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“Wrestling of Demons” Perryville, Ky. - Event Guidelines

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  • “Wrestling of Demons” Perryville, Ky. - Event Guidelines

    Here are the guidelines for the event. Please take the time to read the entire outline. The activities on Friday evening and Saturday morning will be different from the remainder of the weekend. So, pay close attention to what is expected as the event progresses.

    The 79th Pennsylvania drew certain articles of clothing on the march to Louisville in September 1862. They were more fully supplied at the end of the month, to include shoes, once they reached the city. Participants’ kit should reflect newer clothing and shoes, and not the altered, tattered, or “campaigner” look. However, the conditions of the week leading up to the Battle of Perryville are well documented as being dry and the roadways quite dusty. Therefore, an appropriate amount of dirt/dust is permitted, and even encouraged, to more accurately represent the appearance of the regiment as they were ordered onto the battlefield.

    Participants are expected to make a reasonable effort to demonstrate the appearance of a Civil War soldier. Meaning, no wild modern hairstyles or unnatural colors, excessively long hair, piercings, jewelry, or tattoos that cannot be covered by clothing.

    All clothing and equipment must be made using proper patterns, construction, and materials as to replicate original uniforms and accoutrements. If you are at all concerned about a particular piece of your kit, please reach out to the event coordinators so that proper suggestions can be made or loaner items acquired.

    Fatigue blouse, or “sack coat,” lined or unlined, of proper wool flannel. No altered blouses or those made of odd colored “teal” or other suggestive colors. Click image for larger version

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    All NCOs will wear appropriate chevrons on their coats.

    Infantry pants made from sky blue kersey of government or contract manufacture.
    Mounted Services pants made from sky blue kersey, in very limited numbers, will be allowed. Records indicate that members of the 79thPennsylvania were permitted to exchange their pants for Mounted Services pants through the Brigade Quartermaster earlier in the year.
    NCOs are encouraged to wear appropriate pants stripes. All corporals should have a ” stripe on their pants and all sergeants should have a 1 ” stripe on their pants. If you are not wearing pants stripes you must wear chevrons.

    U.S. Army regulation issue shirt made from white domet flannel.
    U.S. Army regulation issue shirts made from grey flannel. Records show that earlier in 1862, the 79th Pennsylvania did receive grey shirts. A significant amount of these shirts were acquired through the Quartermaster in Cincinnati.
    U.S. Army contracted shirts made from wool flannel. Grey is the preferred color, but other colors based on historic records will be permitted.
    All participants are required to wear an issue shirt. Civilian shirts of proper printed or checked patterns are only acceptable as baggage or an extra shirt. No participant will wear a civilian shirt as a primary piece of their kit.

    U.S. Army canton flannel drawers.
    Citizens drawers.
    None. Modern underwear is not acceptable.

    Forage cap, “Type 1” or “Type 2” made from proper materials and construction techniques. Minimal brass is acceptable, not to exceed the regimental and/or company designation.
    Reproduction caps are definitely a niche in the hobby. Few makers live up to the standard expected. If you do not have a proper reproduction cap, we recommend only the following makers.
    Conor Timoney
    Greg Starbuck
    Paul Smith (When/where available)

    U.S. Army bootees/shoes are strongly preferred. The 79th Pennsylvania received new shoes very shortly before their actions at Perryville.
    Citizen or privately purchased boots or shoes are an acceptable secondary option if you do not have issue shoes.
    The 79th Pennsylvania drew shoes at the end of September in Louisville. If your shoes are in need of cleaning, we recommend saddle soap and then a coating of tallow. No “campaigner” shoes with blown out uppers or soles falling apart will be allowed.


    No. 46a.
    September 27, 1862.
    I. The baggage of officers must be reduced strictly to the allowance authorized by regulations. Frequent inspections will be made by inspectors appointed by the division commanders, and any excess will be thrown out. No trunks will be allowed. A valise will hold all the wearing apparel that is necessary for any officer.
    II. When troops are ordered to move "light" it will be understood, unless otherwise specially expressed, that they will move without wagons, except ambulances and ammunition train. If ordered to move with "half baggage" they will be allowed one wagon to each division and brigade headquarters and one wagon to each regiment to carry a few necessary articles for the officers. In all cases the men will be expected to have in their haversacks provisions enough to last them three days. If a reserve supply is to be taken the orders will specify the amount and wagons will be taken to carry them.
    By command of Major-General Buell:
    Colonel and Chief of Staff.
    While the men of the 79th Pennsylvania were not yet battle veterans, they had conducted extensive service in the Western Theatre for nearly a year before their first large engagement at Perryville. The soldiers were accustomed to long marches, picket duties, fatigue, details, the occasional skirmish, and surviving in the elements. They had become hardened to life in the Army and were resourceful. Therefore, participants are not expected to be “green.” The men of the regiment were not unfamiliar with sleeping without shelter or blankets or the frustration of repetitive orders to countermarch long distances. Participants are expected to act with a military demeanor and sense of knowhow.

    Due to the General Orders referenced above, and the first-hand accounts attributed to the regiment, the 79th moved frequently without the advantage of their baggage and regimental wagons. A blanket roll with basic necessities will suffice.

    Grey or brown U.S. Army blanket may be carried as a bedroll. Use a coat strap, old canteen strap, scrap of worn out suspender, or period cordage to tie your bedroll. Craft store leather laces and jute gardening twine is unacceptable.

    Rubberized ground cloth.
    None. If you do not have a high quality reproduction, do not bring one.

    The regiment camped in tents, when available, under the comfort of common tents, and Sibley tents in the winter months. However, they descended upon Perryville without the luxury of the regimental wagon, only an ambulance. And, their first instance of having shelter tents did not come until the following spring.

    Painted haversack copied from any surviving original.

    U.S. Army “smoothside” canteens of the “early war” Cincinnati contracts are strongly preferred. These canteens were manufactured in New York and had a cast, tapered pewter spout, cotton drill strap, and jeans cover. Cincinnati canteens with rolled tin spouts are not time-appropriate and therefore not acceptable.
    U.S. Army “smoothside” canteens of the “early war” New York or Philadelphia styles. Proper cotton slings and covers are required.
    Corrugated Philadelphia “bullseye” canteens are unacceptable.

    Private’s belt with sewn keeper made of either blackened buff, waxed, or bridle leather.

    The Ordnance Returns for the regiment within a reasonable time of the battle indicate that most companies recorded a small amount of NCO belts. Therefore, sergeants are permitted to wear an NCO belt, but not required to. No corporals will wear an NCO belt and will wear a typical private’s waist belt.

    U.S. Army .69 caliber cartridge box with belt/sling, either of 1839, 1857, or 1861 pattern (round ball or elongated ball are both acceptable per early 1862 Arsenal records). All cartridge boxes should have the appropriate “U.S.” plate secured to the outer flap. Cartridge box belts/slings are required and are strongly preferred to have a breastplate.
    U.S. Army .58 caliber cartridge boxes of 1861 pattern will only be accepted if the participant has no other option. Please make a reasonable effort to acquire or secure a loaner .69 caliber box.

    Arsenal or contract made cap box.

    2-rivet scabbards only. No 7-rivet or militia scabbards are acceptable.

    Model 1842 Springfield .69 caliber muskets. The late 1862 returns show the entire regiment armed with these.
    Model 1842 Springfield muskets that have been rifled will be acceptable for the purposes of uniformity and appearance.
    Model 1861 Springfield .58 caliber rifles will be accepted if the participant has no other option. However, we expect all participants to make a reasonable effort to show up with an 1842 or acquire a loaner.

    Gun sling made of oiled leather. The regiment, with the exception of only one company, reported having as many slings as muskets. Slings are very highly encouraged.

    This is a living history program, and for the benefit of visitors, the conditions for participants will change on Saturday. Once the location is reached, we will then enter a camp scenario while still hosting other demonstrations. Participants will be quartered in tents in an area laid out to demonstrate the prescribed regimental camp as accurately as possible considering the number of those in attendance. With that, the amenities of a regular camp will be encouraged. Anyone with a properly constructed, hand-sewn common tent is asked to bring one.

    The 79th Pennsylvania was supplied with double-bag knapsacks and every participant should plan to have one. If you do not have a knapsack of accurate materials and construction, do not bring one. Common baggage such as citizens shirts, extra undergarments, stationary, other practical amenities, and keepsakes from home are encouraged. These items will be secured in the living history area and will not be utilized on Friday night or early Saturday morning.

    Participants may also pack a properly made dress, or uniform, frock coat as records indicate that they had them during the summer months leading up to the campaign. For public demonstrations, however, enlisted men will still wear their blouses.

    Officers may bring added baggage for the Saturday camp scenario, to include trunks, valises, and modest camp furniture.

    Common camp tools, either original or of proper reproduction, may be utilized in the Saturday camp. No antique store, “old timey” 1900s tools or implements are acceptable.
    Cooking equipment will be supplied for each company.
    Jason Brown
    Mess No. 1