Federal Shelter Half Blanks


Tent Style

The ubiquitous shelter half is one of the most useful items in a soldiers kit.  Simply constructed, they nevertheless require a great deal of time and repetitive work to authentically recreate.  Our blanks take all the guess work out of making your own.

Each tent blank includes a sewn tent body, buttonholes and grommet holes punched, Manila rope for peg loops and guy line, cotton cord for hand sewing, 23 bone buttons, beeswax, and sewing instructions.  These are a great option for those of you who have basic sewing skills, want to save some money, and have a few spare hours to dedicate to hand sewing!

A total of three contract styles are available: 

Joseph Lee Contract Shelter Half Blank

 A “Type IIa” style consisting of a three-piece cotton drill body with natural bone buttons, hand-sewn corner reinforcements, and black ink stamp.  A New York City contractor, Lee produced 90,000 complete tents in July and August 1862, and 32,000 tents in April and May 1863.

Henry S. McComb Contract Shelter Half Blank 

A “Type IIIa” style consisting of a two-piece cotton drill body with natural bone buttons and red ink stamp.  McComb was a Wilmington, Delaware contractor who provided 269,000 tents in April, May, and August 1862, and February 1864, delivered to the New York Depot.

John M. Wade / Cincinnati Contract Shelter Half Blank

 A unique style not included in Gaede’s typography, the Wade shelter half consists of a two-piece cotton drill body with horizontal seam orientation, natural bone buttons, cotton drill button reinforcements, and black ink stamp.  Wade was awarded a July 1864 contract for 50,000 single-seam shelter halves delivered to Cincinnati.  While no surviving original has surfaced, these tents can be seen in some photographs of Federal camps around Atlanta in 1864.

Difficulty Level

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Garment Kit Difficulty Scale