversacks.
The bedroll was far favored over Knapsacks, but a few units differed, and the occasional Double Bag would have been seen, as well as some English import bags.
CS manufactured and English Important leather gear would be the most common and are highly encouraged over Federal gear.
Good Luck, and I look forward to seeing you Looking 1864!