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HARDTACK and HARD TIMES: Recruits Wanted, Step Up and Make Your Mark.

March 10th, 2014 3:20 pm by Ned Jilton

HARDTACK and HARD TIMES: Recruits Wanted, Step Up and Make Your Mark.

The 19th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment of re-enactors is currently recruiting. Reproduction of recruiting poster courtesy of Dan Webb.

Have you ever been interested in how Civil War soldiers lived while in the field? Now you have a chance to find out first hand.

The 19th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment of re-enactors is currently recruiting soldiers for Company B. If you enjoy camping and have a love for history this is a unique opportunity to combine the two.

The original Company B was formed in June of 1861 at Jonesborough, TN, and traveled to Knoxville where it received its company designation and was assigned to the 19th Regiment of Tennessee Volunteers. Affectionately known as the “Old Nineteenth” they were involved in every major battle in the western theater except for Perryville, KY.

Readers of the Times News have been following the exploits of the 19th TN for more than two years and know of their bravery and suffering. This group of living historians, formed in 1986, seek to honor and preserve the memory of the “Old Nineteenth” by representing them at various re-enactments, encampments, living history demonstrations, school programs, company gatherings and public exhibitions. Members of the 19th
Tennessee living history group were appointed the distinction of serving as Honor Guard during the interment of the crew of the Confederate Submarine Hunley at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, SC.

This year members of Company B are looking forward to events and re-enactments such as Brookes Farm in Carter County, The Battle of Blountville and the Battle of Big Creek in Rogersville.

Although the original Civil War Company B was formed in Jonesborough, you do not have to live in Jonesborough or even Washington County to join the folks in Company B today. Members are welcome from all across the Northeast Tennessee region.

As a member you will have the opportunity for first person learning of such things as military drill during the Civil War including the handling of rifle-muskets , camp life and take part in battle reenactments in addition to walking some of the actual battle fields that the group travels to on occasion.

No worries if you lack a uniform or other accoutrements, the company can loan equipment and uniforms to new recruits.

If you do decide to become a member you will eventually have to buy your own uniform and equipment but that’s not too bad if you do it like the old Johnny Cash song and buy it one piece at a time. You might spend $60 to $90 on pants depending if you go off the rack or custom made. Same is true for the sack coat. $30 for a kepi hat or $50 if you go for something in a slouch hat and you have the uniform done.

You do the same thing for the leather goods like the cartridge box, belt and cap pouch. A cartridge box might run you $50 but I got a sweet eBay deal for $20. If you shop around and talk with other re-enactors you get by without too much cost.

If you would like to learn more about the 19th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment of re-enactors, or even join-up, you can contact them at

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