4th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry CS
This regulation is published as a guide for purchasing and using uniform and equipment items in the 4 th Kentucky Infantry. It is meant for both recruits and veteran members.  The information presented here is based on detailed research into original quartermaster records, period accounts, and surviving items.  We feel this guidance will produce the most accurate portrayal of Kentucky Orphan Brigade troops from late 1862 through late 1864.  Deviations from this regulation may be permitted only by the commander, for special event impressions where these items may not be appropriate.  Prices fluctuate and are subject to change without notice:  use those given as a general guide.  Do not let these guides overwhelm you.  Our suppliers make the items to our specifications, but there some recruits who want to make their own clothing.  Your sponsor will help you make the right decision before you purchase clothing.


Jackets should be one of two styles.  The “Columbia Depot” pattern is the most thoroughly documented for a Kentucky impression.  Also approved is the 8 button Frock coat. Both the jackets  and frock coats must be constructed of County Cloth #3 gray jean, Pat Kline “natural gray” or “natural taupe” jean county cloth #25 gray jean).  We strongly suggest you get a sample of the material your jacket will be made of, and submit it to the Authenticity Committee for approval before you order.  Top-stitching and buttonhole thread must be either unbleached, dark brown, tan, or black, (unbleached or dark brown preferred – no white outer thread) and all top-stitching and buttonholes must be hand sewn.  All jacket kits must be sewn per period techniques, and must match the approved pattern when finished.  Check with the Authenticity Committee before you attempt to sew a jacket kit yourself.  Stamped or cast brass “I” buttons, Federal eagle. Or 7/8” C.S. wooden buttons allowed:  all others prohibited.



Trousers must be a common C.S. issue style, of correct period pattern (Richmond Depot, , and “Other” patterns are approved – patterns must be cut per period tailoring techniques).  Trousers must be constructed of jean cloth and must have hand-worked top-stitching and buttonholes.  Acceptable materials are the same as for jackets, plus County Cloth #22, #25, and “FG” jean.  If you want an as-issued “suit” of clothing, buy material to match your jacket.    Recruits should purchase only gray jean trousers from approved sources.  No sky blue.



Slouch hats should be of a common mid-19 th century style, constructed of black, brown, tan, or light gray wool felt with correct ribbon and binding (no derbies or top hats, no floppy “Jethro” style hats; no dark gray or cadet gray colors) The interior of the hats must be finished in period style, with correct sweatband (no artificial leather)  needs to be lined.  No modern labels on interior permitted.  Hardee hats allowed, but discouraged.


No devices, numbers, insignia, hat cords etc. will be affixed to headgear.  The only approved Kepi is the Anderson Kepi .



Shirts should be constructed based on period military and civilian patterns, of identified Civil War use (the following patterns are approved:  Holliday, Campbell, Troiani, Wilson, McRae, Selden/British).  They should be made of plain or woven cotton, flannel, or cotton jean cloth.  Shirts made of cotton prints strongly discouraged; any prints must be of period style, all button holes must be hand worked. Our supplier of uniforms also makes the correct shirts. (There are shirts available at the Suttlery at reenactment that can be altered to fit correctly, but do not buy unless a member of the authentic committee is with you).



Drawers should be of cotton osnaburg or flannel.  Red “Long Johns” or any other modern underwear is prohibited


K): Fall Creek.  F.:  Drawers only:  Cotton #590LW or Flannel #591HW.


Vests can be constructed in any approved period military or civilian style.  All vests must have hand-worked buttonholes.  Machine topstitching is discouraged. It is best to order your vests at the same time you order your uniform so your vest would be the made of the same material.


Cotton fabric, cotton tape, linen, ticking, etc. of approved period pattern are acceptable.  Buttonholes must be hand sewn.  No elastic or clip-on allowed.  Clip type adjustment not permitted.  NOTE:  Jarnagin suspenders can be modified (see Authenticity Committee), but cannot be used as “as issued”.


There exists really no solid evidence that the Orphans were issued overcoats,  they were however available as private purchase items.  The most authentic choice is to do without, but we recognize the need to stay warm at winter events.  Federal overcoats are a good choice – these must come from approved suppliers and must be sewn with dark blue thread.  Federal overcoats should not be worn in parade or ceremonial/memorial functions.  The one acceptable CS overcoat is the Weller. Civilian overcoats may only be purchased with prior approval of the Authenticity Committee.  Buttonholes must be hand-sewn on all overcoats.  An overcoat made of the same material as the approved uniform is acceptable but check with authentic committee before purchasing. 


Shoes should be of a common C.S. issue style, U.S. Jefferson Bootees.

Socks should be knitted from either cotton or wool.  Stripes or patterns prohibited. Socks are available at most Boot Stores or Suttlery at reenactment.



Belts should be constructed of black leather, painted cloth, or oiled natural leather,

l ½ - 2 ½ ” wide.  No bright reddish/orange “russet” leather.  CS painted cloth belts and accoutrements should not be worn at pre-1864 events.


Most common of all buckle styles would be the cast brass “Georgia Frame” style.  Other acceptable styles are single and double roller buckles, forked tongue frames, and imported English “Snake” buckles.   For events portraying 1863-65, both the Minchemer C,S.A. and the clipped corner C.S. buckle are acceptable (check with the Authenticity Committee before buying either).


Caps boxes should be of a C.S. or U.S. pattern and constructed of Black leather or painted cloth.


C.S. Cartridge boxes of black leather or painted cloth preferred, British Enfield import, or U.S. M1842 acceptable.  No box plates or embossed insignia or flap (small inspector/maker stamps are OK).  No bright reddish/orange “russet” leather.

Jarnagin (K):  Jarnagin #223 “Blivens”, #226 “Selma Arsenal”, #220 “Magee and George” #203 (M1842), #200A (Enfield)  (F.) Fall Creek Suttlery.


C.S.. Bayonet scabbards of black leather or painted cloth preferred.  Scabbard must have brass, iron, or lead tip(for safety).  British Enfield style acceptable, but only with correct Enfield belt frog.  These belt frogs should be of black waxed flesh leather, have no rivets, and a single-loop brass buckle on the adjustment tab.


There are basically three canteen styles authorized:  U.S. issue smooth-side or bulls-eye canteens, C.S. tin drum canteen variants, and “Gardner” pattern wooden canteens.  Note:  Wooden canteens must be of the “Gardner” pattern, from an approved source;  All others are prohibited.


C.S. haversack of cotton drill/duck preferred (C.R.).  Tarred U. S. M1851 style or variants acceptable (j).  Buttonholes must be hand worked.  Other stitching should be either hand or  machine sewn as originals.


Knapsacks issued to western troops varied in style.  We have selected some common issue types.  These knapsacks vary a great deal both in comfort and capacity.  You may want to try one out before ordering.  U.S. double bag knapsacks, U. S. Mexican War models, and the British Enfield pack are authorized.


Ground cloth can be either of the U. S. rubberized type, or a C.S. oil cloth/tent fly.  No brass grommets on CS versions, no grommets larger than ½ inch on US versions.  Instructions for making the C.S. version are available from the Authenticity Committee.


The C.S. government issued many different styles of blankets to the troops in the field.  The gray C.S.(ANV/AOT pattern) C.S. brown, or the gray or brown blanket U.S. blankets from County Cloth © are the best choices.  These blankets are rather expensive, however, and the U.S. brown, “emergency” blanket is the minimum acceptable option.   The “checked” blankets from Textile Reproductions (T) are good, reasonable priced repros of civilian blankets.  If the ends of the blanket are bound, it will be done by hand.  Modern U.S. Army blankets are strictly prohibited.  Quilts may be carried only if the are hand topstitched and have no modern materials or patterns (elaborate prints, teddy bears, etc.) in their construction.  If you have a questionable quilt, better bring a spare blanket just in case!


The C.S. government did not issue any standard sized style of tents to Western troops and tents were very rare on campaign.  Tents were used by both sides during the war, but changed in style as the war progressed.  The Captain will decide as to when tents will be used or what style.  New recruits need not buy a tent as the company has plenty of them.  Details on an authentic C.S. tent-fly are available from the Authenticity Committee.  Correct U.S. shelter tents from approved sources are acceptable for use as lean-tos or flies at “campaign style” events.


Tableware of military or civilian style can be purchased either through a Suttlery or as originals from an antique store.  Plates should be made of iron, tin, or pewter.  No enamelware, stainless steel, copper, wooden, or “pie pan” plates or cups. 

IV.FIREARMS (F.K,) ($400 - $450)  

1.  The Kentucky confederates were documented to have carried British Pattern 1853 “3-band” Enfield and recruits should buy this type (no repro Enfield is authentically made, but the Armi-Sport brand is the easiest to correct.)  Also, allowed are U. S. M1861 Springfields:  others will be permitted only on a case-by-case basis (check before buying).  We discourage the use of original weapons as it is potentially damaging to both the weapon and the user.

2.   Slings: U.S. Regulation oiled “russet” leather, British black leather (for Enfields only)


A. GLASSES (see Authenticity Committee for sources)

Glasses (spectacles) should be in original Civil War period frames only.  Reproductions currently available are unsuitable for use.  Frames should have straight ear-pieces and a “W” type nosepiece.  Long-wear contacts are also a good choice, if you are accustomed to them.  Unless your eyesight is very bad, please do not wear you glasses in formation or while on duty.  Constant daily wear of glasses was highly unusual in the 19 th century.  If you can do without or have    contacts, it will greatly improve the authenticity of the company as a whole.  No colored glasses


Not only must our clothing and equipment match the original soldiers as closely as possible; physical appearance should also resemble period styles, to the extent that our modern lives allow.  Hair below the shoulder, braids, pony tails, and other obviously modern styles are prohibited.  Earrings, bracelets, and other modern jewelry prohibited (plain wedding bands are OK).  If you have any tattoos, they must remain covered at all times.


No unit designation (4 th Ky., &c) should be carved or painted on any musket, canteen, or any other equipment.  You may carve your “alter ego” or sweetheart's name or initials on your musket, or you may carve your “alter ego” name on your Gardner canteen (those items only).  Any such visible writing must be done in period style.  Do not carve, paint, stitch any other markings, such as initials, names, battle honors, dates, or anything else, or you won't be able to carry that item at an event where such identification would not be appropriate.  If you wish to put your name and unit on other items for identification purposes, this writing must be hidden from casual view.  If in doubt, check with the Authenticity Committee first.

Random Pictures
Contact us

William R. Neikirk
P.O. Box 814.
Somerset, Kentucky 42502
Cell: (606) 219-0150
E-Mail : bneikirk@windstream.net

Quick Contact
Your Message
©2008 4thkycs hosted by mimounx.com