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Authentic Blanket?

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  • Authentic Blanket?

    I am posting for anybody to chime in on a particular blanket and how authentic it is. It is the Sutler at Fort Scott brown wool blanket. Would it be authentic for both a Union and Confederate impression? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Brandon Erickson

  • #2
    Re: Authentic Blanket?

    None of the three on offer would be "authentic" according to the US army's specifications. Both G.O. 121 of August 1862 and the postwar Quartermaster Manual specify a weight of five pounds and dimensions of 66X84 inches. The Sutler of Fort Scott's are significantly lighter (3.5 pounds in one case -- others not specified but they cost about the same so I assume they're no heavier) and the dimensions are not quite the same (I don't think that's a killer because we know, based on examples from the Maple Leaf, that rubber blankets varied from the specifications and I would think you could expect some variation in wool ones as well).

    That said, G.O. 121 authorized recruits to bring their own blankets from home because at the time the government couldn't acquire enough. By the end of the war, and probably a good deal sooner, that situation was remedied, but nothing would preclude a soldier from still acquiring one from home. Officers would have to buy their own anyway.

    For Confederate impressions, I don't want to say anything goes, but I don't believe the government ever had adequate supplies of blankets and overcoats. If I'm wrong I expect to hear something to the contrary pretty quickly...

    In any case, SOFS mentions no artificial fibers (75% wool and 25% mixed cotton and wool shoddy). For something in summer or an extra in winter it sounds all right.

    Problem is, there's no mention of any specific original that any of the three they have are based on. That's a non-starter for a lot of people, so it depends whether your personal definition of "authentic" is flexible enough to go with something that's roughly the right dimensions and composition and, on the whole, plausible.

    I dunno -- if I didn't already have an Abe Thomas I'd be tempted by the price, though under $40 sounds too good to be true...

    Looking forward to hearing what others say.
    Michael A. Schaffner