How did soldiers carry their cups on the march

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33rdVaCoB

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Dec 10, 2014
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Hello everyone. I have a question that has sparked debet amongst reeanactors for a while. My question is how did soldiers carry their cups on the march ? Some reeanactors carry it on the haversack and some carry it on the knapsack . Which is period correct ?
 

Tailor Pete

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THIS is probably as divisive a topic as the argument over the causes of the war itself!

I've looked into it myself, and feel the haversack (upon or within) makes the most sense. It doesn't fit well in a bedroll, and knapsacks are too often ordered into the supply wagon or dropped roadside.

Remember, the tin cup is not just for drinking, but cooking as well. You might say a mucket or cast off tin can serves well for cooking, but when weight and comfort is a factor, it's advisable to reduce one's tools to the bare minimum... the tin cup, the ACW's answer to the Swiss Army knife.
 
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96Ohio

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Somewhere it didnt rattle the begeezes out of everyone.....
Reminds me of my first training officer. We're responding to a burglary alarm. Rookie that I was, I didn't notice that my keys were situated on my gunbelt in a manner which made them rattle. My TO turns to me and says, "Put your keys in your pocket." I reckon the same holds true for carrying a tin cup. Put it where it doesn't make noise and attract attention.
 

7thWisconsin

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Upton ordered cups and canteens to be carried inside haversacks before his Spotsylvania attack in May 1864. It was for quiet during the approach. When a commander makes an order like that, it tells you his troops are doing the opposite already. Canteens normally go over the shoulder, and enough men carried a cup or can by the haversack buckle that it passed into lore. I don't find evidence of hanging a cup on the canteen stopper string, though.
 
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Cpl. Smith

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Upton ordered cups and canteens to be carried inside haversacks before his Spotsylvania attack in May 1864. It was for quiet during the approach. When a commander makes an order like that, it tells you his troops are doing the opposite already. Canteens normally go over the shoulder, and enough men carried a cup or can by the haversack buckle that it passed into lore. I don't find evidence of hanging a cup on the canteen stopper string, though.
Carrying it on your canteen is comfortable and what works is what works.
 

zburkett

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I wasn't there so I'm not sure but wouldn't the cups be carried different ways on different occasions? You don't wear your equipment the same way on a parade as you do on a forced march.
 

Cpl. Smith

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I wasn't there so I'm not sure but wouldn't the cups be carried different ways on different occasions? You don't wear your equipment the same way on a parade as you do on a forced march.
yes and no. Prewar parades you would actually drop field equipment and wear your dress uniform. However in the field it was whatever you had sometimes even shining up there buttons.
 
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Package4

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Hello everyone. I have a question that has sparked debet amongst reeanactors for a while. My question is how did soldiers carry their cups on the march ? Some reeanactors carry it on the haversack and some carry it on the knapsack . Which is period correct ?
Look at period photographs, for instance the 3 captured Confederates on Seminary Ridge show that all three have knapsacks, but 2 of the three have their cups fastened to their haversacks (one with twine to the strap and the other on the latching tab). The captured from Five Forks show only one cup in evidence, which suggests that these prisoners had their cups in their haversacks or most of the cups were captured Federal issue and confiscated.

Whatever was easiest for the individual soldier, it's like asking which leg goes into the trousers first...…….
 

7thWisconsin

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At a certain point, yes. But the veterans left written and pictorial evidence of what they did. Pick one of those ways first before striking out on your own.
 
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