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Company Handbook

The 8th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry "The Camargo Guards"

Welcome to the 8th Regt Tenn Inf and the Cotton States Battalion. We are pleased that you chose our unit to serve with. I think you will find that the 8th and the CSB are some of the friendliest reenactors in the hobby. The Officers, NCOs, and men of this unit will do all that they can to make your experiences in the hobby as enjoyable as possible.

In the 8th Tennessee you will experience life as a Confederate solider both in camp and "in the line of battle." It is not the purpose of the 8th to glorify war, but to learn in small ways, perhaps, what the life of the common solider was like and to have a better understanding of the "War Between the States."

In the 8th, you can march across the same hallowed ground that those brave men did so long ago. You will stand pickets and hear the roar of gunfire. You will get a new perspective on the war by actually being able to recreate the way they lived in the 1860s.

Creed of the Living Historian
by Bruce Catton
We are people to whom the past is forever speaking. We listen to it because we cannot help ourselves, for the past speaks to us with many voices. Far out of that dark nowhere, which is the time before we were born, men who were flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone, went through fire and storm to break a path to the future. We are part of the future they died for. They are part of the past that brought the future. What they did the lives they lived, the sacrifices they made, the stories they told and the songs they sung and finally, the deaths they died makes up a part of our own experience. We cannot cut ourselves off from it. It is as real to us as something that happened last week.

Getting Started

So you've joined up, and are itching to get started . . . Great! But, before you jump right in and go deep into debt, we have some things to discuss.
Like any other large scale hobby, or anything involving large groups of people, there is an entire industry that supports and supplies historical reenacting/ living history. Members of this industry are called "sutlers," which was a period term for shopkeepers that usually traveled with both armies. These dealers generally supplied needs of the troops that were not provided for by the Quartermasters systems of the armies.

While the vast majority of the sutlers are honest, upstanding individuals . . . keep in mind that they are first and foremost businessmen. This means that their objectives are twofold: to stay in business and to make money. They are not to be faulted for this, but the good reenactor must always keep these facts in mind, especially the reenactor new to the sometimes dizzying amounts of equipment available on the market today.Any new member just entering the unit is strongly advised to retain the advice and/ or counsel of an officer or NCO before purchasing items for use in their impression.

The 8th Tennessee is mostly uniformed in what is known as jean wool. During the war this material was cheaper and most Confederate depots used some type of jean wool in the production of uniforms. This is the type of material to go with, when buying either a uniform or the material for someone to make one for you.Please note that this recommendation is made in the interest of presenting an accurate impression of a soldier in the Army of Tennessee, during the American Civil War.

Many members of the 8th Tennessee have many years of experience in the hobby of reenacting. Many of these have found better, and less expensive ways of manufacturing (or obtaining) items need for reenacting - rather than buying these items from sutlers. There are several areas such as sewing of uniforms and accouterments; making various leather, tin and wood items - both for military and camp use. It is strongly suggested that these sources of equipment be explored before money is needlessly spent at sutlers that often care little about an individuals (or units) historical impression.

We cannot accept any females into the unit as active soldiers. However, if a female(s) wishes to fall in as the camp cook, nurses, wash/mending ladies, etc., they are more than welcome.
We also require that members in the ranks be 16 years old, unless prior arrangements have been made.
A working knowledge of gun safety is a must and will be asked of all new recruits.
Uniform Regulations
You are expected to dress in period military clothing (1860 to 1865). Many of the Companys members can help you with selecting the correct equipment and clothing and let you know what is acceptable for the 8th Tennessee.

For portraying 8th Tennessee, Army of Tennessee, CSA: It is suggested that you obtain jean wool uniform for its coolness and durability. Leather gear, headgear, footwear, etc. is fairly open as long as its period correct.

For portraying 22nd Illinios, Army Of the Tennessee, USA: Sky blue pants, dark blue sack or frock coats are the only options.
Rifles: must be pre 1865 models. Will be (3) band rifles. No two band rifles, no shotguns, no repeaters.
Materials: Period weave, style, etc. materials will be used to make your clothing.

General Rules & Regulations
*All members will be expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will honor the Soldiers whose memories we represent.
*Military courtesy will be observed to all officers; company, battalion, and so on.
*A working knowledge of firearm safety must be demonstrated before anyone can fall in with or join our company.
*No member of the company will carry a pistol on the field.
*No member of the company will carry "live rounds" to any reenactment.
*All weapons are to be a three-band style. Enfields, Springfields, Richmonds.
*No loose powder is to be carried onto the field.
*Don't take a hit with a loaded musket.
*Muskets are to be cleaned prior to each event, and after the days scenario.
*No smoking in the ranks.
*No member will begin a march, drill sessions, or battle scenarios without a full canteen.
*Company members will observe all event regulations in which the unit is participating.
*All non-period items should be kept out of sight at all times.
*Drunkenness, substance abuse, or possession of controlled substances will not be tolerated.
*No body piercings are allowed. Ears, Noses, Eyebrows, or Tounges.
*Members are required to drill before battles in order to participate in afternoon battles.
*Members must be 16 to carry a musket on the field, unless a parent or guardian is present.
*All members are to inform a company officer if they wish to leave camp.
*All members must have a pass signed by a company officer if they wish to leave camp.
*Roll call and drill sessions, at events, are mandatory.
*All new or prospective members should talk to a company officer as to what equipment and uniform to purchase.
*Any member violating safety rules or rules of conduct may be removed from the field for the duration of the event by any Officer or NCO of the company. Failure to abide by the rules of conduct is grounds for immediate dismissal from the company. Dismissal from the company requires a majority vote of members present at any given event.