Writing this blog isn’t exactly an expensive endeavor, but neither is it free. Apart from the low cost of hosting the site, books are my only expensive. And as any Civil War buff knows, books aren’t cheap – even the used ones.
In the past, quite a few folks have donated money and books to help me out. It was a huge relief and there’s really no way to thank them enough. But I’ve always felt a little strange just taking money for what is, essentially, a hobby.
So lately I’ve been batting around the idea of making and selling t-shirts for the CWDG. I’m a screen printer, so I’ll be printing them myself.
I’ve come up with two somewhat similar designs and want to know your opinions on them.
The first image, “Hurrah without the H,” is probably my favorite illustration from the amazingly wonderful book Hardtack & Coffee by John D. Billings.
Reed, through his more or less crude drawings completely captures the war. Many of his pieces are funny, even hilarious. I try to keep the CWDG from becoming too dry, too serious. It’s serious when it needs to be, but I try my best to add a little bit of humor and spice whenever I can.
The second shirt, featuring early war soldiers posing in camp, is my favorite image from all of the war. I love how carefree and jovial everyone is. They’re cocky, full of spirit, and believed they were ready for anything. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Look at the fellow with the knife – it’s all so beautiful and sad.
On the upper back of each shirt will appear the Photoshopped Antietam sign, a line drawing which reads: “This blog was not in existence at the time of the battle.”
The shirts themselves are 100% cotton, tan/brown, heavy weight t-shirts Union made in the USA. I figure that if I’m making a shirt about our nation’s history, there’s no reason to outsource anything. Even the cotton was grown in the US! They’re a couple bucks more, but very worth it.
Since I’m not at all sure how these will sell, I’ll be taking orders for the shirts in the near future. There will be a cut off date (late July, I suspect) and then I’ll print them up and ship them out. I’ll post about them here and on Facebook. I believe they’ll be $16 with $4 shipping (US addresses). But all of that will be determined.
So, what do you think?