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Scene of the Camp on Hampton Green, 1781

Scene of the Camp on Hampton Green, 1781

Like many other reenactors/living historians/suckers for wool in summer, I’ve been following the First Oval Office project with interest and envy. Imagine my delight upon finding this blog by Tyler Rudd Putman, who is working on that and many other projects of interest.
The common tent project l is one that I really do hope to take on someday, though I doubt I can ever achieve a tent of this level of quality. (Reader, I cannot weave.) But I can aspire, at the least, and I see that a hand-sewn tent is something even I can achieve. It won’t get done by me in just one day, but over the course of several weeks I could get one done as long as I cleared the downstairs of all our furniture, and put up with a cat sewn into a seam. (My assistant has been lying down on the job, melting in the heat.)

The Howling Assistant Lies Down on the Job

I’ve been thinking about tents since the after-dark hilarity at Monmouth setting up an unknown tent in the dark with a brittle pole that had to be repaired with string from a pasty wrapper, and the later perhaps over-zealous cleaning by Mr S of the tent abused by a cat and identified on the NJ turnpike’s extended play of “What the Hell’s that Smell?”

I’m not sure why we’re allowed to remain in our regiments, really, I am not. But I suspect that an ability to produce Chesire Pork pie is a factor in our favor.

We’ll be setting up tents at OSV in just about a week, broken pole and all, and looking ahead to that, I give you the following links for further reading on tents.

John U. Rees on tents in both armies of the Revolution.

How to fold a tent.

Period (British) images.

Even more documentaton: scrolling down, Rhode Islan had a return of 147 tents in May, 1781– that’s about 882 soldiers, at 6 men per tent, a max of 1029 at 7 men per tent. (At least one is always on duty, so there would not be more than 5 or 6 sleeping at any one time).

Amazing and image-rich essay, The Tent Article

Lochee, Essay on Castremetation, which I read and forget by the time it is dark and some man is trying to reason with me about how a camp should be arranged, when all I want to do is sleep. With that in mind, a brush arbor is starting to look good…