28th Georgia / 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry

Civil War Reenactors



For the New Member



Getting Started

We are glad that you are interested in reenacting with us! Keep in mind that a new member is not required to have everything at their first couple of events. You will first want to just get a hat, shirt, pants, and shoes. Let us know in advance that you will be falling in with us for an event and we will try to let you borrow the rest of your uniform and accoutrements. We know that reenacting is expensive and that it may take a year or more to get all of your needed items. We will keep trying to loan you what you need until you can get the necessary gear.

Membership Eligibility

Our membership is open to anyone and not subject to race, age, religion, or gender. Membership of new recruits is pending until voted upon by current members of the company. In accordance with the Georgia Division Reenactors Association rules and regulations, members must be 16 years or older in order to carry a musket on the field. Members under 16 years of age can still participate as field musicians or runners. Spouses are also welcome to participate with the 28th Georgia as a member of the unit's auxiliary detachment. All relevant medical conditions also must be provided to the company commander.

Annual Dues

The annual company membership dues are $17.50 per person and are due at the company meeting in January. Of that amount, $10.00 goes to the company and $7.50 goes to our parent organization, the Georgia Division Reenactors Association. New members are exempt from dues throughout the remainder of their first year but are required to pay dues in January of the following year. Spouses of company members are not required to pay annual dues to participate with the company. However, for those participants who do not pay Georgia Division dues, you will not be covered under the limited insurance policy that the Georgia Division carries for GDRA sanctioned events.

Soldiers Aid Society

Any spouse or family member who is in the 28th Georgia's auxiliary unit but wants to be more active at living histories and reenactments are welcome to join the Georgia Division's civilian branch, the Soldiers Aid Society. The Soldiers Aid Society, or SAS, is responsible for such things as organizing the ladies tea, dance, and Sunday morning worship services at the annual Battle of Resaca Reenactment. They also work on crafts throughout the year and periodically auction off handmade items to raise money for their organization. Membership in the SAS will also provide the individual with limited coverage under the Georgia Division's insurance policy. Being a member of the SAS does not prevent you from being a member of the 28th Georgia. Many of the ladies in the 28th Georgia are also members of the SAS. For more information on the Soldiers Aid Society, please visit their webpage at the following link.

Soldiers Aid Society

Required Uniforms and Accoutrements

This is the minimum set of items that are required for reenacting in our unit. Keep in mind that new members are not expected to obtain all of these items right away. Most of these items can be borrowed from other members in our unit until they can be purchased. The required items do not include any type of tent or tent-related items. These can be found in the optional list. These are not required if you do not plan to camp with the unit. If you do plan to camp, then you will need those items as well.

  1. Slouch Hat, Kepi or Bummer
  2. Federal 4-Button Sack Coat
Unlined, although not period correct, is recommended for reenacting in Georgia, unless you just really like heat stroke.
  3. Confederate Jacket
A Confederate Shell Jacket (jean-cloth), or a Confederate Frock Coat (jean-cloth) is recommended. However, a sack coat or civilian coat will be acceptable.
  4. Federal Sky-Blue Pants
These can be worn for both Federal and Confederate impression, since the Confederates captured and wore Federal pants, until you can obtain Confederate pants. Note, however, that certain reenactments prohibit Confederates from wearing sky-blue Federal pants when the battle being portrayed would have preceded the capture of any Federal pants by the Confederates.
  5. "Jefferson" Brogan Shoes
The black Jefferson style brogans are recommended. Most infantry soldiers would have been issued and worn Brogans. Most infantry foot soldiers would not have been wearing boots, unless they initially brought them from home. Boots were more expensive to make than Brogans and would have been reserved for the mounted troops, such as the cavalry, artillery, and mounted officers (e.g., the regimental Colonel and staff, etc.). Other shoes are acceptable as long as they are period correct.
  6. Civilian or military-issued shirt
Cotton is recommended. The sky is the limit on the variation and type of shirt.
  7. Period Wool or Cotton Socks
  8. 3-Band Reproduction Rifled-Musket and Bayonet
Either an 1853 .577 British Enfield or an 1861 .58 Springfield pattern reproduction rifled-musket is recommended. The 1853 British Enfield is correct for both Federal and Confederate impression and was the most abundant musket during the war. The 1861 Springfield, the second most abundant musket, was mostly a Federal firearm, although Confederates would have captured and used them as well. A bayonet that fits the musket snugly is also required. A rifle sling is optional. Original Civil War muskets are not allowed.
  9. Haversack
Black is most common.
10. Belt with US Belt Buckle, Cap Pouch, and Bayonet Scabbard
Black will work for both Federal and Confederate impression. An upside-down US belt buckle (captured) will work for Confederate impression until you have purchased an additional Confederate belt. Make sure your bayonet scabbard fits your Enfield or Springfield bayonet.
11. Cartridge Box and Tins
Black will work for both Federal and Confederate impression. The tins are required by the National Park Service for living histories at national battlefield parks.
12. Canteen
Either a Federal smoothside or bullseye canteen is recommended. Federal blue or sky-blue cover will work for both Federal and Confederate impression until a Confederate canteen can be acquired.
13. Musket Cleaning Tools
Bore brush, cotton or linen 2x2 cleaning patches, nipple pick, nipple wrench, and gun oil are needed. A coffee pot for boiling water can be borrowed.
14. Loaded Paper Cartridges
These need to be rolled prior to an event. Only use the type of blackpowder that is appropriate for your firearm. Do not double load your cartridges. Only 60 grains of blackpowder per cartridge for .58 muskets is allowed. Bring enough rounds to the event for all of the battles. Warning: Our company shoots a lot of cartridges!

Optional Items

These items are not required at all for reenacting in our unit. However, as a help to our new members, here are suggestions of items that new members may eventually want to obtain.

  1. Confederate Pants
Either military-style or civilian type pants are acceptable.
  2. Belt with Confederate Belt Buckle
  3. Canvas or Oil Cloth Musket Cover
  4. Backpack
  5. Federal and/or Confederate Great Coat
  6. Wool Blanket
  7. Quilt
  8. Gum Blanket or Poncho
  9. Musket Tompion
10. Shelter Half Tent, tent poles, and tent stakes
11. A-Frame Tent, tent poles, and tent stakes
12. Lantern & Candles
13. Period Eyeglasses
14. Tin Cup
15. Tin Plate
16. Fork/Knife/Spoon Set
17. Period Toothbrush
18. Period Pocket Watch
One that looks period but runs on batteries is acceptable.
19. Hardee's Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics Volumes I & II
20. Writing Notebook and Wooden Pencil
21. New Testament Bible
22. Ear plugs
Cotton will also work and is period correct. Try to stay away from the bright orange ear plugs.

Rules

These are some of the rules that every member of our unit must abide by. Remember that this is just a hobby and that we want everyone to return home in as good a condition as how they came. We also want everyone to enjoy their reenacting experience to the fullest.

  1. A full canteen is required before going onto the field at any event.
  2. The non-period term "Medic" is only used in the event of a real emergency on the field.
  3. No hand-to-hand fighting is allowed unless it is scripted by the commanders on both sides prior to the battle.
  4. No touching of the colors (flag) of the opposing side is allowed unless it is scripted by the commanders on both sides prior to the battle.
  5. No ramrod is to be touched or taken out of its groove during the battle. This will get you expelled from the event.
  6. No bayonet is to be taken out of its scabbard during the battle.
  7. Infantry privates are not allowed to carry pistols.
  8. If a musket fails to discharge during the battle, it is to be given to an NCO to be worked on.
  9. No intentionally double loading of cartridges in the musket is allowed. This also applies to the use of "wonder wads." Only 60 grains of powder per cartridge is allowed.
10. No use of original Civil War firearms out on the field is allowed. Not you, nor any of the reenactors standing near you, want you to discharge blackpowder inside a 160 year old barrel - no matter what great-granddaddy of yours carried it into battle.
11. No reenactor is allowed to participate in the battle without his weapon first passing a safety inspection.
12. Firearms must be clean and in working condition prior to the battle.
13. No firearm is to be discharged in the camp.
14. If a firearm needs to be discharged while in camp (this includes firing a cap), then you must take it outside of the camp and yell "Fire in the hole!" prior to discharging it.
15. You are your own safety officer during the battle. No matter who is yelling at you to shoot, if it is not safe to do so, don't. When safety is the issue, you outrank every officer on the field.
16. Always elevate your musket over the head of an opponent when firing. Use extreme elevation when firing in close proximity to an opponent.
17. Never walk in front of a loaded cannon. Cannoneers yelling "Hot tube!" means that the cannon is loaded and ready to fire and that you are probably walking in front of it.
18. Never discharge your weapon anywhere near an artillery limber.
19. Members are expected to participate in company and battalion drill at the reenactments and living histories.
20. Members are expected to participate in picket duty and firewood detail when in camp.
21. Modern eyewear should be avoided if at all possible.
22. No wristwatches are allowed.
23. All non-period items (coolers, sleeping bag, etc.) must be kept out of sight inside your tent at all times.
24. No profanity around the public is allowed.
25. No alcoholic beverages around the public is allowed.
26. Everyone must cheer wildly anytime the bugler plays something.
Okay, just thought I would try to sneak that one in.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I join?

A: If you have the desire to learn more about the most turbulent time in our American History and want to convey that to the public, then make the effort to contact us. We can possibly set you up for an event, with you providing only what you would eat for the weekend. Some of our folks have some extra equipment they could loan out so you can try it and see if it's something you would like to do. You can try it for a day, or for the weekend, depending on what you can do. If you decide that we are the unit for you, then let us know that you would like to become a member. All nominees for membership are then voted on by the members of the company. It's that simple.


Q: How much does it cost?

A: Reenacting can be fairly expensive to get started in, but once you are able to purchase your basic equipment (i.e., jacket, shirt, trousers, shoes, cartridge box, cap box, belt, canteen, kepi or slouch hat, haversack, musket and bayonet), everything else will be on an "as needed" basis. Things such as a tent, overcoat, etc. can be bought later on. Prices will vary, so the best thing to do is shop around the different sutlers. We have listed some good, quality sutler websites on our Links page that you can check on for prices. Once you get all of your equipment together, the only costs will be your travel and eating expenses, plus $15.00 per year for Company and Division dues. NOTE: For any National Events that we may do, there is a small registration fee. Some of the smaller events may also charge a small fee ranging from $5-$10, but that is very seldom.


Q: How do I get started?

A: Let us know that you want to try it. We will help you pick an event that would suite your convenience and try to put together a uniform for you. We'll place you under the supervision of one of our Non-Commissioned Officers to learn the basic drill with the musket. He can also accompany you to the sutlers and help you pick out anything you would need.


Q: What kind of uniform would I need?

A: We are very lenient as to what type of uniform you would need. The only rule would be to acquire a uniform that reflects the period in time we portray. Half of our members wear gray wool jackets and the other half wear jean-cloth. We are not stitch counters nor do we require button holes to be hand sewn. If you plan to urinate on your buttons to make them look more authentic, then please do not bring those nasty things into camp - and wash your hands. A good rule of thumb for purchasing a uniform is to get Federal sky-blue trousers first, since we do galvanize as Federals quite often. These can be used for your Confederate impression as well, since Confederate soldiers did wear them but on a limited basis. They can be used until you can purchase the more appropriate Confederate military or civilian style trousers. Either a kepi or slouch hat can be used for your headgear, with a minimum of brass lettering. Military style shoes (brogans) are your best choice for footwear. The black Jefferson style would be appropriate for either Federal or Confederate impressions.


Q: What would be expected of me?

A: First and foremost, you would be expected to portray an infantry soldier of both the Confederate States and United States armies. This includes the willingness to learn the manual of arms, learn to fight Napoleonic-style warfare, endure endless hours of company and battalion drill, and experience what life was like in the middle 19th century. On a company level, you would also be expected to try and fulfill your share of the workload. Before and after each event, everyone tries to work together getting camp set up and taken down. Some examples would be digging a fire pit, gathering firewood, and helping to set up or take down the Company tent-fly. Not hard work at all, but something that takes everyone working as a team to help make an event successful.


Q: Would I have to camp in the military camp?

A: No. An option would be to stay in the Civilian or modern camps. Some folks might even stay in a motel from time to time. There might be exceptions to this, though, if we are doing a military-only tactical, where we might be miles from the nearest motel and there is no Civilian camp to go to. If you decide to stay outside of the military camp, you would still be expected to be in the camp for the drills and Company formations.


Q: What would I need for my first event?

A: If you intend to camp, you will need to bring a blanket or quilt. You will also need to think about what you will do for your meals. You may bring a cooler or sleeping bag to the event, but be prepared to have a way to store it away during public hours, which are generally from 9:00am - 8:00pm. Many reenactments will have food vendors where you can purchase meals.


Final Marketing Plug

This is just a basic rundown for what it takes to reenact with us. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to seeing you at our next event!


   





Georgia Regimental Flag
28th Georgia
Volunteer Infantry
1861-1865


New York Regimental Flag
123rd New York
Volunteer Infantry
1862-1865


Georgia Division Reenactors Association
Georgia Division
Reenactors Assoc.

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