A corporal models the appropriate uniform and equipment for an infantryman in Federal service.


Pvt. Andrew Keehan


New Recruits will be provided with as much loaner gear as we can readily outfit you with. You will be expected to acquire the required equipment within a year of enlisting.

Forage Cap

US Pattern of 1858 (Type I or II) is most preferred. "McDowell" style caps are also acceptable. Militia style Kepis may be appropriate for early war scenarios.


Pullover shirt of cotton, wool, or a blend of the two. Federal issue Domet flannel shirts or Contract flannel shirts are a plus.

Fatigue Blouse

Dark blue four button coat of wool flannel. This item is indispensible for your Federal impression.

Federal Trowsers

Light blue trousers of woolen Kersey. These trousers rise to above the navel with a full seat. Period braces (suspenders) may be necessary to hold these up.


Knit wool socks are preferred, but period cotton socks are acceptable. Some prefer to wear a pair of cotton socks under their wool socks to alleviate the itchiness.


The military shoe of the mid-19th century was a black leather lace-up boot rising just above the ankle. Often called Jefferson Bootees or Brogans.

Cartridge Box

Pattern of 1839 or 1857 for .69 round/buck and ball musket. Black leather with brass box plate and leather strap with US eagle breast plate. Must include tins for proper storage of cartridges.

Cap Pouch

Federal pattern leather pouch for holding percussion caps. "Shield front" pattern preferred.

Waist Belt

Black leather 2" wide with a leather standing loop and US belt buckle (puppy paw style).


Socket bayonet for M1842 .69 musket. Black leather scabbard (2 rivet pattern) with brass ferrule.


Model 1842 US Musket, .69 smooth bore. Springfield or Harper's Ferry. M1861 Rifles or British Enfields are acceptable, but heavily discouraged.


Black painted canvas sack for carrying your rations.


Tin US pattern water canteen with cork closure and wool or jean cover. Smooth side pattern with dark blue wool or brown jean wool cover preferred.

Tin Cup and Plate

A good sized tin cup with soldered base and handle will hold more than a pint of liquid or stew. This is another indispensible item. A tin plate, bowl, or canteen half is also useful for heating and eating your rations. Remember to also acquire some sturdy period flatware.


To be a combat participant, you must of course have proper blank ammunition. For this you will require FF or FFF black powder wrapped in paper tubes, which should fit snuggly into the tins of your cartridge box. Powder should be kept in nonreactive containers, such as a powder flask, for safety. You will also need musket caps to prime your weapon. These items may be stored in a period ammo box, but should not be brought to events. Period correct blank ammo is carried by a few sutlers, but it is much easier to make your own.

Musket cleaning gear

You will need at the very least a wiper (worm), a cone pick, a musket wrench tool, a tompion, and some cloth patches. Those are the only period cleaning implements available. Other items you may need include a cleaning rod set, a wire brush, a cleaning jag, a bore scraper, a ball puller (for live firing mishaps), a tin spout for pouring water down the barrel, emery cloth (for de-rusting), and a small bit of shoe leather to protect your priming cone during storage.

Although not required, thes items will be necessary if you plan to camp with us.

Army Blanket

Wool blanket, gray or tan with end stripes. "US" may be stitched (not painted!) in the middle.

Shelter Half

Type IIA 3 panneled tent of cotton drill, roughly 63" x 66" with rope loops (NOT brass grommets!) You'll probably want to invest in 3-4 wooden or iron tent stakes.

Gum Blanket

Rubber coated cotton blanket with small brass grommets to use as a ground cloth and raincoat.


Double bag pattern knapsack for carrying your blankets, tents, extra rations, and ammo.

Great Coat

Light Blue caped overcoat of Kersey wool. These are indispensable on cold nights in camp.

Under Drawers

Cotton flannel or muslin full length drawers. Although these are not a required item, you will find these a necessity when wearing wool trousers.

Huck/Floursack towels

These simple, lightweight towels will come in handy in many situations. Keep separate towels for personal grooming and dishwashing &c.


A folding cloth bag that holds sewing supplies (needles, thread, buttons, &c.).

These items will see limited use, but are appropriate for certain occasions.

New York State Jacket

These were issued to many New York volunteer units (including the 69th) in the early years of the war. It is a short, close fitting jacket of dark blue wool, with french blue cording at the collar, epaulettes, and belt loop. The coat has eight large New York State "Excelsior" buttons down the front and two small buttons on each cuff. These jackets are appropriate for some early war scenarios and dress occasions.


The vest was a virtually omnipresent item in 19th Century mens wear. A military or civilian style vest of appropriate materials and construction is appropriate for almost any time, but especially during colder weather (or photo shoots!).

Extra shirt/undershirt

A knit or woven cotton shirt worn under a woolen shirt is not only an accurate impression, but it keeps you warm at night and alleviates itchiness during the day.

Some Things to Avoid
These items are anachronistic or otherwise inauthentic.

Stainless Steel

It did not yet exist, and should not be used.


Nothing ruins an otherwise good impression like a shiny wristwatch glaring out from under your cuff. Wristwatches did not exist as such during the period. If you've ever attempted to lift a period watch, you'll know why.


Eyeglasses, as much as possible should be avoided. If worn, they should be in period correct frames. One pair of sunglasses ruins an entire battalion's impression.

Excessive Insignia

For very early war impressions, it is appropriate to wear brass numbers "69" on the front of your kepi. For impressions after the spring of 1863, red trefoil corps badges are appropriate for wear on the cap or blouse. Other insignia (i.e. hunting horns or harps) cannot be documented and should not be worn.