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OJM
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Joined: 28 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:50 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Dave might already have discussed it with you, if not, there's two for my fellows of the norse persuasion.
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The band of the 18th Hussars, 4th of July, 1813.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: uniform Reply with quote

Gentlemen of the 95th:
I am experiencing some trouble with your website so please forgive me if this cut and paste effort looks somewhat off.

Since I am unfamiliar with your command structure, I am addressing this to the membership in general, although it appears from some of the messages that I have read that one of your members named “Eddie” might be the person to whom I should address this, as I am looking for some guidance with reference to your uniform.

It appears that new members obtain their uniforms from the existing membership, who prepare these goods “in-house”, as you phrase it. I understand and appreciate that. I have been a War Between the States reenactor in the US for over 20 years. My unit is what is either referred to, derisively or respectfully, depending upon the context and the speaker, as a “hard-core”, or as we prefer, “campaigner” unit. We sleep under the stars and march (long distances) in the rain and mud. We are either crazy or dedicated. Take your pick. Our uniform cloth must be obtained from our personal stock only after one becomes a member, so we are similar in that respect to you. Our purpose therein is to protect our appearance and individuality, as our cloth is vegetable dyed and very authentic. Once it fades, we look awful, just like our ancestors did. So I certainly respect your proprietary interest in your appearance, if in fact that is what is driving your policy. Thus in order for one to obtain your uniform or any part thereof, it is necessary for one to join your unit. While that is a laudable philosophy, and I would love to do so, it is unfortunately impossible for me to comply, separated as we are by a vast body of water. Therefore, it is my purpose in writing to ask if I may obtain a part of your uniform without the requirement of joining the unit. Let me explain.

Like many people, including perhaps a number of your current members, I was introduced to the 95th via the Sharpes Rifles series. That was over a decade ago. I enjoyed the series very much, being particularly impressed by the attention to detail with respect to the uniforms of the 95th. Or at least to my unpracticed eye they seemed accurate. I was much taken by the fatigue hat as portrayed in the series. Since then I have always wanted to have one. It was my desire to have one of these fatigue caps for use in camp with my Confederate unit. Such an item is of course very underrepresented in the hobby, much as the wearing of uniform parts from the Napoleonic era would have been underrepresented during the actual war. Nevertheless, it would be historically accurate for one to have a fatigue hat from the 95th in America in 1861. Put a finer point on it, it would be easy to justify having one in my case. My mother’s family name was Martin. Her people were all from the British Isles, mostly English, but with a strong representation of Welsh and also some Irish and Scots as well. So, I could weave a tale of a great grandfather or uncle passing the hat to me as I portray a soldier of the Confederacy. Again, we are sensitive to historical accuracy in my unit, so we think like that. Because it is in my blood, I have always had an affinity for Britain. I have studied at the University of Warwick. My mother’s family Bible indicates that many of her people hailed from Nottinghamshire. It would not be inaccurate to call me an Anglophile. So strong is my love of Great Britain that I am currently engaged in a four year study of the English soldier in the Great War during this centennial period. My admiration is boundless. I say all of this in hopes of convincing you that my desire for a campaign cap of the 95th is not some idle fancy. I hope I have made a case for you to deviate from the practice of only providing uniforms for your members and that I am assure you that the item that I am seeking from you will be worn with respect and admiration for the British in general and for the men of the 95th in particular.

I noticed on your website that the fatigue hat the men seemed to be wearing is not of the style which I am speaking. Undoubtedly your men wear that fatigue hat because your research substantiates it. The one I am referring to though is the one that was worn in the series and if you will please forgive my lack of knowledge on this matter, it appears to be more of a Tam O’Shanter,  Bolmoral, or Caubeen style. One can find a photo of Sean Bean wearing one if one googles “95th rifles fatigue hat” and clicks on “images”. The sides of the bonnet are fairly tall compared to many others.

In conclusion,  having taking your time with this explanation, I am now asking if you would be so kind as to allow me to engage you (whoever is the person in your unit who does such) to produce for me this fatigue hat. If you will please respond to let me know if you will do this, and how much you are asking for the work, I will be happy to prepay and will provide you with my hat size. I hasten to add that I noticed that very recently “Eddie” told another requester that he may be ceasing to produce these items and that they would have to be purchased commercially. Part of me thrill, and certainly the honor, of having one of these hats produced by your unit will necessarily be sacrificed if I must purchase one commercially, but if that is the state of affairs, than there’s nothing for it. In which case, I would ask you to please direct me to someone operating on the Internet who will make the best one of these for me.

I apologize for the length of this post, but hope that I have made my intent and motivation clear. As a fellow reenactor I am certain that your membership takes  portraying to the unschooled modern world the enduring nobility of the 95th rifles very seriously, and in that regard we are kindred spirits. The men in my unit are very closely knit, and very dedicated to portraying as accurately as possible, the heroes and patriots who were our ancestors in the unit we represent.

Thanking you for your attention and consideration, and looking forward to hearing from you with eagerness, I am

Your obedient servant,

J. R. Ungaro, III
10th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry
Manigault’s Brigade
Army of Tennessee, CSA
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Eddie
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Location: Devon

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello
I only produce the Regimental caps - the 1812 pattern Infantry cap aka 'Belgic shako' not the undress cap you allude to.  The undress cap is produced for members  by our Serjeant who also makes every scrap of uniform we wear. I know at the moment he has a tremendous amount of work on his hands tailoring for 4 or 5 new recruits in readiness for next season.
Hopefully he will reply to you - I don't know what his take will be on producing a cap for someone outside 2/95th - personally I would not do it as I will only make kit for members and that I do more as a favour than to make money.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:04 pm    Post subject: uniform Reply with quote

Thank you for the reply. I understand how that works.

If I have no luck with you all, depending on if your sergeant replies, can you tell me the proper name for that style of cap I am asking about so I can continue my quest, and perhaps where I might find a commercial version?

Thank you and Merry Christmas.
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Eddie
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Location: Devon

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rear Rank
Just re reading your post - you say you are looking for the Tam o shanter style cap - and you have noticed we don't wear that type ?
I suggest you try ebay UK as that type of cap regularly comes up for sale



We refer to them as Forage or undress caps. The folding half moon type we adopted because it was commonly used in the infantry and the Tam of shanter style is more often attributed to cavalry and is similar to their 'watering cap' ( hopefully Ben will correct me ) but I think I am right in saying the actual style of the 95th Forage cap is unknown.

Here is an image from our reference section slightly post period showing several types of cap worn :



I think you can wear what you want in your situation - it would be pushing it a bit in any case for a confederate soldier to be wearing a cloth cap which was 50 years old?
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Gay the files of scarlet follow:
Woman bore me, I will rise"
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: uniform Reply with quote

That is good information. Thank you. I had seen that on eBay but did not know whether it was accurate. But apparently this undress hat that appears in the Sharpes series is an invention/best guess of "Hollywood" as it were, to begin with, so what is "accurate" in the first place is unknown.

Good point regarding the 50 year old cloth. That concept had eluded me. I know, it was kept in a zip lock bag with some moth balls in grandfather's attic. Hmm, maybe not. I will have to work on that one.

Thank you again. If you ever hear of a good source for these please let me know.
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OJM
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although still a bit far fetched, wouldn't it be slightly more plausible with a Crimean War pattern forage cap? Considering connections with Canada and continual emigration from the UK throughout the 1800s?

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsw...om/~tompkins/photos/ggndadopt.jpg
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'the whole in a room dancing completely naked, except having their pelices across their shoulders'
The band of the 18th Hussars, 4th of July, 1813.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:00 pm    Post subject: uniform Reply with quote

It  would be more plausible, but then I do like the style of the Napoleonic better. One must not lose sight of the sartorial aspect to this quest.
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my take on this in brief.
1. The style of cap the gentleman is after is taken from the TV show Sharpe. The design drawings for the art department on Sharpe were drawn by one of the Mollo brothers. His drawings for costume show three caps: the boonet de polce, wedge, and this one. The director chose this one.

2. The first two models of cap are very well sourced to our period for infantry. The last, almost not at all. At best, something like this may have arrived post 1813 with the unsuccessful attempts to impose a single regulated forage cap. (I except highland corps from this generalisation).

3. The good news is that something similar to this akin to a hummel bonnet became infantry forage cap in the 1820s and then developed throughout the C19th in a well defined and regulated manner. So the style of some of these later caps would fit the backstory.

4. The bad news is that re-enactors and illustrators copied Sharpe, and this cap is now produced in a bastardised form that is a million miles removed from a humble bonnet or the cap in Bankfield museum, which is variously dated 1820-55. The modern form is of wool cloth or felted wool cloth, whereas the originals were knitted wool formed on a block.

5. My recommendation for accuracy would be to go to someone like Sally Pointer to create a knitted or felted cap of your choice. She does both stock and commission.

http://sallypointer.com/shop/index.php?cPath=3_33

6. Regarding Eddie's comments about 2/95th forage caps, he is completely correct. The shape is completely unknown. The 1800 regs spec the colour, and 'lace'. We have cavalierly disregarded this colour in favour of a later period reference to green caps that is open to discussion. An equally good case could be made for a black cap. On such partial information are sandcastles built. On the plus side, the form of the group's cap is well grounded in iconography, and the model is produced from the NH cap at Winchester.

7. Just to be clear, the re-enactors model of 'porkpie' forage cap in cloth rather than knitted form has no historical basis whatever as far as I know.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:26 pm    Post subject: uniform Reply with quote

Thank you. My own research was beginning to lead me to the conclusion that there was not a definitive style at that point in history. And one must always be skeptical the moment the entertainment industry becomes involved. However, your insight has been invaluable.  And thank you very much for the web address.

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