"We are under light marching orders, our knapsacks back
at Washington so we have nothing but what is on our backs.
We carry 2 blankets and half of a shelter tent a piece, rations
and 40 rounds, which would make quite a load for a green
soldier, but is not very hard for us." -- Seth Plumb, 8CV,Co.E, Sept 9, 1862
This is going to be easy.
All the Three Year Volunteer Connecticut Troops were fully equiped from the generous State of Connecticut early in the war. The uniform was frock coats, dark blues, and a mix of weapons from Sharps, to Springfields, to Enfields, to the trash Austrian rifles.
But, by the time that April 1862 came around, the 8CV drew some federal uniforms, including sack coats and sky blue trousers. This is a good thing that allows any portrayal of the Eighth at Antietam to wear almost anything in a mixed bag.
As a special touch, it must be noted that the greatcoat of the 8th Conn. Vols. is a militia cut in GRAY. If you have a good friend of the southern persuasion, maybe you can borrow his greatcoat if you need it for warmth in September. We are not going to be too anal about that, but it is a touch you can add. Canteen covers were also gray, but you can do what you can.
Campaign all the way. The Eighth was on the march from the 5th of September, with no knapsacks or baggage. Figure twelve days later, and you have a smelly bunch. We might just be required to move from our original camp in the middle of the night to a place on the far left of the army, and away from the threat of the rebel guns along the Sharpsburg heights.
The 8th Con. Vols. at the battle of Antietam had left all their knapsacks in Washington, and the rest of thier baggage behind under guard of their Co. H. in Frederick, Md. This means that no knapsacks, or any other impedimentia, is accurate. We will certainly be allowing one shelter half per man, and if you need your knapsack in camp, it is not a big deal, but rest assured, that the Sunday A.P.Hill counterattack scenario should not allow any knapsacks in battle. Blanket rolls only.
Frocks if you have them are preferred. Sack Coats otherwise. Dark Blues in very minimum quantity are fine. Sky Blues in major quantity are best. Any of the above rifled weapons are satisfactory. If you bring your Sharps, you will certainly be drawing special duty, but keep it to small numbers, less than a half dozen.
The preferred cap is a McDowell forage cap with the short rounded brim, but a generic federal duck bill is also acceptable.
Let it also be known that this is one of the few times for a composite company that hat brass is acceptable. It is appropriate to wear an infantry horn, a regiment number, and a company letter. As usual, you will not stick out if you follow the campaigners approach of no brass at all.
Please do not try to wear another number other than "8", and keep the company brass down to a minimum. We will be trying to funnel you all into at least five companies of the 8CV, and we will announce the company letters when you arrive. Rest assured, that you will have plenty of time to get to the sutlers, and get the right letter, if you desire, once you arrive.
God Bless You All for portraying the Eighth Conn. Vols. for the 140th Antietam Anniversary. We greatly appreciate your support.