Uniforms and Equipment

Basic Equipment List For Beginners

Military – Male 16 years or older, Union Infantry


4 Button Sack Coat, wool, dark blue
Pants, sky blue, wool, with substantial suspenders.  Pants should fit loosely to allow for movement.
Brogans (shoes), raw hide laces,  recommend with heal plates, for footing, and longevity of the shoe.
Military kepi or bummer cap.  Brass numbers of 142 or the letter F is acceptable.
Period style shirt (pull over, long sleeve, usually with three buttons at collar, in period style material), recommend (2) for a weekend.
Leathers -  Black leather waist belt w/ brass “US” belt buckle, cap box, (that fits on the waist belt), Cartridge box, w/ “US” plate centered on box, shoulder strap fitted to cartridge box, w/ brass eagle plate affixed to shoulder strap.  Tins for cartridge box are available but not necessary. Scabbard for your bayonet, with brass tip.
Canteen – Dark blue wool covering , with canvas or leather strap.  Recommend stainless steel canteen.
Haversack, blackened canvas, with muslin liner.
Tin cup
3-band Enfield or Springfield musket.  (There are several makers and price ranges.  Recommend trying different models in camp to see what is your preference.)
Bayonet to fit your rifle.
If you wear eyeglasses, period eye wear, or something that resembles period eye wear. Small round ovals, wire rims work. There are sutlers who deal exclusively in fitting period frames with modern prescriptions, and also sell new frames that resemble period eye wear, and won’t turn your skin green.  You can also wear contacts.  No plastic frames or sunglasses.

Camping Equipment

Camping on the military street:   Canvas A tent, 9’ maximum length, or dog tent.  Wood poles.  If you camp on the civilian street with your family, you can have up to a wall tent with a dinner fly, as long as it’s a period style tent.  Iron tent stakes, rope ties for wall tents.

Wool blankets, blue, gray, or brown.  Plain design, or  period reproduction US military issue wool blankets

You can bring modern conveniences as long as they are out of sight while camps are open.  Such as a cot to sleep on, and a cooler.  Keep these items covered with wool blankets.


Shooting and Gun Supplies

Black Powder, rated f,ff, fff, or ffff.   The higher the f rating the finer the powder.  Fine powder burns cleaner, but you do not get as many rounds out of a 1 lbs. can.  (65 grains per round)

Paper cartridge tubes or “Paper Ladies”.  You can purchase empty cartridges, or roll your own.
Powder measure
Rifle cleaning supplies, including patches to clean the barrel, powder solvents, barrel brushes to fit your ramrod, nipple pick, pipe cleaners, lubricating oil, nipple wrench.

Optional equipment:
Great coat for cold weather

Gum Blanket, good for sleeping on and for rain gear.

Period personal products (tooth brush, wallet, pocket Bible, flat wear, tin plate, candles, handkerchief (no bright red railroad style handkerchiefs , purchase muted colors) , Journal, pencil, period stationary, ect, ect.)  These items would be for display or to show the public what a CW soldier carried in their haversack.

Backpack, w/ bedroll

Uniform Sources


The following are a list of sutlers that have proven reliable sources for reenactors.  These are located  in the region, and usually set-up at the larger events.   It is by no means a complete list.  It is recommended that you shop around for price and quality.  Tell the sutlers you are doing a private’s impression in the Union Army, they can help you with your purchase.  You can also make your own uniform, by purchasing the pattern, and buying the wool.  The top four listed are general sutlers, that carry just about everything you need.  Below that are specialty sutlers.

Fair Oaks Sutler                                             
9905 Kershaw Court                                       
Spotsylvania, VA  22553                                
(540) 972-7744                                          

The Gettysburg Sutler

1180 Hanover Road

Gettysburg, PA 17325

(717) 337-9669

Home Front General Store

39 Queen Street

Gettysburg, PA 17325

(717) 338-1776


Dirty Billy’s Hats (Quality Hats)                   
430 A Baltimore Street                              
Gettysburg, PA  17325                           
(717) 334-3200

Panther Lodges (tents)                                       
(304) 462-7718                                              


Other sources:  Used gear for sale, classified ads in the Civil War News and Camp Chase Gazette, eBay listings also.

Black Powder and gun cleaning supplies can be purchased at your local gun shop.  Army/Navy surplus stores are good sources for sleeping cots and wool blankets.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  Contact Keith MacGregor (717) 329-6393