How to Get Started
What to Buy
Your Basic Uniform
Needed for Infantry
To Complete Your "Kit"
Care and Feeding of your Uniform
Military and Camp Life
Rations and How to Cook
To Complete Your "Kit"
Poncho or Gum Blanket:
Some events may mandate a US Army issue blanket, so we recommend you have one. Color should be a dirty grayish (or mouse) brown with a dark brown stripe across each end. There was some color variation on blankets. Ends need to be unfinished and there should be a "US" embroidered in the middle in correct fashion. Some excellent repros of original blankets are now available. The group has recently decided on the Abraham Thomas blanket from Quartermaster Woolens. This blanket should be accepted anywhere. We know that states also issued blankets (some were red) and a soldier may have gotten one from home. As with all other equipment - talk to the Quartermaster before ordering.
Black rubberized cloth. This item can also be purchased in kit form, which can make a very acceptable item; look for very small brass eyelets. Jarnigan is currently a good source.
Military issue, natural color cotton duck. Make sure you have the correct (early war) half! It should have hand-sewn buttonholes and bone buttons. Hemlock member Eric Hector is now producing an excellent shelter half. No metal stakes (must use wood). A soldier would not have carried metal stakes.
Other Recommended Items
Federal issue double bag knapsack. Look for a QUALITY knapsack!
Specifically not allowed:
Pocket knife, housewife, candle, correct matches in period container, writing supplies, bible, cards, etc.
Hay bales (if hay is correct for an impression, open the bales and pile or spread the hay), lanterns, camp furniture (exception for officers) or other inappropriate impedimenta in an infantry campaign camp.
We CANNOT emphasize this enough:
Before you order, talk with the Quartermaster or others in the group for guidance. There is a lot of junk and just plain incorrect items out there. Don't let yourself be ripped off. If you can afford the luxury of hand-sewn buttonholes, go for it. Consider having a seamstress convert your machine-made buttonholes to hand-sewn. It improves your impression and if you are serious it will save you money in the long run.
If you wish to carry items other than those listed here - be careful! Make sure the item you wish to carry is a period item and is something that has been documented to have been carried by a soldier. Remember, most of the fresh fish carried far too much gear. After the first or second serious march, that impedimenta was scattered along the march route. That would be a great impression but I doubt many of you will want to discard personal belongings. The best thing to do is ASK first!
The Hemlocks maintain a small stock of equipment that can be borrowed by new members who are not yet fully equipped. Contact the Quartermaster for more information.