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Through the Pathless Country: 1863 Campaign Across Dakota - Event Guidelines

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  • Through the Pathless Country: 1863 Campaign Across Dakota - Event Guidelines

    Guidelines (Listed in order of preference)

    Company E, 6th Minnesota Infantry Regiment July 10 1863

    We are representing a volunteer infantry unit raised in the summer of 1862 as the “Sigel Guards”. The VAST majority of these men were immigrants from the Germanic States and Central Europe; some had even seen service in those European Armies, including one German veteran of
    Waterloo! From 1862 until 1864 the regiment would serve under Col. William Crooks. The summer and fall of 1862 saw Company E and most of the 6th Minnesota involved in relief actions of forts and anti-guerrilla warfare against the Dakota. When the expedition started in June 1863, Company E mustered 69 men and officers. By the time they entered modern North Dakota, the men had marched roughly 200 miles. In terms of material culture, we want to stick to mid-war materials as closely as possible. Many of the Minnesota infantry regiments from this time were equipped very similarly with photos showing a mix of supplies even within companies including frocks and blouses, forage caps and civilian hats, and sky-blue and dark blue trousers.

    Ordnance and Clothing Returns from Company H of the 9th Minnesota, present on the campaign, shows use of both .58 caliber Springfield's and .577 caliber Enfield's as well as Dressed Hardee Hats issued in June 1863 in the field. Company H, 9th Minnesota records also show not everyone was issued a rubber blanket.

    Everything that you need for this event, you will have to carry on your person or knapsack. We understand this may be a challenge. We will have a moving camp and different sites Friday and Saturday night with all enlisted men residing in shelter halves. We suggest everyone find a pard
    and double up with each man carrying one half, but if you would like to carry two and go solo in your tent that is your choice. Participates should also form messes and carry hatchets, fry pans, boilers, etc. Hardtack, salt pork, and coffee are noted to be the staples of the campaign so be
    prepared to cook and eat just that. Sources even indicate that coffee was carried in canteens as water was often scarce and Alkali. Despite these privations of campaign, when encamped the expedition still performed dress parades, dug entrenchments, received constant mail and news,
    etc. All clothing and equipment should reflect at least two months of campaign use, dirt, grime, dust, etc however, the men were often cleaning and laundering their clothes at various lakes, rivers, and creeks.

    Headgear - Brass on caps should be limited to a “6” or “E” with limited infantry horns
    ● Period Civilian Hat
    ● Federal Type I or Type II Forage Cap
    ● Dressed Hardee Hat (Cord, Bugle, Eagle)

    Coat - NCOs should have correct rank chevrons
    ● US 4-Button Fatigue Blouse (Lined or Unlined)
    ● Federal Frock Coat

    Trousers - NCO’s should have correct tape on leg
    ● US Issue Sky Blue Kersey Foot Trousers

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Guidelines pic.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.74 MB ID:	284045 Shirts
    ● US Issue Domet or Wool Flannel Shirt
    ● Civilian Pattern Cotton Shirt
    ● Civilian or Issue Knit Shirt

    ● Cotton or Wool Issue or Civilian Socks/ Stockings

    ● US Issue Canton Flannel Drawers
    ● Civilian Cotton or Wool Drawers
    ● None

    ● US Issue “Brogan” Shoes
    ● US Issue or Civilian Boots - limited

    ● Cartridge Box - US Issue .58 or .69 Caliber Box with US Plates and Sling
    ● Cap Box - Shield Front or Standard Front
    ● Black Leather Belt with Leather Keeper and US plate (Brass Keeper Limited)
    ● Scabbard - US Issue 2 or 7 rivet scabbard
    ● NO NCO Belts should be present in the ranks

    Knapsacks (We encourage everyone to carry a knapsack if possible)
    ● Blanket Roll (Limited)
    ● US Issue 1855 Double Bag Knapsack

    Overcoats (Several accounts and diaries mention men in overcoats in June and July. These were likely carried by wagons so they are not required but are noted)
    ● Federal Foot Pattern Overcoat

    Blankets (Several sources indicate not everyone having rubber/gum blankets)
    ● US Issue or Contractor Blanket
    ● Rubber/ Painted Blanket or Rubber Poncho (Limited)

    Weapons with Corresponding Bayonet
    ● US 1855/1861 Springfield Rifled Musket - preferred
    ● British 1853 Enfield - preferred
    ● 1842 Springfield Musket - last resort

    Canteen and Haversacks
    ● US Smooth Side or Corrugated Canteens with correct stoppers and slings (Both NY and
    Philadelphia canteens have been found at campaign-related sites)
    ● US Painted Haversacks

    Tentage (One account mentions grasshoppers eating holes in tents so do not be afraid tobring your shelter half with some holes)
    ● Federal Type II Shelter Half with Issue Poles or “Natural” Poles

    For other details check out the event Facebook page!
    Jason Brown
    Mess No. 1