by Jonah Begone
Sure, I know all about the pressure brought to bear upon us by the so-called elite "Hardcores," with their grossly over-priced uniform items, select lists of "authentic" sutlers and turn-uppity noses. Forget 'em, is what I say! After all, who has money to toss around these days? (If you are reading this and you do, by all means toss some my way!)
There are many ways one may economize and still present a uniform impression that is virtually indistinguishable from all those so-called "correct" guys standing around you. What's more, you don't have to bankrupt yourself to provide your camp with functional, period accessories.
Take Simplicity, for example. This fine company - a leader in dress patterns for many years - can supply you with a uniform pattern for officer or enlisted USA or CSA for only $8.95 plus the cost of materials! (Why pay more?) Look here for an illustration of Simplicity pattern #7274, which is even available in XL (46-48)! (The models shown are, of course, not the full-figured types we associate with reenacting. They also don't look like heterosexuals.)
Or, if you reenact the cavalry branch of the service, you can simply wear a "wooliform," available at a measly $68.00 ("delivered!!").
To make your impression spirited within and without, I suggest these economical "Rebel Boxers."Note they come without a fly. (Those buying these don't need one.) Since they're glow in the dark, your impression doesn't have to be limited to the daylight hours, either. Or, for the outside of your tent, this charming welcome mat. Why limit your political statements to the bumper of your pickup truck? (Both from America! catalog - 1-800-92-STARS)
Or let's examine the popular J.C. Whitney Automotive Catalog. Everyone has one and it contains a million things the Civil War reenactor can use and adapt. Use your imagination; in the following examples I've provided but a fraction of the reenacting possibilities in this useful catalog.
Stuff these into your haversacks!