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Christmas in Camp 1862

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  • Christmas in Camp 1862

    We are pleased to announce a Federal living history which will be held at the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, Arkansas on the weekend of December 6-8, 2019. This is the off-year for the mainstream reenactment, so the event is a campaigner EBUFU, not an adjunct. It will feature an encampment in the village area with drills and soldier life, along with candlelight tours on Saturday night using the Archibald Borden house as a picket post and demonstrating how picket lines actually worked. We plan to have a ration issue along with one or two period sutlers.

    Following the bloody battle on December 7, the three divisions of the Federal Army of the Frontier under Brigadier Generals James G. Blunt and Francis Herron camped both on and near the battlefield for about the next three weeks before embarking on December 27th to make a raid on Van Buren. Although the exact campsites of the various units were not recorded, it is reasonable to assume that some occupied the village area in which the main parts of this program will take place.

    The event will portray several companies the 37th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in an early-winter encampment. There will be mail and pay calls, packages from home containing food and winter clothing, exchanging of simple gifts by soldiers, caroling, and other activities. Many of our current Christmas traditions, including the modern version of Santa Claus, have their origins during the Civil War, so the program will highlight these. Its main purpose will be to provide an educational experience for both participants and spectators and also to raise funds to benefit historical preservation projects at the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park.

    We hope to provide something that campaigners rarely get - a chance to experience a high quality static field encampment. The event is limited in numbers and participation is by invitation only. The sponsoring unit is Co. B, 24th Missouri Volunteer Infantry. As time goes on, we will be posting more information including impression guidelines and scenario outlines. In the meantime, if you are interested in raising a company, please email me at Thanks, and hope to see you at "the Grove"! - Cal Kinzer
    Last edited by Eric Tipton; 02-14-2019, 09:18 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Christmas in Camp 1862

    Impression Guidelines

    1st choice: civilian hat, mostly black but also a few brown, tan or gray
    2nd choice: forage cap, early-war Type I preferred, late-war Type II acceptable
    3rd choice: plain dress Hardee hat without insignia

    1st choice: state issue infantry jacket, Illinois pattern preferred (8-button front, cloth epaulettes and plain sleeves
    2nd choice: state issue infantry jacket from other states such as Ohio or New York
    3rd choice: plain dress (frock) coat without shoulder scales
    4th choice: fatigue (sack) coat, issue 4-button preferred

    Required – sky-blue infantry pattern

    1st choice: infantry bootees (brogans)
    2nd choice: issue infantry or civilian black boots of appropriate style

    1st choice: issue wool of tan, gray, cream or dark blue color
    2nd choice: civilian shirt of cotton, linen or wool in various colors
    1st choice: period issue or civilian cotton or linen
    2nd choice: winter wool or heavy cotton

    1st choice: issue or civilian wool in various colors
    2nd choice: white cotton

    Winter Clothing – optional but recommended
    Issue overcoat (“great coat”), sky blue
    Woolen scarf and gloves or mittens

    1st choice: either a Belgian rifle-musket or Colt Revolving rifle
    2nd choice: 1855/1861 Springfield Musket/Enfield rifle-musket
    3rd choice: 1842 smoothbore musket
    saber bayonet preferred but socket bayonet acceptable

    .58 cal. rifle musket cartridge box with shoulder belt (sling) and plates
    cap pouch – early war “shield front” version preferred
    waist belt with “US” oval buckle – early war version with leather keeper preferred
    bayonet scabbard – early war completely sewn or two-rivet versions preferred
    rifle belt (sling) – optional but recommended

    Field Equipments
    Black issue haversack
    Federal issue canteen – smooth-side preferred over ringed (“bullseye”) version; gray or tan jeancloth preferred over sky-blue or dark blue; leather sling preferred over cloth
    Knapsack – issue double-bag only; optional but recommended
    Woolen blanket – issue gray or tan
    Rubber blanket – infantry style (no hole) preferred over mounted
    Tent – issue common (A-frame) style, 7’ height preferred but 6’ acceptable; no dog tents as these hadn’t been issued yet at this point!

    Mess Equipments
    Tin or pewter plate or canteen half
    Period utensils or combination set
    Tin cup or boiler

    Personal Items
    Books, Bibles, playing cards, smoking equipments, newspapers, letters from home and other items with which to do living history activities in camp

    Christmas Items
    Packages from home containing winter clothing, cakes, cookies, etc
    Last edited by Pennvolunteer; 02-19-2019, 12:49 PM.
    Frank Siltman
    24th Mo Vol Inf
    Cannoneer, US Army FA Museum Gun Crew
    Member, Oklahoma Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
    Company of Military Historians
    Lawton/Fort Sill, OK

    Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay -- and claims a halo for his dishonesty.ó Robert A. Heinlein


    • #3
      Re: Christmas in Camp 1862

      This might be interesting....
      Wm Green :D
      Illegitimi non carborundum
      (Donít let the bastards grind you down!)

      Dreaming of the following and other events

      Picket Post

      The like to do a winter camp.....hint hint...


      • #4
        Re: Christmas in Camp 1862

        Originally posted by Huck View Post
        This might be interesting....
        It's a great battlefield to visit, have done this event twice. If you have never been there, it's a lot of fun, nice interpretive center and museum, good comradery too!
        Kevin Dally