Use of tobacco by reenactors.

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Like the Army today they smoked a lot of tobacco. They said of Grant that he smoked a pipe but because they only issued cigars to officers he became a cigar smoker-CREDIT HIGH TIDE
Cigars weren’t issued. Officers purchased their own tobacco just like the enlisted men.

Tobacco was grown throughout the country with it grown as far north as Minnesota and Michigan.

NC tobacco came to be highly prized by anyone who tried it.
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
I used to smoke cigars every now and then. For skirmishing there's no smoking permitted what with black powder and all. For 1830s living history I got a cheap clay pipe and after tons of searching got some minimally-processed tobacco "rope" or twist tobacco, and cut of hunks/ pieces to smoke in the pipe. Usually I'm in a setting that frowns on tobacco use, so I have an empty pipe. At other times, I get to feeling self conscious what with impressionable youngsters and so on, so then I squirrel my pipe away from out of view. Then the tobacco dries out and I have to search long and hard for something appropriate....

I have never ever chewed tobacco... Perhaps I might give it a try, even if it is such a repellent habit. Certainly Swedish peasants used to mix up and chew "snus" and today the practice persists in contravention to EU wishes. Even women use "snus" although it is thought to be a rather rustic custom, unless I'm mistaken.

In early 19th century Cuba women would sometimes smoke hand-rolled cigarettes using ornate little tongs, perhaps a bit like some gargantuan "roach clips" one might encounter in a so-called "head shop." Cigar bands, similarly, were so that gentlemen wearing gloves would not stain their fingers with the wrapper of tobacco leaf. Historically, the Dutch and French and English were all avid pipe smokers. Iberians and Spanish America smoked cigars of various sizes. The Peninsular War is supposed to have led to the diffusion of the cigar to the rest of Europe. The 19th century is almost unimaginable without cigars. In Cuba, only a black woman would ever smoke a cigar, but men of all social classes certainly did. In the United States, chewing tobacco and smoking were both very popular, and as noted above, many northerners and mid-westerners were startled to observe southern women chewing tobacco.
 

111thNYSV

Corporal
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Location
Rochester NY
I did the chewing tobacco thing for about 2 years. Picked it up in the police academy and got to chewing from there. Chewed Redman. Then one night on a midnight shift I started to doze off and my head tilted back and down my gullet the tobacco went. That immediately woke me up and I became sick. I gave it up that night as it was an eye opener as it was getting to the point of putting it in during the morning and chewing all day until I went to bed. I don't miss it.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
I know that pipes and cigars are “period correct”..but honestly, I am not always going to enjoy your company if you are smoking. Especially if there is no breeze.

And if you are going to smoke a cigar, buy quality. Carry it in a period case. And ask your fellows if they mind if you smoke..and yeah that phrase has been around.

And just to be that Debbie downer..my Mom had bladder cancer as a result of her smoking. She is currently cancer free, but our friend, who only smoked for a short time is looking at losing his bladder entirely, because of his cancer.

Ya‘ll are such good people, I’d hate to lose you. I love all the information I glean from this site, everyday. And I would miss you if you were gone.
 

8thFlorida

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
I used to smoke cigars every now and then. For skirmishing there's no smoking permitted what with black powder and all. For 1830s living history I got a cheap clay pipe and after tons of searching got some minimally-processed tobacco "rope" or twist tobacco, and cut of hunks/ pieces to smoke in the pipe. Usually I'm in a setting that frowns on tobacco use, so I have an empty pipe. At other times, I get to feeling self conscious what with impressionable youngsters and so on, so then I squirrel my pipe away from out of view. Then the tobacco dries out and I have to search long and hard for something appropriate....

I have never ever chewed tobacco... Perhaps I might give it a try, even if it is such a repellent habit. Certainly Swedish peasants used to mix up and chew "snus" and today the practice persists in contravention to EU wishes. Even women use "snus" although it is thought to be a rather rustic custom, unless I'm mistaken.

In early 19th century Cuba women would sometimes smoke hand-rolled cigarettes using ornate little tongs, perhaps a bit like some gargantuan "roach clips" one might encounter in a so-called "head shop." Cigar bands, similarly, were so that gentlemen wearing gloves would not stain their fingers with the wrapper of tobacco leaf. Historically, the Dutch and French and English were all avid pipe smokers. Iberians and Spanish America smoked cigars of various sizes. The Peninsular War is supposed to have led to the diffusion of the cigar to the rest of Europe. The 19th century is almost unimaginable without cigars. In Cuba, only a black woman would ever smoke a cigar, but men of all social classes certainly did. In the United States, chewing tobacco and smoking were both very popular, and as noted above, many northerners and mid-westerners were startled to observe southern women chewing tobacco.
A cigar and even chewing tobacco is an effective stimulant so you can see why many of the laboring class used it.
 

7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
For those of us old enough to remember them, Marsh Wheeling cigars were made by the same process they were in the 1840s. The only difference between a modern one and an original was that the modern ones were square from being pressed into boxes. They were a bit of a harsh smoke. I think, honestly, the gas station variety called ¨backwoods¨ is a pretty close approximation.
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
A rustic cigar is a "cheroot." In cigar lingo, the straight-sided tubular cigar is a "parejo" while the uneven "torpedo" or stubby, oversized "bellicosos" and similar unusual shapes are "figurados." Once upon a time, a "stogie" was a thin, inexpensive cigar, often with a twisted end... Eventually, of course, the name became a term for all cigars, frequently by people who are put off by the habit!


Very many people gained employment rolling cigars. Some places in the U.S. south in particular, like Tampa, were renowned for their cigar factories, but time was, it was prevalent every place.

Historically, Connecticut produced a lot of wrapper tobacco used in cigar manufacture. A "puro" or "purito" (diminutive) is all 100% tobacco from a single region.

I think "plug" tobacco was a mighty common form of chewing tobacco.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
For those of us old enough to remember them, Marsh Wheeling cigars were made by the same process they were in the 1840s. The only difference between a modern one and an original was that the modern ones were square from being pressed into boxes. They were a bit of a harsh smoke. I think, honestly, the gas station variety called ¨backwoods¨ is a pretty close approximation.
I've smoked them!
 

GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
You need a cigar case if you´re going to pack cigars. I´ve had a couple over the years that will hold 3-5 cigars each. Clay pipes are disposable. I buy a new one once a year and throw the one I´m using away when it gets fouled. You can put a fouled pipe in a hot oven for about an hour and burn off the residue, but the pipe is really brittle afterwards; you won´t get more than a few days use afterwards. They made tin and papier mache cases for pipes, too. Using a case for storage extends the life of the pipe, but makes it less convenient for use.
You can always just wrap the cigars in paper written orders then leave them on the ground for anyone to find.
 

7thWisconsin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
A rustic cigar is a "cheroot." In cigar lingo, the straight-sided tubular cigar is a "parejo" while the uneven "torpedo" or stubby, oversized "bellicosos" and similar unusual shapes are "figurados." Once upon a time, a "stogie" was a thin, inexpensive cigar, often with a twisted end... Eventually, of course, the name became a term for all cigars, frequently by people who are put off by the habit!


Very many people gained employment rolling cigars. Some places in the U.S. south in particular, like Tampa, were renowned for their cigar factories, but time was, it was prevalent every place.

Historically, Connecticut produced a lot of wrapper tobacco used in cigar manufacture. A "puro" or "purito" (diminutive) is all 100% tobacco from a single region.

I think "plug" tobacco was a mighty common form of chewing tobacco.
A lot of modern cigar shapes date from the mid to late 19th century, but just after our period. Tampa became a major cigar center in the late 19th century (I think ¨Hav-a-tampa¨ still exists. Tampa was the center of tipped cigar production.) They used to grow tobacco and roll cigars in upstate New York, in the area known as Big Flats. A very elderly woman in the church I served there had a job as a young woman rolling cigars. She still remembered how to do it, and how to repair small breaks or cracks in the wrapper with a little piece of moistened leaf. She also said that one of the benefits of the job was an endless supply of free cigars, on demand - including while working! It still makes me laugh trying to picture this fairly respectable Baptist puffing her way through a shift!
 
Joined
May 12, 2018
I for one never saw the appeal. I have always found that the myriad of alcoholic libations available a more than sufficient vice.

As a diabetic, second hand tobacco smoke is doubly bad for me: it messes up my blood sugar as well as it's other commonly known ill effects.

What were the policies on smoking and chewing in the ranks? I can't imagine the officers would have tolerated that. Grant walked around chomping on fat cigars, but I assume the average enlisted man did not. It seems like most of these accounts take place in camp.

It's been interesting reading about the shift in tobacco culture during the war.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
I for one never saw the appeal. I have always found that the myriad of alcoholic libations available a more than sufficient vice.

As a diabetic, second hand tobacco smoke is doubly bad for me: it messes up my blood sugar as well as it's other commonly known ill effects.

What were the policies on smoking and chewing in the ranks? I can't imagine the officers would have tolerated that. Grant walked around chomping on fat cigars, but I assume the average enlisted man did not. It seems like most of these accounts take place in camp.

It's been interesting reading about the shift in tobacco culture during the war.
Smoking would have been allowed pretty much at thecNCO & officer discretion. Men wouldn’t have smoked during drill or while on duty but much past that anytime was fine.
 

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
Chewing is probably not represented enough.

I would imagine it was pretty common in the ranks, particularly the South.

That said, it's one of the most disgusting habits ever devised and incredibly bad for your teeth and gums. I think having a tobacco patch with the uniform is great idea, but not actually using the stuff.

I don't like the smell of cigarette smoke, but I have never smelled cigar smoke that wasn't rank to the point of being mildly nauseating. I hate the smell of a certain other smoked plant as well.
 
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