Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sutler Spotlight

James Country Mercantile wasn't a sutler I expected to do business with, but they came through for me at Perryville. They had a nice tapestry haversack I wanted (desired) for a decent price and it served me well that weekend.

This sutler does offer a good selection, but the overall quality is more suited to the mainstream reenacting world, which James Country seems to cater to. Their event setup was great - everything was easy to find and the selection was great - that is if you're a mainstream reenactor. But there are some good products that a progressive would find fitting, like my haversack. James Country is a nice stop to look for on sutler row.

Their site is nice and easy to navigate, but I find the lack of product photos a little disconcerning. I like to see what I'm about the buy. Also, another suggestion - bite the bullet on the prices for the muskets and list them. I tend to relate "Call for Price" to a restaurant offering that is so pricey they don't want to tell you how much it costs on the menu. Personally, I don't even bother asking. The plus to this site is the generous selection of patterns for clothing, which I found to be nice. I'm not a tailor, but I know a couple that would do some good work for me if I had a good pattern.

This is a worthy site to check out, as long as you know the target audience. The owners are super nice, and they made my buying experience at Perryville very pleasant. Check 'em out.


Jude said...

I do annual presentations about my Civil War ancestors for students at the local schools. I talk about the research process, what their lives might have been like, where they served, and we sing songs from the time period of the Civil War. It's a lot of fun. I've been reading all your posts about different sutlers, which has made me long for a costume to wear at my annual presentations. The thing is, I'm relatively poor and this would be something I'd use only once a year (I'm in Colorado). Do you have any advice about how I could obtain a fairly authentic outfit without spending an arm and a leg to do it? Thanks.

mntineer said...

Jude -

My first suggestion is to find someone who would be willing to loan or show up in-person. I'm not sure where you're at in CO, so this would have a limited feasibility. You could check in the various forums for willing volunteers. This ay you keverage a complete kit without spending anything.

Another option would be to post a request on the same forums to see if anyone is stepping out of the hobby and is willing to sell their stuff at a reduced price. Go this link on this blog to see a list of forums to look into. The best one for what you want is probably CW Reenactors.

Hope this helps!