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Some thoughts/questions from a new-old reenactor

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  • Some thoughts/questions from a new-old reenactor

    After four years out of the hobby, I've come full circle around after studying southern history in college and developing a passion for "the war." As I plan out my impression (well, my CS; Union is pert near complete), a thought is nagging at me. Namely: I am way, way bigger than the average reenactor or Civil War soldier. I'm a touch shy of 6'4"; the average soldier was 5'8". I weigh 270 pounds; the average soldier weighed 140. I have a 51-inch chest and usually round up to a 52 jacket; the largest depot jackets mass-produced by the Confederacy were, I believe, a size 42. I take a size 8 hat and a size 15 boot, both of which would be enormous within the period (and are today). So, my question simply put, is, is it authentic for me to wear depot-issued clothing? In all likelihood, even after a year or two of lean rations, the bulk of my clothing would not be stocked by the army. As a lean high schooler, I still wore a 46 jacket. Would it be more accurate to wear commutation-system clothing and civilian hats and shoes?

    Thanks kindly,
    Jim Whitley

  • #2
    Re: Some thoughts/questions from a new-old reenactor

    Nothing wrong with civilian clothes and private purchase military cut clothing. The depots would also make special order clothing too.

    Lt David Van Buskirk of F co. 27th Indiana was 6'10 and weighed 380. 67 out of 101 men in his company were 6 foot or taller

    He was put on display as the "Biggest Yankee" after being captured and sent to Richmond.
    David H. Thomas
    Starr's NC Battery
    Fayetteville, NC

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    • #3
      Re: Some thoughts/questions from a new-old reenactor

      David,

      For that reason, I do straight issue kit with my Union impression. Made, as a matter of fact, by a certain tailor who reenacts with your battery. It's CS that's got me stumped.
      Jim Whitley

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      • #4
        Re: Some thoughts/questions from a new-old reenactor

        Jim,
        In the following link is an example of requests for larger-than-normal clothing from the CS depot in Richmond. Granted, the largest size requested in this example is roughly a modern size 46, but it goes to show that clothing was (likely) made beyond the "standard" issue sizes.

        http://www.blueandgraymarching.com/a...t-please-.html

        Also, I'm glad to see you are planning to get back out to events! I can't wait to see you again in the near future pard!
        Shawn Sturgill
        Governor Guards
        SCAR

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        • #5
          Re: Some thoughts/questions from a new-old reenactor

          What makes the hobby is a population of 'nactors dedicated to what we read in Nicky Hughes' "Campaigners' Manifesto". The fact that you are concerned about presenting a proper physical presentation is an indication that your head is in the right place.

          Don't obsess over it to the point that you don't go to events.

          Get thee to events!!!
          ...where your great attitude can rub off on those around you!
          John Wickett
          Former Carpetbagger
          Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

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          • #6
            Re: Some thoughts/questions from a new-old reenactor

            Originally posted by LibertyHallVols View Post

            Get thee to events!!!
            ...where your great attitude can rub off on those around you!
            Like Bentonville 2015!
            Ivan Ingraham
            AC Moderator

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