Okeechobee Battlefield Re-enactor Information
Okeechobee Battle Re-enactment
Re-enactor info. notice
Col. Zachary Taylor's Battle with the Seminoles at the
north end of Lake Okeechobee Christmas Day 1837
Re-enactors needed to portray 1830's US Regulars,
Missouri Volunteers (militia), Seminoles and Civilians
for re-enactors, their families and demonstrators
please contact Dowling Watford at firstname.lastname@example.org
visit www.okeechobeebattlefield.com for more info. and up dates
3500 SE 38th Ave Okeechobee, FL 34974 Located 1/2 mile east of Taylor Creek on 441 then 1/4 mile north on 38th AV
Don't miss it
map (see Flyer tab)
Keep History Alive
A Guide for Civil War Re-enactors at 2nd Seminole War
As has been demonstrated many times, interested Civil War re-enactors can participate
in 2nd Seminole War Re-enactment events, especially in the role of US militia and volunteer troops of the 1830s. Where certain preferable items are not on hand, many events have clothing, guns, and equipment on hand for loan to experienced re-enactors seeking to improve their Seminole War impressions. Even without 1830s specific equipments however, you can modify your Civil War impression slightly to better suit the interpretation of the 1835-1842 period to the general public.
Except for a few companies, the bulk of the militia troops who served in Florida during the Seminole Wars did so without uniforms. From period descriptions, most wore plain outdoorsman or sporting dress, or plain working clothes. Here are a few tips to use your Civil War clothing to best effect in interpreting this:
*Dress in your Civil War sky-blue, gray, or butternut trousers. Through drop-front pants were dominant in the 1830s, button-fly types as used during the Civil War were coming into fashion. Please refrain from wearing Civil War leggings, even to hide incorrect footwear, (hint: these sutler row leggings aren't authentic to even the Civil War!...)
* Wear a plain slouch, or top hat, of felt or straw, or a plain clerk's or mechanic's cap of
cloth with a leather bill. Civil War era forage caps and kepis date to the 1850s and should not be worn at 1830s-4Os events.
*Civil War hat insignias should be removed. For example, company letters were not used by militia units in this conflict, nor were branch of service hat cords, (the service colors for the branches were changed between the 1830s and Civil War anyway...). *Wear your plain, colored, or checked shirts. Vests were almost universally worn in the 1830s, and would serve to improve your 1830s impression, especially those of the falling, or "shawl" collar type. A great description from the era refers to rural Americans as wearing shabby versions of English townspeople's dress. The popular styles were of the early Victorian period of fashion. Shirts collars were generally worn pulled up with a colored cravat worn round it and tied in a soft bow in front, (no railroad bandanas please...)
* Please do not wear Civil War period blue, gray, or butternut military jackets, sack
coats, or frock coats. These did not exist as a point of military or civilian fashion during the 1830s and are not suitable for use at 2nd Seminole War events and serve only to confuse the general public. Also, it would be wise to refrain from employing Indian clothing, like beads. Apache Boots, etc., as Americans east of the Rockies (and in them for that matter) did not take their fashions from Indians. For cold weather, a Civil War sky-blue military overcoat would be suitable at a Seminole War event.
If you do not have a flintlock military musket or rifle to use at a Seminole War event, a 19th Century style percussion lock hunting rifle, double-barrell shotgun, or fowler would be acceptable.
*If you have no other weapons than your Civil War rifle or musket, it may be employed during drill and the battle re-enactments, but should be hidden from view in camp. Your Civil War rifle or muskets' bayonet will be unnecessary, as riflemen of the 1830s did not use bayonets.
*Pistols of any type should not be worn as they did not form any part of the equipment of infantry or riflemen of the 1830s.
Seminole War militia men wore either Ml808 musket accouterments in white or black leather, or plain leather rifle pouches and horns or flasks.
*Your Civil War black leather cartridge box and sling are similar in design to the 1808 box and sling. However, the Civil War brass cartridge box should be removed during the Sertunole War event to better approach the appearance of the earlier type equipments.
*Waist belts were not worn as part of the soldier's equipments of the 1830s, and Civil War accouterment waist belts should not be worn. The Civil War percussion cap pouch and bayonet scabbard are not necessary for a Seminole War impression. Percussion caps may be carried in an appropriate pouch or bag for that purpose secured on the person. The Civil War bayonet scabbard is not correct, as in the 1830s riflemen were uniformly without bayonets!
* Remember, by State Park guidelines, powder horns or flasks must be empty during battle-reenactments, and only paper cartridges used!
"Civil War tin canteens are not correct for this period and should not be used. The army employed wooden barrel-type canteens as seen below. These most often were painted blue, with "US" stenciled in the center, etc. The sling was a plain russet strap, sewn without a buckle.
Shown below are examples of the correct equipments of the Seminole War period, issued to both regular army and militia troops in Florida. Canteens were of wood. The haversack (center) was of plain cotton material, buttoned with pewter buttons. The knapsack (right) was of black painted canvas, with black leather straps. Ton should refrain from using any other pattern when in public view.
Civil War style wall tents and "A" frame, or common tents are close enough
in dimension and appearance to those employed during the 1830s to warrant
their use at Seminole War reenactments. The standard camp equipage of
soldiers of the 1830s included hatchets, axes, period shovels, camp kettles,
mess pans, and tin cups. All else is therefore unnecessary for Seminole War
interpretation. Plain woolen blankets are suitable for use in camp.
Dressed plainly in parts of your Civil War uniform, your impression will not clash
with the time period being interpreted at 2nd Seminole War events. We look forward
to seeing you in the field!
For More information, visit these web sites:
2nd Lt. Matthew P. Milnes,
Florida Frontier Guard,
Seminole War Citizen Soldiers, 1835-1842