The 9th Regiment strives to be an authentic cavalry unit in both action and appearance.  Remember, cavalry is considered the elite of the corps.  So keep this in mind when purchasing and caring for your equipment.   Price is usually indicative of quality and authenticity.  It is better to pay a little more for a high quality item than to settle for something that costs less but is lacking in quality and authenticity.  Make your impression flexible and buy for a federal impression as well, IF that item would have worked for our regiment.  If you purchase inaccurate goods at the outset, and then have to replace these items, it can be quite expensive. Please check with the captain.  Don't assume that if its for sale at the sutler, made by a reenactor or even sold by a member of this company that its correct for your impression.

These guidelines are not intended to force members to make immediate and expensive changes to existing uniform and equipment.  It is to make one more aware of what needs replacing, and to replace those items as they wear out with a higher quality more authentic item.  We wish the new recruit to be aware of what we require at events.  The items in red are items you should strive to get in the first year of reenacting if possible.  The other items you will probably need at some time and are recommended after you buy your first level of gear.

We are portraying the average Virginia cavalryman and not the oddity.  Any deviation from the norm, be it the manner of wearing the uniform or unusual hat decoration, non-issue horse gear, uniform modification, civilian clothing etc. is permissible if it can be documented unquestionably.

The items you see in photos and museums have the patina of 130 plus years on them, they did not look like that when they were used.  There is no excuse in the military to have rusty or filthy weapons, torn clothing, green buttons and buckles or moldy leather.  Unless the men were in an actual campaign environment, officers had to present their men to a higher authority on a regular basis with morning and evening assemblies and Sunday inspection.   This does not mean a spit and polished look, unless on parade; but it does mean that a soldier was required to take good care of his uniform, equipment and his personal appearance.  So apart from the short lapses (several days campaigning) the soldier really had no excuse to look shabby.  Remember we are portraying cavalry, not bushwhackers and scalawags.


Eyewear:  Modern eyeglasses are strongly discouraged.  SMALL oval wire frame glasses are permissible. The best solution include is contact lenses (a box of disposable lenses for use only at reenactments is quite reasonable), going without (if possible) or finally, obtaining antique frames fitted with your prescription (this can actually be cheaper than the modern alternative!). Modern sunglasses and glasses that darken automatically in the sunlight should never be worn.  First year members may wear modern prescription glasses, but PLEASE make the adjustment as soon as possible.   Nothing ruins our impression more than incorrect eyeglasses on an otherwise historically dressed member.

Hair & Beards:  Men of the era wore their hair parted on the side.  In spite of the movie industry efforts to show men with long hair in the era films, short hair was very common.  Officers sometimes wore their hair a bit long, but it was oiled and well contained not fluffy and modern in appearance.  Beards were likewise worn sporadically, mainly by the older men.  The younger men had a harder time filling in a growth of whiskers so kept shaved if they could.

Smoking:  Cigarette use by anyone in historic clothing is not allowed in plain view in the 9th Virginia Military or Civilian camp.  Cigarette use is allowed away from the historic impression area.   Pipe smoking is allowed utilizing replica pipes of the era.  Safety rules also must be taken into consideration as to the location of blackpowder stores.

Loaner Gear:   Thomas Jenkins is our Quartermaster.  Contact him for your military uniforming needs before each event.  We have several correct jackets to loan for the first event recruit.

Event Uniform

$35 up


Slouch Hat,  Forage Cap


Confederate forage caps should be considered but for our Federal impression Federal forage caps are a must.

There are slouch hats on the market and even sold by reenactors that look good and are correct for our impression.  Look for a hat with a leather sweat band (inside) and a crown and brim tape.  A brim tape helps the hat keep its shape in all kinds of weather.  Stampede strings are discouraged, to keep your hat on stitch a thin ribbon to the sweatband so it can stay hidden at other times.  Look at period pictures to see how the men wore their hats.  Stay away from cowboy hats, aussie hats and cheap "hillbilly" hats. Hold your hat by the brim, not the crown.

$120 up

CSA Shell Jacket Confederate issue Richmond Depot type II shell jacket made of  jean cloth, cassimere or blue gray kersey.  Trim less - without branch color on cuff or collar.    Jacket should have nine buttons and rounded front corners.  Buttons can be Virginia state seal, general service "C", federal issue,  plain brass or any combination.  Civilian buttons are also acceptable.   Sleeves should be cut tight in the armholes, very full in the elbows and narrow at the cuff.  Jacket should have an overall snug fit in the body and waist.  A lining of osnaburg cotton is correct.  Charlie Childs pattern works well if you wish to make one.

$130 up

Federal Uniform Jacket Shell jacket.  12 button front, standup collar, navy blue with yellow trim (stay away from that florescent yellow trim and opt for a dull yellow). A federal 4 button sack coat with rounded collar is also appropriate and comfortable, these are trim less and cheaper as well.

$20 to $30

Shirt Any period pattern.  Issue shirts were scarce, civilian shirts fine. At least two are needed, can be woolen, flannel or cotton of solid natural dyes or in a woven homespun of the era.  Shirts are generally three to five-button placket-style front with a collar.

$85 up

Trousers Wool jean, cassimere or kersey used for trousers.  CSA infantry pattern in gray or butternut.  Mounted federal pattern (extra material layer inside seat & legs), sky blue wool. Buttons of tin or lead.   Other documented period styles are accepted even civilian trousers.  All trousers must have high waistbands as the style of the times was to wear trousers up at the natural waist.  It is for this reason that suspenders, called "braces", were needed.  No CSA mounted trousers were issued, beware!


Braces Cotton suspenders, leather suspenders, button type, buckle type - all are appropriate.  Stay away from those "John Wayne" florescent yellow" elastic ones!  Just because someone else wears them doesn't mean you have to.

$70 to $400

Brogans and Boots M1851 Jefferson Bootee or brogan. An ankle high lace up shoe. When broken in the right way they are very comfortable and very appropriate for cavalry use.  The cavalry boot, private contract is also appropriate for those of means.  Most enlisted men would not have had the money to buy them.


Socks Period, knit unbleached or gray cotton or wool. No stripes or tube socks please!


Drawers Get yourself a few pairs, you will be glad you did!  They are cotton and help you stay cool and itch free in all the important areas.

$200 up

Overcoat Mounted pattern (double breasted with wrist length cape), sky blue kersey, called the greatcoat by many.  Captured Federal overcoats were dyed to keep from getting killed by our own men.

Les Jensen information on CSA issued items

Research on Richmond II Shell Jackets