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Improving Your Impression: Not About Money - By Paul Calloway

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  • #16
    Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

    Originally posted by Randy View Post
    Guys,

    Thought I'd post this inquiry here: Would it be authentic for a Federal private to use two shelter halves made into a horse collar and tied together at the ends to make a blanket roll? I don't think I've ever noticed this in any period photo of soldiers in the field but I'm wondering why not. It would be convenient and common, would it not, for a soldier to acquire a second shelter half and just use them as a blanket roll in lieu of a blanket, especially in the spring and summer? I mean, wouldn't a Federal soldier have tried to hang onto his tent half for just such a purpose? I'd appreciate any info you might have.
    Mr. Valle,

    As a lurker/casual observer to the site, and one who has experienced more than one time period over the years, might I respectfully point out the slippery slope upon which you are beginning to tread? Logic and circumstances in today's world allow for things which were not available in what simply was an illogical time/place.

    While it might have been optimal for Billy Yank to acquire an extra shelter half, the evidence...which you state...does not appear to support such a conclusion.

    I will, however, await a more enlightened response from those more educated on the subject than I.

    Warmest regards,
    Christopher Wallis
    Philadelphia, Penna.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

      Two things I would like to point out....

      Success isn't measured by your bank account balance. You may do a fantastic job with your trade, and that in itself is enough. The small businessman may run rings around the big tents in quality, reputation, and show the better character.

      The second thing that I noticed missing in some of the responses is that sometimes your friends may not want you to improve yourself. I heard some months ago a woman telling her friend that she could do her impression 'good enough' by just taking shortcuts. This was after I had heard an expert lecture on how to improve your impression. Why would someone discourage a friend to improve? Basically I think a certain part of vanity comes into the picture and the friend doesn't want to be left behind looking like a farb. Yes, perhaps mainstreamers don't want their friends to become hardcore authentics and be left alone in the Coleman camp.:( Thank heaven we have sites that encourage discussion and thought to make us think on our own, improving all the while.

      Thank you Mr. Calloway for an excellent editorial.
      Mfr,
      Judith Peebles.
      No Wooden Nutmegs Sold Here.
      [B]Books![B][/B][/B] The Original Search Engine.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

        I would like to note that how a person improves their impression has a lot to do with their own personal attitude as well. I mean as progressive's, how many new reenactors have we talked to on the phone explaining where to buy their gear from and it never fails that some newbie will say "aw heck man, why do i need to spend $150 on a pair of brogans when i can get a pair at mainstream sutler for $100 and spend the other fifty on some hat brass and non necessary haversack stuffers?" Seems like most new people that try to get into the hardcore side of the hobby seem to try to impress you with the amount of stuff they know and no matter what you tell them, it seems like some just want to do things that they want to do, not the things that are correct.

        Like i said alot of how newbies improve their impression just depends on their attitude of wanting to learn or having the attitude of "knowing it all and that you can't learn anymore."

        Of course to, as Mr. Calloway has stated, it seems a scary fact that some people are calling this "tammy" and asking for advice on authenticity when she has never been to an event.
        __________________
        Jon Preston
        __________________
        5th Kentucky Infantry
        F & AM Chandlersville #858, Kentucky

        "SLAVE STATES, once more let me repeat, that the only way of preserving our slave property, or what we prize more than life, our LIBERTY, is by a UNION WITH EACH OTHER!" ---Jefferson Davis

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

          Anyone esle with info about whether or not soldiers used a rolled up shelter half as a blanket roll?
          Randy Valle

          "Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
          The swallows fly low
          Over the fields in clouded days,
          The forest-field of Shiloh--"

          -Herman Melville

          sigpic

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

            Originally posted by Randy View Post
            Anyone esle with info about whether or not soldiers used a rolled up shelter half as a blanket roll?
            I personally don't have any evidence to either confirm or deny your hypothesis. I do, however, suspect that a lack of responses to your question may be due to where it was posted. This is a thread for discussing the opinions in Paul's article.

            Perhaps you would be better served starting a new thread in the Camp of Instruction or Research Discussion folders.
            [FONT=Garamond]Patrick A. Lewis
            [URL="http://bullyforbragg.blogspot.com/"]bullyforbragg.blogspot.com[/URL]

            "Battles belong to finite moments in history, to the societies which raise the armies which fight them, to the economies and technologies which those societies sustain. Battle is a historical subject, whose nature and trend of development can only be understood down a long historical perspective.
            [/FONT]

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

              Randy,

              This image was posted a few years ago, and it was labeled "Burying the dead at Antietam". The guy on the right MIGHT be using his shelter half as the outer layer of his bedroll.

              You decide...

              Attached Files
              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

              Aaron Schwieterman
              Cincinnati

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

                Great photo. Looks like some of the guys are wearing India Rubber blankets and the one with the pick on his shoulder might indeed be wearing a rolled-up shelter tent. Thank you.
                Randy Valle

                "Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
                The swallows fly low
                Over the fields in clouded days,
                The forest-field of Shiloh--"

                -Herman Melville

                sigpic

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

                  I must say after reading this article I can say that I fall in a category of, "Financially Unable to Buy Everything That Is Specifically Needed" However, the majority of my equipment I own and wear out in the field is from my best friend/mentor and he has been in the hobby for 30+ years now. He has taught and guided me in the ways of presenting myself in the best and authentic of manners, both in uniform and impression. I began reenacting 5 years ago. I am still ever researching and reading on the lives of soldiers back then and always looking for first hand accounts of what they the soldiers lived through back in the War and what their thoughts, and feelings were. I have been to many Mainstream events. I plan to attend my first Authentic Even this Spring (Race To Knoxville). And have been conducting research on the soldiers of the unit and the battle itself.

                  I am 17 years of age. I have always thought that reenacting was about 2 things. 1) Honoring those who fought before us and those that died in order for us to portray this epic event in our Nation's history. 2) We are their for the throngs of people who do not know what went on then, or may not even know who Gen. Lee was!! We are out their every weekend, rain, snow, heat, cold being living classrooms and i feel that we must do our best to recreate every aspect of the war within reasonable boundaries. I strive to show that even though I may not be the age that many individuals in the reenacting community are, there are still few of us who do our research, read, listen and re-create and do our best to embody the Confederate Soldier. Gear, or not, IMHO it matters upon your willingness to take time out and read and research what these men went through and why and our responsibility as reenactors to honor them and do the same.

                  I could ramble on longer, but I feel this is enough. Thank you for your time...

                  Pvt. Steve Middleton
                  63rd. Volunteer Tennessee Infantry Regiment
                  "New Knoxville Mess"
                  Pvt. Steve Middleton

                  63rd. Tennessee Infantry Regiment

                  New Knoxville Mess

                  "They call us Rebels, if you will, We glory in the name, For bending under unjust laws, And swearing faith to an unjust cause, We count as a greater shame."

                  -Richmond Daily Dispatch, May 12, 1862

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

                    I think i have reread this thread about ten times over the past couple years..It just makes all the more sense each time..And trust me I can relate to the whole Mainstream sutler selling your THEIR bag of goods..
                    Matt Burbank
                    25th MVI Co.H
                    29th MVI
                    New England Brigade

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

                      Going back to Paul's original editorial. I complete agree with the idea that it cost much more in the long run to start out farby or mainstream. I just recently began improving my impression trying to make the jump from mainstream to progressive. When I started the hobby 16 years I joined a unit that was the epitome of farby. Coolers in the tents, muffins out of plastic containers from breakfast, hiking boots etc. I eventually moved on to a unit that actually straddles the line between mainstream and progressive and am now continuing to improve my impression. Now that I'm moving towards the progressive end of the spectrum I find that I have to replace almost all of my gear. If I had simply started out buying the good stuff, and joined a unit that valued a good impression, I wouldn't be trying scramble to replace everything before the season gets into full swing, and not to mention on a limited grad student budget. I too have heard so many people in the hobby try to convince a comrade not to improve their impression. When I fell in with my original unit (the extremely farby one) a few years ago for old time sake my impression, which was only mainstream, was looked upon with suspicion and I must admit that I received a lot of criticism.
                      Oh well, I'm now paying the price for my foolish farby ways, and it has nothing to do with the higher quality, more accurate, pieces being more expensive. So thanks Paul, you hit the nail right on the head.
                      Patrick C. Salland PhD

                      69th New York Co. A
                      The Washington Guards

                      "Men are only children of an older growth" John D. Billings

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

                        New to the reenacting hobby. Just recently joined the Western Federal Blues. Any tips on gear, sutlers? Thank you, Jacob Dunn
                        Jacob Dunn
                        Western Federal Blues
                        10th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

                          Originally posted by ky_yankee94 View Post
                          New to the reenacting hobby. Just recently joined the Western Federal Blues. Any tips on gear, sutlers? Thank you, Jacob Dunn
                          Jacob,
                          Your question is so general and broad as to be virtually unanswerable. I would make the following recommendations to you:
                          1) READ READ READ - there is wealth of information on this site, both in the articles and on the fora. Read the articles and peruse the forum for topics that interest you. Then, if you can't find the specific information you need, post a specific question.

                          2) Your pards in the Western Federal Blues are very knowledgeable and will be able to direct you toward the gear that best meets their standards and guidelines. Use those resources! They will help you greatly!

                          Welcome to the hobby!
                          John Wickett
                          Former Carpetbagger
                          Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

                            Paul's article hits the nail on the head. Weh nI first started I fell victim to this a few times and it bit my in the arse later. However since joining the site, I've been able to view a lot more and with the help of pards, experience a whole lot more as well. Now I'm in the process of making my own uniform and accoutrements! Thanks to all on the AC Forum!
                            Best regards,
                            Pvt. Chris Driscoll

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Improving Your Impression: Not About Money: by Paul Calloway

                              I got lucky and stumbled upon AC before I had even settled on a unit to join. At first, I was of the mindset described in the article that goes, "Sweet Jesus, a hundred bucks for a blanket? Forty bucks for a pair of socks? What's wrong with these people?!" But as I continued reading and did some online comparison shopping, I found that in the case of a lot of big ticket items, the difference in cost between something mainstream and something more authentic often isn't all that much, particularly when you consider the following:

                              - Virtually any piece of progressive or hardcore gear can be used at any mainstream event. This does not apply in reverse- if you buy all mainstream to farby stuff, you may find yourself having to borrow or upgrade if you decide to try out a campaigner event.

                              - If you're settled on a progressive impression from day one, you may be able to avoid buying a tent, which can cost a couple of hundred bucks, minimum. You can then put that money towards a shelter half and some other gear.

                              - Buying progressive gear used on forums like AC, in addition to helping you avoid taking to the field in gear that's brand new from your drawers to your cap, cuts back on the prices by a lot. Most of the gear for my Confederate impression came from guys here on AC, and it really didn't break the bank.

                              - There's something to be said for paying a premium for craftsmanship, which is what I feel I'm doing when I buy a lot of this stuff. It's often handmade right in the U.S.A., which can't be said of much these days. That's not the only reason to buy a piece of gear, of course, but I'm not against having some warm fuzzies while I indulge my OCD.

                              I was talking some of this stuff over with a couple of pards at Gettysburg, and one of them couldn't believe that I had gone right out and picked up some Ben Tart pants and Robert Land shoes and such without ever having been to a big event before. Really, though, it wasn't that big a deal- I just read a lot, both here and elsewhere, and made my purchasing decisions accordingly. I will say that it helped that I was in China for several months before I actually started reenacting, so I couldn't actually buy anything until I got back to the States, which forced me to hold off and think about what I was doing before just swiping my credit card a bajillion times.

                              I'm with a solidly mainstream unit, but I would always encourage new folks to lean more authentic when buying their first gear. Aside from the obvious fact that authenticity is always preferable, it doesn't have to break the bank if you do it right and shop intelligently. And if you decide you want to get out of the hobby for some reason, you'll have a much easier time selling your campaigner gear at a good price than a bunch of stuff that was made in Buttcrackistan.

                              - Allison Jones

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