For the most part 7th Tennessee reenactors will set up garrison style encampments. The captain will have a ‘wall tent’ and the NCOs and privates will have “A” frame or “wedge” tents.
150 years ago these types of tents would have been carried in the regiment’s supply train and would be set up if the regiment would be staying at a specific location for any length of time. As many as four or five men would have slept in a single “wedge” tent.
Some reenactors opt for ‘dog tents’. They became the most practical means of overnight shelter during the Civil War. They were portable and lightweight and the shelter halves provided some protection for their two inhabitants. Today the dog tent usually serves as shelter for one person.
Another type of shelter you might see is the ‘shebang’. Basically the ‘shebang’ looks like half a “wedge” tent set up on an angle While not providing you with complete protection from the elements, the ‘shebang’ can block the wind and keep off the rain if set up right.
For the most part, the Civil War soldier spent most of his nights sleeping on the ground without any shelter. To protect the soldier from the damp ground, a tarred or rubberized blanket could be used. A stout wool blanket kept the chill off. You might see some of our reenactors sleeping without a tent if the weather is pleasant, or especially if the nights are extremely hot.