View Full Version : A Few Words of Thanks

Gallo de Cielo
03-14-2009, 12:48 PM
To all the men and women who attended Into the Piney Woods-

I am yet foggy-headed despite 10 1/2 hours of coma-like sleep and 4 cups of coffee this morning. As such, I know this note will not be as complete as it should be.

As Tom and I said in the friggid rain atop Forest Road 360 on the eastern edge of the Sandstone Trail- THANKS to all the folks who attended the event. So many came from staggering distances- a full company from across the Atlantic and others from near and far. We were humbled that all of you would sacrifice time and money to join us in the Kisatchie wilderness.

The teamsters, ox drover, and cavalry-men deserve special thanks. They pushed themselves as hard as any of us on foot, all while tending to their animals. Despite the rugged terrain, they moved our food, ammunition, and other essentials without a word of complaint. In talking to the muleskinner and several of the mounted men, I am told their their horses and mules will require a week or more to recover from the strain.

I also want to thank the men who churned out the hardcrackers we ate- Rick Biddle, Cody Mobley, Phil McBride, Phil Graf, and Cody Farrell baked a massive number of crackers. Several bore burn marks from daily battles with their ovens!

The greatest and most heart-felt words of thanks are due to the men who continually answered the call when a man was sick or injured. Phil McBride, Hank Van Syke, and Phil's wife, Ms. Nita, deserve more praise and thanks than I am capable of expressing. Every day of the event they extracted men who required aid. I am aware of at least two trips to the hospital in Natchitoches and there were numerous other evacuations made before a man reached critical condition. When the rain and cold began to beat us down on Thursday night, Phil and Hank answered the call twice in the middle of the night to pull out men showing signs of hypothermia. I imagine Phil, Hank, and Nita managed less than five hours of sleep per day and tended to sick and ailing men without a complaint. I have heard they prepared cooked meals for convalesents. Phil also spent most of one night in the hospital with a man who required extra care. He told me that he wouldn't want to be alone in a strange place without someone there to help. What fine people those three folks are. If you care to thank anyone, thank them.

I will close by saying thanks to my friend Tom Yearby. Tom is a man I lean on hard for his wisdom and smarts. Cold, wet, and shaking beneath the muleskinner's tent fly in the pre-dawn hours of Friday morning, Tom was more than my equal in helping to plan the best way to get everyone out as safely as possible.

I don't know as though anyone had "fun." Maybe so, maybe not. The event was not billed as a chance to have fun but rather to get a taste of soldiering is all about. From the heat of Tuesday, the cool of Wednesday, the rain of Thursday and Friday, and the many miles of trail woven throughout, I hope that those who came gained a deeper appreciation of what the folks in blue and grey endured for four years.

Thanks much to you all and especially to Phil, Hank, and Ms. Nita.


03-14-2009, 12:57 PM
Phil,Hank,and Ms. Nita sounds like they answered the call of duty.They go to show you that there are good people not just in the hobby but also in th world.Dealing with the sick and injured will also give them a more firper moment then they could imagine.

Fred,it sounded like it was overall a rough event.I am some what upset I didn't go,but also happy I stayed in my warm,soft,dry bed.Looks like you need to start planning for next year.

Old Reb
03-14-2009, 01:00 PM
Fred pretty much sums up my list of thanks. The folks that attended, the wagon folks, the hardtack bakers, all that made the event possible get much thanks. Fred worked tirelessly on making sure everything was in place. His effort was A One and again it was good working with my friend putting an event together. Phil, Hank and Nita worked tirelessly behind the scenes and without them many of you would have suffered greatly and there is no way I can adequately express appreciation for their efforts. They shared in none of the glory of playing soldiers, but without them chaos would have ruled.

I am still a bit foggy of thought and later I will add more thoughts. But again, thanks to all.

03-14-2009, 01:47 PM
Fred and Tom
It is us that should be thanking you. Not only did you march with us but you took care of all the logistics and problems that arose in addition to all the planning an event such as this requires. Despite the rain this ran very smoothly and the men that were there could hold their heads up at the end knowing that they were infact men of iron. I am very proud of the men I served with.
Having once planned an event of shorter duration I know what you both went through and I said it once, I'll say it again.
Thank you both for putting this on.

Frank Aufmuth

PS. Somehow a painted canvass with hand sewn gromets ended up in my baggage from the wagon.
I also have a belt with a roller buckle.
Please PM me if you are missing said items.

03-14-2009, 06:25 PM
And I just hope that we kick up another one of these sometime soon. That was a sick anticipation for 2 years and mother nature took us right to the point where we were getting the "3rd day epiphany". That's THE day where everyone is conditioning to all aspects of the scenario and are adapting to the orders, the movement, the men next to them, their commanders and are ready to kick everything up a notch. That was the magic day at BGR and I was feeling it really strong right before that cold wind and rain came in and never let up. We were just about to peak and the ancient "re-enactor weather gods" thought otherwise for us, as they have many times before.

This is not to say in the least that there were any regrets of the time I had at the rest of the event. These are the events that need to happen for living history, and every two years would be an amazing cycle to satisfy the idea of creating the most accurate, intense and ultimate experience for calling yourself a Civil War enthusiest. There was plenty to take from what we did in just 3 days and the bonding experience of working as a productive, effecient company cannot be replaced by any other type of event. Average 2 day events and living historys can never fill my cup like BGR and IPW have done. And I've heard of the other Red River events and how amazing those were as well, only wish I had been apart of them long ago.

I think I can say that the ultimate key to having good, mind blowing, satisfying event is to take yourself out there for 5 days, at least. I understand that it cannot be executed for so many of us to take off as many due to connections in the real world, but for those that can make it happen......this is the only way.

And if you have the cast that brought these last two events into reality (you know who you are), then you are in for a superior experience. Great job from the staff, great job from the rebs, great job from Co. B of the 24th Iowa. We need another one of these fellas! And real soon. If anything we have to redeem ourselves to go all the way again. Let me know what I can do to help, these events are the mecca for the idea of living history.

03-15-2009, 01:14 PM
Fred and Tom,

Thank you both for your efforts with this event! I was very impressed that you had the details covered and the safety of all the men well in-hand from camp sites to water testing to the removal of the victims of the cold on the last night.

Well done, you two!

Kind Regards,

David Dalton
03-15-2009, 01:44 PM
To the men of co, B and pards witch helped us two co. F boys out.... I woke up shivering and barefoot, wet cold, and ready to pass clean out... I was soon being cuddled by our lt. of Co. F and was told go to Co. B and stand by the fire. I soon walked over to the boys of Co. and was taken with opened arms. The grabbed me and held us two close rubbbed ours bodies to get us warm. I have to put out 3 large thank yous to Hog, Dave Gerow and Holler and who ever else held us up and kept us warm. I was soon taken from the site and hiked about a half mile to the wagons to take us back to head quarters where a lady kept us in fine condition.

I must say that i never seen such fine work as team work as i did with Company B. The kept together and worked hard to ge tthourgh the night.

Thanks Again Everyone


Old Reb
03-15-2009, 01:48 PM
Some of that cuddling and body rubbing might have been for their benefit also. Just saying.

03-15-2009, 02:27 PM
I heard from two feds that there was a 'massage line' (varying greatly from the rubbing infront of the fire described by Mr. Dalton) formed up in the fed's camp.....we just burned a tree to stay warm.

Hairy Nation Boys
03-15-2009, 02:33 PM
We also had a large tree that was burning. That is why they were brought to our company. We had a very large fire. Myself and some others decided to stay by the fire as we would stay warm and dry.

Double D you boys did not look good. We did the best we could to get you boys feeling better.

Old Reb
03-15-2009, 02:35 PM
What goes on in the privacy of one's camp is their own business!

I do send great kudos to Mr. Mobley for only durning a forced march and heavy combat does one rise from a low private to a Sergeant Major in the span of 36 hours. I have heard rumors that you were littering the trail in front of Sergeant Major Johnson with various obstacles for you knew the good Sergeant Major would sooner or later be distracted by the thoughts of the rum in his haversack and that he would trip over one of those well placed obstacles.

I do hope that no live trees were harmed in the exercise of burning for it will be reported to the Forest Service and the offenders will be charged for replanting the forest.

03-15-2009, 02:42 PM
I left some lemon drops and other candies, stolen from civilians, on the trail in front of a huge rut......tunnel vision kept him from seeing the rut as he tore his leg off at the knee in it.

I just tried to keep Col. Walker from getting himself captured while we were scouting behind enemy lines.

David Dalton
03-15-2009, 02:43 PM
I dont remember much but what ever happened and whoever helped my toes get warm I owe them a great deal of thanks...

Hog "if u can see this I am writing this very slow cuz I know u cant read fast..."

Thank Again...


Old Reb
03-15-2009, 02:51 PM
The Confederate commander was scouting behind enemy lines! I am shocked! Is it the role of a commanding officer upon who's well being the entire battalion depends, to put his life in danger to scout? Isn't that what junior officers are for? I suppose that falls under the same category as the construction of stick forts for repelling incoming fire. Oh, well. I was just a civilian. What do I know?

Hairy Nation Boys
03-15-2009, 02:54 PM
I guess I missed the great massage line you are talking about.

03-15-2009, 02:57 PM
I guess I missed the great massage line you are talking about.

Lucky....I had to hear about it on the drive home.

Auld Pelty
03-15-2009, 05:02 PM
The Confederate commander was scouting behind enemy lines! I am shocked! Is it the role of a commanding officer upon who's well being the entire battalion depends, to put his life in danger to scout? Isn't that what junior officers are for? I suppose that falls under the same category as the construction of stick forts for repelling incoming fire. Oh, well. I was just a civilian. What do I know?

You must be referring to the flanking manuever on Wednesday evening. Looked mighty good at first, until we saw we had flanked the entire Federal camp. Got some of us killed and captured, but the officers were unharmed.
One of the non speaking Frenchman came by to hand off a personal item to one of the prisoners. He just walked right past a guard and handed it over to his comrade, which greatly excited and pissed off the guards. All the Rebs got a good laugh.

Johnny Lloyd
03-17-2009, 12:10 PM
"I never had so much fun being miserable... LOL" :p

Seriously, thanks for a GREAT time. Ya'll worked very hard and it definitely showed!

All the best- Johnny Lloyd:wink_smil

03-17-2009, 12:32 PM
I must second Johnny when I state It ws fun and miserable but I wouldnt have it any other way.