|Militia knapsack on a Virginia Militiaman in 1781. |
The extant pack is actually of Penna or New England origin...ah well.
|Ready for assembly. I used a heavy weight natural linen.|
Acceptable for a pack, but too light for a tent.
|Sewn inside out and turned. As I begin making these for sale, I will use two|
needles and a saddle stitch as it will make the seam stronger.
|Close up of the backstitch. I would finish off the corner by backing up the stitch for two inches.|
I did the same at the opening of the bag as these two areas would see the most stress.
|Placement of shoulder strap. I used a whipstitch to close the seam as one would |
when recreating the Uhl Knapsack.
The button holes and top stitching were completed with Burnley and Trowbridge's heaviest weight linen thread. The pack was comfortable and I wore it for several hours during the reenactments of the Green Spring and Guilford Courthouse fights last week. One would think that the small straps (5/8 in) would cut into the shoulders, but as it is small, it doesn't hold so much that it is uncomfortable. but the only addition I would make is tying a sternum strap across the front to keep the pack centered on the back. If you carry a blanket, I would tie it with thongs to the straps at the top of the pack.
|The completed knapsack|
For more on period knapsack construction, I highly recommend the collections at Old Sturbridge Village, which are a bit after our time, but still relevant, files and notes on the Rev War Reenactors Facebook Page, and the article, "Cost of a Knapsack, Complete" by the incomparable John U. Rees.