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The following descriptions and illustrations
are intended to aid the reader in a better understanding
of a typical U.S. Artillery camp as adopted by the
Artillery Reserve Association, Nov. 2006.

(Left) An original civil war period photograph of an artillery camp with tentage with the horse tack and supplies hanging along the picket post line between the soldier's tents and the horse picket line and ordnance park. This Original photograph is viewed at the location at the beginning of the right side of the company street (right diagram).
Note: the Soldier's tentage consists of A-tents and Dog-tents.

A number of factors will influence the laying out of a typical U.S. Artillery encampment.
Although we endorse the 1st Plan of Encampment for a Mounted Battery
as illustrated in Instruction for Field Artillery, by French, Barry and Hunt, as the ideal this is difficult to achieve in the re-enacting hobby.

There are far too many factors that influence the laying out of the camp and each by itself can cause a deviation from the best laid plans. One must never presume but rather is obliged to personally investigate that parcel of ground designated by event organizers as the artillery campsite. It must be walked over and over, its topographical features well noted along with vegetation and the geography of the region. The area must be carefully measured as the allocation of space is  determined by the depth and breadth of the camp.

( Illustration above shows the camp layout "Type 1" of a Battery, NOTE: Battery Commanders placement )

The garrison style of encampment meets the many needs that are encountered at moderate to large scale events. It is designed to facilitate the movement of troops and their various modes of transport, commissary demands, unit tentage requirements, effective communication, insure safety and provide security . It must take into account the various service vehicles that may enter the camp; providing easy access and egress. In order that these aims may be realized and at the same time accommodate re-enactors and their families it becomes necessary to modify the F.B.H. plan.

(Illustration above shows a parcel camp layout of "Type 2 " for a Battery, NOTE: Battery Commanders placement.)

When Space Is Limited

The battery commander (when space is limited) shall place his tent in line with the dinning flys.
(view illustration above)
The commanders' tent shall include a fly that will be erected in front of the commanders' tent.
Commissary tents and civilian wall tents will occupy a line the length of the artillery camp. These tents will be located in the immediate area of their respective units occupying the company streets.
They shall be set back 40' from the rear of any tents immediately to their front.
Stakes and twine indicating the fly line ( front of flys) will aid in proper alignment of commissary row.
By doing this it is unnecessary to establish a separate camp for military dependents.
We are able to keep families close by and not violate the military integrity of the artillery camp.

Mounted Units

Mounted Field Artillery units when at battery strength shall occupy the 1st or last company street exclusively. Horses will be picketed along a treeline when available. It will be the responsibility of the mounted battery to clear shrubbery etc. from the picket site. When a treeline is unavailable, picket posts shall be erected to accommodate the horses. Corrals are prohibited as well as horse trailers (no matter how well camouflaged). The battery street shall duplicate Encampment Plan #1 as illustrated in FBH as best possible. It will be the responsibility of the mounted units to provide picket posts, ropes, troughs (unless provided by event organizers), etc. for their campsite.  

Soldiers Tentage

(Illustration shows A-Tent, Wedge (Shebang) , and Dog Tent)

The main component of the artillery camp is the company or battery street. It is composed of soldiers tents the openings of which face towards the street. The street will be 90' in width and its length determined by the number of soldiers tents. There should never be any projections from tents onto the company street, such as flys or furniture. The front of all tents must be aligned in such a manner as to cause a straight line. The "A" style, Dog, & Shelter Half style of tentage shall be the standard shelter for all soldiers. The distance between tents facing separate streets shall be 25'.

Dining Fly (Unit Extra Fly)

(Illustration shows a free standing fly)

Two dining flys will be placed next to the 1st two A tents at the beginning of the streets.
These are free standing with a ridge and four corners. Two sizes are popular: 9x12 or 10x12.
The dining flys (or extra unit fly) will be positioned parallel to the A tents that are at the start of the company street. They will face the battery commanders or wall tent street. Their purpose is to serve those units without wall tents as commissaries or kitchens, and/or a unit communal area, or simply extra shade for your men with your units extra free standing fly. Wall tents or baker tents may not substitute for the dining fly.
No dining fly may be positioned at the end of a company street.

Wall Tents

(Illustration shows Wall Tents with Attached Fly)

Battery commanders will position their tent and the tents of subalterns facing the center of the company street at a distance of 30’ back from the dining flys. If the battery commander’s tent includes a fly, the measurement will taken from his fly. Commissary or wall tents sheltering military dependents shall extend the length of the camp, along with the battery commander’s tent from his right and left. The wall tents with attached flys will give ample room for cooking fires.

Wall Tents

A Brigade HQ. or over all Artillery HQ. may occupy a line running lengthwise 45’ behind the commissary and dependent tents. The artillery commanders tent will be center of the camp and subalterns will occupy the space to his left and right. The parade ground shall occupy that area at the end and center of the company streets. An artillery park will adjoin the parade ground with ordnance parked at the head of the street during the daytime and moved towards the center at night.

(Illustration above shows the camp layout of a Brigade)

Headquarters - Chief-of-Artillery

Headquarters and staff row's fly line will be set back 45' from the rear of the tents on commissary row.
Staff row tents will be placed centered of the company streets and run the length of the camp.
When space is limited, over all headquarters may be off to the side of the artillery camp. The field commanders tents will be placed at the center and subordinate tents will be placed equally to each side. ( view illus.) Maps depicting the camp layout with the positions of brigades, batteries, units, etc. will be provided to all commanders prior to an event. They will also appear on the Reserve website Bulletin Board. Communication being "everything", there is no reason that anyone should arrive in camp clueless. Artillery personnel will direct arrivals as to where they are to pitch tents and answer questions.

Artillery Camp Management

Uniformity should be the principle consideration when constructing the artillery encampment.
Military efficiency and discipline, an established conduit for effective communication, adequate space for training and ordnance security, ease of vehicle access and egress, personal safety and comfort require the application of the uniformity principle. One major issue that challenges the designer is reconciling the desire for authenticity with the needs of the 21st Century re-enactors and their dependents.

Only registered members of artillery units shall camp within the confines of that area designated as the artillery camp. Registered artillery dependents who perform an ancillary function, such as commissary cook, virvandiere or other, will be accepted into the artillery camp; they may not however camp on the company streets.

The Artillery Reserve Association (Reserve) recognizes that the artillery camp is a representation of a Civil War military installation and is to function as one, but it (Reserve) is also a family friendly organization that must accommodate military dependents without sacrificing authenticity. This is usually accomplished by including military dependent quarters among the commissary tents in this way the battery streets remain exclusive to soldiers with their A tents, thus maintaining the military integrity of the artillery camp.

Camp management requires the implementation of reasonable rules or regulations to insure personal safety and an enjoyable experience. Communication and cooperation are keys to a successful camp. Of special importance is an understanding and following of the rules and regulations established by the event organizers which are usually contained within the registration packet. It is the re-enactors' responsibility to familiarize themselves with this information.

Information concerning the artillery camp will be made available on the Reserve website "Bulletin Board" located on the "Adjutants Desk", well in advance of an event.


The date and time of arrival for re-enactors is decided by the event organizers and is available on the event website or Artillery Reserve website. Re-enactors are required to report to registration prior to their entry into the camps. To avoid vehicle congestion in the artillery camp, drivers are requested to leave the camp for the parking area immediately upon unloading their vehicles. No vehicles may remain in camp overnight. All ordnance will unloaded and parked at the end of the company streets; the tow vehicles and trailers to be removed immediately from the camp to their designated parking areas.

Parking  /  Tows  /  Trailers

Personal vehicles are to be parked in the re-enactor's parking area only. Trailers may be assigned to a designated area. There will be a designated area for tow vehicles. All tow vehicles will be issued a tow pass by the event organizers and must be clearly displayed. Only tow vehicles may park in the tow vehicle lanes and this will be strictly enforced. Drivers should park in such a manner as to facilitate their ability to enter the artillery camp, move guns to the battlefield and back,
and finally return to their original location.

No Fly Rule

Flys or awnings may not be errected so as to cause them to project onto a company street.
Chairs, tables, washstands, etc. in front of tents are discouraged and/or prohibited during daylight hours when the public is present.

Setting Up Camp

The company street is the focal point of an artillery encampment. The company street shall consist of soldiers' (personnel in uniform) A-tents properly aligned in two opposing rows, the openings of which shall face the street. Only uniformed personnel may encamp on a company street.

Company streets will be staked and strung with twine as an aid to assist in the alignment of tents. Markers with the names of units occupying a company street will indicate the unit's location. Wall, Baker's and Sibley tents are strictly prohibited on a company street. The company street must be clear of any objects that might hinder the training of soldiers and/or the disposition of ordnance.

At the beginning of each row of the company street there shall be errected a dinning fly or awning not to exceed a measurement of 12'x12'. The flys will project towards the commissary and civilian tents and not towards the company street.(view battery illus.above) The battery commander and subalterns shall position their tents facing and centered to the company street. When space is not an issue these tents will set back 30' from the front of the company dinning flys.

Artillery Camp Life

The camp is to reflect as accurately as possible living conditions for soldiers and their dependents during the Civil War. For everyone it is a step back in time. Please keep this in mind when reenacting with your fellow redlegs. Anachronisms that are in view rob those of a period experience.
We cannot dispense with the obvious ( portatoilets, water tanks), but we are obligated to avoid those things that detract and distract, depriving others of a re-enactment experience.

Camp Attire

Proper attire for those in camp especially military dependents has sometimes become an issue.
Dependents in the artillery camp will wear period attire for the duration of the event.
Modern clothing accessories such as athletic shoes will not be tolerated.

Camp Fires 

Camp Fire Rules by Captain James Lynch AAG.
Cooking fires are to be located if possible, 10' from the front of tents or flys.
If firepits are permitted, they must be well extinguished and refilled at the end of the event.
Firewood may be stacked near the commissary cooking fires but not on the company street.
Unused firewood must be returned to the woodpile at the end of the event.
Firewood may be covered during rain but only with material that is of the period.(oil cloths work great)
A water bucket and shovel must be provided for every fire in the artillery camp by its user.


Trash must be removed daily and deposited in the area designated for trash.
Trash should be placed in black plastic bags, either the heavy contractor type or doubled for lightweight. Rubbish or refuse which is defined as discarded items no longer of use to an owner are not to be deposited in the trash area. Take it home with you.

Coolers and ice chests should be either covered with burlap or hidden from view.
The safety and health of re-enactors and their families is a primary concern.


When possible, the Artillery Reserve will have EMS personnel in camp.

The hospital tent will be located on staff row.

Every unit is required to have a first aid kit, ice and water in their camp.

Accidents must be reported to the commanding officer and the information forwarded to headquarters.

Loaded firearms are prohibited in camp.

Black powder must be stored securely in the limber ammunition chest.

Fireworks and large bonfires are prohibited and will be strictly enforced.

Children must be discouraged from climbing onto cannons or limbers as well as playing near campfires.

There are no pets in the artillery camp.

There is to be NO firing of any type of Ordnance what so ever within the camp, or outside of the scripted
battles, and/or demonstrations, without direct permission from the Artillery Commander.

Camp security is everybody's business. Event organizers provide initial security for an event ___reenactor ID's, vehicle passes, and security personnel. They are not obligated to patrol the camps or provide provosts; that is the reenacting community's responsibility. Units will provost their own streets.

Common sense dictates that tents should be secured when unoccupied, objects of value not be left unattended and ordnance brought forward in the evening.

Artillery Camp Survey Form

Click on the Artillery Camp Survey Form link and fill it out.
This form when submitted goes directly to the Reserve Adjutant.
Please fill out this form before the requested deadline to an Artillery Reserve Event.
Information that you submit is used to better organize and accommodate
your unit at an Artillery Reserve Event.

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