There are always questions on forums about Civil War camp craft and I feel forums have always fallen short on supporting reenactors in the pursuit of such an essential part of soldier life. The demand for this information is inspiring and yet I'm often disappointed at how little support there is for the curious. Researching uniforms, drill, and unit history can be done sometimes with ease and sometimes with difficulty in libraries and online but that information is generally accessible to those seeking it. Not many people, however, have the knowledge or the opportunities to get outside and practice camp craft outside of events. Even at events, there may not be anyone interested or knowledgeable enough to pass along that training. In Company D, we spend lots of time teaching our soldiers camp skills but we're seeing more and more new reenactors lost when it comes to how to make a fire, how to use an axe, cook their food, or make a comfortable bed in the field.
We highly recommend this book by an actual Civil War veteran. We particularly like it because the author is also from Maine. Published in 1877, the author speaks from personal experience in all areas of camping, hygiene packing, gear, health, cooking, you name it and he addresses it. He references directly his military experience and use of gear. These are real word tips illustrating methods correct for the period. This reference is essential for those of us passionate about camp and bush craft who are also vigilant to prevent modern practices from sneaking into our reenacting impressions. This reference is also valuable for new reenactors seeking advice and how-to's, to be better prepared for their events.
Need more convincing? As of this writing, copies of this book are only $7 on Amazon. In the meantime, we'll be working on a camp craft 101 series for our YouTube channel so be sure you're subscribed.