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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Haversack recommendations 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Haversack recommendations  (Read 3295 times)
Doc Jackson
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Department of the Atlantic, GAF #876


« on: October 08, 2018, 09:15:59 pm »


Im looking for a tarred haversack with a roller buckle as issued to federal troops, any recommendations? Im more than willing to buy second hand too, if anybody has anything. Or would an un-tarred haversack be more appropriate?

Can anybody give me a list of the basic items to put in it.

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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 09:20:04 am »

What time period are you looking at?
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 09:35:02 am »

Tared haversack, might indicate Union circa 1861-5

Tin plate ... 3 tine fork , surely a spoon , or perhaps a knife and spoon folder. a cup was often hung off the strap.
Housewife ...sewing kit
straight razor, maybe pocket mirror
Pipe "if you smoke "
pencil or pin ( dip tip stile )
candle holder perhaps  

Letter form home, a tintype or daguerreotype

maybe checkers or jews harp or harmonica....

hardtack and Salt pork & coffee bean bag  

sm. bible or Harper's weekly
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Doc Jackson
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Department of the Atlantic, GAF #876


« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 10:07:49 am »

Im interested in the 18th infantry and the fighting on the Boseman trail, from the summer of 66' through to the period before the start of "Hancock's War" and Crook's Black Hills expedition of 76'.

I know that in the Black Hills expedition of 76' alot of four button sack coats were issued, and from everything Ive read the huge uniform stockpiles left over from the civil war were issued in quantity through 1876 tapering off until exhausted in 1880 and even then they had alot of stuff on hand.  In the two pictures I have of Black Hills expedition of 76', I saw fairweather christian belts, a forage cap and possibly a 4 button sack coat. I got Dorsey's books about belts and another about belts and related equipment. Im pretty familiar with the small arms, accouterments, belts, pouches and the like, and the uniforms of my periods. Im lacking any real knowledge of the other equipment canteens, packs and haversacks.

I know I need different rifles and accouterments which Ive already have, and Im confident that I can use the same uniform and still be typical of the later period. Im going to get both a civilian hat probably brown or black and an 1858 forage cap for variety. Im not sure about the haversacks and canteens though, if I had to get different equipment so be it, but if possible I want as much cross over as possible.
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 10:45:49 am »

The CW smooth side canteen was still in use in the SPAN-AM with a  khaki  cover... the haversack however had changed both in dimensions & materials.

In the time frame that you mention...I suggest the tared haversack CW era was use well in the conflict with the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne.
A great deal of surplus equipment served the troops....

But each Haversack was unique to it's owner, aside from common eating utensils, other contents were varied as to personal effects.
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Doc Jackson
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Department of the Atlantic, GAF #876


« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 10:52:15 am »

the contents were all good suggestions, I play the harmonica, can you suggest a supplier for a period type?
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RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 01:45:57 pm »

One person you could contact for a well-made and economical tarred haversack is Jay Richards at "Poor Richards' Historical Reproductions" in New Jersey - http://richardsreproductions.com/index.html

I have gotten a number of items from him over the past few years, and he is a pleasure to deal with.  A few years ago, a group of us were putting together impressions of an Independent Company of Rifles, Canadian Militia, from the Fenian Raids period (1866-70) and had noted several different period photos from that time-frame showing Militia Riflemen with tarred haversacks which might have been an American pattern, but which also looked very much like they might have been a variation of the British Pattern 1850 haversack, albeit tarred and with a buckle and leather strap closure rather than the standard button closure for the flap.

At any rate, Jay was quite willing to produce similar haversacks for s, based on his existing P'50 haversack.  We were very pleased with the end product:



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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
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Doc Jackson
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Department of the Atlantic, GAF #876


« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2018, 02:33:00 pm »

Wow you really go all in on the impression, I know you do others too. Im starting out by going with the basic uniform and minimal fighting load and then later perhaps blanket and rubber blanket roll and winter clothing. If I budget everything right I should be able to do it in two years.
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2018, 02:39:32 pm »

Ebay have this one right now

ANTIQUE HARMONICA, THE SPORTSMAN, M. HOHNER 1871-1881


 https://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-HARMONICA-THE-SPORTSMAN-M-HOHNER-1871-1881-/123401708557?hash=item1cbb50a40d
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Doc Jackson
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Department of the Atlantic, GAF #876


« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 02:54:36 pm »

Thanks for the tip, I cant afford it now but I'll keep an eye out for that type in the future.
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Pay Dirt Norvelle
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 05:10:58 pm »

Technically the Haversack was only supposed to hold food and eating accoutrements.  If you are looking for a US Federal one try some of the Civil War Sutlers such as Regimental Quartermaster and N J Sekela.   I know there as some other good Sutlers, but I can't think of them off the top of my head right now.
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RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 05:41:19 pm »

Wow you really go all in on the impression ...

Yes, Im a bit of a fanatic when I do these ... although I do find that, in reality, it is generally simply not practical to shoot through a GAF-type skirmish in full uniform and kit ... and I generally find myself shucking down to "shirtsleeves order" to do that ... such as can be seen in this video taken at this years Grand National Muster ... it is the same Militia Rifles, sans tunic and kepi, with the fatigue/foraging-duty straw hat (... referred to, tongue-in-cheek, as a "cow's breakfast" ...) but much more comfortable in the humid heat of Nebraska at the end of June!

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIDuA3_LW5A&amp;t=75s&amp;list=PL3RChRKXZ0aXDC5IT61aR_3im_22HK_gf&amp;index=49" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIDuA3_LW5A&amp;t=75s&amp;list=PL3RChRKXZ0aXDC5IT61aR_3im_22HK_gf&amp;index=49</a>

For example, my uniform and kit at the 2014 Muster was that of Fenian Raids-era Canadian Militia Infantry and this composite photo contrasts a "cool and collected" posed shot with the "hot and frazzled" appearance I had after actually shooting through a skirmish in full kit ...  Undecided ...

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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
Doc Jackson
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Department of the Atlantic, GAF #876


« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 05:42:46 pm »

Ive come across some used haversack for sale that appear to be good quality but are a bit worn. Before I choose to go this route I have three questions. First when haversacks, packs, or similar equipment wore out or was damaged was it commonly repaired? or was it turned in and exchanged for a serviceable piece of equipment? Second, if the stuff was repaired, who would have done it, the soldier himself  or somebody else? Third what materials would I need?

 I already have canvas / leather needles, and awl, and a bunch of waxed thread I made; left over from from an alteration I made to my fairweather christian belt. I have some basic sewing skills and Ive recently worked with leather and the results were servicacble if not the prettiest work out there. How much different is it working with canvas? I read Stephen Dorsey's book on U.S. Army belts and in it he mentions that many belts with soldier made and done with minimal skill, would this also apply to uniform and gear repair?
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2018, 05:47:23 pm »

If the damage happened during a campaign, I guarantee the soldier fixed it himself with whatever he had, for what it's worth.
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Doc Jackson
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2018, 05:57:49 pm »

 RattlesnakeJack, I really like your attention to detail, thats what Im striving to do myself, so Im trying to read up as much as I can, so I can approach my intended impression with good information.

 Im reading as many books as I can afford to buy and Im currently finishing Frontier Regulars by Utley. Ive already devoured American military and naval belts, 1812-1902 and American Military Belts and Related Equipments by Dorsey, Campaign Clothing: Field Uniforms of the Indian War Army 1866-1871 by Rutledge, Packing Iron by Rattenbury, A Study of Colt Conversions and Other Percussion Revolvers by McDowell and the Osprey US Infantry in the Indian Wars 186591 by Field.

I have Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay: The Enlisted Soldier Fighting the Indian Wars by Rickey and Carbines of the Civil War, 1861-1865 by McAuley, on the way .
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Doc Jackson
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2018, 06:04:00 pm »

If the damage happened during a campaign, I guarantee the soldier fixed it himself with whatever he had, for what it's worth.

I remember we were provided with codura patching kits that had a glue and a few patches and sewing was and probably still is a 10 level task covered in the soldiers handbook, I repaired my own uniforms and equipment on occasion. I just wanted to be certain before I made any purchases, other than a two small holes and wear on the paint the haversack in question appears to be a good reproduction and could be easily made serviceable with minimal work.
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2018, 08:43:59 pm »

CD Jarnigan & Company and they also have the rubber blankets/ponchos
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RattlesnakeJack
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2018, 11:24:27 pm »

Doc Jackson: Sounds as if you think like me: "Can't have too many books ... or do too much research!"

 Grin Grin Grin
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Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2018, 01:41:07 am »


a few in no particular order

https://www.blockaderunner.com/Catalog/catpg9b.html

http://www.fcsutler.com/fcblankhavers.asp

https://crescentcitysutler.com/

http://www.mercurysutler.com/haversacks.htm

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Doc Jackson
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« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2018, 08:45:32 am »

Thanks for the advice everyone. I was able to secure a good haversack of the mid to late war style. Maker unknown, but it seems to be of good quality and is accurate, though a little worn. It has two small holes that can be easily darned and a 1 1/4'' tear that I'll put a whip stitch on. I just need to wash it repair the holes, and repaint it, all in it will be under $20.
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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2018, 10:58:48 am »

I'm not sure what happened to my reply yesterday, but I'll post most of it again.
For the 1872 haversack, I'd recommend Tom Wilder (Little Muddy Traders) Williston ND followed by WPG. The contents were pretty well covered, except that I add unground coffee, sugar and hardtack and IF I'll be using it fairly soon side pork or unsliced bacon.

You might also visit the following page for supplier suggestions
http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,33884.0.html

I carry a harmonica too( Libby Custer documented them in, I believe,  Boot and Saddles) At Ft. Hartsuff there were Harmonica reed plates retrieved during "Sink" archeology. About the only thing you need to look for is a wooden body. If the harmonica has one it is period correct. Honer makes several good ones that are quite inexpensive.

In the way of books, the ones I recommend (in additions to some of the ones you named) are:
Army Blue and More Army Blue by John Langellier
The U.S. Army in the West, 18701880: Uniforms, Weapons, and Equipment and Uniforms, Arms, and Equipment: The U.S. Army on the Western Frontier 1880-1892 (2-Volume Set) by the late Douglas McChristian
A Dose of Frontier Soldiering: The Memoirs of Corporal E. A. Bode

Below are my 1876 kit. Like RSJ I remove a lot of it while shooting.




You might also visit the following page for supplier suggestions
http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,33884.0.html
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Doc Jackson
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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2018, 02:25:09 pm »

Whats the loaded weight for your full marching kit? Also how much of a difference would you say there would be in the official load out vs what would have been commonly carried in the more stripped down campaign kit? Im sure it differed by season.

I wanted to build my impression by first getting:

. Hat ( Im considering a civilian hat in black or light brown )
. Model 1858 sack coat
. Model 1861 trousers
. Bootees
. Socks
. Wool shirt
. Drawers
. Canteen
. Belt Knife ( Im not sure which)
. Haversack Contents ( to include a pocket knife)
. Rifle sling

I already have:
. Fairweather Christian Belt
. Model 1861 Rifle ( with accouterments less bayonet and scabbard)
. Model 1873 Rifle
. Tarred Haversack ( just needs a few repairs but its otherwise accurate and appears to be well made)
. Model 1858 Forage Cap ( I definitely want to supplement this with a civilian hat, but I wanted to add some flexibility)


Later on I would like to add:

. Rubber Blanket or Poncho
. Wool Blanket
. Enlisted Foot Overcoat
. Muskrat Hat ( But Im not sure if these were in use from 66'-67' or 74'-76' )
. Mittens, woolen or fur?

I collected the guns a while ago, I also have a Model 1859 Sharps Carbine that I probably wont be using for this.  My Model 1861 rifle and accouterments are a thousand miles away with my sister, so until they return I want to focus on my 1876 impression. For my initial list can you think of anything Im missing?

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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2018, 03:20:56 pm »

Whats the loaded weight for your full marching kit? Also how much of a difference would you say there would be in the official load out vs what would have been commonly carried in the more stripped down campaign kit?
Oh, it doesn't weigh all that much...for the first 100 yards or so. After that it weighs at least 2001 lbs.  Roll Eyes

In what I have shown there is very little that would have been in addition to the official load. The harmonica, Target record book and the Upton's Manual are the only things I can think of, but it is short the palmer brace. I'd do away with the books, extra shirt and the clothing bag and depending on how long I was to be gone, possibly the extra drawers. I might also eliminate the great coat, shelter half, pins, and poles, depending on what time of year and weather.

IIRC the Muskrat Cap didn't become official issue until sometime in the 1880's. The mittens and winter hat were private purchase items during the 60's & 70's so you can pretty much use whatever you choose.
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« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2018, 03:48:35 pm »

Hi

Blockade Runner's and several other places have plate sized steel frying pans (not cast iron, light ones) that can be used to eat from and to cook with. I also have several of the knife, fork, and spoon pocket knife setups that are great, and small.  Extra Socks, and possibly an extra shirt are all the clothing I would take.  The poncho and blanket are useful.  I would take a 7 inch or smaller butcher knife, possibly in a sheath or in your haversack.  Don't need a broadsword when you got a rifle.  A decent cup comes in handy.  I would also suggest a rag or one of those 4-5 inch long whisk broom things to clean plates etc with.  I had one, don't remember what it was called, but it worked great.  Take soap of some sort, matches in a metal match box.  Take a sewing kit, I have a $7 one and a more than $20 one, but both are about a like. 

More, but that will help a little.

Later
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Mike
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« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2018, 07:54:46 pm »

a housewife is simple and fun project....

some pillow ticking or scrap shirt material  , and I used to use the saved off cut when I hemmed my (issue) trousers....
sew into pocket add thread,  a couple of needle,  a few buttons and Bob's your Uncle.

A little pair of folding scissors or maybe some from a fingernail trim kit is nice.   


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