Sibley Supplies the Wrong Side

sibley tents true west
Illustration of Sibley Tents

Henry Hopkins Sibley gained fame as a Confederate cavalry officer during the Civil War. But one of his inventions was widely used by the other side.

He developed and patented the Sibley tent in the mid-1850s.  The conical structure was based on the Plains Indian teepee—it was about 12 feet high and 18 feet in diameter and could hold up to 12 men.

The Union produced about 44,000 Sibley tents during the war, but because the inventor went to the other side, Sibley never collected royalties on his invention.

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.