Authenticity Standards
of The Iron Scouts

We have deliberately avoided the "item must be purchased from one of the approved vendors" statement in these standards. We encourage our members to make items themselves, not just to save costs, but also in order to better understand period construction techniques and vocations. It is the responsibly of the group to make sure all items reflect the very best in quality and researched historical accuracy.

I. General Standards

All modern anachronisms are strictly prohibited. If there is something that absolutely must be carried, such as legal identification, currency, car keys or religious jewelry, it will be completely concealed.

All uniforms, equipment, and tack will be constructed from proper materials using proper techniques and patterns. Any items made from modern materials or cut from a modern (post 1865) pattern are strictly prohibited.

Equipage will be kept at a minimum, as we most always portray campaign style camping. All equipment will be carried by the persons or horses of the men in the mess. "Less is More!"

Standards specific to individual items are described below.

II. Uniform Standards

A. UNIFORMS will be appropriate for the event or scenario, to include composition and time frame of each item. Each member will own or have access to a complete uniform suitable for a mid war Iron Scout impression.

B. HEADGEAR will vary depending largely upon personal preference and the scenario or event we are portraying. No hat or cap devices, insignia, hat cords, or "stampede cords" will be worn on headgear unless it is specifically requested for the impression at a given event.

C. FOOTWEAR will be brogans of the Jefferson Bootee design with pegged or stitched soles. Proper cavalry boots are also permitted unless prohibited by the the event or scenario. Footwear may have heel plates, heel rims, or hobnails on them - individual's choice.

III. Equipment Standards

A. CANTEENS exist in various sizes and styles, try to find a common identified type. Will be made of tin with a pewter mouthpiece. If covered, it will be covered in brown blanket wool, brown jean, or gray jean. The cork will be affixed with cotton or hemp twines only, not a chain.

B. TENTS will not normally be used in campaign impressions, however, the only tent that may be carried is the shelter half (one per man). As this is a seldom used item, it is not as high on the list of priorities as other items. In the case of garrison duty impression, A-tents or other large tents will be permitted.

C. FIREARMS (to include musket, carbine, shotgun, or pistol) may be purchased from a variety of sources, but must be "de-farbed." De-farbing is the removal of remove modern markings and improper finishes. If the serial number is removed it MUST be relocated to another (less visible) location on the weapon. Any original weapons are welcome, if appropriate for the scenario, but they should appear as they would have during the war.

D. CARTRIDGES, whenever possible and relevant to the event scenario, will be packaged in standard arsenal packaging. Paper and twine will be of natural fibers giving the impression of period construction. Given the difficulties with preparing and using authentic pistol cartridges, members may carry and make use of powder flasks although they should not normally be displayed.

E. EDGED WEAPONS are considered a necessary piece of equipment for most mounted impressions. Sabers were prevalent in the cavalry campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia and they also saw use in other theaters as well. A wide variety of types are acceptable. Mainly, the 1840 and 1860 reproduction patterns. Another good reproduction for Confederate use is the 1796 British Light Cavalry model. All modern markings should be removed. Unless a scenario calls for it, the use of belt knives are strongly discouraged. however, folding camp knives are highly recommended.

F. PONCHOS are avoided except in rare late war portrayals. Gum Blankets or Painted Canvas will be used as ground cloth and rain cover as necessary.

G. PERSONAL ITEMS, such as combs, toothbrushes, smoking pipes, razors, soap, towels, etc. shall be left to the discretion of the members.

IV. Horse and Tack Standards

A. HORSES - Each member will own or have access to at least a pair of coconut shells of proper color and variety. Under no circumstance should the shells be taken from a coconut larger than could have been carried by an African swallow of the 1860s period.

B. TACK - Most leather should be black, unless in the case of a Jenifer or civilian saddle and tack. The Jenifer is a preferred early to mid war saddle as they were produced at Southern arsenals until 1864 and the McClellan style CS saddle began to appear in mid-1863. Limited numbers of "battlefield pick-up" Federal saddles are acceptable and proper civilian saddles are always encouraged. Buckles should be black iron unless civilian in which case brass is acceptable. Breast straps (US or CS), if needed, should be civilian pattern. The use of painted canvas in lieu of leather on CS equipment is encouraged, depending on the impression. Carefully select a bit that is not only proper in pattern and construction, but also suited to your mount.

C. OTHER EQUIPMENT - If you use a nose bag (feed bag) it should be of Federal issue. Use care in selecting spurs (there are a lot of poor reproductions on the market) and only use them if required to control your mount. Items such as brush, hoof pick, currycomb, forage sack, etc. should be shared with the group (i.e.: one trooper carries one item) in order to minimize equipment. If the location of water demands, canvas buckets, while no doubt not authentic, may be used as long as they are out of sight when not being used. Wooden buckets are fine in limited numbers in a garrison impression.

V. Food Standards

A. ISSUED FOODS will consist of rations as found in regulations and drill manuals. We will bring "issued rations" only when it is not provided by the event organizers. Quantity of rations will be commensurate with the number of men in the mess.

B. FORAGED FOODS will consist of only produce and meats available in the region we are portraying, at the the time we are portraying. All food will conform to known varieties available at the time.

C. MESS EQUIPMENT will be correct for the impression, especially with regard whether the event calls for a campaign or a garrison scenario.

© 2003, The Iron Scouts, Inc., All Rights Reserved