36th Virginia Infantry in Summer/Fall 1861

By the LR Research Committee

 

"I have only to say that, they can't take one of us alive."
– Col. John “Tiger” McCausland, 36th Virginia Infantry, 1861

 

As with all impression guidelines, the following should serve as a general guide to help you put together your impression for a specific unit, during a specific campaign; in this case, Company A (Buffalo Guards) of the 36th Virginia Infantry, during the late Summer/Fall of 1861. As with all impression guidelines, we encourage you to critically analyze whatever research is available and draw your own conclusions to develop your impression. With that being said, from what little information could be gleaned about the unit during this campaign, we have put together what we feel is a good estimation of what the 36th Va. looked like during the Carnifax Ferry campaign.

Colonel John McCausland in a letter to a Major, June 28th 1861 - “If you could only see our soldiers, rough –undisciplined – and badly uniformed – in fact, with their everyday clothes on, amounting to nothing at all.”

A letter from General Wise, August 1861 commenting that the Regiment was “…in a state of great dilapidation and destitution from the many resignations of its officers and desertions of its men…They are bare of clothing, have not a single tent,and number less than 550 men, many of whom have the measles.”

George Deas, the Inspecting Officer of Floyd’s troops, on December 14th, commented that “The troops have suffered a great deal of hardship and exposure during the active campaign in Western Virginia, and now feel the effects of the measles and its consequences…Their instruction in the most simple evolutions is entirely wanting…yet these raw countrymen have certainly gone through a campaign which would do credit to any force however perfect in its composition.”

 

UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT GUIDELINES

Headgear:
Civilian Hats and Caps
Militia Styles

Coat:
Civilian Sack Coat/Paletot/Frock Coat Preferred
Trimmed Civilian Shirts/Battle Shirts
Shirt Sleeves, Vest
Military style clothing, i.e. Frock Coats, Jackets
NO RICHMOND DEPOT CLOTHING

Trousers:
Civilian Styles
CS Military trousers
NO RICHMOND DEPOT CLOTHING

Shoes:
Civilian or Military style shoes and boots

Accoutrements:
Militia and Cadet Style Accoutrements
Cotton webbing or Leather Accoutrements
Bowie/Side/Fighting Knives Encouraged
Avoid Federal Accoutrements if possible

Baggage:
Blanket Rolls, Hobo Rolls are preferred
Militia/Civilian Style knapsack
Civilian Style Ground Cloths
No Tents
Avoid Federal

Haversacks:
Early Style Haversacks
Avoid Federal

Canteens:
Tin Drum, Wood, Militia Style or Civilian
Avoid Federal

Arms:
Smoothbores preferred
M1816, M1822,or M1835 Springfield/Harpers Ferry Muskets (Converted to percussion)
1842 Springfield/Harpers Ferry Musket
1841 Mississippi Rifle
Enfields and Springfields are fine if that is all you have

Drill Manual:
Gilhams' Manual of Instruction for the Volunteers and Militia of the United States

  Capt. L. Weiber Reid, 36th Virginia

Capt. L. Weiber Reid, 36th Virginia

  Lt. John Mason Williams, Co. H, 36th Virginia

Lt. John Mason Williams, Co. H, 36th Virginia

  John Rutter Stafford, Co. I, 36th Virginia

John Rutter Stafford, Co. I, 36th Virginia

  Marion Albert Pruett, 45th Virginia

Marion Albert Pruett, 45th Virginia