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Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!

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  • Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!

    Well, gentlemen......

    Without going into a lot of the details about why, we are making a difficult decision to NOT go forward with our previously announced portrayal of Forrest's Escort at the 150th Chickamauga to be held in September. Suffice it to say that it was a due to some disagreement on historical participation as well as a big dose of event politics but rather than continuing with a lot of bickering, we are stopping the efforts to portray this elite group.

    We still plan on having a separate campsite and to hold our participation to a high level of impression guidelines but it will be of a more generic cavalry unit which would resemble men of Forrest's or Wheeler's Cavalry. The noble Mr. Ken Knopp is working, as I write this, to put together those guidelines and we will post them as soon as they are ready. This may even make the process easier for many of you as I know some were having difficulty coming up with a Sharp's Carbine.

    Note: I have locked down the original thread which announced our former intentions./

    So, please keep your spirits high and make your plans to attend this wonderful adjunct event within the larger event and we look forward to working with you and having a grand time!!

    Thank you,
    J. Mark Choate
    7th TN. Cavalry, Co. D.

    "Let history dictate our impressions.......not the other way around!"

  • #2
    Re: Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!

    That's OK by me, Like you said, it makes it a bit easier. I will be planning on riding with ya'll in September. ... I'll be the guy on the brown horse. plm
    Save me a place at the fire,

    Paul L Muller


    • #3
      Re: Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!

      Mark --

      Kudos on making a tough decision. That's the sign of true leadership. I don't know the back story, nor do I care to - I've been sucked into my share of re-enactor politics for years and don't want to walk in that row again. But, it's not easy to to stop something that you've put so much time and effort into, hoping, perhaps beyond reason, that "things will work out." They usually don't. When in doubt, don't.
      Mike Ventura
      Shannon's Scouts


      • #4
        Re: Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!

        Thanks Mike,

        Yes, the politics of an event is usually not a pretty sight. Nor is it pleasant to deal with all of the "experts" who come crawling out of the woodwork. But, I would rather take the high road and focus on the positive.

        We will still have a very strong offering and will have a grand time. The guidelines should be out very soon.

        Onward and Upward!

        J. Mark Choate
        7th TN. Cavalry, Co. D.

        "Let history dictate our impressions.......not the other way around!"


        • #5
          Re: Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!

          Hey Pards!

          At the request of Mark Choate I have updated the guidelines for Chickamauga. These will reflect a cross section of western cavarly in mid 1863. For sources I used several unit ord and quartermaster reports from cavalry regiments found under both Wheeler and Forrest. Too many to note here but it is significant. As such, it is rather generic to some degree but I do note a couple of consistencies such as the lack of pistols, brogans rather than boot issues and a fair amount of issue clothing such as jackets. Nevertheless, I tried to bring some detail to it for guidance. Keep in mind that we are portraying western cavalry at mid war. By this time these men were very experienced, traveled light and all would be bivouac camping (no tents). Our emphasise should be on quality of equipment and arms. No 04's (goes without sayting), correct hardware, defarbed weapons, high quality clothing (including hats). This should be obvious to the purveyors of this forum but each of us really should try to step up our kits. Take a look and comment or ask questions......

          (Western Theater-A.O.T.) 1863
          “Typical” = P.E.C., Average or “Mean”
          By Ken R Knopp

          NOTE: The purpose of this dissertation is to illustrate for the reenactor how the “typical” western Confederate, Army of Tennessee , Wheeler or Forrest Cav. Brigade, trooper might appear about the time of the Battle of Chickamauga. One can vary their own impression in particle, part or whole. Source materials are drawn from contemporary primary materials such as Ordnance & Quartermaster Reports, diaries, drawings & photos. Secondary sources include veteran reminiscences, regimental histories and other published material.

          KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!
          By 1863, these men had learned how to travel “light”

          The following is what the typical, “western”, mid-1863 Period Everyday Common (PEC) trooper would have had. Trooper’s CS “issue” and captured Federal saddle equipments were in general, plainly made varying in quality from good to garbage. Civilian men’s early to mid-19th century clothing and items also normally lacked fanciful embellishment

          NOTE: The correct patterns, construction, leather (weight & color), cloth fabric (including buttons) and especially “correct” hardware is imperative! Do the research to find and employ just the right one for “you”!


          WEAPONS: “Defarbed” reproductions! Most western CS cavalrymen carried infantry long arms NOT carbines (depending upon unit and time of war)
          LONG ARM: Austrian Lorenz; Enfield (two band or three); Miss. rifle; 69. cal. smoothbore’s, Belgians, Springfields and various others.
          Carbines: Fed. capture or CS carbine variants; Sharps; Maynards; Halls; Smith’s; Shot guns; various others.
          PISTOL: OPTIONAL! BUT NOTE: Average 60% trooper’s did NOT have a pistol! “Try” NOT to carry one. Trooper’s: Colt 36. Navies, 1860 Army, Single shot horse pistols, CS manufacture variants (few available); other civilian models. NO Remington’s. Officer’s: Above or English Kerr or French Lafuchaux
          SABER: OPTIONAL: Few had them except sometimes officers and designated units under Wheeler. Various period patterns.

          ACCOUTREMENTS: CS issue predominantly of russet, black or combination leather colors- some enameled cloth. Correct hardware! Federal “captured” items would be common in the mid war period (Fed. Infantry items VERY common!). Consider a “mix and match”!
          WAIST BELT: CS issue (with CS brass plate variants, roller buckles, frame buckle variants) of leather and sometimes web; Federal issue variants including infantry belts and cavalry saber belts; some English imports. Saber belts generally an unusual item in western cavalry commands (or, at least since sabers were rarely employed). Consider using any of the common waist belts since in period photo with horse shoe shaped buckles or, belts with proper western theater brass plate (various), brass or iron framed or wish bone buckles.
          CARTRIDGE BOX: CS issue infantry contract makers or Federal issue infantry/cavalry carbine variants; English imports. CS manufactured cavalry carbine boxes and pistol boxes are rare! Consider using the CS or US infantry patterns including shoulder belts! Inspection reports indicate they were in every CS cavalry command (25% to 96% of effective men). Patterns include “issue”, Atlanta, Selma , Macon, Baton Rouge Arsenal, G.N. Wyman (Augusta); Magee and George (N.O.) , and others.
          NOTE: there was no such thing as a Confederate issue pistol cartridge box! (Except private purchase officers). A Federal one is almost equally as unusual. AVOID!
          CAP BOX: CS issue infantry contract makers or Federal issue infantry variants.
          CARBINE SLING: CS issue variations (hand forged iron and, brass buckles and tips); home-made; Federal issue. Consider narrow russet leather home-made variations; English web; and even rope. Correct hardware is paramount!
          BLANKET: Confederate issue, civilian (homespun, coverlets, carpet blankets, etc.); Federal issue variants, English (white or grey) imports.
          HAVERSACK: Inspection reports indicate about 48% of troopers did NOT carry one! Most common: CS issue unpainted or painted cloth or, Federal issue.
          CANTEEN: Again, Inspection reports indicate about 52% did NOT carry one! However, it would be best if we did. CS issue wood or tin variants; Federal issue or occasional British imports.
          SPURS: Various CS issue patterns including Leech & Rigdon, Richmond patterns or captured Federal common issue. NO modern patterns or hardware on straps!

          SADDLERY: *All CS issue predominantly of russet leather. “Correct” hardware is critical!!!
          SADDLES: CONFEDERATE: CS issue: Jenifer or McClellan variations.
          FEDERAL: “Captured” Federal McClellan’s, military horned wagon saddles or Grimsely artillery saddles CIVILIAN: Consider a civilian saddle! Some impressions would employ a Spanish (or Half Spanish), Wagon saddles, Somerset or English saddles.

          * NO 1904 Conversion trees! Correct iron hardware! Little brass or decorative embellishments Consider period iron or brass stirrups- especially with civilian saddles!

          BRIDLES: CS issue halter-bridle combination BEST! (or 3 buckle pattern); Federal issue 1858 (6 or 3 buckle) patterns or various civilian variations. Consider period civilian rosettes (correct leather, brass or silver)! CS made reins of enameled cloth or cotton web.
          HALTERS: Federal issue, CS issue (single Ring) or civilian variations. Lead strap of hemp rope or leather. Period construction and correct hardware imperative.
          BITS: CS issue “trooper’s bits, Civilian “Plain” pattern; Federal 59 or 63 issue patterns; civilian curb, or snaffle patterns; English Pelham or snaffles, etc. No modern chrome or blackened iron.
          SADDLE BLANKET: Spanish Moss blanket or pad; civilian appropriation including homespun; Federal issue saddle and sleeping blanket patterns; English imports.
          SADDLE BAGS/VALISES: Although a significant early war issue item, by early - mid 1863 few saddle bags were being made and issued. Most troopers would have discarded them as a heavy, useless item. Instead, employ a simple blanket roll or a valise (very common). Confederate valises remain on Arsenal Ordnance reports well into 1864. Confederate valises of wool, leather, painted cloth (or combination of both) with wooden ends. Saddle Bags: Federal 1859 McClellan issue or pre war militia and Dragoon patterns or civilian variations.
          BREAST STRAPS/MARTINGALE’S: Common western Confederate issue item; civilian “Y” straps, martingales and straps with proper period buckles and generally without ornamentation. NOTE: NO Federal “brass heart” breast straps! (These were not Federal issue but a “Yankee” private purchase item and therefore rare among Federal troopers.)
          SURCINGLES: Federal wool patterns; CS issue or civilian patterns of webbing.
          CRUPPERS: AVOID! Federal but in VERY limited numbers. NOT a CS issue item.

          CLOTHING: Proper period construction with hand sewn buttonholes. At this time of the war the commutation system has wound down and the gov’t manufacture and issues were stepping up. Uniform issues were growing and more consistent but, consider employing some civilian clothing patterns and colors including civilian sack coats, trousers, vests and shoes.
          HAT: Slouch hat of CS issue or civilian period patterns and construction. Flat, round, low or high crown; beehive; Mechanics hats; few Kepis. Slouch hats with edge trim, period lining and sweat band. Pick out a hat that fits your face and personality. NO cowboy conversions! Make your hat look period style, well used. Do NOT copy other reenactors.
          JACKET: Sack Coats: Civilian and issue variations; Shell Jackets: Commutation or AOT issue infantry shell jacket patterns from Atlanta, Columbus Depot, etc. Single breasted. All generally of jean cloth, cassimere, or satinette. Consider civilian frock and sack coats.
          TROUSERS: Civilian; CS issue. All generally of jean cloth, cassimere, or satinette. Strongly consider civilian colors and patterns.
          SUSPENDERS: Proper period construction. Woven cotton web, embroidered tape, leather, ticking, etc. No elastic. Proper period buckles (no nickel plating).
          SHIRT: Civilian homespun or purchase. Civilian patterns and colors in checks, stripes, plaids, solids made of proper material with bone, china, or mother of pearl buttons; Federal issue.
          FOOTWEAR: Brogans BEST! (CS or Federal issue) or civilian shoe patterns of proper construction; Preferable NOT to have boots but acceptable (civilian or Federal issue); Brogans and shoes should be more common than boots. NO Old West/Cowboy Shooter boots!
          SOCKS & DRAWERS: From home or issue (Commutation). Socks: proper wool or cotton (no elastic). Drawers of cotton flannel, osnaburg, cotton muslin. Proper military or civilian pattern. Nobody sees it but, you “feel” it!
          VESTS: Proper period construction either lay down civilian style collar or military stand up collar. Consider plaids, stripes & colors. Jean, satinet etc. Correct civilian or military buttons.
          NECK TIES: silk cravats, printed or solid. Tied in period fashion. Limited use.
          OVERCOATS: Various period civilian patterns; capes, hooded “Weller” type coat, dyed Federal greatcoats.

          OIL CLOTH: CS issue enameled cloth or rubberized Federal issue.
          CUP: CS or Federal issue variants.
          EATING UTENSILS: TIN PLATE (or canteen half), FORK, POCKET KNIFE, TOOTH BRUSH (bone or wood), BOTTLE (period ceramic or glass): Issue or period patterns ONLY. Small frying pans were “shared”- one to a mess. Kettles, pots & pans were kept in regimental wagons.
          HOUSEWIFE: For extra needles, thread, buttons. Numerous period designs available.
          OVERCOAT: Various period civilian patterns; Federal issue; CS issue (rare).
          NOSE BAG: CS or Federal issue. Many were made early - mid-war by the Southern arsenals but discontinued in early 1863. Hung from saddle or strung in front of horses chest.
          CURRY COMB & BRUSH: CS patterns (“shared item” Only about 10% - 15% had them); Federal patterns; Brushes of correct wood or leather backed Federal patterns; Civilian patterns.

          PERIOD EXTRA’S: Huck Towel; period soap; handkerchiefs (NOT bandanas); tin containers; knit wool gloves; sleeping cap; pocket watch, tobacco & accessories, etc.

          REMEMBER: Travel “Light” and Keep It Simple!

          ** For photographs of the above patterns see web site


          • #6
            Re: Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!

            Thank you, Ken.

            Excellent job on the guidelines.

            Everyone: Please let us know if you have questions. You should be working now to get both you and your mount into shape and ready for the heat.

            See you there.

            J. Mark Choate
            7th TN. Cavalry, Co. D.

            "Let history dictate our impressions.......not the other way around!"


            • #7
              Re: Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!


              A few of us drove down to the site of the 150th Chickamauga event in order to select a good site for our cavalry camp. I am very impressed with the land even though there is still much work to be done and mowing of some of the fields. The camp sites we will have will be all that you could hope for! Remember to pack light and lean and have plenty of cartridge rounds rolled as we will be moving a lot, dismounting, fighting and remounting. Be in shape, have your horse in shape and be ready to ride!

              We will have excellent area to work and maneuver with our horses and the terrain and natural features will give great reproductions of things such as Alexanders Bridge, Snodgrass Hill, Reed's bridge, etc. I certainly hope that all of you who have even a passing interest in this event will get serious about getting registered and riding with us. Please email me if you have questions of any kind as to what to expect, where to report, etc. etc. You have the guidelines and the site is ready and remote. Just what you will want to work with.



              J. Mark Choate
              7th TN. Cavalry, Co. D.

              "Let history dictate our impressions.......not the other way around!"


              • #8
                Re: Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!

                Logistics update!

                We are approximately one month out from the Chickamauga event. I believe that I have a pretty good handle on those attending, but there may be some who have not yet decided or let us know. I wanted to send out some logistical information to those who may be coming and have not yet notified me or Ken Knopp.

                *Many of us will arrive by mid-day Thursday. There is a tactical planned that will begin Thursday evening. We will be gone from the main site until mid-day Friday. If you plan to participate in this, you will need to be there on Thursday and have your gear packed (along with rations).

                *After registration, proceed to the campsite of "Fullwoods' Cavalry Btn."

                *You will need current coggins as well as health certificates for each horse that you bring. The address to use for the health certificates is:
                Mountain Cove farms
                994 Daugherty Gap Road
                Chickamauga, GA 30707

                *You will be responsible for bringing period rations for you for the weekend and if you grain your mount, you will need to bring that, as well. These will not be provided.

                *We will be on the move this weekend and will be working campaign style. No tents. Bed rolls and she-bangs where and if possible.

                *There will be a good amount of dismounted fighting so have plenty of cartridges rolled and secured away. You will be able to leave excess amounts of things at the static camp while we are on the tactical. No more than one revolver is permitted (or none) and if you wish to bring a saber, there were a limited number present orgininally and we will form a separate platoon for saber engagement.

                *Very Important: I have driven to the site and trying to come in from the west side and going over the mountain is NOT a safe method when pulling a horse trailer. Rather than that, I strongly suggest coming in from the north by way of Chattanooga. I am attaching three maps with directions which will be of help to you.

                We are very excited about this event and should have a good and solid number of authentic cavalrymen working in accordance with the battle scenarios and in a manner as cavalry was used in the war. We hope that you will join us and be a part of this! If I can be of assistance or answer your questions, please either post here, or pm or email me at


                J. Mark Choate
                7th TN. Cavalry, Co. D.

                "Let history dictate our impressions.......not the other way around!"


                • #9
                  Re: Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!

                  I am very happy to have found this thread, because I have been lead to understand that Chickamauga is the national event for 2018, and I really like having impression guidelines to use. The only thing I am worried about, due to being a poor college student, is the infantry long arm and drawers.
                  Will Watson


                  • #10
                    Re: Chickamauga Cavalry Adjunct - UPDATE!


                    This thread is four years old at this point, so I'm not sure how helpful it will be for an event in 2018. Also, any "national" event at Chickamauga would be a mainstream affair so that may impact the thread's usefulness for you also.
                    Take care,
                    Tom Craig
                    1st Maine Cavalry
                    Tom Craig