Infantry Equipment

Living History Demonstration "As soon as we were all in line, a charge was ordered and executed. A grand rush was made for the crest, and it was but a few seconds' work to cause a radical change in the enemy's position. We were soon studying the pattern of their coat tails and we went in hot pursuit under a pitiless storm of shot, shell, and we know what not." - John Haley, 17th Maine Volunteer

Shell Jacket Trousers "The heat was at times terrific, but the men became greatly accustomed to it, and endured it with wonderful ease. Their heavy woolen clothes were a great annoyance; tough linen or cotton clothes would have been a great relief; indeed, there are many objections to woolen clothing for soldiers, even in winter."
Edward Stevens McCarthy, Army of Northern Virginia

Knapsack Brogans "When a campaign was fairly under way the average infantryman's wardrobe was what he had on. Only that and nothing more...It seemed rather sad to see a man step out of the ranks, unsling his knapsack, seat himself for a moment to overhaul its contents, transfer to his pocket some little keepsake, then, rising and casting one despairing look at it, hurry on after the column. Many would not even open their knapsack, but, giving them a toss, would leave them to fate, and sternly resume their march." - John D. Billings, 10th Massachusetts Battery

Canteen "There was not a drop of water with any of us, and with three canteens beside my own I started off in quest of some. Seeing a house not far off, hither I went, finding many there ahead of me, getting the precious liquid out of a very deep well. I cannot describe my feelings as I drew near the water, for my lips were parched with thirst." - Daniel G. Crotty, Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry

Minnie Ball Enfield Rifle "On an advance into the cornfield, a shower of bullets flew around our heads. We had no protection but corn stalks, but not a man was hurt. This was nothing short of miraculous because the air was full of flying devils, whistling and screaming around us, cutting cornstalks and grass as clean as a scythe." - John Haley, 17th Maine Volunteer Regiment

Bayonet "The Thirty-Seventh New York go into the fight with a wild cheer, and drive the rebels at the point of the bayonet. The firing along the line is terrific...Drawing up in line in an open field, we wait for the expected charge. They emerge from the woods beyond, and every man is ready to give them a warm reception...but we have no occasion to use them, for the rebels get back into the woods again." - Daniel G. Crotty, Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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