21. U.S. Issue Rubber Blanket or Poncho: Rubber or Gum Blankets were the primary ground cloth of the infantry during the war, and to be constructed of rubber with a white linen backing, featuring small brass grommets. Ponchos were mainly used by the cavalry, but there are accounts of infantrymen using them. Ponchos have a reinforced slit in the middle of the spread, with a tin button closure. Same small brass 9/16 inch diameter grommets are also used. We will accept both, but the Rubber (or Gum) Blanket is the preferred choice. 

22. U.S. Issue Blanket: Must be of a documented pattern. The blanket can be either the gray issue wool blanket with black woven end stripes & 4 to 4.5 inch US letters stitched in the middle of the blanket, or the brown issue blanket with woven brown end stripes & 4 to 4.5 inch US letters stitched in the middle of the blanket. Blankets should not have bound edges. All blankets should have a noticeable diagonal weave, especially visible in the end stripes. Dimensions should be close to 7 feet x 5 feet, six inches, weighting about five pounds. 

Board note: It is strongly urged not to go cheap when purchasing an issue blanket. You want something that will keep you warm, using only one blanket as allotted by the government. 

23. U.S. Issue Shelter Half: Shelter halves were generally made of 8 ounce cotton duck, with varying dimensions in the area of 66 inches long x 65 inches wide (original shelter halves did shrink quite a bit, so there is dimension differences between original shelter halves), had twenty three hand sewn bone or tin buttons & buttonholes of waxed cotton thread, and eight hand sewn grommets holes (includes the guy rope and pole grommets). Shelter halves were not issued with brass grommets and machine-stitched buttons & buttonholes. Shelter halves should have a guy rope of six-thread manila line that extends six feet, ten inches in length. The same manila line is also used for the tent stake loops. The shelter half can be of early war three panel section construction coined as Type II shelter halves, or Type III shelter halves which would be appropriate for later war impressions. Type III shelter hales featured two panel sections of cotton duck and in some documented specimens tabby weave and blue line canvas material. It takes two shelter halves to make a shelter tent. All shelter halves shall be correct in pattern, materials, and construction compared to the original specimens. 

24. U.S. Issue Tent Pegs: Tent pegs for the shelter half were issued by the Federal Army during the war. They were generally made of wood, with a curved top, which slimmed down to a narrow point. The squared top style is also accepted. Obviously tent pegs were lost during campaigning, but were a lightweight item that could be easily carried in a knapsack. We typically recommend using hard wood sticks as tent pegs. During an active campaign, soldiers would not have carried metal or iron tent stakes in their knapsacks. They are just too heavy to cart around.

25. Rifle-Musket: The M1861 Springfield rifle-musket or the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-musket are preferred. The M1863 Springfield rifle-musket is also accepted, but most reluctantly so in cases which conflict with scenarios. Dependent upon scenario, and at the Boards exclusive discretion, other weapons types may be acceptable upon direction. All muskets must have three-barrel bands. If the Enfield rifle-musket is purchased, the bluing must be removed. We also suggest that modern makers marks should be removed and any necessary modifications be made to ensure the accuracy of your rifle-musket. 

26. Rifle-Musket Bayonet: Individuals MUST possess a corresponding pattern bayonet for your rifle-musket. Ensure compatibility with your rifle-musket before signing on for events. All modern markings should be removed. 

27. Mess Furniture: A soldiers mess items should consist of a tin cup or fruit can boiler, knife, fork, & spoon (or combination set), and a plate/canteen half. All equipage must be of documented patterns, construction, and materials based on original artifacts. Stainless Steel items are highly discouraged. The following items are ideal in nature to the impression we seek:

1. Tin Cup: Made of tin, with proper lipped bottom, wire reinforced cup handle, cup size approximately 4x4 inches. No crimped bottom cups. 

2. Fruit Can Boiler: An alternative to the tin cup, made of tin, with a lipped bottom, and a wire bail. No crimped bottoms or sides. 

3. Knife: Plain wood or bone handles with straight steel blades. 

4. Fork: Plain wood or bone handles with 2-4 steel tines. 

5. Spoon: Made of stamped steel or iron, with a fiddle or oar shaped handle. 

6. Combination Set: Must be of a documented pattern, with steel knife, fork, & spoon attachments. 

7. Plate: Made of stamped or hot dipped tin, approximately 8.5 to 9.5 inches in diameter. No pie plates. 

8. Canteen Half: An alternative to a plate, which can additionally function as a skillet. Canteen halves should be of tin, not stainless steel.

Additional Highly Suggested Items

28. Uniform Coat: The basic features of the dress coat, or frock coat,  include an indigo dyed woolen cloth (broadcloth or uniform cloth as documented in original specimens, NOT being the blackish navy blue which fades to an even more unacceptable purple color), a standing collar, skirt with two rear pockets, 1/4 inch padded black or brown polished cotton chest lining, cotton muslin sleeve lining, hand sewn sleeves between body of the coat and sleeve lining, Saxony blue/sky blue (not baby blue) welting on collar, cuffs, and a vertical welt along the cuff split. Eyes and hooks should be attached at the collar and corners of the skirt. There is no internal pocket in this coat, and there is no lining in the back of the coat body or the skirt. Buttonholes shall be all hand sewn using blue, black, or logwood faded (brown) linen or cotton thread. Uniform coats must have nine 3/4 inch general service eagle buttons on body front, two 3/4 inch general service eagle buttons in back (above the skirt tails), and two 5/8 inch general service eagle buttons on each functional cuff. 

All documented arsenal and contract patterns of correct construction are acceptable.