Information for Recruits
The 8th Tennessee is very informal, and there are no dues. You just show up when you can. None of us can attend all
events. We do try and get a handle on who can make the more immediate upcoming events, but that's generally to let sponsoring
folks know how many of us to expect. Most events provide straw some provide food or a powder ration.
We choose events we want to attend by a vote of the troops. We put all possibilities we know of on the table and vote
on them, usually in January before the reenacting season starts. Some events require Confederates to galvanize (joining the
Yankees) for at least one battle. Our officers and NCOs are elected once a year by vote of the company.
Uniform and Accoutrements
You're going to be an infantry private. The costs indicated are estimates for new equipment, but you'll see that used
items sometimes can be had from sutlers at events or from some internet sites. Also, you can pick up items from individuals,
sometimes at bargain prices. You'll be surprised, however, at how well reenacting equipment holds its value. If you know
a seamstress, you can acquire patterns cheaply, and make your own uniform parts. Any new member just entering the hobby is
STRONGLY advised to retain the advice and or counsel of an officer on NCO before purchasing items for us in their impression.
Here is what you will need, and the order you need to get them in.
Canteen $25-$65 Get this first; you will need it.
Tin cup $10-$30 depends on the size and how it is made.
Tin plate $9-$20 you gotta eat.
Eating utensils $4-$25
Haversack $15-$50 plain or tarred this is for rations only.
Cap pouch $15-$75
Waist belt $30-$50 with a buckle.
Cartridge box $40-$165 depends on the maker.
Hat $50-$150 depends on preference, many varieties here.
Shirt $25-$70 many varieties here as well.
Braces (suspenders) $15-$25
Frock coat $150-$280 or a Shell jacket $130-$205
Note: You are now set up to fight with the company musket. Next, though, you will eventually need a gum blanket or oil
cloth $35-$100. They are nice to have when it rains, and also used for a ground cover.
New or used, this is the big item. You will need a three-banded musket. Choices are the .69 cal. Springfield, the .58
cal. Enfield (from England) or the .58 cal. Springfield. Prices have gone way up in recent years. Muskets cost anywhere
from about $630-$900. You will also need a bayonet and scabbard $40-$160. We have got two company muskets (Enfield and Springfield),
and a couple of extras that belong to members. These are made available to company members and recruits on a first come first
served basis at events.
This should be the last items you get. Many of us have the infantry A frame type tent that comfortably accommodates two
soldiers, and there are many varieties. When we camp we usually go campaign style. Campaign style is when you carry everything
you need for the event in a blanket roll or knapsack. Real Confederates went this way all the time.
A-frame tent $150-$250
Blanket $30 and up
Knapsack $100-$200 many varieties here.
That's a quick breakdown of the things you will need. After acquiring these items, there are few expenses outside of
gas and food. One exception is powder and percussion caps. You'll learn how to roll your own blank rounds. Powder costs
about $25 a pound retail, but we buy it in larger quantities when possible and make it available at $10-$15 a pound (you get
about 110 to 120 rounds out of a pound) You'll average about 25-50 shots per battle, depending on how fast you load.
We don't expect new recruits to run out and buy all this at once; some get a whiff of it and get it all, but realistically
we understand what a heavy investment it is. We find, however, that if a recruit like reenacting, he'll want to get his own
stuff as soon as he can. In the meantime, we offer everything we can to help out, because the bottom line is the fellowship
and good times that come out of it. You'll be surprised at how helpful the men of the 8th can be. We were all recruits once
and know what it's like. If you need help just ask.
If you're interested in participating, contact:
Capt. Johnathan Smith
3947 Tanyard Hill Rd
Lynchburg, TN 37352