Oddly, what the old timers did is a poor guide to what you should use.
I do a lot of reading about the 'old days' from 1700 through 1900.
Fact(s) are they often just used what they had and followed the animal until it dropped. And/or they did not shoot for a quick kill like we do today. Many shots, especially by the professional market hunters, were designed to let the animal drop quietly without disturbing others around it.
That said, most deer calibers will work fine. To be 'authentic' those calibers mentioneed (45-70, etc.) will work great.