Tents of the Civil War
(Coverphoto credit: Josh Franer -This Built America)
Last week the Denver Tent Company was featured in This Built America to represent the state of Colorado as a company that uses American made materials almost exclusively when designing and manufacturing their product. This is a huge honor for our company, and we are proud of the tradition and the legacy we are building. This Built America is a wonderful campaign to highlight companies that stay in the US and don’t succumb to cheaper solutions and lower foreign working standards and practices. It is what sets us apart from the rest, and it is what makes our canvas wall tents and sportsmen tents the best, most trusted tents in the business for both professionals and casual campers a like.
Before the Denver Tent Company
We did not invent the tent, but we have continued to build upon and improve on the canvas wall tents and A-frame tents that gave shelter to our civil war soldiers and generals. If the design was good enough for General Custer, it is good enough for us, or at least a good enough start for us to build a great company and pass on the tradition of camping and enjoying the great outdoors.
Civil War Tents
During the civil war, each union soldier was only given half of a tent, a simple rectangular piece of canvas designed to attach to a fellow soldiers issued piece of canvas. The two pieces attached would form two sides of the tent and would give a minimal amount of protection from the elements and afford them a little shelter to rest. The tents were given the name “dog tent” because soldiers complained that the space provided by the two sheets of canvas were more befitting a dog, than a soldier.
The tents may have been small and provided little space for soldiers to do anything besides sleep side by side, but this was wartime and the tents needed to be simple, light and easy to set up. The design of this tent was just that, and could easily be set up just about anywhere. All you needed was a place to tie up the strings to hold the two sides of the tent, and a couple of rifles would do. Simply stick the bayoneted end into the ground and voila, you just created two tent poles and your shelter was pitched for the night. This was perfect for the summer months of fighting when soldiers would move about more than in the winter months
Cities of white canvas
During the winter months when the Union soldiers would set up camp for the winter you would see white canvas wall tents set up across the field creating a white canvas city for the soldiers and generals. Hospitals and supplies were also fitted under large canvas wall tents big enough to fit beds, materials and war time supplies for the winter.
Denver Tent Company
If all of that sounds familiar, that is because it is. We have maintained the integrity and the simplicity of the a-frame and wall tents that were good enough for our civil war soldiers. Today we call them “Colorado Range Tents” or “Colorado Wall Tents” but the shape, construction and materials have remained more or less the same for over 100 years. Of course, when you buy our tents you get all of it, you don’t just get half and then we send you out in the wilderness to find a tent buddy. You also don’t need two bayonets to pitch your tent, we’ve provided an external pole set that makes our herder tent easy to set up and take down and will provide shelter in almost any type of weather. We may have improved on the design and the construction, but the essence of the tent remains the same, and it is all made right here in our warehouse in Denver, Colorado.