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145th Anniversary Living History Event
October 10-12, 2008

Confederate Infantry Guidelines
Infantry | Artillery

General standards for all Confederate Infantry participants. Click above for details specific to artillery.

Letter to Confederate participants

Letter to Confederate participants - Part II


John R. Cooke's Brigade was finely equipped and thoroughly drilled. Moreover, Cooke had not been at Gettysburg so his brigade was large and also psychologically unaffected by that tragic defeat. Jed Hotchkiss who served on Ewell's staff in the Bristoe Campaign referred to Cooke's Brigade as "probably one of the finest brigades that ever came to the army."... A few days back following the arrival of the North Carolina state owned blockade runner Ad-Vance the pride of the state's fleet in the port of Wilmington this excellent and large brigade had received new uniforms made in England. The men were proud of their grey jackets and blue trousers. As the men formed for the advance, anticipating combat, most of the men in Cooke's Brigade took off their fresh uniforms and placed them in their knapsacks. They donned their old tattered clothing for the hard work ahead. -- The Road to Bristoe Station: Campaigning With Lee and Meade, August 1 - October 20, 1863, by William D. Henderson.

"One incident of this fight I will mention, which shows the coolness of some men under all circumstances. We had just drawn new clothing -- gray jackets and blue pants -- and our men, anxious to keep their clothing bright and new, had most of them put on their old clothes during the march, and had them on at this fight. As we were falling back up the hill, Private Laughinghouse, of Compnay E, from Pitt county, finding his knapsack too heavy, determined to throw it away, but as he did not wish to lose his new clothes -- having his old ones on -- he stopped, changed clothes under this heavy fire, and then picking up his blanket and gun, made his way up the hill unhurt." -- James A. Graham [Captain, Company G], "Twenty-Seventh Regiment" in Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina int the Great War, 1861-1865, Vol. II, Walter Clark, ed. (Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Brothers, 1905) p. 444.

R. Thomas Campbell in The Blockade Runner Advance, Oct 2006, states, "Within a month (following the purchase of the steamer), with Englishman Joannes Wylie signed on as her sailing master, Crossan had the Advance plowing her way across the North Atlantic toward the Confederacy. On 28 June 1863, with the red, white, and blue banner of North Carolina whipping from her mast, she steamed up the Cape Fear River and docked at the quarantine station about 15-mi below the port of Wilmington. Throughout the city, the news was out, "the Advance had arrived!" John White, NC state agent in England, provides this description of the ship's cargo, "purchased approximately 250 tons of assorted war supplies. These included over 273,000 yards of gray cloth and flannel, 25,887 pairs of gray blankets, 37,092 pairs of woolen socks, 26,096 pairs of army shoes, 530 pairs of cavalry boots, almost 10,000 shirts, and large quantities of cotton and wool cards necessary for clothing manufacturing. One-half of this vital cargo was immediately loaded on the Advance and, under the command of Col. Thomas M. Crossan, it sailed for Wilmington, NC." - Dixie Gentlemanly Capitalism: Studies in British Finance of the Confederacy by Michael L. Weisel, thesis paper submitted to the graduate faculty of the NC State Univ., 2003.

R. Thomas Campbell in The Blockade Runner Advance, Oct 2006, states, "In her cavernous hold were tons of gray cloth for uniforms and cotton cards for the looms of the dedicated women of North Carolina."

"Governor Vance's faithful ship, the 'Advance,' had come in 'heavily laden,' and we were proudly and splendidly dressed in some of the gray cloth of its cargo, which, but a few days before, we had received ..." -- John A. Sloan. Reminiscences of the Guilford Grays, Co. B, 27th N.C. Regiment (Washington, D.C.: R.O. Polkinhorn, Printer, 1883) p. 67

These detailed excerpts offer a rather clear picture of the appearance of Cooke's Brigade as it joined the Army of Northern Virginia and eventually participated in the Battle of Bristoe Station. Event participants are asked to carefully consider this information when developing their impression for this event. The following information will provide further assistance in this regard.


  • Jacket - Our impression as it pertains to the jacket and trousers will be unique as we attempt to provide an accurate appearance of soldiers in Cooke's Brigade during and after the battle. Unfortunately, no North Carolina jackets survive that are known to have been worn at the Battle of Bristoe Station and most of the remaining N.C. jackets are late war. It is doubtful, however, that the jacket pattern had changed greatly during the war. A recent tour of east coast museums by Rich Taddeo and Craig Schneider, of 2nd Va, Co. E, took them to Raleigh, N.C. where they viewed the Alfred May collection. May's uniform set consisted of a blue grey kersey jacket and royal blue kersey trousers. Both were domestically produced from British cloth. There has been some debate about whether the jacket was a Charleston or North Carolina product. May served in a North Carolina regiment that was stationed near Charleston for a time. The jacket exhibits features of both N.C. and Charleston depot garments. The museum curators believe it to be N.C. It is a four-piece body (although the center seam on the outside was omitted, making it actually a 3-piece jacket, but the lining is still 4 pieces) and one piece sleeves, and originally 6-button front, like other N.C. jackets. It also has belt loops.

    Ideally, to achieve the highest level of authenticity for this event, participants would find themselves bringing two jackets, a "type II North Carolina Depot pattern jacket in jean cloth, satinette or cassimere and one in blue grey kersey. Realistically speaking, however, this may be too costly an endeavor for most. Therefore, participants are encouraged to obtain the N.C. jacket in jean cloth and also bring a Richmond Depot jacket (with or without epaulets and belt loops) of blue grey kersey.

    The construction of the North Carolina Depot pattern jacket is of a four-piece body and one- piece sleeves. This jacket can be purchased in jean cloth from Ben Tart at www.bentart.com/ or from North State Haberdashery at www.nshaberdashery.com/ . To assist you in this endeavor, Craig Schneider is also planning a limited run of these jackets. Contact him for details at schncr02@gwu.edu . In addition, a deal has been struck with Rex Hovey of North State Haberdashery. Rex is offering a 10% discount on orders of five or more jackets. You must contact Phil Maddox at Popeswb@comcast.net for further details before ordering (there is a form that you will need).

    Preferred: North Carolina Depot "type II" jacket in jean cloth, satinette, or cassimere and, if available, bring a N.C. or Richmond Depot jacket in blue grey kersey.

    Acceptable: A North Carolina Depot "type II" jacket in either jean cloth, satinette or cassimere or one in blue grey kersey.

    Allowed: A Richmond Depot "type II" jacket in jean cloth, satinette or cassimere or one in blue grey kersey.

  • Trousers -

    Preferred: "Richmond Depot" trousers constructed of royal blue kersey material. There are several surviving trousers in the Museum of the Confederacy constructed from light blue kersey material. The Pender, Goodwin, Redwood, and Brooke trousers are examples. Craig Schneider makes a very accurate pair of trousers using royal blue kersey material and is willing to make a limited run. Contact him at schncr02@gwu.edu . If you have a pair of any documented military or civilian pattern in jean cloth, satinette, or cassimere, bring them also.

    Acceptable: Any documented military or civilian pattern in jean, satinette, or cassimere.

  • Hat -

    Preferred: Slouch hat, properly blocked with ribbon bound brim. This is to include the English import or "Beard" hat.

    Acceptable: Kepi (blue-grey kersey or jean cloth material)

  • Shirt -

    Preferred: CS cotton issue shirt. Examples- The Hollyday, Beam, Campbell, Selden, the "Louisiana" shirt may be CS issue as well.

    Acceptable: Civilian shirt of correct materials, pattern and construction.

  • Shoes -

    Preferred: British import shoes.

    Acceptable: Domestic CS issue shoes, or civilian styles.

  • Socks -

    Preferred: CS issue cotton socks or civilian pattern wool socks.

  • Underdrawers -

    Preferred: CS issue or civilian underdrawers of correct materials, pattern and construction.

Arms and Accoutrements

  • Firearm -

    Preferred: Defarbed P1853 Enfield rifle-musket with appropriate bayonet.

    Acceptable: Defarbed US M1861 rifle-musket with appropriate bayonet.

  • Cartridge Box -

    Preferred: A CS issue .58 caliber cartridge box, imported or domestic, with or without sling. English pattern box is an excellent choice. Boxes must have appropriate tins.

  • Cap Pouch -

    Preferred: CS issue cap pouch. English pattern pouch is an excellent choice.

  • Bayonet Scabbard -

    Preferred: CS issue scabbard, imported or domestic. Examples- CS with lead or sewn final. English pattern is an excellent choice

  • Waist Belt -

    Preferred: CS issue, non descript belts. Examples- single or double roller, "Georgia" frame, "forked tongue", etc. An English "Snake" belt is an excellent choice.

Carriage and Shelter

  • Haversack -

    Preferred: CS issue cotton or painted cloth. Examples- Bailey, Alexander bags.

  • Canteen -

    Preferred: CS tin drum (should predominate) or Gardner pattern wooden canteens.

  • Knapsack -

    Preferred: CS issue, imported or domestic. Examples- CS single bag, or "Mexican War" style- Johnston, Kibbler , etc. Imported Enfield style or "Trotter" knapsacks.

    Acceptable: Blanket roll or "short" roll.

  • Blanket -

    Preferred: NC state issue, CS issue or "Imported" blanket. Examples- the "Gettysburg", the "Mahone" or Brooke blankets.

    Acceptable: Civilian blanket.

  • Ground Cloth -

    Preferred: CS issue ground cloths or shelter halves. If a mess wants to carry a tent fly, that's fine as well.

website: GTodd
September 4, 2008