General Recommendations for Fine-Tuning your impression:
(Remember - these recommendations are just well-meaning advice from a pard, - and should not be taken as directive or mandatory requirement.)
Disregard sky blue or dark blue wool canteen covers and replace with grey wool or grey or brown jean cloth.
For late war impressions, the absence of canteen covers and the utilization of cloth or linen slings, as opposed to leather slings would make sense.
Only smoothside (New York Depot) canteens should have jack chain stopper attachments. All other canteens should have cord/string attaching the cork to the canteen or no attachment at all.
Non-leather canteen slings should be shortened to "ride high" on your body - resting just above your hip. Extra holes can be punched in leather slings to allow for further shortening.
If you are doing an 1861-62 impression and have a leather sling, you may wish to consider purchasing a correctly construct sling that has a "protector" (leather lip) underneath the tin buckle. (Unfortunately, there are very few people who make correct reproductions - see below)
Modern Sutlers - Sources for Correct Canteens:
Confederate Wooden Canteens: The best source is Fort Branch Supply Co. - the owner, Ken Bucher, makes an exact reproduction of a Gardner pattern Confederate wooden canteen, made of juniper. This reproduction canteen is copied from an original issued out of the Raleigh Depot in North Carolina. Every detail of this original canteen is reproduced, including the depot stamp on the sling, coopering the staves, applying the banding, and sealing the inside with bees' wax. These canteens are so authentic that the National Park system and several antique dealers requested that the reproduction canteens be signed and numbered to prevent one from being passed off as an original. The cost is $64.95 (which includes shipping). Contact Information: Fort Branch Supply Co., P.O. Box 190 Windsor, NC 27983; Phone: (919) 794-5400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Smoothside or Bullseye Canteens: The most correct source is C&D Jarnigan - yes, I said Jarnigan. However, when ordering be sure to request a tin (not stainless steel) canteen, with a canvas sling and no cover. Jarnigan only offers sky blue or dark blue canteen covers. Contact: C&D Jarnigan - phone: 601-287-4977; e-mail email@example.com; web-site: www.jarnaginco.com
Correct Canteen Covers: Charlie Childs offers a simple canteen cover kit for $6.00. Contact: County Cloth, 13797-C Georgetown St. NE, Paris, Ohio 44669; phone: (330) 862-3307. You can choose the material from his current selection of jean and then he will send you a kit, with the necessary markings and directions to assist you in sewing the cover. Making your own canteen cover is relatively simple and I would be more than willing to assist (I have no sewing ability to speak of, and I still managed to make two decent canteen covers).
In addition, I am hoping to obtain some logwood dyed grey jean cloth in the next couple of weeks, and I may be offering canteen covers for sale at Cedar Creek. My covers will be hand stitched and I will hand-stitch the upper-half of the cover at the event, as well as re-stitch your cloth sling if necessary (for a modest fee or a moderate amount of high quality liquor).
Correct Canteen Slings:
Cotton Web Straps: Leighton Young, 1601 Wingate Way Dunwoody, GA 30350; phone (770) 901-9048.
Correct Leather Slings (with tin buckle "protector"):
James Owens - Silver Spring, Maryland; phone (301) 681-7462.
Historic Clothiers, P.O. Box 28, Butler N.J. 07405; e-mail HistCloth@aol.com; Website: www.HistCloth.com (Note: They are notorious for taking forever to fill orders.)