Basic Soldiers Gear
Below you will find the basic "kit" carried by a federal soldier during the American Civil War. You will also find pictures of the gear and a brief description to help you get a better feel for what the average soldier carried with him.
This page is an excellent source for the beginner reenactor. If you are interested in join our unit the items below are those that new members should try to purchase before the end of their first year in the unit.
9th Indiana after the battle of Shiloh 1862
Frock or Sack Coat: Dark Blue Uniform Coat. The Frock Coat was considered the dress uniform while the Sack Coat was a fatigue for work in the field. Both were used through out the war in battle and in ceremony. In the picture to the right you can see an example of a Frock Coat, this coat was piped in the color of the branch of service to which the soldier belong. The coat in the picture is piped in Engineer colors.
Sky Blue Trousers: Sky blue wool trousers with a button fly and canvas suspenders. Sky blue trousers were issued to all "volunteer" army units, while regular army units had dark blue trousers.
Two styles were most popular, the slouch hat or the forage
cap. The slouch hat was just a black wide brimmed hat common among farmers in
the 19th century. Most troops in the western theater of the war, which is where
the 9th fought, wore a slouch hat.
Shoes: This type of foot-ware was common on both sides of the front during the war. These shoes, known as Brogans, are simple ankle length leather boots with wooden soles. The originals did not come in a right or a left, only after wearing them for several weeks would a right and left shoe develop. Often steel plates were attached to the heel to prevent ware of the wooden heel.
Pictured to the left is a soldiers basic personal field gear. He was issued a canteen covered in blue, gray or jerry cloth wool, which had a canvas or leather strap. The black bag is a Haversack, this was made of tarred canvas to resist water. In it the soldier would keep all manner of personal belongings, letters, rations, eating utensils, cards, tobacco...ect.
Also pictured is a drink cup called a Mucket. This was a cross between the words mug and bucket as the soldiers considered it both. It was used for drinking and cooking out of and is very handy.
Model 1853 Enfield Rifled Musket (British)
Model 1855 Springfield Rifled Musket
Model 1861 Springfield Rifled Musket
Pictured to the left is various gear associated with fighting. The square leather pouch at the top of the photo is the ammunition box worn over the shoulder, called a cartridge box. Next to the box on the right is a paper cartridge which is how the individual round was packaged. Next to this is a tin insert from the cartridge box. The waist belt is picture below the box on which you can see the bayonet in its scabbard, right, and the cap box, on the left. The cap box held small brass caps which were used to ignite the powder charge in the musket, a few can be seen next to the paper cartridge.
Page Last Updated On : April 25, 2005
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