The issued Shelter Tent.
During the war the shelter tent underwent several changes. While almost all shelter
tents were a
common size - being 66 inches long and 63 inches (early and mid-war) or 65 inches (late war) in
height there were three distinct patterns.
The first pattern was produced from late 1861 well into 1863. It most often consisted of
3 panels of
cotton drill; two equal sized outside panels, each a little under 28 inches in width and one middle
panel of about 11 inches. There was one 4 inch x 4 inch reenforcement square, also of drill, located
in each corner. Each half had 23 buttons (usually bone) placed 9 along the top and 7 on each side.
Buttons were placed about 4 inches in from the sides, and spaced 8 inches apart, with the first
button, along the top of each half, being placed 1 inch from the end. There were two hand-sewn
grommets in each of the 4 corner reinforcment panels.
The second, or mid-war type was constructed from two, wider panels, each 33 1/2 inches
and late war shelter halves were also more likely to be made from cotton duck rather than drill. The
size for mid war halves was still 66 inches by 63 inches and each half still had a 4 inch square fabric
reenforcements, one in each corner. 23 buttons, either bone or tin were placed on each half in
the same manner as the early war shelter halves.
The late war half is different from the mid war pattern in the follow ways - 1st it
measures 66 inches
by 65 inches (General Order 60, August 1864) and one extra reenforcement patch - 3 inches by 4
inches was added, centered, on the bottom edge. In all other respects the late war and mid war
patterns are the same except it should be noted that paper-backed tin buttons were almost always
Below is a representation of a eary war shelter half