Civil War Uniform Reproductions

Civil War Uniform Reproductions

Peterson's Magazine

Visitors to the Stonewall Jackson Museum in Strasburg, Va., are impressed with the living historians, the hands-on approach to the exhibit&#151here’s your chance to heft a Civil War-era rifle&#151and the relict trenches from 1864. But the best fun comes in the children’s rooms. Reproductions of girls’ dresses, made from period patterns, along with hats and gloves as well as what museum director Babs Melton calls “itty-bitty” soldier’s jackets from both sides of the conflict, haversacks and hats are available for playing historical dress-up. (33229 Old Valley Pike, Strasburg, VA 22657, 540-465-5884, www.waysideofva.com/stonewalljackson)

Adults interested in reproductions of Union or Confederate uniforms can find them at C&D Jarnagin Co., where military uniforms and equipment, as well as men’s civilian clothing, are authentic down to the buttons. (Box 1860, Corinth, MS 38834, 662-287-4977, www.jarnaginco.com)

Interested in making your own? The Genteel Arts Academy offers classes and workshops in historically accurate sewing techniques. Learn how to make a wire-frame bonnet, create the Shanghai Cloak featured in the February 1861 issue of Peterson’s Magazine, or take a class in Essential Stitches and Seams. (Box 3014, Gettysburg, PA 17325, 717-337-0283, www.genteelarts.com)

Of course, if you’re making your own reproduction clothing, you’ll need bona fide period fabric. That’s where textile historian and weaver Rabbit Goody comes in. Goody runs Thistle Hill Weavers, a weaving mill that recreates fabrics, including a 2/1 twill jean cloth especially designed for Civil War re-enactors. (101 Chestnut St., Cherry Valley, NY 13320, 518-284-2729

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