Sutler, derived from the Dutch word for someone who performs dirty work was the name given to the merchants who arrived on the heels of the British arm and sold what the redcoats wouldn't - or couldn't - provide at a frontier outpost. With the permission of Military officials, Sutlers set up shop near a fort's gates, taking advantage of the isolated location to do a brisk trade with off-duty soldiers and officers. A Sutler's inventory often included items such as tobacco, candy, hats, cigars, tea, sardines, dried fish, pineapple, cheese, molasses, canned goods, alcohol, kitchen items, sewing needles, bolts of cloth, blankets and ready made clothing, footgear, miscellaneous food, spices, writing equipment, china dishes, musical instruments, household furnishings, tools, hardware, personal items (razors, soap, combs, brushes, pipes, fish hooks, etc.), pins and buttons
The Sutler could sell just about anything in his store (tent), but was expressly forbidden from selling ardent spirits (strong alcoholic beverages) to the enlisted men. Doing so could mean the loss of a sutler's license. A Sutler can also be a person who accompanies troops in the field or in the garrison and sells food, drink, and supplies. The articles of war prescribed that persons permitted to sutler shall supply the soldiers with good and wholesome provisions or other articles at a reasonable price. A sutler was considered a civilian by the government and officers were forbidden under penalty of court martial to involve themselves in the affairs of a sutler.
If you are a Sutler and wish to particpate in an upcoming campaign event, below is the link to download our Sutler's form to be filled out and submitted to the Atlanta Campaign committee