The Union Needs YOU !!!
Duty, Honor, Country!!!
Battery I is always looking for new members who share a passion for Civil War history. We participate in a variety of activities, which includes live shooting, battle reenacting, living history, school presentations, creating historical reproductions of supplies and equipment or just getting together to watch a good movie.
Find us on Facebook or click the Contact Page and send us an email!!!
We attend an average of 10 – 12 events each year with one or two major target shooting events, a few small town living history events, a major reenactment or two and some fund raising events. (See our Schedule Page.)
Each year we meet in November to elect a new Board of Directors to guide us for the next year. These men take over the running of the unit for the year, handling finances, scheduling, transportation, ammunition procurement, maintenance of equipment and newsletter (plus more). Each member excels in certain aspects of this hobby and we encourage everyone to add his/her special talents to the unit.
We believe that each event should share a few common features. It needs to be fun, needs to educate the public or us, needs to be safe and it needs to be consistent with the spirit of honorably perpetuating the memory of the original military unit known as Battery I, 1st US Artillery. We also believe that when we put on the uniform we wear, it is just that. A uniform not a "costume"!! When we are wearing it, we portray the unit, the spirit and e'sprit de Corps' of the men who served over 150 years ago and we do it proudly!
Note about Equipment:
Do not worry about buying a uniform right away... unless you want to...
Most of us have spares on loan until you have time to acquire!
Battery I, 1st US artillery, being a non profit organization (501c3) originally purchased the gun, limber and other equipment and now the non profit corporation owns it. In other words every member owns it. It is not necessary to “buy in” to the organization. Just get the basic gear and you are ready to fall in with us. (We do have some loaners available.)
"I want to become a new member… What is my first step??"
We encourage you to contact us via E-mail or by Facebook. We will get you started in the right direction and will be able to answer your questions or direct you to someone who can. You will need to purchase a uniform and some other basic equipment to field yourself as soldier of the 1860′s. These items can be either purchased from one of the sources below or there are patterns available to make a lot of the uniform items yourself. Most of us buy the items instead of sewing them but that is an individual preference. Most importantly, however, you do not need to purchase these items in advance. Just come and check us out. Visit a meeting, an event, a workday and see what this amazing hobby has to offer and what we are about. The bottom line is that when you show up that first time, come as you are and… be prepared to have fun!
For information about becoming a member jump to the Contact Page!!!
The basic uniform you will need is as follows:
Get one of each of the following (if you peruse the websites below, you will see these items and sometimes in a variety of styles. (Contact us if you have questions on a choice or what may or maynot be reasonably priced.)
****Artillery Shell Jacket or 4 button Sack Coat (dark blue wool) Either of these work just fine… The shell jacket is the dress uniform and was used heavily as a field uniform as well. The 4 button sack coat was worn by all branches of the service and is the most common uniform seen in a Civil War photo or camp.
****Mounted trousers (in sky blue wool). Foot pattern trousers are fine also. The mounted ones tend to last longer and wear better – The foot pattern trousers are less expensive. The artilleryman of the Civil War on average, walked along with the guns and foot pattern trousers were found interspersed with the mounted pattern which has an extra reinforcement strip along the inside of the leg and the seat. (for saddle wear)
****Hat Either a forage cap or a civilian slouch hat. The difference is basically that the forage cap is much like a baseball cap and the slouch is like a cowboy hat.. the cowboy hat will keep the sun and rain off you better. Both are very common and will work. Most of us obtain both styles after a few years. The forage cap should be dark blue wool.. The civilian slouch hat comes in black (most common).
****Shoes - Commonly called bootee’s or Jefferson Bootee’s… these are rough side out low cut shoes that were the standard issue for the soldier. These will come stiff and need a break in period to feel right. Don’t buy them and come with them new and unused to an event or blisters will be the result. Follow the directions for “seasoning them” .. basically. A lot of neatsfoot oil and wearing them. Also note that heel plates (little steel horseshoe like plates for the heels) can be applied and reduce wear and tear on the heel but will make walking on shiny surfaces more slippery.
****Shirt - White cotton military issue for the period (This is a pullover shirt with typically 4 buttons on the top but will vary.
****Suspenders – simple cotton straps are the best. There are a lot of reproduction sold of various types.
**** Haversack - Black painted/tared with liner and canteen(dark blue or brown cover)
At this point, you are set to fall in with us. There are other items that you will pick up eventually but this will make you look the part and feel it as well.
Uniform and Equipment Suppliers – Check these out for the required uniform items
Note: at most battle re-enactments many sutlers will set up shop and display their wares. This is the perfect time to save your $$$ and try before you buy!
Quartermaster Shop - Very high quality Uniforms made in Michigan.
Fall Creek Sutlers - all manner of items (like Jarnigan... pretty much everything is available.)
Jarnigan Co. - all manner of items (you can get it all here).
Stony Brook Company -A very very good source for some of the best and most authentic trousers out there.
Dirty Billy's Hats - all manner of HATS!! kind of on the spendy side but the best hand made.
There are many more out there. We just like the ones listed above for their quality and authenticity. To find more do a google search for "Civil War Sutlers" and you will find more.
Become a Member!
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