If you’re interested in becoming a Civil War re-enactor, the first thing you’re going to need is a uniform, but there’s not a thing to worry about there. There are a variety of ways, including websites. Go to the Reynolds Battery website for more information at reynoldsbattery.org.
Basically, members of Reynolds’ Battery wear navy blue jackets over kersey or sky blue trousers, topped with a kepi and with feet covered by brogans (one shape boot, no left or right).
And before you get too comfortable in your crisp new uniform, remember that it’s all made of worsted (heavy weave) wool and in the summertime, that immediately translates to unpleasantness. And as Beatty points out, it’s much easier for re-enactors to stay hydrated today than it was for the Civil War soldier of 1861 to 1865.
“In the summertime, they are as bad as you might think they are,” Beatty said of the uniforms. “The thing is to stay hydrated. In fact, I’m getting hydrated this week for a re-enactment I plan on participating in next week.”
You also need to know what branch you want to get into and what accoutrements you’ll need for that particular soldier. For example, the least expensive branch is the infantry so all you’ll need to buy besides the uniform is your musket. If you join the cavalry, you’ll need a horse and if you join the artillery, like Beatty did, you’ll need to find someone with an artillery piece.
Reynolds Battery is represented by two flags, one commissioned by the Women of Rochester and a guidon swallowtail, with red and white colors designating the unit as artillery. They fire 3-inch ordinance rifles that they make themselves, using a half-pound cannon grade black powder (blank). In the Civil War, these weapons fired three types of shells, solid shot, case shot and canister.