Tentage in the Civil War: Unusual Types

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#21
Yes, I’m framilliar with the Zeltbahn, if I ever do get hold of a shelter half myself I might use some of the German manuals suggestions to see what one can do with only 1/2 of a shelter. I was wondering if anyone on the Union side just made a tent out of a tent fly, I gotta imagine pre-shelter half that would be a tempting extenporization. You can do some interesting things with shelter halves and it’s a shame more people don’t use their creativity with it... I’ve heard of baker tents being put together out of shelter 1/2s.
 

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#22
These NY officers seem to have used their flys as tents, under an interesting brush structure that seems to act as a fly itself!

An interesting little square-ish pavilion seems to be shown in this other photo, I wonder what it was for? Looks like it may be intended to shelter equipment?

Both images come from Mr Brady’s book.

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#24
At last. The elusive French style Double Bell tent!

Note the openings both sides of the tent, which allows for good airflow & shade which is presumably why the army in the 1850s were interested in it. Based on a French Army design, it appears that at least 4 of the Sox poles were actually made of iron, according to period sources. These gentlemen are the 5th any Zouaves at Camp Hamilton, Fortress Monroe, in 1861. Later I’m the war some tents of this type were actually given over to Confederate POWs.

Much thanks to johan_steele for the help locating these photos!

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major bill

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#25
I am assuming many states at the start of the Civil War made up tents for the regiments they were raising. Would these tents be like the standard Army tents? Say my home state of Michigan ordered a manufacturer in Detroit to make 200 tents and 5 hospital tents. Would these be exactly like standard Army tents, or possible some what differnt?
 

byron ed

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#26
At last. The elusive French style Double Bell tent!...
The perfect CW tent imho. Even with two uprights invading the interior footprint, the footprint itself is quite expansive. As with A-tents, resistance to wind and weather is excellent, the walls of the tent serving as continuous guy lines to take the strain -- without having a spider web of multiple guy lines to trip over outside. This tent should be able to accommodate four men with their kits, no problem; six men possible. Expansive standing height in the middle to accommodate de-kitting, coats and long guns etc.

With the sides of the tent propped up and the interior central footprint cleared for day use, you have quite the roomy fly to sit under, yet only four more poles with their stakes and guy lines (to mention that with only two poles and no guy lines it's still fully functional as a tent only). There's even outside flap windows for a bit of cross-ventilation, and to peek to see if morning muster has started or whatever.

So, when packed up it's merely six poles, four with a guy ropes, and a sack of stakes. The canvas packs as one piece -- not separate sections needing to be attached or detached in deployment. Perfect CW tent, for a unit allowed wagons on the march, that is.

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#27
I am assuming many states at the start of the Civil War made up tents for the regiments they were raising. Would these tents be like the standard Army tents? Say my home state of Michigan ordered a manufacturer in Detroit to make 200 tents and 5 hospital tents. Would these be exactly like standard Army tents, or possible some what differnt?
If you mean the French Double Bell Wedge Tents, they date from the 1851 regulations. They were made in Army QM depots and stored there, thus they saw use in the beginning of the war in spite of their age as there weren't too many tents in service at the time. Later on some were used in prison camps in the North.

The A or Wedge Tent was the most likely to be the tent ordered in any given order from a civilian contractor, since it was the most popular tent style of the time to the point of being referred to as a "Common Tent". Other civilian styles were readily accepted as a substitute standard. In the case of, for example, Camp Cleveland, a large number of tents ordered were of a civilian Bell type rather than military Sibleys.

Part of my interest in this subject is to try and get people to think outside the box with tent choices, as there are many, many designs which are appropriate and yet also a little outside the norm. The Army, as can be seen in this thread, had a lot more variation in tents than we typically depict as reenactors. Wedge tents are a bit over represented in reenacting, but while some decry them they are not actually that far off what the average soldier would have had... but wall tents are vastly over represented, being the domain of officers and hospitals almost exclusively. The larger tents of the common soldier like Sibleys are under represented, and I also wanted to point out other interesting or unusual tents that could theoretically be brought along the next time someone wants to set up a camp!
 
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#28
The perfect CW tent imho. Even with two uprights invading the interior footprint, the footprint itself is quite expansive. As with A-tents, resistance to wind and weather is excellent, the walls of the tent serving as continuous guy lines to take the strain -- without having a spider web of multiple guy lines to trip over outside. This tent should be able to accommodate four men with their kits, no problem; six men possible. Expansive standing height in the middle to accommodate de-kitting, coats and long guns etc.

With the sides of the tent propped up and the interior central footprint cleared for day use, you have quite the roomy fly to sit under, yet only four more poles with their stakes and guy lines (to mention that with only two poles and no guy lines it's still fully functional as a tent only). There's even outside flap windows for a bit of cross-ventilation, and to peek to see if morning muster has started or whatever.

So, when packed up it's merely six poles, four with a guy ropes, and a sack of stakes. The canvas packs as one piece -- not separate sections needing to be attached or detached in deployment. Perfect CW tent, for a unit allowed wagons on the march, that is.

View attachment 311345
Yes, they are lovely, aren't they? I think that the "window" may be there to allow there to be a small stove in the end of the bell, Sibley style. I bet if you didn't mind having to duck a bit, you could dispense with the four outer stakes and rig up guy lines to extend the flies as well. I would be neat to see a recreation of this camp...
 

James N.

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#29
Image (15).jpg


Yes, I’m framilliar with the Zeltbahn, if I ever do get hold of a shelter half myself I might use some of the German manuals suggestions to see what one can do with only 1/2 of a shelter. I was wondering if anyone on the Union side just made a tent out of a tent fly, I gotta imagine pre-shelter half that would be a tempting extenporization. You can do some interesting things with shelter halves and it’s a shame more people don’t use their creativity with it... I’ve heard of baker tents being put together out of shelter 1/2s.
It probably doesn't count, but this Union soldier (ME!) has: this is actually a reproduction canvas which was, as I remember, 6' wide and 12' long. One was issued to each cannon crew and carried folded and strapped to the lid of the limber chest like in the photo below; their purpose was to be used as a tarp to cover the limber and gun in inclement weather in the field when the guns were parked. This made a poor tent because although it's similar in size and proportion to a Mexican War-era "A" tent, there's obviously NO way to keep out moisture erected like this. (It was nice in fair weather like at this event though.)

1560462895318.png
 



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