Uniform and Equipage
Fatigue Cap: The Federal issue fatigue cap pattern of 1858, made of dark blue wool, with leather bill. The chin strap is attached with 2 general service eagle buttons which are cuff size. The sweat band is of thin leather, brown or black in color and whip stitched by hand into the cap. The lining is of polished cotton in black or brown. A minimal amount of hat brass is to be worn (only company letter, if anything); the blue 2nd corps trefoil may be worn at appropriate events. The fatigue cap should be the initial headgear purchase.
Slouch Hat: This hat should be an appropriate pattern for the period, black or dark brown in color, with the brim and crown ribbons of silk grosgrain material. Slouch Hats should be blocked with upturned brims and finished with lining and sweat band. A pattern of the 1858 uniform dress “Hardee” hat may be worn at appropriate events. This "Hardee" hat should be made of black fur felt. The enlisted pattern consists of a double row of stitching around the brim, a silk grosgrain ribbon at the base of the crown, with bow, and black oil cloth label with “U.S. Army” printed in gold. The hat should be blocked and include a 2½”-3” painted leather sweat band, black or brown in color and whip stitched by hand into the hat.
Sack Coat: The regulation issue fatigue blouse is made of 5½ oz. dark blue flannel, indigo dyed, twill woven material. Four evenly spaced general service eagle buttons, coat size, with hand sewn button holes. Lined coats are lined with gray, blue or brown wool flannel in the body, cotton in the sleeves, unlined coats should have all interior seems flat felled by hand (lined coats were issued at a 3 to 1 ratio to unlined coats) lined coats are recommended. Suggested patterns are the Schuylkill Arsenal or J. T. Martin contract (3 or 4 piece body). Uniform “shell” jackets, commercial pattern sack coats, etc. should be reserved for specialty-non 14th CV specific impressions. The sack coat is recommended as the initial purchase.
Frock Coat: This is the pattern of 1858 uniform “frock” coat. Worn as an alternative to the sack coat during colder weather. It is made of dark blue wool with a sky blue welt at the collar and cuffs, quilted black polished cotton chest lining, cotton sleeve lining, 9 general service eagle button front, 2 at each cuff, 2 at the back, hand sewn button holes, two pockets and hooks and eyes in the skirt. Originals of this type of coat contain numerous details that are often left out of reproductions, be aware of, and familiarize yourself with those details (as you should with any reproduction item) before making a purchase. Correctly reproduced uniform coats can be quite expensive.
Over Coat: Pattern of 1851, sky blue kersey, foot pattern, stand up collar with hooks and eyes, pull down cuffs, 5 general service eagle button front, 5 or 6 button cape, single button back adjustment and hand sewn button holes. Wool flannel or blanket lining, cotton sleeve lining.
Shirt: This is the contract issue shirt made of off white domet flannel, or tan or gray wool flannel. A correctly reproduced “Saroni” contract shirt would be entirely hand sewn. Other contract shirts may be machine sewn (with hand sewn buttonholes). Or a civilian style shirt, machined or hand sewn of cotton, in a solid or simple striped or checked material, with bone or china buttons and all seams flat felled by hand.
Trousers: The Federal issue, in sky blue kersey, with proper yoke, cuffs, fly, tinned buttons and hand worked buttonholes.
Braces: Also known as suspenders or galluses. Braces were not an issued item, and photos show both soldiers wearing braces and others that are not. Braces should be of a period correct pattern. Braces can be very simple non-adjustable “poor boy” style made of drill or ticking material with hand worked buttonholes, or can be adjustable, made from cotton or tapestry material with buckles and cloth or leather tabs.
Socks: May either be cotton issue style and/or cotton or wool knitted civilian style. We highly recommend that you purchase 2 or more pairs.
Cartridge Box: All members should carry a cartridge box that is both appropriate for the caliber musket used as well as the time period (“early war” vs. “late war”). When we are portraying the 14th Connecticut the primary weapon is the US M1861 Springfield, and members should likewise carry a .58 caliber cartridge box (specialty/non-14th CVI impressions must be authorized by the executive and impressions committee). For all events prior to May 1864, either a pattern of 1857 (produced from 1857 into 1861) or 1861 (produced from mid-1861 to March 1864) cartridge box should be carried. For post May 1864 events a pattern of March 26, 1864 cartridge box would be appropriate, however, “to be safe” a pattern of 1857 or 1861 box should be the initial purchase and be carried for the majority of (if not all) events. A pattern 1839 ”US” plate should be affixed to the front flap of the cartridge box by either bending over the loops or by passing a piece of leather through the loops.
Cartridge Box Belt: Typically called a “sling”, made of black buff leather (bridle and waxed leather was used as well). Width, 2.25”, length 55.5”, clear of the 2 billets for buckles, which are each 4.25” long and 0.875” wide. A pattern 1826 round “Eagle” plate should be attached in the same manner described above for the “US” cartridge box plate.
Cap Pouch: (Paraphrase from 1861 ordnance manual), made of black bridle leather, inner cover with end pieces sewn, outer flap made of the same piece as the back, with a button hole strap at the bottom; brass button (finial), riveted under the bottom of the pouch; 2 loops, sewed to the back, 2.25” to accept the waist belt of 2”.
Waist Belt: Federal issue, width, 1.9”, length 38.5”, with either a sewn loop (pattern of 1851) or with brass keeper (which appears to have been introduced in 1863 or 1864). Either style acceptable. The Pattern 1839 “US” belt plate should be attached to the waist belt.
Canteen: Pattern of 1858 “smoothside” or pattern of 1862 “bullseye”. Typical characteristics of a pattern 1858 are: smooth sides of tinned iron, leather or cotton drill sling, 5/8” width (leather slings were most likely discontinued in 1862, making the cotton drill sling more common, however the 1865 Quartermaster report specifies leather or cotton or webbing be used for slings), a cover of kersey in sky or dark blue, jeans wool or satinet in gray, tan or brown (other colors and materials were used as well, such as striped upholstery, old blankets and great coat lining, etc.), stopper attachment of either twine or cotton string (chains were far less common, as that attachment method was only used by the New York Depot). Canteens with the string attachment should not have a hole punched in the strap loop, as would most likely been seen only on canteens using chains to attach the stopper. Typical characteristics of a pattern 1862 are: corrugated sides of tinned iron with 5 or 6 rings (others exist with up to 11 rings), a web sling 1” or 1 ½” width (or a cotton sling as above), covers of almost any color (see pattern of 1858 description), stopper attachment of twine or cotton string, (no pattern of 1862 canteens would have a chain attachment). Only the Philadelphia Depot contracted for the “new pattern” canteen, making it the minority compared to the pattern of 1858 during the war.
Haversack: Federal issue “tarred” painted haversack, made of cotton or linen, with leather closure straps and 5/8” iron roller buckle. All interior seams should be flat felled. Haversacks were issued with inner cotton bag typically secured with tinned buttons.
Knapsack: Pattern of 1851/1855 federal issue “double bag”. Made of linen or cotton, machine or hand sewn with hand sewn finishing details, tarred similarly to the haversack, should include over coat straps.
Shelter Half: Federal issue shelter has two styles, early war are constructed with 3 vertical panels made of cotton drill with 23 bone buttons, and 8 grommet holes with hemp guy lines and loops. The later style tents are constructed with only 2 horizontal panels made of cotton duck with 23 hand worked button holes and 8 grommet holes with either tinned or zinc buttons and hemp rope guy lines and loops. Issued 2 Pc shelter tent pole and 5 tent pins are optional. You can fashion hooked sticks instead of pins. see board member for example.
Gum Blanket: Federal issue rubber blanket, with brass grommets. Ponchos are optional.
Musket: The primary musket is the .58 caliber US M1861 Springfield rifle musket. Other arms such as the US M1842, etc. should be reserved for a “generic Federal infantry”/non 14th CVI specific impressions or for living history programs. All weapons should have all modern markings removed and proper proof/inspector markings added. Poly-urethane finish on the stock should be removed and refinished with boiled linseed oil.
Bayonet: As with the musket the primary bayonet is the M1855 .58 caliber socket bayonet. Either an original or high quality Italian reproduction. When purchasing bayonets be sure to have your musket with you to check the fit.
Bayonet Scabbard: Federal issue 2 rivet/sewn frog, pattern of 1859. The ordnance manual of 1861 describes it this way (paraphrase): “Scabbard (black bridle leather), frog (black buff-leather,) sewed and riveted with 2 copper rivets, No. 8, to a socket of black leather, the ferrule to be made of brass.” The 7 (and subsequent 8 ) rivet scabbards appear to have been “mid” or “late” war pattern changes (‘63-‘64), perhaps following a similar progression (the addition of rivets) to the pattern changes made to cartridge boxes.
Musket Sling: (russet leather), Width, 1.25”, length, 46”. One standing and one sliding loop; hook made of brass, fastened to the sling with 2 brass rivets. According to quartermaster reports slings were contracted and issued in “sets” along with the other leather accouterment items, all which related to the function of the weapon.
Eyeglasses: If you wear eyeglasses, proper mid-nineteenth century frames fitted with your prescription are required. Please speak with a member of our Executive committee.
Drawers: Federal issue drawers made of canton flannel with cotton tape ties at ankles and back, with tinned iron buttons, hand sewn buttonholes and seams flat felled by hand.
In addition to the above mentioned, you may want to add additional items to your impression that the common soldier might have carried for his comfort and convenience. These items may include, but are not limited to: sewing kit (housewife), bone toothbrush, tooth powder and container, pocket knife, fork, spoon, tin cup, tin plate, frying pan (or canteen half), comb, straight razor and brush, wallet, pipe and tobacco, matches and match safe (container), handkerchief, linen or huck wash towel, playing cards, writing kit, pencil, pen, ink and container, diary, bible or testament, newspaper, paper, stamps and envelopes for writing letters, smoking cap, cloth poke bags for rations or for carrying small items, etc.
Also needed are the tools for maintaining the musket in the field that each private would have been issued with his musket, referred to in the Ordnance Manual as “appendages”. These would include the wiper (used for pulling cleaning patches out of the musket barrel) and the combination wrench/screwdriver.
IMPORTANT: Please review your selections with the Executive Committee prior to purchase to insure that all of your equipment meets our guidelines as outlined above.
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