WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BECOME A UNION CIVIL WAR RE-ENACTOR!
THIS GUIDE WILL ASSIST YOU IN PERIOD AUTHENTICITY, HOW TO DRESS, OBTAIN PROPER EQUIPMENT AND MAINTAIN A PROPER IMPRESSION AND PERSONA.
The 118th NY, Co. F strives for an authentic 1861 – 1865 Union or Civilian Impression. For the purposes of this section we will deal exclusively with the Military Impression. To further explore the Civilian Impression please visit the “Civilian Auxiliary” section on this site. The 118th NY is primarily a Union unit, but we do have the ability to “Galvanize” (or to change sides) and portray a Confederate unit. We only do so if requested or if the need arises at an event where Confederate soldiers are needed to portray a proper impression for the public.
Authenticity is one of our major goals in this hobby and having proper uniforms, equipment & maintaining a proper military persona is expected as part of your membership. You will be required to pay annual dues which will be discussed with you before joining. Dues include membership fees & insurance coverage while at events. Failure to meet the required items & persona may be grounds for dismissal from the ranks of the 118th NY, but every effort will be made to assist you in obtaining your required items. We do require all new members to go through a “1 year” probationary status. During this probationary time frame you will be required to obtain the necessary uniform and equipment to fulfill your impression. Also during this time you will be scrutinized on your persona and behavior within our ranks. You should take your impression very seriously. The cost alone of obtaining your kit is not to be taken lightly and is in itself a commitment. Much assistance will be given you by other members to obtain your equipment and maintain a proper persona, but the ultimate responsibility will be yours. In order to become a member you will need to fill out a “New Member” form & disclose some personal information which will only be used for organizational & insurance purposes.
Well now that you know what is expected of you let’s get started with what you will need to be in the 118th NY ranks. All of the below items can be obtained through “Sutlers” (period stores) or you can make them yourself. Please take note that you should speak with a veteran member before purchasing or making clothing or equipment! Acquiring the wrong clothing or equipment can be costly. If you are serious about joining and becoming a member of our organization, after reading this section you can go to the “Contact” section & send us an e-mail. We will contact you as soon as we are able to do so.
Uniform: (Approx. $250 - $300) The uniform of the 118th NY was typically very simple, but regulation (Government Issue). You will be required to obtain a Dark Blue “Sack Coat”, Light Blue Trousers, Black Felt Slouch Hat or Blue Kepi, Period shirts (at least 2), Braces (suspenders), Brogans (period shoes) & Wool Socks (at least 2 pair).
Accoutrements: (Approx. $200) Cartridge Box, Cap Box, Haversack, Canteen, Belt, Buckle & Hat tins
Musket: (Approx. $600 - $800) This item will be the most costly & most important item in your kit. Most re-enactors choose to purchase the standard “Enfield” or “Springfield” type musket. Before you purchase this item a veteran member will assist you in its selection, to ensure you get the proper weapon. Along with the purchase of your weapon you will also need to buy your bayonet, scabbard & Cleaning kit & tools for your musket.
Tentage: (Approx. $100 - $150) Or quite simply your home in the field. The type of tent starting as a new recruit should be simple but effective to the weather. The 2 most common are the “Dog Tent”, which is basically the Pvts. Tent, but most commonly used by re-enactors is the “A- Frame” tent. I personally would recommend purchasing the “A- Frame”, as the weather up north here can get a bit chilly & you will welcome the shelter & privacy an “A-Frame” can offer you. However the choice is yours to make.
Misc. Items: Quite simply stated, any item that you might wish to buy or make that can aid you in a proper impression. These items are not required.