Uniform and Equipage
If you wear eyeglasses, proper mid-nineteenth century frames fitted with your prescription are required. Please speak with a member of the impressions committee.
Cap: Federal issue fatigue cap, pattern of 1858, made of dark blue wool, with leather bill and chin strap, attached with 2 general service eagle buttons, cuff size. Sweat band of thin leather in brown or black, whip stitched by hand into the cap, and lining of polished cotton in black or brown. A minimal amount of hat brass will be worn (only company letter, if anything); corps badges may be worn at appropriate events. The fatigue cap should be the initial headgear purchase.
Hat: An alternate to the fatigue cap is a civilian style “slouch” hat. This hat should be an appropriate pattern for the period, in black or dark brown, with brim and crown ribbons of silk grosgrain. Hats should be properly blocked with upturned brims and finished with lining and sweat band. Additionally a pattern of 1858 uniform dress “Hardee” hat may be worn for appropriate events. This hat should be made of fur felt in black, with a double row of stitching around the brim (enlisted pattern), a silk grosgrain ribbon at the base of the crown, with bow, and black oil cloth label with “U.S. Army” printed in gold. The hat should be properly blocked and include a 2½”-3” painted leather sweat band in black or brown whip stitched by hand into the hat.
Sack Coat: Issue fatigue blouse, made of 5½ oz. dark blue flannel, indigo dyed, twill woven material. Four evenly spaced general service eagle buttons, coat size, and hand sewn button holes. Lined coats are lined with gray, blue or brown wool flannel in the body, cotton in the sleeves, unlined coats should have all interior seems flat felled by hand (lined coats were issued at a 3 to 1 ratio to unlined coats) lined coats are recommended. Suggested patterns are the Schuylkill Arsenal or J.T. Martin contract (3 or 4 piece body). Uniform “shell” jackets, commercial pattern sack coats, etc. should be reserved for specialty-non 14th CV specific impressions. For additional information please see the article on Federal sack coats in Military Collector & Historian by The Company of Military Historians. The sack coat is recommended as the initial purchase. See the Originals page for photos of an original fatigue blouse. Also Here are some photos of original sack coats.
Uniform Coat: Pattern of 1858 uniform “frock” coat. Worn as an alternative to the sack coat. Made of dark blue wool with a sky blue welt at the collar and cuffs, quilted black polished cotton chest lining, cotton sleeve lining, 9 general service eagle button front, 2 at each cuff, 2 at the back, hand sewn button holes, two pockets and hooks and eyes in the skirt. Originals of this type of coat contain numerous details that are often left out of reproductions, be aware of, and familiarize yourself with those details (as you should with any reproduction item) before making a purchase. Correctly reproduced uniform coats can be quite expensive. Here are some photos of original uniform coats.
Shirt: Contract issue shirt made of off white domet flannel, or tan or gray wool flannel. A correctly reproduced “Saroni” contract shirt would be entirely hand sewn. Other contract shirts may be machine sewn (with hand sewn buttonholes). Or a civilian style shirt, machined or hand sewn of cotton, in a solid or simple striped or checked material, with bone or china buttons and all seams flat felled by hand. For additional information please see the article on Federal issue shirts in Military Collector & Historian by The Company of Military Historians.
Trousers: Federal issue, in sky blue kersey, with proper yoke, cuffs, fly, with tinned buttons and hand worked buttonholes. Schuylkill Arsenal pattern or J.T. Martin or William Deering contract patterns.
Braces: Also known as suspenders or galluses. Braces were not an issued item, and photos show both soldiers wearing braces and others that are not. Braces should be of a period correct pattern. Braces can be very simple non-adjustable “poor boy” style made of drill or ticking material with hand worked buttonholes, or can be adjustable, made from cotton or tapestry material with buckles and cloth or leather tabs.
Socks: Either cotton issue style and/or cotton or wool knitted civilian style. 2 or more pairs recommended.
issue “bootees” also known as
Drawers: Federal issue drawers made of canton flannel with cotton tape ties at ankles and back, with tinned iron buttons, hand sewn buttonholes and seams flat felled by hand. For additional information please see the article on Federal drawers in Military Collector & Historian by The Company of Military Historians.
Over Coat: Pattern of 1851, sky blue kersey, foot pattern, stand up collar with hooks and eyes, pull down cuffs, 5 general service eagle button front, 5 or 6 button cape, single button back adjustment and hand sewn button holes. Wool flannel or blanket lining, cotton sleeve lining. See the Originals page for photos of an original overcoat. Also Here are some photos of original over coats.
Musket: The primary musket is the .58 caliber US M1861 Springfield rifle musket. Other arms such as the US M1842, etc. should be reserved for a “generic Federal infantry”/non 14th CV specific impressions or for living history programs. All weapons should have all modern markings removed and proper proof/inspector markings added. Poly-urethane finish on the stock should be removed and refinished with boiled linseed oil.
Bayonet: As with the musket the primary bayonet is the M1855 .58 caliber socket bayonet. Either an original or high quality Italian reproduction. When purchasing bayonets be sure to have your musket with you to check the fit.
All members should carry a cartridge box that is both appropriate for the
caliber musket used as well as the time period (“early war” vs. “late war”).
When we are portraying the 14th
Cartridge Box Belt:
Typically called a “sling”, made of black buff leather (bridle and waxed leather
was used as well). Width, 2.25”, length 55.5”, clear of the 2 billets for
buckles, which are each 4.25” long and 0.875” wide. A pattern 1826 round “Eagle”
plate should be attached in the same manner described above for the “
Cap Pouch: (Paraphrase from 1861 ordnance manual), made of black bridle leather, inner cover with end pieces sewn, outer flap made of the same piece as the back, with a button hole strap at the bottom; brass button (finial), riveted under the bottom of the pouch; 2 loops, sewed to the back, 2.25” to accept the waist belt of 2”.
Federal issue, width, 1.9”, length 38.5”, with either a sewn loop (pattern
of 1851) or with brass keeper (which appears to have been introduced in 1863 or
1864). Either style acceptable. The Pattern 1839 “
Bayonet Scabbard: Federal issue 2 rivet/sewn frog, pattern of 1859. The ordnance manual of 1861 describes it this way (paraphrase): “Scabbard (black bridle leather), frog (black buff-leather,) sewed and riveted with 2 copper rivets, No. 8, to a socket of black leather, the ferrule to be made of brass.” The 7 (and subsequent 8 ) rivet scabbards appear to have been “mid” or “late” war pattern changes (‘63-‘64), perhaps following a similar progression (the addition of rivets) to the pattern changes made to cartridge boxes.
Musket Sling: (russet leather), Width, 1.25”, length, 46”. One standing and one sliding loop; hook made of brass, fastened to the sling with 2 brass rivets. According to quartermaster reports slings were contracted and issued in “sets” along with the other leather accouterment items, all which related to the function of the weapon.
Canteen: Pattern of 1858 “smoothside” or pattern of 1862 “bullseye”. Typical characteristics of a pattern 1858 are: smooth sides of tinned iron, leather or cotton drill sling, 5/8” width (leather slings were most likely discontinued in 1862, making the cotton drill sling more common, however the 1865 Quartermaster report specifies leather or cotton or webbing be used for slings); a cover of kersey in sky or dark blue, jeans wool or satinet in gray, tan or brown (other colors and materials were used as well, such as striped upholstery, old blankets and great coat lining, etc.), stopper attachment of either twine or cotton string (chains were far less common, as that attachment method was only used by the New York Depot). Canteens with the string attachment should not have a hole punched in the strap loop, as would most likely been seen only on canteens using chains to attach the stopper. Typical characteristics of a pattern 1862 are: corrugated sides of tinned iron with 5 or 6 rings (others exist with up to 11 rings), a web sling 1” or 1 ½” width (or a cotton sling as above), covers of almost any color (see pattern of 1858 description), stopper attachment of twine or cotton string, (no pattern of 1862 canteens would have a chain attachment). Only the Philadelphia Depot contracted for the “new pattern” canteen, making it the minority compared to the pattern of 1858 during the war. For additional information please see the article on Federal canteens in “Military Collector & Historian” by The Company of Military Historians.
Haversack: Federal issue “tarred” painted haversack, made of cotton or linen, with leather closure straps and 5/8” iron roller buckle. All interior seams should be flat felled. Haversacks were issued with inner cotton bag typically secured with tinned buttons.
Shelter Half: Federal issue shelter. Early style tents (’62-’64) are constructed with 3 vertically seamed (and later horizontally seamed) panels, made of cotton drill with bone buttons, 23 hand worked buttonholes and 8 hand worked grommets, and include hemp guy lines and tent pin loops. These tents exhibit only 2 tent pin loops, one at each corner. Later style tents (’63-’65) are constructed with 2 horizontally seamed panels, made of cotton duck with 23 hand worked button holes and 8 (later 10) hand worked grommets, with either tinned or zinc buttons, and hemp rope guy lines and tent pin loops. These tents exhibit 2 tent pin loops (later 3, one at each corner, one at the middle). Issue shelter tent pole and tent pins are optional. See Fred Gaede's excellent book, The Federal Civil War Shelter Tent for more information.
Gum Blanket: Federal issue rubber blanket, with brass grommets. No ponchos. For additional information please see the article on gum blankets in “Military Collector & Historian” by The Company of Military Historians.
Wool Blanket: Federal issue wool blanket, brown or gray with dark brown end stripes and “US” sewn in the center.
Knapsack: Pattern of 1851/1855 federal issue “double bag”. Made of linen or cotton, machine or hand sewn with hand sewn finishing details, tarred similarly to the haversack, should include over coat straps.
In addition to the above mentioned, you may want to add additional items to your impression that the common soldier might have carried for his comfort and convenience. These items may include, but are not limited to: sewing kit (housewife), bone toothbrush, tooth powder and container, pocket knife, fork, spoon, tin cup, tin plate, frying pan (or canteen half), comb, straight razor and brush, wallet, pipe and tobacco, matches and match safe (container), handkerchief, linen or huck wash towel, playing cards, writing kit, pencil, pen, ink and container, diary, bible or testament, newspaper, paper, stamps and envelopes for writing letters, smoking cap, cloth poke bags for rations or for carrying small items, etc.
Also needed are the tools for maintaining the musket in the field that each private would have been issued with his musket, referred to in the Ordnance Manual as “appendages”. These would include the wiper (used for pulling cleaning patches out of the musket barrel) and the combination wrench/screwdriver.
Here is what John Billings says about the topic in Hardtack & Coffee, The Unwritten Story of Army Life:
“I will now give a complete list of the rations served out to the rank and file, as I remember them. They were, salt pork, fresh beef, salt beef, rarely ham or bacon, hard bread, soft bread, potatoes, an occasional onion, flour, beans, split pease, rice, dried apples, dried peaches, desiccated vegetables, coffee, tea, sugar, molasses, vinegar, pepper, salt, candles and soap.
It was scarcely necessary to state that these were not all served out at one time. There was but one kind of meat served at once, and this to use a Hibernianism, was usually pork. When it was hard bread it wasn’t soft bread or flour, and when it was pease [sic] or beans it wasn’t rice.
Here is just what a single ration comprised, that is, what a soldier was entitled to have in one day. He should have had twelve ounces of pork or bacon, or one pound four ounces of salt or fresh beef; one pound six ounces of soft bread or flour, or one pound of hard bread, or one pound four ounces of corn meal. With every hundred such rations there should have been distributed one peck of beans or pease; ten pounds of rice or hominy; ten pounds of green coffee or eight pounds roasted and ground, or one pound eight ounces of tea; fifteen pounds of sugar; one pound four ounces of candles; four pounds of soap; two quarts of salt; four quarts of vinegar; four ounces of pepper; a half bushel of potatoes when practicable, and one quart of molasses. Desiccated potatoes, or desiccated compressed vegetables might be substituted for the beans, pease, rice, hominy, or fresh potatoes. Vegetables, the dried fruits, pickles, and pickled cabbage were occasionally issued to prevent scurvy, but in small quantities.
But the ration thus indicated was a camp ration. Here is the marching ration: one pound of hard bread; three fourths of a pound of salt pork, or one and one fourth pounds of fresh meat; sugar, coffee, and salt. The beans, rice, soap, candles, etc., were issued to the soldiers when on the march, as he could not carry them; but, singularly enough, as it seems to me, unless the troops went into camp before the end of the month, where a regular depot of supplies might be established, from which the other parts of the rations could be issued, they were forfeited, and reverted to the government- an injustice to the rank and file, who through no fault of their own, were thus cut off from part of their allowance at the time when they were giving most liberally of their strength, and perhaps of their very heart’s blood.”
•For the majority of events the only food stuffs to be carried will be as follows: hardtack, salt pork, fresh beef, ham, coffee, salt, sugar. These items may be supplemented by the occasional apple, sweet potato, flour and/or corn meal.
•Food stuffs should be carried primarily in the haversack (the knapsack was used as well: in instances where 3-plus days rations were issued and the haversack was filled to overflowing). Items should be wrapped in either a scrap of material (old shirt), poke bag or paper (reproduction Harper’s Weekly works great) or just thrown in the haversack.