"Authenticity will be our perpetual journey~~ not only in uniform, but in action, drill and attitude....(read more)
Under the command of Maj.Gen. S. Christian Anders, the Southern Division plans to organize one to two events per year and...(read more)
Members of the Southern Division have raised more than $600,000 for battlefield and historic preservation...(read more)
From the single individual, to entire units, the Southern Division is now actively recruiting new members to join the ranks. To Join... (read more)
The Southern Division Administrative Staff and their respective assignments are as follows:
per Adjutant General’s Dept, Southern Division, Shepherdstown, VA, 14 September 2013, General Order No.}13, series 1863
Attached Tactical Unit and supporting organization Commanders are:
Maj’r Gen’l S. Christian Anders has been in the hobby since 1986, and has held many staff and command roles in both mainstream and progressive battalions, including the CMF, 1st Regiment PACS ,Liberty Rifles, Chesapeake Volunteer Guard and now the Southern Division.
General Anders has either organized or commanded the following events:
~Fire on the Mountain~2000
~Drayton's Brigade at 140th Antietam~2002
~War on the James~2003
~To the Gates of Washington, 140th Monocacy Reenactment~2004
~Summer of '62, Jackson in the Valley~2005
~Shenandoah 1862, Jackson’s Valley Campaign~2006
~Down the Valley, Jackson in the Valley~2007
~At High Tide, 145th Gettysburg~2008
~Hope’s Campaign Tactical~2009
~Return to Manassas, 2nd Manassas~2010
~Along the Potomac, the 150th Anniversary of Ball’s Bluff~2011
~150th Lee Takes Command, Seven Days Campaign~2012
~150th Maryland Campaign, Maryland, my Maryland~2012
~as well as many other Officer Schools, Park Service Living Histories and various
Infantry and Artillery Camps of Instruction over the years.
Under his command, the 6th Virginia won best Regiment for Recon 2 and then he lead the 14th Tennessee to that award at Recon 3. He has written several articles for Camp Chase Gazette and the Civil War Historian, and is a graduate of the CWLHI Command and Staff College.
He resides in Shepherdstown, WV with his wife Gina and his daughter Elizabeth, who is a participant with the Civilians of the Southern Division.
With the exception of my first season, I have spent all of my time in the hobby as a campaigner. I am a proud member of the Rowdy Pards, and presently function as the group’s Treasurer. I have had the honor and pleasure of raising companies and even entire regiments for a variety of events, including the original "Burkittsville," two "Dutch" companies for two different "McDowells," "Berkeley Hundred," the company chosen "Best Federal unit" at "Recon 2," as well as the entire Federal battalion for "Into the Wilderness." I am pleased to say I have worked with some of the best people in the hobby organizing several fine events, including “War on the James” and “Into the Wilderness.”
Surgeon Aycock entered the hobby serving as an Assistant Surgeon to an Artillery battery where he occasionally stepped in to serve the piece when needed. He first served at a higher level in 2008 where At High Tide he served as a Senior Surgeon of Brigade and began serving on staff to Chris Anders in 2009 at the Hope's Campaign tactical event. Since then he has served as the senior Confederate medical officer at Return To Manassas, 150th Leesburg, 150th McDowell, Lee Takes Command and Maryland My Maryland as well as Senior Surgeon of Brigade for Bee's Brigade at First Manassas. He has also provided living history support to Prince William County as a medical officer at the Pringle House General Hospital and has served as a regimental medical officer at Assault on Allegheny and the 145th Bristoe Station.
Jeff H. Stepp began reenacting in 1979 when he met members of the 14th NY Regiment, also known as "The Red Legged Devils," while they were providing a living history weekend at Sharpsburg Maryland, later joining that unit and rising to the rank of Corporal. Tiring of having to keep his mouth shut all the time since a Tarheel could never master nor aspire to cultivate a proper "Brooklyn" accent; he founded, with six others, the 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops in 1981 and became that unit’s first commander, but a passion for the War had already infected him early in life.
Jeff’s father, Horace J. Stepp, was a life long student of the Confederacy and a well known collector of Civil War arms and accoutrements. Jeff literally grew up surrounded by relics of the war and tagged along with his Dad on many a jaunt to gun and military shows throughout the South and east coast. Those trips were always interspersed with stops at the great battlefields he had so often heard of and read about. Horace Stepp never missed a chance to share stories with his son of his own great grandfather, Benjamin Taylor, whom he had spent time with when Benjamin was an old man. Taylor had served in Co.F of the 26th NC during the war and had been wounded in the left Achilles tendon at the close of the first day’s fighting at Gettysburg. His company sustained a 100% casualty rate there, but Benjamin lived on until 1929 outliving two wives and all but one of his children. Traveling with his Dad, Jeff has fond memories of attending several Civil War Centennial events - First Manassas in 1961 and Gettysburg in 1963 - proudly wearing his mail order Sears & Roebuck Confederate uniform, and armed with a wooden cap firing three band musket. Even so, the later proved a better impression than most of the participants, many of whom wore gray polyester service station attendant uniforms and shouldered postwar trap door Springfields, or worse yet M1 Garrands!
In 1986, with the coming of the 125th anniversary of the war, all infantry units came together in NC to form an organization capable of fielding a battalion. Jeff served as the North Carolina Battalion’s first Lieutenant Colonel, functioning as such during that year’s First Manassas event. Jeff subsequently rose to the command of the North Carolina Battalion serving as its Colonel during the 125th series events at Gettysburg and Chickamauga. At the Gettysburg event he had his first opportunity to serve under General, King in a brigade that represented, respectively, the Texas Brigade and Pettigrew’s NC Brigade during scenarios appropriate to those historical commands. Between 1986 and 1988 he engaged in successful campaigns to obtain federal and state funding to restore the North Carolina monument at Gettysburg and to erect two regimental monuments for the 26th NC on that battlefield as well.
By the end of 1988, the NC Battalion had grown to over 22 units from all over the nation and several foreign countries. Due to the administrative difficulties presented by such a far flung command and concerns from several of the component units who desired more concentration on mastering period drill and protocol, a second battalion was formed with Jeff as its Colonel. With the coming of additional infantry, a section of horse drawn artillery, cavalry, medical and musical components, the 2nd NC Battalion renamed itself The Carolina Legion in 1998. Jeff has commanded the "Legion" since its beginning with subsequent promotion to Brigadier General in 2000 enjoying the opportunity of exercising brigade and divisional commands at a number of large eastern events.
In addition to his reenacting duties Jeff serves on the advisory board of the NC Civil War Tourism Council and as editor of the North Carolina Confederate Burial Locator Project. The later effort has thus far recorded the final resting places of over 24,000 CS soldiers and veterans buried within the State of NC representing men who served in units from every Southern state.
When not engaged with "War" business, Jeff is a self employed insurance investigator who, along with his wife Phyllis and their faithful Redbone Coon Hound - General Pender, reside near Hickory, NC enjoying time spent with their three grandsons and the many friends who share their admiration for that remarkable generation of Southerners that answered the call back in 1861.
Mike Wenger enlisted in the service of the Confederate Army in June of 1991. His interest in reenacting goes back to the influence of Mr. Luther Sowers of Salisbury, N.C., who was Wenger’s teacher during his years at Ralph L. Fike High School in Wilson. Originally contacted by the 26th North Carolina Regiment in the spring of 1988, Wenger delayed a decision to enter service for three years, a matter that he greatly regrets. Captain Ed Mauldin and Sergeant Courtney Johnston were both instrumental in convincing Wenger to join the hobby.
Wenger’s first event was the Cloyd’s Mountain tactical in New Berne, Virginia, and it was with great pride that he wore the blue. It was at that event that he first met Jeff Stepp, Greg Mast, his company commander Dennis Williamson, and a host of other individuals.
It was not until the fall of 1991 that Wenger first donned his Confederate uniform with the regiment at the Battle of Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley. Very early on, he displayed an intense interest in cartography, and it was at that event that he performed his first scout and mapmaking venture with the kind approval of Colonel Mast and General Stepp.
After a year in service, Wenger’s desire to become an officer was met with an opportunity to serve as a signal officer on the staff on General Stepp on occasions where he commanded a brigade. Thus, it was at the "Sewer Plant" Gettysburg event in July of 1992 when Wenger first wore his Lieutenant’s bars, following up quickly with the Perryville event that fall. However, as the Signal Corps seemed to be of less military utility at events than he had envisioned, Wenger eventually pursued his passion for mapmaking, eventually transferring into the Corps of Engineers.
However, at a regimental level, Wenger aspired to the rank of Sergeant, and passed the NCO exam the following summer in 1993. However, following the exam at Cartersville, Colonel Mast presented an option to Wenger which changed the latter’s career path in the Army. He was given the option of accepting the Sergeant slot or voluntarily taking the rank of Corporal, whereupon unspecified opportunities might arise. It was quite clear that Colonels Stepp and Mast wished that the Corporal’s spot be filled, and Wenger acceded to their wishes. The reasoning for these matters became clear shortly thereafter, as the Battalion Adjutant’s position came open. Wenger graciously accepted that appointment.
It is no exaggeration to say that, in many ways, the adjutant’s position in the 26th North Carolina ranks among the most satisfying service that Wenger has tendered to the Army. It acquainted him with the critical administrative duties associated with command, and it enabled him to become familiar with the men of the regiment in ways that would have been impossible had he remained in the ranks. This service also initiated a longstanding and cordial relationship with the Field Music.
However, the most critical aspect of this service was that his career path now diverged almost entirely away from the rank and file and into a staff officer environment.
In the succeeding years, Wenger eventually commenced service with General Stepp at brigade and divisional levels, holding the positions of Assistant Adjutant General, Engineering Officer, and ultimately (with the resignation of Col. Robert White) Chief of Staff of the Carolina Legion.
It is fitting that Wenger’s most memorable service came at the Bentonville events in 2000 and 2005. The former event featured the bridging of Mill Creek during the tactical, an activity which was absolutely unique in the experience of most of the reenactors present. It required a vast amount of planning and immersion into the engineering role and operational details that Wenger relished. In many ways, he regards this event as the pinnacle of his service.
Then, in 2005, upon the untimely illness of General Stepp, Wenger found himself brevetted to command one of two Confederate divisions at that Bentonville event, thus fulfilling a perhaps not-so-secret ambition to lead a major command in the field.
However, as Wenger’s career in the Army "descends from the crest," he finds greatest fulfillment, not in the micro-managing of the staff, nor in the great Napoleonic vistas availed by the mega-events. Rather, he longs for the quiet, but sometimes ribald, company of his comrades on the staff, and for evenings in camp at the headquarters. His chief ambition now is to cherish his friendships among the staff that have now evolved over the span of a generation.
Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot…
I started, as small child; with my love for history and attended my first Civil War reenactment event back in 1996. Shortly afterward I met fellow staffer Harold Majors in 1998 and started my re-enacting career at the battle of Blue Springs Tennessee as private in the 26th N.C.T. reactivated.
In January of 2000, I was appointed as a 1st Lt. on the Carolina Legion staff and in 2002 I was promoted to Captain and Provost Officer. In 2004, I received a promotion to Major as the Legion’s Assistant Commissary of Subsistence and Provost Officer.
Some of the highlights of my reenacting career include marching in the C.S.S Hunley Funeral in Charleston and as always seeing Gen. Jeff Stepp commanding the legion in the field. One vivid memory was seeing our Maj.Wenger leading a charge of the brigade, in Gen. Stepp’s absence, at the last reenactment of Franklin, Tennessee. I also proudly recall taking the surrender from a Federal Captain, of himself and his men, in the Cornfield at the 135th Battle Sharpsburg.
I live in Bryson City N.C. and work as a security officer and a part time professional photographer. I also volunteer with Swain County Rescue Squad and National Park Service.
Graham Bowen Flynt of Stokes County, North Carolina joined the 26th N.C.T. in November, 1987. He remained a private in Company E until Color Sgt. Randy Price asked him to serve in the Color Guard of the 26th. He served in this position (most of the time) until March, 2006. Then, Gen. J.H. Stepp asked him to serve as Acting Assistant Adjutant General with the rank of first lieutenant. In the Fall of 2007, he was promoted to Assistant Adjutant General with the rank of Captain.
Graham is a world history teacher at North Stokes High School. He also lives on and operates the family farm raising beef cattle. He is adjutant and treasurer of Brown Mtn. Boys Camp 1540 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He remains single with no children.
Bruce Blackmon is the Colonel of the Palmetto Battalion. He has been reenacting since 1999. While a native South Carolinian, Blackmon has lived in North Carolina for the past 23 years with his wife Katilda and his two sons. His home unit was the 23rd South Carolina where he served over the years as corporal and Lieutenant. In 2005 he assumed the position of editor of the Palmetto Vindicator, the newsletter of the Battalion. This newsletter has been in constant publication for 27 years. Blackmon says that he is amazed by the amount of untapped, first person source material that is still out there and made it a point in his tenure as editor to include first person accounts, stories, lithographs and photos. In 2007 he made the leap from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel having won the position at the annual Battalion election. He served in this position under Colonel Claude Sinclair. Two of his proudest moments in reenacting was serving on the firing detail at the funeral of the last Hunley crew and portraying Lt. Colonel Rosewell Ripley at Ft. Moultrie for the 150th Anniversary for the firing on Ft. Sumter.
Blackmon has several ancestors who fought in the War Between the States. His director ancestor had 10 sons and three grandsons who fought in various South Carolina units. Four of those men were killed. "I try to remember their sacrifice when I go on the field," says Blackmon. "It is important to remember." He has two sons of his own who have grown up in the reenacting world.
He has worked in the financial aid profession for 25 years, helping students afford higher education. "Reenacting has provided me with great freindships that will last a lifetime, my only regret is that I didn't get involved in it sooner."
Contacts: palmettobattalion.org & facebook
Lt. Colonel is Leland Summers Email: SC12hornetscsa@yahoo.com
Adjutant is Lt. Jay Lamb Email: email@example.com
Captain Stevenson has risen through the ranks to his current post, but in reenacting the trip has taken him over 25 years. Rob started in a Revolution War unit and moved to the War Between the States in 1992 (a mainstream beginning, then stepping up to the Chesapeake Volunteer Guard (CVG) and the 2nd Brigade, Southern Division. He organized living history weekends for NJ in a program that were awarded a Best Practice citation and he received personal recognition from the governor's office. As 1st Sergeant, he assisted in bringing a mainstream unit from weak dismounted cavalry impression to a more authentic impression as a company of Virginia infantry.
He believes it is always possible to do a better job and brings that attitude to the staff and his post as Brigade Assistant Inspector General (AIG). He brings his experience as CVG Sgt Major and Southern Division AAIG to his new post. In his off-duty time, he teaches graduate school.
His most recent book is Perspectives on Violence and Violent Death from Baywood press and he has an upcoming work (co-authored with Carr Mahar) on the Irish Brigade The Bloody Shamrock: Stories of the Irish Brigade. His favorite quote, by Edmund Burke, sums up his philosophy of life and history, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
Rob lives in Washington, NJ (in Bergen County – there are many Washingtons in NJ) with his patient wife, Eileen. They have two sons – Sean (who outranks his father in 18th, 19th and 21st century armies) and Robert Louis.
I began reenacting in 1981 with the 1st Delaware Inf., Co. D.
In the mid 90's, I served as a staff officer on the old 2nd Corps (federal) staff. I switched to a medical impression early after the turn of the century and have done both Confederate and Federal surgeon impressions.
I belong to the Society of Civil War Surgeons and do living histories for the NPS at Harpers Ferry and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine at the Pry House in Sharpsburg MD.
I retired from the Alexandria Fire Dept after 30 years as a firefighter/paramedic and fire marshal.
I am currently the coordinator for emergency services for a large retirement community in NO. VA. and I am a firefighter/emt in Leesburg VA and a senior fire/ems instructor for Loudoun County.
I grew up amongst the battle scared environs of Richmond, Virginia with decades of researching and exploring the many battlefields. With trench fortifications and a confederate river battery behind my childhood home, along with frequent finds of bullets, buttons, and cannon balls, it became a natural interest in all things historical at an early age.
I began Civil War reenacting in 1977. Since that time, I have portrayed and held various roles, positions, and ranks up to Lieut. Colonel of a battalion. Various activities and portrayals over the years included Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry, Naval/Marine, Staff and Medical. I am frequently giving lectures and historical programs at schools, colleges, museums, conferences, assorted historical sites, and battlefield parks throughout the mid-Atlantic region. I became one of the guys that museums and collectors would confer to help identify and authenticate relics, as well as historical advisor-consultant on a number of movie films.
I am an avid historian, and researcher, with particular interest of study of tactics, relics, uniforms, weapons, ammunition, period currency, medical and flags.
Currently, I am the unit commander of the 14th Virginia Infantry Regt Co. I, based in central and southside Va. I am also an historical author writing for Broadfoot Publishing Co. on their new Civil War South Carolina Regimental Series.
6th NC State Troops
The Stonewall Brigade
1st NC Artillery
Tar-Heel Rangers Cavalry
1st MD Artillery CSA
49th NC State Troops
22nd NC State Troops
NC Field Music
SC's Palmetto Battalion
35th NC State Troops
Dick Watters Period Uniforms & Clothing
National Civil War Museum
NPS Gettysburg, PA
Maryland Historical Society
Howard County Historical Society
Montgomery County Historical Society
NPS Antietam, Sharpsburg, MD
NPS Harpers Ferry, WV
Museum of the Confederacy
National Museum of the Civil War Soldier
NPS Petersburg, VA
NPS Appomattox Court House, VA
NC Civil War Image Portfolio
Civil War Traveler: NC
NC Civil War Map of Battles
NC Civil War Soldiers' Records
NC Civil War Sites
Bennett Place, Durham, NC
Fort Fisher, Kure Beach, NC
The Carolina Legion
Palmetto Battalion of South Carolina
Perryville Battlefield, KY
Western Federal Blues
NPS Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database
One aspect of the hobby that will increase both your knowledge and enjoyment of an event, is tailoring your impression to the specific campaign or timeframe of the Conflict. 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.
Command and Staff Officers of the Division have worked together to provide you with guidelines on your impression for the 150th Anniversary Cycle of 1862.
The below are not regulations, but rather suggestions on how the infantryman of the Southern Division can “ Look 1862 ”. By appearing as the Original Boys did, we can properly demonstrate the sacrifices they made for the Cause that was so dear to them.
The Common CS soldier during 1862 traveled light and looked hard. As the campaigns mounted they would have been covered in road dust, cooking grease and looking as hard as Johnny Reb would ever look by the end of the Maryland Campaign. Their clothing and equipment would be coming to the end of its useful life span. The Commutation System was still in effect, though stumbling badly in most cases, and the Central Government Issue system was not fully functional yet. And the common soldier paid for this dearly.
To accurately portray the Common Soldier of the period, you have to take in consideration what unit you are portraying, and at what time in 1862. For example, at McDowell many CS troops were getting supplies from home as well as State Governments, so they would have a civilian-ish look to them, and then if you take in account all the marching, counter marching and battles, they would have been quite worn out by the end of the Valley campaign. By the Seven Days Campaign, many Confederate forces under Lee would still have been in decent shape to start the campaign, as compared to Jackson’s men, but by the time the Southern Forces crossed the Potomac into Maryland all troops were as foul, rotting and destitute as they would ever be.
As the year passed, more Confederate Issue Clothing and gear would be seen with the passing of each campaign and that also was augmented by captured Federal Gear with each victory. So also keep that in mind as commutation and civilian clothing and gear would be the norm in the spring campaigns, as the year progressed more Confederate Issue Items and some Federal items would be more common.
In the Spring Campaigns, troops would have been fairly well equipped to start. Clothing would still be mostly State issue or of a Civilian Flavor.
As a general rule, jackets lasted 5 months in the field, and trousers less than 3 months. This is based upon generalizing the issue records to Southern Troops throughout the War. What makes 1862 unique, is that to start the year many State Governments had shipped large quantities of uniforms and gear to Northern Virginia. For example the State of Alabama had even sent funds to construct a warehouse to store these uniforms in Centerville. One would conclude that prior to the Confederates retreating and burning the huge amount of stores they had accumulated, they would have issued all they could.
So one can assume, and it is an assumption, that many men were wearing new uniforms in March of 1862 as they headed south towards Richmond. And though operating in the field for several months prior to the Seven Days, they would have been close to their source of supply and fairly well clothed and equipped.
With this line of reasoning, then most troops of the Army of Northern Virginia headed into the Seven Days would have been in far better shape than those arriving with the Valley Army in June of 1862.
The following campaign would prove to be very hard on men and gear. Though with each Federal retreat Southerners were able to replace worn out State issue items with captured Federal goods. This does not justify Federal Uniform parts however, as much as Haversacks, Canteens, Blankets, ground cloths and knapsacks.
This was also the first campaign that the Federal forces used the “tent de abri” or shelter tent. And numbers were captured on the Peninsula, however not enough to equip the entire army with them. More often than not Johnny Reb still slept under the stars or in makeshift “shebangs” they created from tent flies or canvas cut from Common (A) tents.
August into September is the time for the worn and torn and terribly dirty impression. Rapid marches first to Cedar Mountain, then Manassas, then across the Potomac wore out what was left of the uniforms and gear the men had started with that Spring. If they were lucky, then men had picked up captured Federal Gear along the way. Trousers with worn seats, or none, covered with cooking grease, and the legs threadbare were common, as well as jackets with elbows worn out, shoulders threadbare from carrying a musket and Knapsack. Shoes worn through, and in some cases barefoot. Hats with tuff's of hair sticking through. If you enjoy being a ragged rebel, Fall, 1862, is the time to go full out.
Many troops were cut off from their source of supply from their home states as the year progressed, and the Central Government started issuing large amounts of clothing in October 1862. But by late August 1862, the Confederate soldier looked, as per one federal account “like clumps of dirt”. The lean ragged set of wolves, able to be smelled before seen, suffering from dysentery from poor rations and in general a sad sight would be the goal for this year. Except the dysentery part guys! There are just certain things I do not need from my hobby.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the clothing a NC or GA Soldier wore during this period, may or may not have differed from that which a VA or TN private wore. The individual states did equip many a regiment, but there is no hard rule that says if you are from South Carolina you would have been wearing a South Carolina Frock Coat. But it is a detail grossly under represented in our hobby. And the 1862 Cycle is the last chance in the 150th to really wear state specific clothing, so if you have it wear it.
So essentially as 1862 progresses, your kit should show more and more wear, tear and dirt. From the quasi Civilian look at McDowell, to a more State issued look at Seven Days, to finally a totally broken down appearance at Sharpsburg.
Toss in a few captured Federal items as we go from campaign to campaign, and all in all you will have a good solid impression for 1862.
Below I have listed items and the recommended versions thereof for 1862. Also I have listed ways in which to “campaign ” an item. As 2012 progresses, adding wear, tear and dirt to an item with each passing event will hopefully help us replicate the Patriot of 1862 as accurately as possible.
There are many choices, and your decision would be based upon what unit you are depicting:
Jean Cloth Kepi with a black or blue band, sometimes rising into a peak at the front. You can see good examples of these in the Confederate Version of Echoes of Glory.
Havelocks were not seen mach past the Spring of 1862.
CS Jean "McDowell" caps
Properly blocked and lined Civilian Hats
Remember, sun faded is preferred, and I have been known to keep a hat either outside or in a window sill to get some of that effect ….also if you work outside, wear it! Sweat stains around the band also add a lot to your impression.
There are several options for this as well. State Issued clothing, such as:
NC Jean "Regimental" Coat
NC Jean Shell Jacket
GA Issue Shell Jacket
South Carolina Issue Frock Coat
Richmond Depot I
Alabama State Issue Jacket
Texas Issued Frock
Enlisted Jean Frock
Over shirts (battle shirts)
Civilian Frock or Sack Coats
If all you own is a Richmond Depot II or III style jacket, you can do a "quick fix" and make these jackets appear as Early War by stitching some black or blue tape trim to the collar and/or cuffs and/or epaulets. On many originals I have found, the stitching is very poorly done, so you do not have to be a master tailor to pull it off! Remember there is a general acceptance that the Richmond Depot Pattern Jackets were based off of earlier patterns, with cost cutting measures.
A few dollars in black or blue tape trim, and about ½ an hour, and you now have a jacket that is much more period for this timeframe.
Once again, as the 1862 cycle progresses, your kit should come apart at the seams…literally. Mostly the shoulders of a coat would be sun bleached and worn from carrying a musket, the collar worn and sweat stained, the elbows almost threadbare from reclining on them, sleeves burnt in place from tending a cook fire and buttons certainly not bright and shiny- no need to soak in urine though! Salt Water works fine. I have seen folks who work outside wear their reenacting jackets to cut firewood, rake leaves or any manual task they do outside. I have also seen companies get together and play sports in their uniforms to get them dirty and or stained. I have also seen folks actually bury their clothing outside for a few weeks, then dig them up. I am not actually advocating that one however! But get inventive. It’s actually fun.
As with Coats there are many state variations you could wear. Basic CS or Civilian trousers will suffice, perhaps you might want to
add a black or blue tape stripe to the out side seam of the trousers, as was often seen in this period.
As with coats, most of the trousers worn during this period would be state issued or commutation pattern. They do not differ greatly from standard Richmond Pattern Foot Trousers, but were often seen with tape trim on the legs, once again black or blue, and 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.
&160;Trousers is where one can really shine! Think about how your trousers would have been worn through the course of the year … the seat definitely worn, and probably have evidence of cooking by the fire on the upper legs from grease splatter and embers. Most of us have that “ old foul pair” and late in the year they should make an appearance. If you have “ holy” trousers, wear them for September….but be sure to have proper underclothing, or none at all for the truly brave. However do not get arrested.
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 generally highly over estimated. However by Fall 1862, I imagine quite a few soldiers thanked the Federal Quartermaster for their shoes. Shoes lasted maybe a month in hard service, and depending on which campaign we are portraying this upcoming year, having really worn out shoes is correct. Now yes, they were issued new shoes frequently, however all the accounts of barefoot soldiers cannot be all wrong. If you decide to go barefoot, keep in mind, if you do not normally walk around barefoot, it will HURT. And I do not want folks to be miserable at an event, so I discourage folks from doing so, unless their heart is really set on it and their feet are prepared for it.
One other adaptation, that would be just as accurate, but not as painful, is the wearing of two DIFFERENT shoes, one on each foot. We all have had brogans wear out, and mostly one before the other, so perhaps a soldier wearing one CS or Civilian shoe, and one Federal Brogan would not have been that uncommon.
Just plain dirty. Worn and smelling wrong. Your basic civilian shirt works great. A sad fact is that most CS garments fell apart do to ROT, rather than shoddy workmanship. And the rot comes from chemicals your body expels when you sweat…not a nice picture is it?
This is one other area in which you can "appear 1862"
The most common canteen would have been the plain tin drum, with cloth or leather strap. This is an inexpensive purchase, and the whole unit would look "uniform" buy carrying these, as well as common white CS issue Haversacks. As a side note, haversacks were filthy affairs, and the common cloth haversack would be coated with grease from the “heart healthy” food soldiers carried in it. Just think of what your haversack would look like after carrying pre-cooked salt pork in it for a few weeks!
The wearing of Militia Pattern Knapsacks, such as the Kibbler Pack in EoG is another way to look 1862. However the good old blanket roll works well in 1862, especially one from a coverlet, carpet piece or civilian blanket. As with shoes, the number of CS troops carrying captured Federal Gear has been exaggerated in many cases early in 1862, however by the end of the year Federal Issue Haversacks, Knapsacks and Canteens would have appeared in greater numbers and in better repair than CS Issued counterparts.
Many troops still had the state and locally issued gear during this year, with State Buckles and Box Plates. However they were more rare now than last year. Common Civilian and issued Buckle Belts were more common as the year progressed, and CS manufactured cap pouches and Cartridge Boxes were common, as well as captured Federal gear as the progressed, though the use of US buckles worn upside down was truly not common.
These differed based upon the unit portrayed, but as a whole, these are the one item that MUST be clean, safe and functional. I have seen many folks carry weapons that sent chills up my spine. Be sure they are clean and in good repair for your safety, and the safety of your file partners. As a general rule, large side knives were stating to become rare, as after hundreds of miles of hard marching, the Boys were getting tired of lugging the things around.
Not only for your impression, but for your health as well, walking a few miles a week whenever you can will help prepare you better for any event. I do not want anyone to be miserable at an event, too tired to enjoy it. Whenever you can, take 30 minutes and take a stroll. It is good for your heart, and good for your mind and impression as well. I have gone down at events before, and it has ruined the event for me, and often my pards as well. We all owe it to ourselves to take some time, slow down and walk whenever we can. I consider you all my friends, and if only for the sake of your health, focus some time on conditioning. Your enjoyment of events will increase.
Have fun with your 1862 impression. Read the accounts of what Johnny Reb suffered through in 1862. Think on how that would affect his appearance and adapt. Embrace Dirt. Have fun with it, realize this is probably the last chance in this Cycle to wear State Specific items.
I look forward to seeing you “ Looking 1862”
S. Christian Anders
Acting Maj’r Gen’l
Authenticity Glorifies the Campaign
As presented on the Southern Division Artillery Uniform Requirements, the 1862 -2012 season will encompass an early, mid-war impression. As the season starts out, the cannoneer should be basically well shod and equipped as he is coming out of his first winter quarters. Supplies from home are still being received and the ranks are starting to fill up from the first summer of war. As we go through the 2012 season, adjust your impression to reflect the situation that you have just been through. After the Seven Days battles you would be worn down a bit. You are still being uniformed from home using the commutation system and maybe a little from Richmond. After all, you were close to the rail lines and Richmond’s supply depot. If you were in the Valley with Jackson, you may have supplemented some of your worn out gear with Federal supplies but still marching light.
After 2nd Manassas, you would another opportunity to up-graded your equipage with dis-carded Federal gear but still you were on the march. In general, ever since you left the battles around Richmond you have been on the move. Moving on to Maryland, liberated Federal leather, knapsacks, haversacks and or canteens would be seen, but not in huge numbers. If you kept your original haversack, it would be dirty and greasy. You may have been lucky and picked up a Federal blanket and threw away your lice infested blanket, however, use good sense with this stage of your impression. Federal gear would be seen but not in over-whelming numbers. The artillery was behind the infantry and unless you moved on through a retreating enemy, chances of obtaining Federal gear may have been slim. The infantry boys may have cleaned up the spoils.
As the season progresses, your jacket would be worn and dirty from several months in the field non-stop. Trousers would be thin and just as fatigued. Slouch hats would be taking on their own character from daily use. If your jacket was from home, put a little trim on it…..but don’t overdo it. If you want a plain jacket, maybe put some ¼” wool tape or 1/8” wool piping down the legs of your trousers. Better yet, just go with a plain jeans jacket and trousers.
Talk to your detachment members. Find out who is wearing what and try to mix it up. Not everyone should have a Federal cannteen or tarred Federal haversack. Everyone should not have on the same color or trimmed jacket. Talk as a group about your first person impressions. I have found if you give yourself a persona, you can tailor it and make better uniform decisions. You may be from a wealthy family and therefore, fully trimmed and better quality clothing is normal. You may be the “dandy” of your mess. Or, you come from a dirt poor family, barley able to make ends meet. Your mother or wife has to really struggle to get you a suit of clothes. When you do get them, they are of a rough woven quality, poorly dyed and are adorned with plain brass or wood buttons. Or, you are in the middle. Your family has sent you a new jacket cut like the jacket you came home wearing last winter. They were able to get some nice brass floral buttons and even put a small amount of piping around the collar and epaulettes. Soldierly but not over the top.
Study photographs and drawings. In addition, read the Southern Division Artillery Uniform Requirements from the web-site. It goes in to more detail for each part of the uniform. Let’s make the Southern Division artillery the most authentic Confederate artillery in the Country. Our infantry is continuing to lead the way in their individual impressions. Let’s us join them.
I remain your servant,
2nd Co. Washington Artillery of New Orleans
One aspect of the hobby that will increase both your knowledge and enjoyment is tailoring your impression to the specific campaign or timeframe of the Conflict. 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.
Often when one reaches, aspires or retrieves a sword from the stone, and assumes the mantel of command, there are many items they need to tend to, from the transition of giving orders rather than receiving them to the responsibility the position demands on and off the field.
It is key however, that officers do not neglect their impression, as in the hobby we all lead by example, and if we wish the men to properly illustrate the Common Soldier of the War, as officers we must strive to do so as well.
Doing a proper officer impression is far more demanding than that of a common rear rank number two. There are far more considerations in the impression, since officers were never issued anything until 1864, when they could draw uniforms from the Quartermaster Department. In 1862 they bought their own uniforms and gear, and the quality and style thereof would often reflect the financial situation of the officer.
The exact rank would also come heavily into play. Line officers would often be less well to do. This, as well as the inability to carry spare uniforms and gear, and the hard use of their gear contributes more to their impression than the impression of a staff officer.
I have tried below to give some guidance in an officer’s impression for 1862. However nothing will make up for true research on the campaign and the officer portrayed.
The Common Line Officer during this year traveled light and looked hard. They, like the men, still would have been covered in road dust, and their clothing and equipment would show hard use. However, they still were easily identified as an officer in 1862, as the quality of the clothing, the cut and details would separate them from the common infantryman. Also as a general rule, the officers tended to come from a higher social class, and as such would strive to appear more “soldierly” than the men in the ranks.
Field Grade Officers tended to have the luxury of spare uniforms, and while still dusty and traveled, overall the impression of an officer that would have been mounted requires less filth than that of the line officer who was down in the clouds of road dust with the men. Their coat skirts, trousers and shoes however would have been in that “cloud” and would show such. Also keep in mind when viewing photographs, that the pictures were often of what they wore TO war, and possibly not IN the war.
Brigade and Higher Staff Officers would have been even more striking, as compared to the soldiers they led, in the fact they were mostly clean and their uniforms in good repair. Combine that with the fact most were politically connected early in the War, and that should lead you to conclude in most cases a clean and well clothed impression is the norm.
Keep in mind as well, with their better economic stature, officers would be in a better position for adapting their uniforms and gear to represent the State and or Unit they were commanding.
There are many choices, and your decision should be based upon what rank, State or unit you are portraying.
Choices could be:
Kepi- Most common with appropriate braid and a bound brim. The body could be manufactured out of jean, satinette, broadcloth or Kersey, again determined by economic stature. You can see good examples of these in the Confederate Version of Echoes of Glory.
CS “McDowell” caps, with or without braid, and having a bound brim.
Properly blocked and lined Civilian Hats were often common during campaign, and if you decide to wear a hat cord, be sure that is a correct Civil War period design.
Taken as a whole, in 1862, Confederate Officers highly favored the double breasted frock coat over the regulation tunic, with its short skirts. Depending on the rank held, and the economic factors, the cloth and details would have been different, but as a general fact, the double breasted gray frock is the most common garment seen in photos and accounts of 1862 officers. The use of “Old Army” blue frocks lessened with each month, so that by the end of 1862 they were quite rare. Also the use of Federal shoulder boards waned, and the Confederate insignia replaced straps. However, early in 1862 one still saw officers using shoulder straps, sometimes with the Confederate collar insignia for good measure.
In 1862 line officers still could also be wearing a single breasted frock coat, with our without sleeve braid, and with either shoulder straps, Collar insignia or both. Cloth choices would be the same as for a double breasted frock.
One under represented garment is the Officer Blouse. There is one pictured in this article. Essentially an officer’s Sack, with pockets for small books, watches (which every officer should have), writing kits, pipes, pistol cartridges…etc… These tended to be very utilitarian in nature, not tailored exactly to the body, and were seen with or without piping, or Austrian Knots; still produced in a quality manner. Rank was often displayed on a lay down collar. Material can be broadcloth, jean, satinette or cashmere.
Many officers were seen in 1862, and for the length of the War, wearing high quality Civilian coats for field use. This was not the most common coat, but was represented in numbers high enough that it should be portrayed. These should reflect the finances of the Officer in cloth and construction.
Finally, some officers had private purchase shell jackets made, and these would be seen occasionally, but as a whole, they were not as common in 1862 as they will be moving into the later years of the War. Be careful if you decide to adopt this impression, as a private’s poorly constructed shell jacket made of slave cloth (jean) would not have been used commonly at all by officers; higher quality manufacturing with either satinette or broadcloth is the way to go.
All in all, a double breasted frock coat is your best purchase, with or without facings and or Austrian Knots. You then can determine the approximate financial standing of the officer you are representing, and can choose your cloth (Jean, Satinette, Broadcloth) based upon those factors.
A note on buttons. The majority of buttons found on extant Confederate Officer coats tends to be of Federal Manufacture, such as Federal Officer I buttons, or Federal Staff Buttons. One can, in 1862, continue to use State buttons if they wish, and some Confederate Officer Buttons, but these are in the minority.
As with Coats there are many variations you could wear based upon rank, unit and financial stature. The Confederacy mandated originally blue as the color of Officer Trousers, which they then changed to gray.
Officer trouser stripes in branch of service color was also mandated, though seldom actually seen in the field. Piping or gold trim seems to be far more common in extant examples.
Officer trousers of the Confederacy did not as a whole follow regulations, nor did they directly follow trends in the Federal Army, for I have not been able to locate one extant pair of CS officer trousers with hip pockets, though I have seen many Federal examples.
Broadcloth, satinette, jean and kersey are all represented through extant examples, and the choice of cloth would also be a financial consideration.
Civilian trousers were also seen on officers, often with reinforced seats to ease the backside when riding.
The wearing of high quality private purchase shirts is highly encouraged. White Bibbed fronts were very common, French cuffs, and a cravat added to the “style”.
At this point in the War, CS or Civilian Shoes would prove to be the most common, with boots falling out of favor with Line Officers, as marching in a pair for any distance is downright painful. Boots were often seen on Field Grade and Higher Officers, though the common practice was to wear the pant leg OVER the boot unless riding through rough terrain.
Overall a good pair of civilian shoes will serve you best, though if you love your boots, wear them properly.
Private purchase canteens were fairly common with the Officer Corps, as well as Officer Haversacks. An officer haversack did not replace the normal haversack for the carrying of foodstuffs, but rather for the pile of true red tape and forms the officer had to submit each and every day, if not more often. So in fact, carrying TWO haversacks is very correct for line officers. One for food and one for paperwork, manuals, order books and red tape.
Often as well you would see Line Officers with Knapsacks rather than blanket rolls in 1862. Knapsacks worked better for carrying all the officer trappings (such as a sash, clean shirt, socks and, yes, more paperwork).
I am not saying that in 1862 officers never carried their spare gear in a blanket roll, but rather that in this period it was far less common than later in the War.
Field Grade Officers would also occasionally have been seen with Knapsacks, though only when on foot. So if you find yourself without your trusty steed, then this is the option for you.
Sword Belts could be Militia, old Army, State or even Confederate Manufacture. In looking at the collection at the Museum of the Confederacy, the majority tended to be made of “folded” leather, even though you do find extant examples made of heavy bridle leather. Over sword hangers featured a D buckle to adjust the hanging of the sword, with the two piece stud also seen, though in lesser number. White Buff Militia belts would probably see their last widespread use in 1862.
One note with sword belts- very seldom did officers wear a cap pouch and pistol cartridge box on the belt itself. Mostly these were stored in the haversack or pocket.
On campaign often these would not be worn later in the war, but for 1862 you would see them fairly regularly. Even if just stored away in the knapsack or valise. Dress Parade was just that. Dress for the occasion.
HAVE ONE. Preferably with ink and pen.
Your command is your true weapon, and a pistol is the last line for PERSONAL defense. Swords are a mark of rank, and often used to direct “traffic”.
However learning the proper manual of arms for the sword is highly encouraged, and if you decide to carry a pistol, be sure it is “time” correct. Like the “1858” Remington would not be correct for this period as the New Army Model did not show up in Federal Service till 1863.
The carrying of a pistol or revolver is a personal choice, however, if you do decide to carry one, perhaps focus on a private purchase smaller revolver. Lugging a Walker around for 20 miles a day will probably put you in severe pain; they knew that as well.
Like most of the guidelines listed here, the use of tents is determined by rank and also the campaign situation of the event portrayed.
On active campaign the line officer would most likely be camping in the same style as the enlisted men, and often field grade officers like wise. Command staff at the Brigade and Division level would have greater access to Common and Officer Tents, though many accounts of the period find them sleeping, or attempting to in the same manner as the men, And of course often they would find local residents who would allow them to use their homes as Headquarters. Since trespassing is often looked upon poorly, the chance to use a private residence as an officer billet is out of the question at most events.
Keep in mind, even while on campaign and sleeping as such, most battalion and higher commands had a designated HQ area. This would of course be separate from the enlisted bivouac, and a simple fly would suffice.
Brigade and Division HQ can justify common tents in most cases for the higher ranking officers, or at least flies set up to be used as such; this of course being event and campaign specific. If we only had a few wagons…..
Gentlemen, I cannot stress this part of your impression enough. I myself have failed at this before, and have vowed to never let it occur again. The men’s enjoyment of an event can often be tied to the actions of the officer corps of this Division. As such we cannot allow ourselves to be too tired, physically or mentally exhausted, or too ill to be able to lead them properly, or have our judgment impaired.
As such we all need to strive to be in the best condition physically and mentally as we can be. This includes exercising often (cardio is your best friend, though a pain) and getting plenty of rest prior to an event, so we at least start the weekend on a positive sleep vector.
I sincerely hope you find these guidelines helpful and I look forward to seeing you in the field.
S. Christian Anders
Acting Mj’r Gen’l
Inspector General’s Dept
Harpers Ferry Virginia10 June 2011
General Order No.} 1 series 1861
The attention of this office has been drawn to recent reports made by credible media sources of muskets manufactured in India sustaining severe catastrophic failures – i.e. bursting. These muskets are therefore considered a personal safety risk not only to the user but also to participants in the general vicinity, regardless of the situation in which the failures have occurred.
Therefore, the use of muskets manufactured in India by members of Bee’s Brigade is strictly prohibited unless the owner can present evidence that the musket has been ‘proof’ tested by a licensed/registered gunsmith. Company, battalion, and regimental commanders are hereby directed to canvass their commands to determine if muskets of Indian manufacture are within them and to ensure that the required testing has been completed and properly verified.
The respective unit commander is to provide a list of Indian produced muskets to the AIG office.
By command of Major G. Heffner
Assistant Inspector General
R. Watters, AAG
40th IL '62 Campaign
58th NC, Co. F at Fort Sanders, 2011
150th Sharpsburg from 22nd NC
Greg Starbuck's Video of 145th Antietam
Miller's Cornfield 150th Battle of Sharpsburg MD
Maryland My Maryland Antietam Reenactment 9/9/2012 Part 1
Maryland My Maryland Antietam Reenactment 9/9/2012 Part 2
David Kincaid's Song of the Irish Brigade (Confederate)
David Kincaid's Confederate Song ~ The Irish Brigade
David Kincaid's The Dreadful Engagement
The 26th North Carolina Regimental Band Civil War Music
26th North Carolina Regiment, Reactivated
Carolina Fifes and Drums at Old Salem, NC
Old 1812 Quickstep - Carolina Fifes and Drums
Recruiting Sergeant - Carolina Fifes and Drums
Liberty Hall Fife & Drum at Antietam
Liberty Hall F&D - Carry Me Back to Virginny Bonnie Blue Flag Dixie
White Cockade and Keemo Kimo by Liberty Hall Fifes and Drums
Bonnie Dundee by Liberty Hall Fifes and Drums
Liberty Hall Fifes and Drums National Muster Leesburg 2007
Colonial Mojo Concert 2009: Liberty Hall Fifes and Drums
"Authenticity will be our perpetual journey~~ not only in uniform, but in action, drill and attitude.
Working together, we can work towards the next level of organization~~ including Evolutions of the Line~~ and together provide a
better Civil War experience for our men, while honoring and remembering the brave citizen soldier of 1861."
~ S. Christian Anders
Created in September 2009 by like minded re-enactors, The Southern Division was formed on the eve of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with the purpose to honor, remember and preserve the history of those who fought in this conflict.
Under the command of Maj.Gen. S. Christian Anders, the Southern Division plans to organize one to two events per year and participate in another event per year as a division to provide the members with a variety of experiences. Members of the Southern Division have organized the following events over the last 10 years:
Assault on Allegheny
Boys of '61
Fire on the Mountain
To the Gates of Washington
Bedford Officer Schools
At High Tide
Bedford Artillery School
Down the Valley
War on the James
Girding for War
Members of the Southern Division have raised more than $600,000 for battlefield and historic preservation through various events over the past decade. For example, since 1999, member units raised $65,200 to restore the battle flags of the 6th, 26th, 47th, 52nd, and 58th North Carolina regiments in the North Carolina Museum of History collection, as well as Banners in the Tennessee State Museum.
Members have also erected a regimental monument to the 26th North Carolina on the New Bern, NC battlefield.
There were also many successful efforts in the 1980s and 1990s including donations to the Highland Historical Society, the Adams County Land Conservatory, South Mountain State Battlefield, Berkeley Hundred Plantation, Pamplin Park, Central Maryland Heritage Foundation, as well as the restoration of the North Carolina monument at Gettysburg and assisting the North Caroliniana Society in the erection of two regimental markers for the 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg.