The 9th Ky portrays the western theatre Federal militia-turned Army unit which allows for leeway in uniform. Photos of the veterans of the 9th Ky prove that many started with shell jacksts or 'round-abouts', frock coats, militia-jackets, 5-button blouses and 4-button fatigue or 'sack' coats all of the dark Federal blue color. Trousers were sky blue although Federal blue 'dress' trousers appear on a couple of officers. Headwear was probably random. Some men wore kepis, others appear wearing brimmed felt hats. Men are shown in photos wearing cartridge boxes on waist belts, others on shoulder slings. Research of the men individually proves that they were all using the brass belt "plate" buckle which from photos proves was the usual "US" oval style. After Shiloh all the 9th Ky were issued 3-band Enfields & they were also using bayonets as research has shown many were fined for having lost theirs prior to the Atlanta campaign. We today however only insist that a 3-band muzzleloading cap-lock gun is used for our own uniformity of drill & because some events forbid shorter guns to be used by infantry. While we do not endorse any sutlers ourselves, most of us deal with The Blockade Runner, Inc. (www.blockaderunner.com) for our gear because they are local to most of us & we have a long history with them. They are easy to work with in outfitting new recruits & are always happy to help out the 9th KY.
Camp supplies vary with us as well. We require that non-period items be hidden away from view during the times when visitors to camp might come in, but otherwise we do not mind sleeping bags, a cooler, modern chair, etc. but be aware that the more you pack the more you have to maintain. In this hobby, less is often more. You can 'campaign' that is, sleep on the ground or with a lean-to. Some men use 'dog tents' but most of us prefer the 'A' frame tent. A wall tent is acceptable so long as there is space which is not always the case. We do not use Sibley tents ourselves due to the size for the same reason as the wall tent. And, we do not discourage those that want to stay in the local motel.
At most events food is readily available to be purchased nearby. However, it is a good idea to have snacks or easily-cooked food packed with you. Before your first events be sure to ask other members what to expect & pack accordingly.
Sometimes we may even pitch in money together & supply ourselves for a group cook-out, or have a member make a run to grab some fast food and bring it back.
We all started the same way in this hobby & so we act accordingly to all new-recruits. Do not worry about asking for loaner gear or tent space. We strive to loan our excess gear to make our new recruits comfortable & allow them to ease into the hobby without breaking their bank account. This also allows recruits to decide what items are more important to them for their next purchase & to get to try out different equipment before making decisions.
We are open to families & the 9th KY camps together whenever possible. Some of our number grew up in the camps, from civilian boys to uniformed "runners" to rank & file soldiers. The ladies often can hang out in & out of camp together, visit local attractions on their own, enjoy the camp life, & of course the Saturday evening ball.
Your questions are always welcome & we encourage you to use the 'Contact Us' link to ask them. We will tell you all we know - and make up the rest in a believable fashion!