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  • David B. Wells
    Hello to everyone who is joining up to the list. As the invitation said, this is a list for keeping everyone informed in regards to Pushmataha s Company of
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2005
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      Hello to everyone who is joining up to the list. As the invitation
      said, this is a list for keeping everyone informed in regards to
      Pushmataha's Company of Indian Miltia or just "Push's Company". I've
      sent out broadcast invitations/calls to arms to just about every list
      that I am associated with, and hopefully that coupled with my broad
      range of contacts in the reenacting community, we'll be able to form
      a "special company" such as this will be of both Natives and White
      portrayals for filling out the militia.

      There are various photos in the photos section both of contemporary
      portrayals (mine for now -Pushmataha) and historic portaits of
      Natives of various nations of the period
      (Choctaw,Cherokee,Creek,Chickasaw) to name a few. That should give
      folks some idea as to how these guys were dressing. I've already
      received a few questions from people regarding dress of the militia.
      There is no uniform per se, as I cannot find any information
      regarding that, however, there are requisition orders by Jackson and
      other commanders (Claiborne and Gaines) in regards to outfitting the
      indians who were serving in the militia, Jackson in one requisition
      asks for "A shirt, a flap and blanket" for each indian, to be
      deducted from their pay. What those shirts looked like, its hard to
      say, I would figure your typical indian trade shirt i.e. white men's
      shirt. The flap is referring to the breechcloth. Blankets of the
      period were generally 2-4 points depending, and solid color (white
      and red being most common) with the big black stripe on each end.
      However, we're also talking about men who were coming from their
      homes and no strangers to warparties, they knew what they needed and
      no doubt carried it with them when they left, (leggings, shirts,
      blankets, paint, guns, knives, hatchets, kettles) you name it...

      So, from that we've got a bit of liberty in what we can carry. The
      Native portrayal aspect of the company is going to be fairly liberal,
      as long as you're not wearing gaudy stuff and looking like you're
      going to sign a treaty. Keep it simple and it will look dead on the
      money. I.e. shirt, leggings, mocs, breechcloth, paint, hair
      dressing, shot pouch, musket, knife (neck or belt), sash/belt.

      There are a few different things you can do in addition to
      the "normal" portrayal that are acceptable for the 19th C. in the
      southeast... the largest being a frock coat...these are ubiquitous.
      I'm referring to the fringe/ruffled caped overcoat that was worn
      either belted/sashed (or not at all) that we sometimes heard referred
      to as "rifleman's frocks". You also see a lot more different cloth
      being used in addition to what was "traditionally" used, i.e. grey
      cotton twill, calicos of various sorts, lots of checks, cotton
      flannel (that's a hot topic from what I've heard spoken around fires,
      but I say go with it...I've got a wonderful red cotton flannel shirt
      that does me just fine...)

      Then there's shoes...I think its acceptable (there's enough tradition
      in the southeast of indians wearing them even in the early 18th C.)
      for natives to wear them, if you got em...wear em if you want to.

      In the info document you will see however that there were "friendly"
      identifiers though...these should be adhered to by everyone (even
      white indian country men) that is, they either wore a white turban
      (silk or cotton/linen cloth) or a white "string" around their
      arms...this was to signify them as "friendlies" and is specifically
      referenced in a couple of different dispatches that I've found. So
      there, that'll be the "uniform"...we'll all wear at least a piece of
      white cloth/string/tape around our arms...

      Ok, I'll make it official.

      Company General Order no. 1.
      Each member of the company will have on his person a white string or
      piece of ribbon or cloth to wear around his left arm at all times
      while functioning as members of the company. This will signify to
      other members of other miltia or regular army that we are friendlies.
      If desired, members of the company should wear turbans of white and
      only feathers of white (goose/turkey/ostrich) to further signify our
      friendly status to all other companies.

      As for indian country men and mixed bloods, I would group the latter
      in conjunction with the natives, but if they wished (as well as back
      then I'm sure) they can choose to affiliate more with the white side
      of dressing. However, I would personally like to see everyone
      dressing more Native all around (leggings, breechcloths, mocs, trade
      shirts, frock coats, turbans or appropriate headwear) and paint.

      As far as painting goes, if you're in a 'war' situation, the standard
      colors across the board it seems for the SE were red and black
      combination. If just "painting" red is fine, or red/white, for
      ceremonies, white is definately needed (when I say ceremony...I mean
      formal occassions, i.e. colors, parleys, balls, dances, etc...)

      Again, back to the indian country men, I don't see the harm in these
      guys looking "white"...after all they were...so appropriate 19th C.
      dress is acceptable, but don't forget, this is a company of "indian"
      militia and for appearances sake to make it look more like a large
      company of indians, it would be best to dress more native.

      It think everything else is pretty well covered in the general info
      document in the "files" section, but if anyone has any questions,
      please feel free to ask.

      Other events that will be on the horizon are but not limited to...
      New Orleans
      The Hermitage
      Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson
      Mississenewa
      Horseshoebend
      Pensacola (if they have anything)

      So you see, this isn't going to be a full time reenactment company,
      but rather brought together for special events as they come up.

      Don't forget, the bicentennial celebration of the war is coming up in
      just a few years, it'd be nice to get the company up and running and
      have it tweaked by that time to attend all the events and really gain
      by it.

      Sorry, I know it was a lot of writing/reading, but there's a lot of
      info to get going from the ground level. Hopefully that will be the
      longest of my dispatches.

      Sincerely,
      David
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