Special Interests - Groups & Societies > GAF Regulations

"Ask and ye shall receive..."

(1/6) > >>

It has been requested that I start a post detailing the kit I wore and carried at the 2012 Grand Muster at Garnett Kansas. Having found my entry for the field uniform contest I will post it here.

2012 Grand Army of the Frontier Grand Muster Clothing Contest entry (Field)


I am Sergeant Jerry M. Davenport, a senior NCO in Captain (And Bvt. Col.) J.J. Coppinger’s Company “A” of the 23rd U.S. Infantry. It is November 1876 and I am stationed at Fort Hartsuff Nebraska.

 I am the post saddler. I was assigned this extra duty last May to replace Sgt. William Dougherty who was killed in a skirmish with Sioux Indians near Gracey Creek. This skirmish has become known to the locals as the Battle of the Blowout.  My duties include making any necessary repairs to our company leather goods as well as overseeing the care of the horses and mules used here by our company. I have my own quarters in a corner of the stables that doubles as my workshop.

Colonel Coppinger and Captain Miles Keogh were close personal friends. Both were Irish members of the Swiss Guard at the Vatican before immigrating to the United States.

Since my uniform is the regulation uniform and accoutrements of a U.S. infantryman and composed almost entirely of original or museum quality specimens, I will briefly outline the deviations from regulations and the reasons behind those deviations.

While official superseded by the M-1876 campaign hat, mine is the M-1872 version of the Andrews Hat. This is because on June 16, 1874 Congress stipulated that no new pattern items be issued, “…until those on hand are exhausted” Since there were still some of the M-1872 hats on hand when I needed a new one our quartermaster, Lt. Charles Heath Heyl issued me one out of our storehouse.  Photographic evidence shows that they worn as late as the early 1880’s. The judges will note that while most men “loose” their issued hat cords I am wearing mine. It normally stays in my footlocker so that I am not charged for a new one, I only put it on my hat on such occasions when I know I will be inspected..such as today.

Again my great coat has been officially superseded by the double-breasted coat formerly worn only by the cavalry.  A shortage of these forced Secretary of War E.D. Townsend to issue General Order No. 67 on June 25, 1873 that stated in part, “until further orders, the single-breasted overcoat; …may be issued to and worn by, enlisted men of all arms of the service, in lieu of the double-breasted overcoat.” I have removed the hooks and eyes from the collar of mine as they have a tendency to become caught in the beard I wear in the winter months. I have also replaced the lining with cloth from a condemned blanket. This practice can be documented in the book My Life on the Plains, by G.A. Custer and The US Army In The West, 1870-1880 by Douglas McChristian.

There is no regulation pertaining to the suspenders and my wife made me a pair from blue ticking material.

I am wearing the unlined version of the M-1874 5 button blouse.

While normally only issued to mounted troops, M-1872 mounted boots such as the ones I am wearing have been proven by archeological evidence to have been worn by at least one infantry soldier at Fort Hartsuff. A photo of this boot accompanies this entry.

Archaeology also shows that harmonicas were used at Fort Hartsuff as harmonica reed plates have been found. I am carrying my personal harmonica in my boot. Even had they not been found during the digs at Fort Hartsuff, Libby Custer mentions in Boots and Saddles that while officers forbade the men from bringing harmonicas on campaign,  soldiers could easily hide their harmonica in their boot tops so they brought “the little harps” with them anyway.

As the judges will note that I am equipped with the M-1873 Rice trowel bayonet. This is an experimental item not normally carried by most infantrymen. My company was chosen to report on the suitability of it for general issue. This is demonstrated in the copy of the ordnance returns accompanying this entry. I am also supplied with the new M-1876 Prairie Belt. I’d also like to point out that I have chosen to compete in the Infantry class becauses my company was not issued sidearms again this can be seen in the ordnance returns.

I have modified my rifle by replacing the sights so that they are the correct type for 1876.

As post saddler I have made myself a second prairie belt from condemned materials here on the post  so that I can carry more ammunition.

In my M-1874 Clothing Bag I am carrying a spare pair of regulation canton flannel drawers, a reprint of Upton’s Infantry Tactics, my target record book, my rifle tools, housewife, and since the 1872 regulations ignored the socks, there is also a pair  plain Grey wool Socks of the type commonly worn during the period. I am carrying two boxes of ammunition in my clothing bag. The Judges will note that I have troubled myself to package this ammunition in a reproduction Frankfort Arsenal package.

In my M-1874 type I haversack I am carrying a complete set of M-1874 silverware, a M-1874 type II meat can, Hardtack, beans and coffee. I had always thought that 1876 was too early for the type II meat can to have been issued; however, I recently read that one was found at the archaeological digs at the Little Bighorn Battle site.

I have had my prescription put in a pair of original gold wire frame glasses. I am also carrying a pocketknife typical of the kind used during the Indian war period.

While I didn't detail it in my entry. I am wearing the regulation canton flannel drawers, plain Grey wool Socks of the type commonly worn during the period, The CW period infantry trousers with M-1872 infantry Sgt. stripe, and a M-1874 gray wool shirt. I am carrying a CW Type rubber blanket and shelter half with correct pins and pole, canteen with 1874 modifications and M-1872 bedding blanket.

Nice!!...thanks for the write.  I have a couple of questions but I will post them later.

Doc Jackson:
A very informative and interesting read, thanks for posting it.


Pitspitr...if you get a chance, can list who the vendors you used for some of the items and how they have held up?

Was company A of the 23rd high on the list of new gear/trial gear issue?  Since the got the experimental trial bayonet, I was wondering if they were specially selected for other stuff.

The Items I use and sources are listed below. This has been a nearly 25 year journey so I may not be correct on some of the sources. If you check out the Clothing and Equipment thread (http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,33884.0.html) it will have most of the address' for the vendors (some are out of business) All of my equipment has held up pretty well. I've had the shoes resoled and the damned uniform seems to have shrunk while hanging in the closet  >:( ;) but other than that most of the repro's are going on nearly 25 years and are still going strong.

Not sure what the status of A of the 23rd was in regard to testing. All I know for certain was that they tested the trowel bayonet in 1876 and did not recommend it.

 Forage Cap -Pattern 1872 (Greg Starbuck)
Forage Cap Insignia- M1875 crossed rifles with 1/2 letter in upper angle and 1/2 in. number in lower (S&S)
Campaign Hat- M1872 (Tom Langham)
Fatigue Blouse -Pattern 1874 Pattern by Connie Lindmier (Locally made by Joyce Gabriel)
M-1872 Chevrons & leg Stripe (made for me by Mike Schweitzer's mother )
Shirt -Pattern 1874, grey flannel(Nicholas Sekela Historical Clothiers)
Trousers -Pattern 1861, Foot Pattern by Past Patterns (Locally made by Joyce Gabriel)
Drawers -CW Pattern, Canton flannel(CD Jarnagin)
Socks  -Grey wool, plain tops (local source)
Shoes -M1876 (MO Boot and Shoe) M1872 Mounted Boot (MO Boot and Shoe)
Overcoat -Modified CW Foot (Locally made by Joyce Gabriel)
Dress Coat.- Pattern 1872 Pattern by Connie Lindmier(Locally made by Joyce Gabriel)
Suspenders- Civilian pattern blue ticking. I don’t remember the source
CW issue Rubber Blanket- (CD Jarnagin)
Waist Belt and Plate -M1874 (Buckle by I.C.Mercantile I made the leather)
 Cartridge Box -M1874 "McKeever" (my own make)
Cartridge Belt- soldier-made leather belt, (my own make) M1876 (Tom Wilder)
 Haversack- M1874 (Tom Wilder)
Canteen- M1858, smoothside from CD Jarnagin with M1874, Type I conversion kit from I.C.Mercantile, I assembled
Meat Can- M1872 What Price Glory ( http://onlinemilitaria.net/shopaff.asp?affid=1576 )M1874 Type II (original)E-bay
 Knife -M1874 (original) Hayes Otoupalik
 Fork- M1874 (original) S&S
Spoon - M1874 (original) Hayes Otoupalik
Cup- M1874, with "U.S." embossed on handle (CD Jarnagin)
Shelter Half -M1862 (Rademacher)
Blanket- M1873 (Barron Woolen)
Knapsack- M1874 Clothing Bag (Wilder)
Rifle-Pedersoli Long Range Model Modified with original 1873 Sights
Rifle Implements – Original Pin Punch, Screwdriver, main spring vice, front sight cover (S&S, Gunshows, Dixie)
Rifle Sling- M1870 conversion (Tom Wilder)
Bayonet- M1873 (original)
Bayonet Scabbard -M1874 (original scabbard I made the frog)
Entrenching Tool -Trowel Bayonet (Dixie, I think )


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version
Powered by SMFPacks Ads Manager Mod
Powered by SMFPacks Likes Pro Mod
Powered by SMFPacks Menu Editor Mod