Frequently Asked Questions

By Ian Straus


1. Where are you?

A: We have active members in the San Antonio area, in Austin, in Corpus Christi, and points between.

2. What is your purpose?

A: Our primary purpose is to present an accurate historical impression of a Civil War infantry company. By doing so, we accomplish another stated purpose: We educate both ourselves and the public about the Civil War /War between the States period, and hope to increase interest in it. Our primary impression is of a mid-war Army of Tennessee unit, but we did Shiloh with coats made for an early war impression; and we have done a Union impression ("galvanized"). Our by-laws also provide for members with non-military impressions in this period.

3. What are your typical activities?

A. We drill monthly, on a Saturday morning. If you want to do anything well, you have to practice.

B. We attend battle reenactment events.

C. We attend other public events, such as living histories (the one which comes to mind is the Twiggs Surrender reenactment, in February in front of the Alamo), parades, and commemorations.

D. From time to time, some of our members provide historical educational presentations at schools.

4. How do I get started?

A: Email our COMMANDER, Van Zavaba (see link below), or call Ian Straus, at 210-637-7063. Then either: Attend one of our Saturday drills. Talk to us. Participate! If you decide you will enjoy doing this, fill out our application form. Or: - attend an event, observe, and also talk to us in camp.

5. How much does it cost?

A: Less than many hobbies - much less than buying a bass boat. Expect to outfit yourself for $1,500. Our dues are currently $30 per year for famlies, $25 for individuals, $20 for high school students. Outfitting yourself: The most costly item is, of course, a reproduction rifled musket, which currently costs about $660. That's pretty reasonable for a real firearm. The uniform and shoes (brogans) cost about what a suit and an ordinary pair of leather shoes cost. The uniform can cost much less if someone in your family sews. Hats vary in cost - good ones about $85-$100, inexpensive ones as low as about $10 if you go bargain hunting. Add your leather gear, a canteen, a shirt, a poncho or gum blanket, and a wool blanket; a haversack, tin cup, plate. The good news is that after this investment, your costs for attending battle reenactment events are very low: Assuming you camp, as most of us do, cost would be your share of gas if you drive in a group, plus your food, and an event registration fee from zero to $10, and the gunpowder that you burn.

6. Do I have time to do all this?

A: You can reenact and have a life too. We'd like to go to every event, but no one does. We do emphasize going to events we voted as "maximum effort" events.

7. I want to buy equipment before I meet you - where do I go?

A: Don't do it! It's not necessary. Every unit has its own desired uniform and equipment, and if you rush to some catalog and buy stuff which sounds good, or is advertised as "authentic", you are likely to waste money. It's better to meet us, see what we use, be sure you want to join us, and be an informed buyer. Don't buy something expensive which you won't use. We do have advice on what items to buy first. These are generally: Brogans (period workman's shoes), a canteen, a three band rifled musket (no two banders!). But talk to us first. There are good and bad deals, honest sutlers and ignorant ones and outright rip-off artists.

8. Where would I buy this stuff?

A: We can recommend "sutlers"; and recommend some to stay away from, too. We can show you catalogs and give you a list of recommended suppliers.

9. Are there publications I can read?

A: Yes! You might start by buying the Camp Chase Gazette's pamphlet, "Springing to the call", and a pocket copy of Hardee's Tactics.

10. Who can join?

A:We encourage anyone with a genuine interest in our goals and participating with us to join, whether or not you will undertake a role ("impression") as a soldier. Minors must have a parent's permission. We do exclude felons and members of organizations advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, or advocating illegal treatment of people on the basis of race or nationality or religion. The company executive committee decides on all applications and proposed impressions.

11. Is there a national reenacting organization?

A: No. There are regional ones, though not all reenacting groups in a region are members. Co. K, 6th Texas Infantry, is affiliated with the Red River Battalion, which is in turn affiliated with First Confederate Division, which is the Confederate part of the North-South Alliance. First Confederate Division puts on one or two major western reenactments a year. Examples from past years: The Nashville campaign; the Vicksburg campaign; Shiloh; Wilsonís Creek.

If this hobby sounds like something you would like to do, then please contact our recruiting officer: CPT Van Zavaba at



Authenticity Guidelines

The Authenticity Committee reported in 2001: thatís Pvt. Steve Balthrop, Pvt. Phil Cavanaugh, Pvt. Bob Wait.

Mouse-click here for Ť : AUTHENTICITY GUIDELINES

Any/all new recruits will/must be accompanied by an approved member (NCO, etc.) to skinner's (Sutler's) Row at any event. Also, if a new member needs/wants to buy something from a vendor, not at an event, the member should talk to their sponsor BEFORE making said purchase. This is to preclude a new member from spending their hard earned money on junk and non-essentials. You are, of course, free to purchase anything you want, but you do not have a right to use or display it at unit functions. The number one goal here is to portray as accurate an impression as possible.


<< The food chain ends with the reenactor. If reenactors stop buying junk, sutlers will figure out that they can't make a profit and complain to their suppliers. It's one of those supply and demand things! :-) >> Ed O'Dwyer, The BookGuy.

Back to Homepage