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Thread: Civil War Uniforms, We need an Archive.

  1. #11
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    Here is another good video I found:

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  2. #12
    Tom Arliskas is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maillemaker View Post
    Here is another good video I found:

    Awesome-- This is the type of information needed. The N-SSA membership for sure has more and that source of information cannot be lost. When a member passes or moves away and the family has no interest, a lot of it simply disposed of. We can have a depository for small arms, cannons, equipment and uniforms... It is all good information and necessary. Tom

  3. #13
    Tom Arliskas is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCLewis View Post
    Hi Tom,

    I think its a good idea and as previously mentioned its a tall order. While reading the different replies to your post I wondered if the N-SSA has a historical board? I would guess we do since we have a museum but not sure of how much say there is with unit uniform accuracies. I think that the CS side has so many variances depending on theater of war, state, depot, and importer. I know when I started my unit I did countless hours of research and I am still fine tuning details of what was or could have been worn. I know there are some great resources and new details that get uncovered every few years.
    Good already got you thinking--- You can do one Regiment, a Brigade, and Army on research and never finish. Tom

  4. #14
    Tom Arliskas is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maillemaker View Post
    It's just a huge, huge, amount of research and publication. The best approach would probably be to crowd-source and use some kind of online Wiki that individuals could add to over time.

    From following along with reenactor friends, the way it is typically is that they usually reenact with a particular organization or unit. Then they will "dress the part" for whatever time period the reenactment is for that unit. They will research that unit, and try and find quartermaster records or other materials that indicate the kinds of equipment and arms and such that were issued by that point in time during the war. Where exact details cannot be known they rely on known supply depots and the known time periods when certain equipment became available.

    So you can approach this from a few ways. The first way is as above - start with a unit and a date. This is only particularly interesting if you are interested in that particular unit. But, it's probably going to give you the most accurate specific impression.

    Another way would be to create an inventory of "things". For example, "The 1861 Spingfield Musket" or "The Type II Columbus Depot Jacket". Then you populate an article about the item that indicates dates in use, units that used it, etc. This gives you highly accurate details about things, but doesn't always help very much figuring out if the thing is the right one for you.

    Another way would be to go with "generic soldier kit" descriptions. "Early War" vs. "Mid War" vs. "Late War", "Western" vs. "Eastern" theaters, "Union" vs. "Confederate". This is probably the simplest way to go but is also quite generic.

    No matter how you go about it, it's a daunting and massive undertaking. Likely a lifetime of effort doctorate-level effort. Schuylkill Arsenal trousers or J.T. Martin Contract trousers? Contract shirt or Federal Issue? Cincinnati Depot canteen or Philadelphia Depot canteen?

    Then, too, a tremendous amount of work has already been done and published. Which on one hand could make it easier to create some kind of compendium but on the other hand risks duplicating work that has already been done.

    Here are some fantastic videos by Lionheart Filmworks that give great overviews on generic "by time and theater" uniforms.

    They have a 4-video series on this that will show up in the sidebar when you watch the one below on YouTube.

    These are just one part of the whole research study. My idea is to put it all together in one spot for people, if they wish, to look at. You have no idea talking to Archivists or Collectors what they have or have hidden in their stacks. It is amazing stuff and just overwhelming at times. One person even two cannot do it all, put it together. 100 heads in this case are better than one. Tom

  5. #15
    PoorJack is offline
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    When it comes to authentic uniforms, the guys over on Authentic Campaigner are spot on especially when it comes to Confederate uniforms. Federal stuff was pretty much more uniform after the early war confusion. When talking about a specific Confederate unit, you have to be specific as to time during the War. Ex, during the Siege of Petersburg, NC units were fairly well supplied while "orphan" units from states cut off by enemy movements often had to make do, beg, borrow or steal what they needed. In general, the Confederacy was never really "uniform" and states, like NC, were frequently at odds with Richmond over supply isses

    Another thing to remember, that video is primarily about "issue" Federal items. In the Federal army, and Confederate, troops would carry items not on the "issue" list that would make their lives a bit easier or a cherished item from home and family. As such, it would behoove anyone who wants to go down this road to be very, very familiar with civilian items and other things in common usage at the time. I say this as a former "stitch counting" reenactor. Little extra things can make your impression so much more realistic than a cookie cutter- they only had this xyz thing. Remember, there were items in common use among civilians, and just because the troops were no longer civilians, doesn't mean they quit using them.
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  6. #16
    Tom Arliskas is offline
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    [QUOTE=TCLewis;94503]Hi Tom,

    I think its a good idea and as previously mentioned its a tall order. While reading the different replies to your post I wondered if the N-SSA has a historical board? I would guess we do since we have a museum but not sure of how much say there is with unit uniform accuracies. I think that the CS side has so many variances depending on theater of war, state, depot, and importer. I know when I started my unit I did countless hours of research and I am still fine tuning details of what was or could have been worn. I know there are some great resources and new details that get uncovered every few years.[/QUOTE

    Yes, There is no such thing as an expert. You can have knowledgeable and studies, but no one has all the information on CW uniforms. There are stacks at Brown University and other places. We need a place for our N-SSA Research.

  7. #17
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    We need a place for our N-SSA Research.
    The internet.
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  8. #18
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    Tom - You said, "My idea is to put it all together in one spot for people, if they wish, to look at." On behalf of all of the people who step up and freely volunteer their personal time and expertise to the betterment of the N-SSA, I want to thank you for stepping up to create the "Uniform Reference Database" which you have identified as an extremely important and much needed reference tool! I have no doubt that by working through your Region Commander, John Mark, there will be no problem whatsoever having National Commander, Chuck Kindle, create said committee and appoint you as Chairman! Your talents in uniform research are already highly respected by all who know you and those who have read your books. Along with that you have been a member of the Uniform Committee for many years, so I am quite sure those comrades would be more than happy to assist you in your endeavor!

    I offer you my best wishes, as you move forward with this most worthy project!

    Sincerely,
    John Holland
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    Chairman, Small Arms Committee
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  9. #19
    Tom Arliskas is offline
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by John Holland View Post
    Tom - You said, "<font color="#333333"><em>My idea is to put it all together in one spot for people, if they wish, to look at</em>." On behalf of all of the people who step up and freely volunteer their personal time and expertise to the betterment of the N-SSA, I want to thank you for stepping up to create the "Uniform Reference Database" which you have identified as an extremely i</font>mportant and much needed reference tool! I have no doubt that by working through your Region Commander, John Mark, there will be no problem whatsoever having National Commander, Chuck Kindle, create said committee and appoint you as Chairman! Your talents in uniform research are already highly respected by all who know you and those who have read your books. Along with that you have been a member of the Uniform Committee for many years, so I am quite sure those comrades would be more than happy to assist you in your endeavor!<br>
    <br>
    I offer you my best wishes, as you move forward with this most worthy project!<br>
    <br>
    Sincerely,<br>
    John Holland<br>
    N-SSA Small Arms Staff Officer<br>
    Chairman, Small Arms Committee<br>
    N-SSA Bulletin board Moderator<br>
    North-East Region Artillery Officer<br>
    North-East Region Assistant I.G.<br>
    44th NY VI Unit Commander<br>
    Admin, North-East Region FB page
    <br><br>Thank You Mr. Holland. Besides uniforms, I would love to see a collection of material on CW Arms. Again, how many have I met that have binders full of Arms Information, Ordnance Reports, notes etc. that is not on the NET. I want to make up a reference source and catalog on notes and those binders again on both Confederate and Union uniform history. Their is a lot on the NET-- but, we do have members who have extensive collections of notes on Uniforms and Equipment's. This is not intended as a weapon or to make anyone feel uneasy about anything with uniforms. I have know several people who just passed away their collections lost-- thrown out or given away-- that should have been put in a safe place for History. I keep finding new items everyday. It will be an N-SSA Archive of note. Where we will put it is one thing we have to consider. Virginia, Brown University? What I do not want is to donate to an Archive then have it disappear!!!!!!!!! That has happened! Thank You for your confidence in me. You are the only one so far [a joke]. See you in May!!!&nbsp;<br>
    <br>

  10. #20
    Tom Arliskas is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maillemaker View Post
    The internet.
    That is just one place... There is a lot of papers and binders out there that need to be cataloged and made available. Not everything is on the NET! Believe me.

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