Union Uniform Standards
As we're portaying an Indian Sharpshooter/Scout unit, we have much more lenient uniform standards than many would expect. Our main Union uniform standard is this. Do you have a blue period correct coat on and a period correct shirt underneath?
Yes! Well then you're in Uniform. Your pants need to be period correct pants. These can be sky blue military style pants or civilian pattern pants of any color.
When it comes to headgear, we allow any type of period correct headgear in the ranks. We recommend that you wear a slouch or Hardee hat of some sort as that is most practical in the Florida sun & heat and was the preferred headgear of many of the original members of Co. K 1st Michigan Sharpshooters during the American Civil War. That said however, we will accept you in period correct Native American Turbans as those were worn by some Indians and we will also accept you if you wear a handkerchief tied around your head or if you cover your rug with a kepi hat. As with everything else, as long as it fits the Civil War Period, It's OK by us.
With footwear, we recommend that you purchase Replica WW2 Era English Desert Boots or period correct wood or leather soled brogans. The Replica WW2 Era English Desert Boots look a lot like Civil War brogans but are a heck of a lot more comfortable and give you better foot grip than the brogans. At the end of a long day hiking, marching, or bushcrafting, you're feet will thank you for taking care of them wtih a good pair of shoes. That said, if you can't afford brogans or WW2 Era English Desert Boots, we allow you to wear any brown or black hiking boots in the ranks.
Haversack - Your choice of Confederate or Union as both are acceptable and fit the period & we do both impressions.
Knapsack - optional. It's helpful for carrying in your gear for the start of the weekend event. If you're not using a knapsack consider using a bedroll.
Cartridge Box and Cap Pouch- Again use what you want as long as it is period correct for the Civil War era. The only requirement we have is that you get cartridge tins for your cartridge box as these are required at many events.
Weapon - Any 3 band percussion musket of the Civil War era is acceptable. Some places to find affordable ones are Track of the Wolf, Earl Kathan Gunsmith, Middlesex Village Trading Company, Dixie Gun Works, Buffalo Bills Shooting Store in Orlando, and on gunbroker.com. as well as at local gun shows. This will be the biggest expense of your participating with us. We do not have loaner muskets available at this time as we're a newly forming unit. We would love to let you borrow a weapon but we can't do it due to current financial constraints. Maybe this will be something we can offer in the future. That said, at some events, we can put you in touch with a unit we fall in with that has muskets and uniform kits available for rental for about $40 a weekend. When it comes to purchasing a weapon though stay away from 2 band weapons and Kentucky Rifles as these are not allowed at many events at all. We allow them at events that only our unit participates in like some of our bushcrafting events but that is the only time you'll be able to use them. For major battle reenactments you'll need a 3 band percussion musket of some sorts. Cpl. Dyer tried marching for a couple years with a 2 band Enfield and can tell you about the hassles he had with this weapon. Period correct 2 band muskets are welcomed however at our monthly living history events at Fort Clinch State Park.
Knife - We strongly recommend that you find a solid sheath knife that you are comfortable with that comes with a leather sheath. Also carry a ferrocerium a.k.a. flint rod tied with a leather cord to your sheath. There will be times you want this to start fire. Also you'll want your knife to handle camp chores like carving and chopping. Many of us get modern wood handled bowie knives and then make a sheath for them. Cpl. Dyer personally likes a 8 to 9 inch blade but for many people a 5 or 6 inch blade is sufficient. Also we recommend that you carry a folding knife or a small sheath knife as a back up in case your main knife is damaged for some reason.
Bayonet - You can carry one if you want. As an Indian unit, many of these were returned to the quartermaster or discarded by the troops who saw them as useless items. If you carry a bayonet, get a period correct scabbard for it.
Fire kit - many units don't require this. We DO. Fire is a much needed asset when bushcrafting and camping. Create or buy a kit that will give you the ability to make charcloth from rag cotton material (we'll teach you how) and will give you multiple ignition sources (matches, lighter, magnifying lens, flint & steel, ferro rod, fire piston). Plan to have at least 3 fire ignition methods in your kit. Carry another ferrocerium rod in your fire kit in addition to the one on your knife and carry a steel striker with it. Dixie Gun Works also has a good period correct fire starting kit you can buy for about $30. That said though, we'll teach you how to build one for less than $10.
Cooking Pot - A Tin can with a wire handle is sufficient. We'll help you get a period correct label to cover the can with. That said, muckets, fry pans, canteen halves, iron skillets, dutch ovens, and other period correct wear are acceptable.
Cordage - bring at least 50 feet of period correct jute, sisal, or other natural cordage to any event. you might need it. The only place you may not need this is Fort Clinch but even there we'll be doing things it will be useful for. We will also teach you how to create cordage from natural materials.
Silverware & Cup - Enamel silverware & cups found in the camping section of most stores are acceptable. However we recommend you buy a cheap pie pan for a plate and get a fork from home or antique store to eat with. This is effective & cheap. We also recommend that you get a tin or stainless steel cup as these are more period correct. That said, enamelware is ok as it fits the period and you could say you got it off a rich person you found dead. ;)
Canteen - Get a stainless steel one. It will be the first & last canteen you'll ever need unless you destroy it or lose it. Since we do Union and Confederate impressions any period correct stainless steel canteen is acceptable. Also we will allow you to use tin or wood canteens if you want they just aren't as bulletproof as stainless steel. The only requirement we have is you got to have a canteen to participate with us in ANY event. We don't want you passing out from dehydration.
Gum Blanket & Wool Blanket - Get two of each & carry them. You'll be glad you did. If you need help, we can teach you how to make your own gum blanket. Cpl. Dyer will make them for $40 each if you need him to. Wool blankets can also be made for $75 each by Cpl. Dyer but you can often find these 2nd hand at a thrift store for just a few bucks. Also invest in a good sleeping bag that can handle weather down to around 15 degrees and plan to bring it with you to events. It can get cold at some of the winter events and you don't want to get sick or catch hypothermia. Olustee is one battle we participate in where it is notorious for being cold.
Tent / Shelter half - this is up to you. You can bring it if you want to have one. However we often will be camping out under the stars or in indian brush shelters we will make on the site of our events. At Ft. Clinch you don't need shelter as we can camp in the fort.
For Now that's it on uniform standards we'll teach you more as you join & get to know us.
Are you wearing a grey or butternut jacket and a period correct shirt underneath?
Yes! Well then you've got this covered. Look over at the Union Uniform Standards for everything else as it all applies here too.