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Confederate gum blanket?

Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by Billy1977, Jan 12, 2017 at 12:40 AM.

  1. Billy1977

    Billy1977 Private

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    Hello everybody, now I'm sure most everyone here has seen the Union's issue gum blanket/poncho that looked like this
    Civil War; Union.field.gear- gum.blanket...jpg Civil War; Union.field.gear- gum.blanket. ...jpg

    So my question is, did the C.S. Army issue its own equivalent gum blanket/poncho? Because the Time-Life Echoes of Glory book about the Confederates has just about every other type of field gear from haversacks to knapsacks etc. but it makes no mention of a Confederate gum blanket. And I don't recall ever having seen one anywhere else either. If they existed could someone post a picture of one? Many thanks in advance.
     
    alan polk likes this.

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  3. Package4

    Package4 Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    The CSA either captured Federal issue gum blankets or made a tarred canvas version. I can't remember the formula for the tarred version, but I'll see if I can find it.
     
  4. Billy1977

    Billy1977 Private

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    Thanks Package4! I figured the C.S. Army must have had some kind of equivalent to it as it rained on both sides after all, not just the federals.
     
  5. Package4

    Package4 Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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  6. Billy1977

    Billy1977 Private

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    Wow, that must be the C.S. Army's recipes for tarring just about everything, that's amazing. Thanks Package4. Say, you don't happen to have a picture of this tarred canvas poncho do you?
     
  7. Tin cup

    Tin cup 1st Lieutenant

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    This is a painted ground cloth I made some years ago for my Confederate impression. I got a 4'x 6' piece of duck canvas material, painted sizing on one side so the paint wouldn't bleed thru. I painted that same side with black paint. Then I mixed Japan Dryer with linseed oil, and Mineral Spirits, (I have the recipe somewhere) and painted that over the black paint. I let it set outside for a few days to cure, and have had good use out of it. Water won't penetrate it.

    Kevin Dally
    painted ground cloth.jpg
     
  8. Billy1977

    Billy1977 Private

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    That looks great Tin Cup!
     
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  9. Tin cup

    Tin cup 1st Lieutenant

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    I found the can of oil mix I used, the instructions say:
    "Mix 2 parts of mineral spirits with 1 part boiled linseed oil. Add one ounce (two table spoons) of japan dryer per pint of oil/spirits mix."

    There are many "recipes" you can get off the net, this one seemed to work just fine. Here is another bit of info you can look at:http://www.confederateinblue.com/2011/02/painting-your-accouterments-and-ground.html
    The "Modern Method" was what I used. The picture is of me at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee with the same ground cloth used in a blanket roll picture I posted earlier.

    Kevin Dally
     

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017 at 10:31 AM
  10. Tin cup

    Tin cup 1st Lieutenant

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    I'm betting that not many Confederate ground cloth survives, would have been used till it needed replaced. I have not seen any that can be attributed to a CSA manufacturer. We have vendors that make painted ground cloths for sale, but I don't know of any instruction passed along on how they were made. Here is one advertised, don't know what they are using for a pattern, or if it's what we call "authentic"... http://www.nshaberdashery.com/index.php/merchandise/hikashop/product/40-ground-cloths

    Mine is just a painted cloth, no hems, or grommet holes. The edge is raw, but due to the paint, it won't unravel.

    Kevin Dally
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017 at 1:45 PM
  11. Frederick14Va

    Frederick14Va First Sergeant

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    The Oil Cloth (or "tarred") was the typical standard... The Rubber/Gum blanket was a fairly new concept at the time of the Civil War for military issues. Confederates continued manufacturing and issuing the Oil Cloth version of a ground cloth. I was able to locate three original confederate issued ground cloths (identified with issue provenance). They were a simple affair appeared to have been painted in bulk and cut up into whatever was being made at the time.

    Despite reenactor habits, the only ones originally intended to be issued the poncho version were mounted troops... Ground troops such as the Infantry were issued a ground cloth that didn't come with the collared neck orifice... wrapped it around or over your shoulders instead when being used as a rain cover..

    As a side note... majority of the components listed in period regs for making the concoction for painting cloth is much different than the products found on the shelf at your local hardware store bearing the same product title or name... the chemical make up frequently is found to be much if not totally different today as it was then... hence the result of the effort habitually is found to be less than satisfactory or as expected... It took quite awhile and lots of trial, testing and error to correctly match it up to what the original actually was... and consulted a chemist and lots of research into period formulary to figure it all out... Some of the sutlers out there utilize simple latex house paints or something similar..... that do not provide the correct look, feel, texture, nor waterproofness as the originals were....
     
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  12. Tin cup

    Tin cup 1st Lieutenant

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    Where were these originals at, and who had them?

    Kevin Dally
     
  13. Frederick14Va

    Frederick14Va First Sergeant

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    Two of these were in private collections... One of which was with the descendent family that still included the soldiers jacket, knapsack, cup, canteen, hat, and a few misc items that he wore home in late 1864 after being wounded and discharged. They also had a couple photos of the soldier himself wearing these same items taken around 1900 or so... detailed that it was what he had when he came home... The Third was in a museum collection if I can relocate my notes and/or photos on them... to remember who had it... its been a number of years ago...
     
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