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Confederate Cavalry Impression Standards
We will be portraying the 1st, 4th and 5th Virginia Cavalry and will be attempting to put forth the most accurate portrayal of the average
Confederate trooper of the late 1862 time period. To some, these guidelines may seem too strict, but they are an attempt to include as
many troopers while adhering to the basics of authenticity.
This is an immersion event. What does that mean you ask? It means that we will be marching. 12 to 15 miles over a period of 48 hours.
You will need to pack everything you will need on your horse or on your back. You and your horse will need to be in shape for this event,
and expect to be in the saddle from sun-up to sun-down. You will literally being riding/marching in the exact footsteps as did the boys
of ’62. Much of the land we will be on has changed little in the past 150 years. You will need to bring all your food, fodder and
camping gear with you as there will be NO permanent camps. There will be water posted along the march.
- Prohibited Items:
- Paint and Appaloosa Horses
- Stainless steel anything .
- Women in ranks
- Heart Shaped Breast Straps
- Stampede strings/ Cowboy hats
- Multiple revolvers/cylinders
- Modern tack
- Only 100% natural fibers (cotton, wool, leather) will be allowed on the field.
- No machine-sewn buttonholes.
- One pistol per trooper (if any at all) 50% of all troopers did not even have one. NO SPARE CYLINDERS!
- No special impressions like Lee, Mosby, Stuart. We are portraying the rank and file troopers. No Commissioned or non-commissioned officers unless justified by the number troops you bring. NCO Chevrons must be sewn on individually, not onto a piece of backing material sewn to the sleeve.
- No Stainless steel (i.e. plates, cups, cutlery, canteens, buckles, and bits)
- You may be asked to remove a piece of clothing or equipment that the event organizers feel is overrepresented or not appropriate for the scenario (hat chords, plumes, hat brass) This is not a personal slight, but rather to make the event more authentic and portray the more common trooper.
- No modern eyewear. Period eyewear is okay, but try to use long lasting contacts. No modern wire-rimmed eyeglasses will pass as authentic.
- Modern medicine will, of course, be allowed on the field, but should be camouflaged by the use of tobacco pouches, tins, etc. Please let event organizers know of any special medical conditions.
- No women in the ranks. There is no evidence that there were woman dressed as men at the Battle of Unison in 1862.
- All haversacks, canteens, accoutrements, saddle blankets, bed rolls will be worn in a correct and sensible manner i.e. canteen worn on the person not attached to the saddle by snap hook. Refer to Congdon’s Cavalry Compendium. This provides insight into a cavalryman’s duties in the field.
- No plastic bags, cigarettes, wristwatches or other like items. Authenticity inspection will go into your haversack, saddlebags, bedrolls et.al.
- No alcohol or illegal substances are to be brought to the event.
All uniform clothing must be made from jean, satinette, cassimere, or kersey. Jackets and trousers should be primarily grey or “butternut” in color. Varigated jean is over-represented in the hobby.
- Shell Jackets
- Richmond Type I or II. Both jackets have epaulettes and belt loops. The Type I had tape or piping on cuffs, collar and epaulettes. They have two piece sleeves and a six piece body. Refer to Les Jenson’s article on uniforms
- Commutation Jacket are private purchased/tailor made jackets. They must be of a documented pattern of an existing jacket.
- Single breasted frock coat made from above listed materials
- Richmond pattern with mule ear pockets, belt back, and button fly.
- Other Issue pattern with side seam pockets, belt back and button fly.
- Federal Issue made of sky blue kersey, yoke in rear, and vented cuffs. There should be a limited number of these types of trousers.
Civilian Pattern made from cotton or flannel i.e. Hollyday, McRae, Campbell. Please stay away from calicos and the large wooden button shirts you find on sutler’s row.
Suspenders should be of a documented type. No clip on or elastic suspenders.
- Hats. 100% fur felt of a documented civilian pattern. Must be of a definite shape. No hillbilly formless hats. They should be black, brown, or grey. Hat chords, plumes, feathers or hat brass should be removed. The hats should have a silk ribbon at the base of the crown, and ribbon on the outer edge of the brim. They should have either a leather or painted canvas sweatband. NO STAMPEDE STRINGS! There is no evidence that stampede string existed on any Civil War hats.
- Kepis should be made of jean and of either a solid color or with branch of service band. They should be low crowned. Very few forage caps were issued.
- Bootees/brogans. The predominant footwear should be the bootee/brogan. The shortage of leather in the Confederacy and the predominance of manufacture of bootees/brogans make this footwear the preference. Federal issue, Confederate, or British manufacture.
- Boots. Wellington (one piece front) or Napoleon (back seam) style boots. Waxed flesh is preferred.
Wool socks of a documented pattern. No striped hunting socks, tube socks, or ribbed socks.
Blankets must be 100% wool with no machine stitching on the ends.
- U.S. M1851 blanket. The issue sleeping blanket of the U.S. Army.
- C.S. Issue blanket. North Carolina blanket, Mahone, blanket, Gettysburg blanket.
- Civilian Blanket. Must be of a documented pattern.
- Carpet remnants. Lots of documentation of these being used in lieu of blankets due to shortages. Must be of period construction and pattern.
- C.S. Spoon and Wreath on black dyed waxed flesh leather. NO RIVETS
- Virginia State Seal Rectangular belt (Copy of U.S. M1851 Sword belt) Black dyed buff or waxed flesh leather. NO RIVETS
- Virginia State Seal Spoon and Wreath on black dyed waxed flesh leather. NO RIVETS
- U.S. M1851 Sword belt. Made of black dyed buff or waxed flesh leather. NO RIVETS.
- Cap Pouches
- CS manufactured cap pouch. Black dyed leather with linen thread.
- US manufactured cap pouch. Black dyed leather with linen thread
- Cartridge Boxes
- Richmond Pattern carbine box.
- US issue Sharps carbine box. Black dyed leather with linen thread,
- US or CS .58 or .69 caliber cartridge box, preferably worn on the belt.
- CS manufactured holster with tab/finial closure or tab/insert closure. Black or fair leather. Should be of a documented pattern and have NO RIVETS
- US manufactured holster with tab/finial closure. Black leather, 8 stitches per inch, sewn disc at muzzle end, and one rivet on flap that holds closure tab
- Carbine/Rifle Slings
- US Issue Carbine Sling made of buff or waxed flesh leather. Please no stainless steel snap hook.
- CS Manufactured Carbine Sling made of linen, cotton webbing, or leather.
- Rifle slings should be made of fair or buff leather, cotton, and webbing of documented pattern.
good examples of canteens
- CS tin drum canteen with linen or cotton webbing sling.
- CS wooden drum canteen with linen or cotton webbing sling.
- US smoothside canteen with linen, cotton webbing, or leather sling. Stoppers should have twine attachment to canteen.
- CS manufactured cotton drill or canvas haversack with button closure. Stay away from the leather/buckle closure types.
- CS manufactured tarred canvas haversack with button closure.
- US manufactured tarred canvas haversack with leather tab closure. Buckles should be japanned.
- Edge Weapons
All sabers are to be attached to the waist belt and NOT to the saddle
- US M1840 Heavy Cavalry saber
- US M1833 Dragoon Saber
- Virginia Manufactured Saber
- US M1860 Light Cavalry Saber
The most important weapon to posses for this event is a longarm.
- M1859 Sharps Carbine
- M1841 “Mississippi” Rifle
- M1855 Harper’s Ferry Rifle
- P1858 2 Band Enfield Rifle
- Double Barrel percussion Shotgun
- P1856 3 Band Enfield Rifle Musket
- M1842 Musket
- 1st Model Maynard Carbine
- Austrian Lorenz Rifle
- Enfield Musketoon (not many of these were imported, and those that were came in later in the war)
- Side arms
This is the least important weapon for this event. Ordnance returns show that fewer than 50% of troopers in the Army of Northern Virginia possessed a revolver. However, I know that many of you feel naked without one, but ONLY ONE will be allowed at this event. ABSOLUTELY NO SPARE CYLINDERS will be permitted. You must use paper cartridges to reload your revolver.
NO Brass Frame Navy’s, Army’s or Spiller and Burr’s
- M1851 Colt Navy Steel frame with brass trigger guard and backstrap.
- M1860 Colt Army (same as above)
- Single shot horse pistol i.e. Johnson, Aston etc.
- Adams Revolver either the English or Massachusetts manufacture.
- Savage Revolver
- Whitney Navy revolver
- Horse Equipments
All saddles must be of the period. No modern English, Western, or M1904 saddles. NO HEART SHAPED BREAST PLATES. They were no issued breasts plates in either army. Period civilian or surcingle will be okay for a breastplate.
- Jenifer. Quarter strap rigged with black dyed leather. Quarter strap should be under the skirts. Wooden stirrups.
- Jenifer. English rigged with fair leather skirts with wooden stirrups.
- Texas saddle.
- M1859 McClellan Saddle. There should be no rivets on quarter strap rigging around the “D” ring. Wooden stirrups with hoods, but no toe straps.
- Period Civilian saddles i.e. Muley, plantation, or English type.
- Bridles and Bits
Note: reins should be sewn on the military bits. There should be no western tie on reins.
- CS Issue 6 buckle bridle with jappened roller buckles.
- Period Civilian bridle with brass or iron horse shoe buckles
- M1859 US 6 buckle bridle with black buckles.
- CS issue hand forged trooper bit
- Period Civilian pattern bit i.e. snaffle, Pelham or curb bit. NO chromed, or stainless steel bits
- U.S. M1859 Curb bit
- CS Issue Single ring halter black or fair leather. NO RIVETS
- US Issue 5 ring halter black leather. NO RIVETS.
- Period Civilian Halter. NO RIVETS.
Leads should be leather with either roller buckle or US Black buckle. Hemp rope leads are also acceptable.
Information on Confederate Horse equipments.
- Saddle Blankets
No Saddle pads or Western saddle blankets.
- M1851 US issue blanket. Grey with black stripes U.S. chain stitched in the center.
- US M1859 Saddle blanket. Blue with orange stripes US. Chain stitched in center.
- Period Civilian blanket.
If there are any questions regarding these guidelines, please don’t hesitate to contact me with your concerns. John Sweeny, Valley Light Horse.