By David Vickers, Event Coordinator
The annual reenactment of the Fannin Massacre event will be held on March 28-30, 2003. It has come to the attention of the Crossroads of Texas Living History Board that there have been some problems with items of clothing, weapons and other accoutrements that are not authentic to the period and place that is being recreated. The following is a list of many of the things that have been discussed by the Board. These are all minor problems and should not be difficult to correct. I wish to stress that there is no intention of insulting or hurting anyone’s feelings in this matter, however, the items and problems listed below have been thoroughly discussed by the Crossroads Board and there is a consensus that they are not correct for the time period or historical location of this historical event.
1. Camp furniture- many of the camps set up in the presidio in the past
years have had a huge amount of tables, chairs, coat racks, chuck boxes, pots, pans gun racks and fire irons. Since we are representing a garrison of poorly supplied volunteers without ample supplies, we ask that you keep your camp reduced to the smallest size possible. The two main meals on Saturday are supplied either by Crossroads or by the Presidio so there is no need to bring a chuck box or a large amount of cookware.
2. Proper period footwear- Please be sure that both adults and children have proper footwear in accordance with the persona that they are representing. Moccasins of a plains style are fine for frontier types; brogans or period high boots are fine for more affluent “townie” type characters. Women’s footwear needs to be researched. We do not want to see cowboy boots, modern work boots, chukka boots, tennis shoes, or even “roper” boots. Footwear is one of the most expensive aspects of the hobby, but if you plan to spend any time at all involved in living history, invest in a good pair of proper shoes. S01; S05 *
3. Men’s shirts- In the past there have been individuals who have worn shirts not correct for the period. “Henley” shirts (the kind that look like a long underwear top) are not period in any way shape or form. Western style shirts are not even close to period. The loose fitting men’s shirt of the early 19th century is not difficult to make and many patterns are available. Band collared shirts are of a later style, though some types might be passable. It is advisable that you look at some references. Bib front cowboy shirts and other styles that existed after the civil war, are not period. S01; S04; S05; S06; S07
4. Vests or over shirts for men- In the early part of the century men wore an over garment at all times. This trend faded after the Civil War, but in
the 1830’s no man would be seen without a vest, an over shirt, a military coat or some sort of top garment. Even frontiersmen wore over shirts made of heavy cotton, linen or wool. It is also advisable that men wear some form of neckwear. Silk or cotton cravats or neckerchiefs were certainly a mainstay of the male wardrobe. The style and quality of these items depended on social standing and occupation. S01; S03; S05; S06
5. Drop front pants- Fly front pants were not in style at this time. Pants with a broad or narrow fall will work for this place and period. Materials and colors may vary as well as the overall cut of the garment. Some were tighter fitting, while baggier trousers were worn by workingmen. Gohn Brothers Amish Supply Company carries broad fall pants for a very reasonable price. They are not perfect, as they have French seams and are cut rather loose, but they are passable. No one should be wearing modern trousers or blue jeans of any kind. S01; S02; S05; S06
6. Indian clothing- For frontier type individuals, some items of buckskin or leather clothing are acceptable. Leggings, leather britches of an eastern cut, moccasins, and leather coats cut in a Europeans style are fine. However obvious Indian style clothing such as war shirts, beads, beadwork and quill work, are very hard to document on clothing of participants in the Texas Revolution. They should not be worn at this reenactment.
7. Women’s clothing- All women’s clothing should be that of a white or Hispanic female. There were no Indian women at presidio La Bahia at the time of the Texan occupation. Buckskin Indian style dresses are not authentic to the time and place. Indian style T-dresses made of calico or other materials should not be worn. Older women might have worn early style revolutionary war period clothing such as chemises and mobcaps, but there is some debate among female Texas Revolution reenactors about this. For this event, the early clothing is passable, but not highly recommended. S01; S04; S05
8. Civil war or Mexican war cartridge boxes and other accoutrements- Any weapons, clothing or accoutrements that did not exist in March of 1836 will not be allowed, including Enfield and Springfield muskets, Zouave Rifles and Mississippi Rifles. Any elements of Civil war clothing or other items should not be worn or carried. Any military equipment that predates the period should not be seen. S05
9. Eyewear- Glasses should be as close to a period style as possible. Modern round “Granny” style glasses are passable and will be allowed. Civil war vintage glasses are passable and will be allowed. It is suggested that anyone who plans to spend any amount of time reenacting the early 19th century purchase a pair of appropriate glasses. Obviously non-period frames, such as horned rim and aviator styles should not be worn while the public is in the presidio. Sunglasses are also not period, even in older style frames. S01
10. Percussion ignition rifles- There has been an argument among Texas Revolution reenactors for many years about the authenticity of percussion ignition. It is generally agreed that some percussion weapons were used during this period, however” they were not as prevalent as flintlocks. The most likely style of percussion rifle would be a Kentucky or Tennessee style long rifle with a percussion lock. Hawken style half stock percussion rifles are not correct and should be avoided. The rule of thumb is that if you cannot document the existence of your firearm or any other weapon, during this time period it should not be carried at this event.
We ask that all reenactors volunteering for this event correct the problems discussed above.
Thanks David Vickers
The following Sutlers except for S02, S05 & S07 are from a recent issue of Muzzleloader Magazine. This is not a recommendation of one sutler over another. They have goods that fill the bill for our time period. Not all are proper, so choose carefully.
S01. Jas Townsend & Son; 18th.-19th. Cen. Goods
info. 574-594-5852; orders 800-338-1665
fax 574-594-5580; http://www.jastown.com/
S02. Gohn Bros. 574-825-2400; 800-595-0031 Natural Cotton Drill Broadfall pants. #44 $21
S03. White River Trader; 812-523-3153
Hunting Frocks; S-6X; Hemp Linen; Fustian
S04. Fox River Traders; 18th. Cen. Goods
S05. C&D Jarnagin Co.; 662-287-4977;
fax 662-287-6033; www.jarnaginco.com
2 catalogs, 1750-1832; 1833-1865-quality
S06. Steve Abolt, Custom Tailor;
423 Cadbury Dr.; Lynchburg, VA. 24501;
S07 Wooden Hawk; 18th. Cen. Shirt & accessories
Muzzleloader Magazine ran a couple of articles on leather hunting frocks and everyday work shirts. You can get back copies or some times they will copy the article.
NOV./DEC. 2002 HUNT FROCK JAN./FEB. 2003 SHIRT
Muzzleloader RR 5 Box 347M Texarkanna TX 75503-9403