We have more reenacting secrets to share today. As you've noticed, I've been sharing a lot of work and research on Civil War camping. Recently, I turned a set of issued tent pegs as seen in A.J. Hammler's Civil War Woodworking Vol. 1 and referenced by Fredrick Gaede. I made mine traditionally by riving blanks from a green log, fine tuning the billets on my shave horse, and turning them on my spring pole lathe. This method posed some challenges since Hammler's design required using a round nosed scraper on the neck of the peg. Scrapers aren't really for green woodworking as they leave a very rough finished as compared to the standard gouges and skews used in green wood craft. This just means the originals were turned seasoned on power (steam/water) or treadle lathes. If you have a lightly used CW original, you'd expect to see the cross marks of a live center probably on the head of the peg. I think they came out alright and it was a great exercise for me to practice replicating turned items. Being a student of military gear, as many of you are, I always thought this style looked awfully familiar.
My local air museum had it's regular militaria sale that I always try to make. It's small, but I always manage to leave spending more money than I intended. After talking to a friendly reenactor from AEF Northwest (WWI), I wrapped up my shopping by stopping at my favorite vendor. I purchased a full, original CW musket cap tin and a set of these WWII era (also inter-war era) tent pegs to share with you. In my opinion, these are about as close to a dead-on alternative as you can get for improving your CW dog tent impression.
In the pictures, you can see the WWII pegs and the ones I made from Hammler's book, which aren't perfect but pretty good for a first try. I've also placed a WWII peg directly on top of Hammler's template for you to see the similarity and judge for yourself if this would be a reasonable choice for you. I paid $4 each for my WWII pegs and that's about what they're typically going for. $20 for a set of WWII pegs is a lot cheaper than investing in an electric lathe and a set of chisels and they're much more readily available. Above all, they're much more hardcore than those ubiquitous iron stakes that have no business holding down a shelter half.