Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Sibley Tent for the 6th (UPDATED)

Soon the 6th Iowa moved south towards St. Louis and the Jefferson Barracks. On August 11th the steamer carried them from St. Louis, 12 miles south to the barracks located on the banks of the Mississippi. After reaching the site of the barracks they made camp on a high bluff "without tents or arms". 

On August 14th the Regiment participated in it's first battalion drill.

 In the evening the men gathered at the arsenal and were issued the following.

 "Linen pants, cotton drawers, woolen shirts, socks and coarse shoes, also Sibley tents."

 "It was stated and so understood at the time by the men in the regiment that General Fremont had purchased the clothing, on his own account, and had given it as a present to the regiment." 

Sibley Tent US Patten US14740 A

 The Sibley tent was invented Henry Hopkins Sibley and patented in 1856. This tent became a standard in the West and was used by the likes of George Armstrong Custer in the Indian Wars. 

 The tent saw it's first service during the Utah Expedition of 57-58 proving that the tent would stand up well. Sibley would recieve $5 dollars for every tent made according to the agreement with the US Department of War. However Sibley would resign and join the Confederacy and would forfeit the royalties from some 44,000 of the tents he designed.

The 6th Iowa used these tents for quite some time.   In November of 1862 the tent would be turned in in exchange for new "pup" tents or "dog" tents.
 However a reference is made to Sibley tents arriving for the 100th Indiana with a mention of them being made in Theodore Upsons Journal.

 January 22, 1863 Grand Junction Mississippi 
 "When we got back to camp we found that a lot of Sibly tents had come for the regiment." 

"When we went to bed we were rather crowded; for when you get 20 in a Sibly tent there is not any spare room. We had to lie down with our feet to the centre and were packed in like sardines in a box." 
 "There are five regiments here, the 12th Ind, 6th Iowa, 40th Ill, 46th Ohio and the 100th Ind; also part of a battery." 

 Another note on tents issued to the 6th:

 "On the 19th (August), each company received five Fremont tents for the enlisted men and two wall tents for the officers, and the camp was then regularly laid out and permanently established on the south side of the park, and named Camp Jessie in honor of Jessie Benton Fremont, wife of the commanding general."

Soldiers sitting in front of a Sibley Tent 

Sibley Tents

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