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Confederates Looking 1863

While reading these guidelines, please understand that they are only intended to be just that, guidelines. It is our hope to portray, as accurately as possible, the soldiers of the period. We will be performing inspections before each battle, but we will not be counting the thread count of your uniform, nor will we be weighing or judging you on the type of material your uniform is composed of. We simply want you to look the part as best as you possibly can. Use this opportunity to make some small adjustments to your kit to make it look better. We are not asking you to be absolutely perfect. Small adjustments across the whole event make a much better impression across the board.
Material type is only one aspect of the hobby. But what would increase both your knowledge and enjoyment of an event, is tailoring your impression to the specific event. This allows you to learn more about the material culture as well as giving the public a better vision of the troops of the period.

The Common CS soldier during this campaign traveled light and looked hard. They still would have been covered in road dust, and since the Central Government was now in charge of supplying the men, the look was far more uniform than seen previously.

Keep in mind the clothing a North Carolina soldier wore during this period, may or may not have differed from that which a VA private wore. Some individual states did equip many a regiment, such as North Carolina, but there is no hard rule that says if you are from North Carolina you would have been wearing a North Carolina Jacket. But it is a detail grossly underrepresented in our hobby.

Head Gear

There are many choices, and your decision would be based on what unit you are depicting.

Jean cloth kepi of gray or brown. You can see good examples of these in the Confederate version of Echoes of Glory. Havelocks were not worn during this period.

Properly blocked and lined Civilian Hats, with little or no decorations and Hat Brass.


There are several options for this as well.

Richmond Type II is the preferred coat. This is a 7-9 button jean or satinette short jacket, with epaulets, some having belt loops as well. These were mostly lined in osnaburg, with either Block I or Federal General Service Buttons. Light gray was the most common color seen, with various undertones of brown, blue and green.

Other coats were used during this campaign, and thus as options are:

  • NC Jean Shell Jacket
  • GA Issue Shell Jacket
  • South Carolina Issue frock Coat
  • Civilian Frock or Sack coats


As with coats, there are a few variations you could wear. Basic Richmond or Civilian trousers should be the majority of trousers seen, with no trim on the seams.

These were sometimes lined 8 inches up from the bottom, allowing the trouser to fall naturally over a pair of boots. Notice I said over a pair, not tucked in, except for mounted officers.

These should be made out of jean or satinette, with some broadcloth and kersey trousers seen in the ranks. THIS DOES NOT MEAN FEDERAL-ISSUE TROUSERS. This is a reenactorism, and highly overdone in the hobby. The fact is the CS Government did issue some Sky Blue trousers, but these were of their pattern, and not the Federal government contract.


At this point in the war, CS or civilian shoes would prove to be the most common, as the number of Federal shoes worn by CS troops has been highly overestimated.


This is one other area in which you can “appear 1863”

Most veteran troops would have confiscated Federal Smooth side canteens and tarred haversacks, however, the common plain tin drum with cloth or leather strap would have been seen with newer units as well as the common white CS issue haversacks.

In Fremantle’s accounts, the bedroll was far favored over knapsacks, but a few units differed, and the occasional double bag would have been seen, as well as some English import bags

Good Luck, and I look forward to seeing you looking 1863!