SUBJECT MENU

You can scroll and read down the length of either page or jump directly to these specific subjects by clicking on them:

THE PREVIOUS PAGE CONTAINS THESE SUBJECTS:

Thread, Canteen Covers, Masonic Badges, Corps Badges, Buttons, Shirts, Leggings, Greatcoat, Suspenders, Chasseur Cap, Strap lengths

 

THIS PAGE COVERS THESE SUBJECTS:

Knapsacks & red blankets

Enfield Bayonets & Scabbards

Eye Glasses

Coolers, Cots, Air Mattresses, Etc., Etc.


 

KNAPSACKS & RED BLANKETS

This is simple: If you portray pre-Bull Run or Bull Run in your impression time frame, the red blanket and hardpack are acceptable . . .  BUT NO CORPS BADGE!

If you portray post-Bull Run, softpack and Army issue style blanket is the ONLY historically accurate way to go.

The 14th dropped blankets just before the went into action at Henry House Hill.  There is NO EVIDENCE that they picked them up when everybody was in a major hurry to get off the field. Yes, yes, I know the regimental history says the 14th ... "kept perfect formation and marched off the field in good order." However,think about it for a minute and then define "good order" for me in the Federal context with the afternoon of 21 July, 1861!  If they left in "good order" how come they didn't retrieve the stuff they left behind ... including Colonel Wood in the ambulance!? Nice guys. Musta been the Bay Ridge mob or maybe that Park Slope crowd! (LOL!)

Look, here it is (in part) right from the official report of Colonel Heintzelman, the 14th's division commander:

Report of Col. Samuel P. Heintzelman,
Seventeenth U.S. Infantry, commanding Third Division.
JULY 16-22, 1861.--The Bull Run, or Manassas, Campaign, Virginia.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 2 [S# 2] -- CHAPTER IX.
HDQRS. 3D DIV. DEP'T NORTHEASTERN VIRGINIA,
Washington, July 31, 1861.

"....The Brooklyn Fourteenth then appeared on the ground, coming forward in gallant style. I led them forward to the left, where the Alabama regiment had been posted in the early part of the action, now disappeared. We soon came in sight of the line of the enemy, drawn up beyond the clump of trees. Soon after the firing commenced the regiment broke and ran. I considered it useless to attempt to rally them. The want of discipline in these regiments was so great ..."

So everybody was hastening off ther field and if all the units that spouted off about "we marched off the field in good order" actually did, why was 1st Bull Run a Federal disaster?? Too much brag and bluster AFTER the battle when it was safe to do so! Nuff said on all that!

I saw a copy of a letter written by an officer in the 14th immediately after 1st Bull Run, complaining to Moses O'Dell (Senator from NY) that the regiment was in need of blankets since they "dropped" theirs under orders on the Manassas battlefield.  So it looks like hardpacks and red blankets were history for the 14th right after 1st Bull Run and replaced with Army issue blankets and packs.

So if you are NOT doing a Bull Run impression, why are you wearing a hardpack and a red blanket rather than a soft pack and an army issue blanket?

Too many guys in the 14th today are wearing red blankets and hard packs WHILE WEARING Corps badges! This is a confused image!

I mentioned this situation to one of the 14th's company commanders (don't heckle me about "who" 'cause it serves no purpose to name names at this point) a number of years ago and was told ...

"Yeah I know but the red blankets and hardpacks look GOOD during parade!"

That's great if the ONLY thing your company did were parades!!  Geez!

A final non-14th related note on hardpacks. I was in a conversation with a guy from a metro New York outfit that wore hardpacks.  Historically this unit was never issued hardpacks and on the website of this unit, they mentioned that the men would take the wooden frames out of the hardpacks and use them for dry firewood.  Then they would have the quartermaster requisition more frames for the packs so they could use them as firewood later on.  When I asked him about it, this guy got all ticked off, went ballistic, stammering, stuttering and spitting all over himself because I asked for some type of written documentation on the claim they were making. I never did get a satisfactory answer nor my documentation.

Let's see,  Belleview's number is 718 ....

Return to SUBJECT MENU

 

ENFIELD BAYONET SCABBARDS

Here is some PRIME information concerning the use of Enfield bayonet scabbards with Enfield muskets among Federal units. I have gathered from conversations with a number of today's PREMIER reenactors and historians, in the greatest number of cases the Enfield bayonet scabbard was NOt issued with the Enfield bayonet! 

While the muskets and bayonets were imported, for the most part the scabbards for the bayonets were not! Sure, sure,  there are some cases where they were but these must be considered the exceptions to the rule. Here we go again with that phrase "exception to the rule". I've discussed this matter with Mike McAfee at West Point and he did send me copies of several photos on the subject. These photos showed Federal soldiers wearing Enfield bayonet scabbards thus indicating that Enfield bayonet scabbards were issued and used during the war. However, based on additional research AND photographic surveys of Union soldiers carrying Enfield muskets, by far and in the greatest percentage, soldiers with Enfield muskets are carrying the Gaylord pattern ("Springfield") bayonet scabbard!

New members coming into the 14th NYSM today who plan on purchasing the Enfield musket must be directed away from the robotic practice of buying an Enfield scabbard for the Enfield bayonet and purchase the Gaylord pattern instead. When buying a scabbard for the Enfield bayonet, getting an Enfield scabbard seems like the logical thing to do. However, historically it is incorrect for the most part.

Yes, your Enfield bayonet will fit in the Gaylord scabbard. I've fit original Enfield bayonets into original Gaylord scabbards without any problem. Some of today's repros (Enfield bayonets and Gaylord scabbards) have a tight fit but they do still work. Just shop around for the best fit.

Return to SUBJECT MENU

 

EYE GLASSES

This subject just kills me! Nothing stands out more to kill an impression than modern eye wear. Even wearing combat boots (like some guys are STILL doing! GAG!!) do not jump out at you as much as wearing modern eye glasses while in uniform. If you're new and haven't been told about this to date, please consider this a "call to attention to detail". If you do not know where to get period eye glass frames in which your own optometrist can install your prescription, E-MAIL ME and I can give you an address!

Now if you have known about period eyewear and STILL continue to wear your "windshield" size RayBans or Foster Grants with chromatic lenses, well shame on you! I wanted to put it another way but Captain Meyer would probably fire me because of it! If you spent all that hard earned bread on a weapon, a uniform, your accoutrements and equipments, why can't you finish off the 14th Brooklyn impression with a decent set of period eyewear.

If you think your way cool in your 14th Brooklyn uniform and want all the "regular blues" to look at you and point, keep wearing those modern eye glasses while in your 14th Brooklyn uniform and they'll be lookin' and pointin' alright ... but not for the reasons you think.

Return to SUBJECT MENU

COOLERS, COTS, AIR MATTRESSES, ETC., ETC.

...one word ... WHY!!??? Large or small, I've seen it all in the 14th Brooklyn camp(s) at one time or another. Not only coolers, cots and air mattresses but also chairs of every size, shape and description; tables of every conceivable shape and design; enough wrought iron camp cookware that if all melted down would probably result in enough iron to make six, 3-inch ordnance rifles; huge flys that would dwarf the sails of Hornblower's flag ship; enough poles and lumber to rebuild Ft. Stanwyck and more lanterns (modern gas as well as candle) to line a 6,000 foot B-52 runway ... and on both sides at that.

geezz ... for those who know the "MAD MAX" series with Mel Gibson, sometimes we have resembled BARTERTOWN.

Whatever happened to packing "historically accurate"? Maybe it's just me, huh? And don't lay that "Oh, the wagon trains carried it all" nonsense on me either.

Return to SUBJECT MENU

Advance on PAGE 6 for PHOTO GALLERY

Retire to PAGE 3 for REPRODUCTION UNIFORM INFO

Retire to PAGE 2 for 14th NYSM REGIMENTAL HISTORY