Background Information

The Liberty Rifles will be hosting a partially immersive public interpretation program and Picket Post portraying Company H, 5th New York Heavy Artillery at the Battle of Cedar Creek, on the actual site where their Division was camped and operated. We will have a static, established camp and will spend our time drilling and doing public programs. Starting Saturday evening, we will picket the ford and creek that the 5th was guarding when they were attacked by Kershaw's Division the morning of the 19th. We will run the weekend on a strict military schedule and in accordance with a military chain of command and structure. Strict adherence to authenticity guidelines and abstinence from modern anachronisms will be enforced! To ensure the high quality of participants, this event is INVITE ONLY. The focus of this event will be public interpretation, fundraising for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation, and some immersive experiences for us as well.

Where: Cedar Creek Battlefield - Thoburn's Works
When: October 11-13, 2019
Impression: Company H, 5th NYHA in October 1864
Rations: Army rations will be issued for the entire weekend. Please come with an empty haversack.
Registration: Fee will be $30, $15 of which will go to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation, the rest will go toward event logistics and rations.
Ammunition: 40 blank .58 rounds packaged in proper arsenal packs


Camp Site on Original Ground preserved by SVBF


Impression Guidelines

William Johnson Montgomery, Co H, 5th NYHA in his report to the NY Bureau of Military Statistics in 1867 said the following:

“I am thirty four years of age was private in Co H Fifth New York Heavy Artillery belonged to Sheridan's army was taken prisoner at the battle of Cedar Creek on the 19th of October 1864 was taken from there to Richmond by the provost guard of Early's army was robbed on the way of overcoats and blankets and anything valuable we had If a man had a pair of boots on the rebel officers ordered them taken off and took them or gave them to one of their soldiers this I have seen them do in the streets of Richmond so many of us as were left barefooted were turned into the Libby prison they took any money watches knapsacks haversacks and canteens anything we had secreted the prison authorities took from us We got about one third of a ration of corn bread and black pea soup daily About the fifth of November we were taken out and crowded into box cars so we could not sit down several of our men died on the way we were sent to Salisbury North Carolina. There were about nine thousand men in the prison all the clothes we had was one shirt one pair of pants and a blouse and a piece of shelter tent then we begun to feel the horrors of that place we got no tents there never was one tent to the hundred.”

IN GENERAL: Appearance and clothing should be worn and broken in, but not soiled. Dirty is good, but be subtle about it - don't go overboard.  Reproduction quality MUST be high, and mediocre, mainstream reenactor grade reproductions are unacceptable.  

Any personal items must be original or accurate reproductions of period items.  “Old timey” jugs, Mason jars, or other items are prohibited.  Cell phones, modern tobacco, lighters, or any other anachronistic items are wholly unacceptable.

We are placing high expectations for personal appearance and behavior upon the participants.  Modern haircuts, ponytails, modern underwear, modern socks, modern glasses, and inauthentic or inappropriate kit, etc., are unacceptable.


  • All clothing must be made with proper construction techniques, correct patterns, and 100% natural fiber cloth to closely mimic original goods.

  • Officer and NCO insignia: Shoulder boards, chevrons, and trouser stripes shall be red to denote the artillery branch.


Pvt. David McConnell, Co I, 5th NYHA

Pvt. David McConnell, Co I, 5th NYHA


  1. Blouses are preferred 

  2. Enlistedmen's Dress Coats with artillery trim - Only wear one if it is a TOP NOTCH reproduction.

  3. Commercial items


  1. Enlistedmen's Infantry Overcoats

GROUP BUY: Overcoats in size 42, 44, or 46 made from County Cloth kersey are available to participants for $450. Inquire of the event organizers.


  1. Sky blue federal infantry trousers


  1. Federal issue shirts in either domet or wool flannel.

  2. Citizen's shirts or shirts from home. Consider a flannel overshirt, printed cotton shirt, or plain white shirt instead of an overrepresented plaid "homespun" shirt.


  1. Cap – feel free to have brass cannons, H, 5 NY or any variation commonly seen on Heavy Artillery caps. NO CORPS BADGES.

GROUP BUY: "Type 2" Forage Caps are available to participants for $93 (or $108 with brass) and "McDowell" caps are available for $103 (or $113 with brass), made by Conor Timoney. Inquire of the event organizers.


  1. US bootees or boots


  • All equipment shall be high quality reproductions in terms of construction and materials used.



  1. U.S. Army knapsack carrying the following:

    • U.S. Army blanket

    • Gum Blanket


GROUP BUY: "Type IIA" shelter halves are available to participants for $85. Inquire of the event organizers.

Corporal Frederick Pettit, Late of Company C, 100th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment:

Cpl Pettit to his brother, Jan. 13, ‘63
”Picketing is about the only duty we do now." When they go they don’t take knapsacks and tents, they roll woolen blankets in gum ones, tie the ends together and wear them over the shoulder. "We also take canteens and haversacks with all the grub we can get for we eat a great quantity on picket.” It is a 2 mile march to get to the river where the posts are. ½ the men go on post and ½ are the reserve picket. The posts are ¼ mile apart and 30 men are on a post. During the day, a small squad stays where they can see along river; at night guards are very near the river and keep a sharp watch. When not on guard, they can sleep unless prevented by the cold.”


  1. U.S. Army painted cloth haversack

GROUP BUY: Copies of an original haversack are available to participants for $70. Inquire of the event organizers.


  1. Philadelphia "bullseye" canteen with herringbone twill webbing sling or New York "smoothside" canteen on sewn cotton drill sling.


  1. U.S. Army waist belt, cap box, scabbard, cartridge box, and cartridge box belt. Cartridge boxes should be of the 1861 pattern. No ‘64 accoutrements.


All arms and bayonets shall be in EXCELLENT working order, clean, functioning, and safe. According to the Ordnance Reports the 5th NYHA exhanged their .69 Caliber Muskets for Enfield Rifled Muskets on May 1st, 1863.

  1. P53 Enfield

  2. 1861 or 1863 Springfield

    These are the only acceptable arms.