The Authentic Campaigner
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Atlanta, GA

    Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    As we look forward to the 2012 season, there is always room for improvement for ALL of us. The purpose of this thread is to list those things that you see around you at AUTHENTIC events that don't quite sit right with you, or something that is a pet peeve of yours. Something that we can do as a group to improve the group impression and experience. Offer a suggestion on how "we" can improve in this area.

    Besides the fact that most of us are too old or too fat, I'll start with a couple:

    1) The preponderance of Federal saddle blankets for CS impressions. It seems that many of us only have one saddle blanket - the Federal issue blue with orange stripes. And it's the one that we use for every impression, Federal or CS. It doesn't take much effort to find a period correct, 100% wool blanket in a neutral color for your CS impression. I was looking at stills for the recent Chickamauga film shoot and noticed that "we" mounted CSA Gen'l Helms on a horse with a Federal saddle blanket. Really?

    2) We, as a group, still carry way too many pistols. The inspection reports show that maybe 30 - 40% of troopers in most units were armed with a pistol. Perhaps unit commanders can ask some of us to leave the pistol in the truck. or, maybe a system similar to "fate" cards, where the unit draws cards or straws to determine the pistoleros.

    3) Unarmed men. Virtually all of the CS Inspection Reports enumerate unarmed men, often in significant numbers. Have you ever seen even one unarmed man in the field at an event? Maybe the same "fate" card system. Or, perhaps a few of us show up unarmed and announce that we are "unarmed men."

    What do you see that could stand improving? How would you change it?
    Mike Ventura
    Shannon's Scouts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Re: Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    Morning Mike; Great topic, AS I go to very few authentic event [just not many around], I can only list a few hundred peeves. But I know what pet peeve I have of my own that I want to change...My hat style. Just can't get the right look . Looking exclucivly at period photos for insperation, but I style look like a duffus. plm
    Save me a place at the fire,

    Paul L Muller

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Clarksville, Tennessee

    Re: Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    I like your thinking. I have done events with out needed gear for example with out a coat ,hat ,cartridge box. I went one time with out glasses to a main stream event just so I could get through the day of ______.

    Do with out some thing ! What a new motto! What could you do with out at the next event? Will it kill you to show up with out a cap pouch? Belt? or ? How will you get through the event will be a new learning curve.

    The Real guys did not always have everything they needed. What happened when they lost their packs with the extras or they never returned to get them?

    I love the thoughts!!!
    Jerry Ross
    Withdraw to Fort Donelson Feb 2012

    Just a sinner trying to change

    Hog Driver
    Lead ,Follow or Get out of the way !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Nashville, TN

    Re: Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    Well it's an infantry situation and wasn't intentional but I once arrived at Perryville and discovered belt, scabbard/bayonet & cap pouch were still in Nashville. I carried caps in my pocket and it seemed to work itself out.
    John Duffer
    Independence Mess
    "There lies $1000 and a cow."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Polk County, Georgia

    Re: Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    I know I haven't been active in the cavalry, or reenacting in general, for quite some time but as an "Ol' Vet" of many an authentic event, I just wanted to chime in here anyway because I still have two pet peeves in regards to authentic cavalry reenactors. I wouldn't even attempt to list my pet peeves with most mainstream cavalry.

    1) My first and biggest is what Jerry eluded too. Many troopers are still carrying WAY to much stuff. If you have saddle bags, a valise, a blanket roll, a nosebag filled with things etc etc etc then in my mind you are as incorrect as anyone. Even among "authentic" cavalry, that has always seemed epidemic to me. Less is indeed more and noone really ever needs everything they think they will need. I think of it like this...what is the bare minimum that one needs to survive a WEEKEND in the field? Those guys were not travelling hotel rooms. Neither should any "authentic" reenactor. Besides a little discomfort is good for the soul.

    2) I still see many an authentic reenactor that clearly is not riding his horse enough outside of 'enacting events. To my eyes it shows mainly in two ways: nervousness (both horse and rider) and obvious lack of condition ( if your horse is sweating profusely after a 5 mile ride then ..umm...he is out of condition) and this also includes another horse related thing that has always bugged me. I have been at it a long time and rare have been the times that I have ever seen a trooper really groom his mount well in the field. I think I can count on one hand the times I have seen anyone clean out their horses hooves for example. I have also seen horses not watered enough, and frankly, not fed enough. That is especially important for the horse that rarely does anything outside of the occasional reenactment.

    The lack of first person is another biggie but I will save that one for another time.

    Last edited by Outrider; 12-27-2011 at 10:58 AM. Reason: My horse can spell better than I can. That wont do.
    Patrick McAllister

    "Bíonn grásta Dé idir an diallait agus an talamh

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    1. For me that would be carrying too much stuff. But I need that stuff for my health. 2. Not enough painted ground cloths, and floorcloths in my area for early war.3. In my area, not enough English cloth jackets and Peter
    Tait uniforms. The Confederacy did get items from England. 4. First person it seems allot of people in my area are scared to do first person impressions. I have finished work on mine, and this year I am going to try to get a friend to do it with me.

    And Paul, you are right about not enough authentic events in our area.
    Last edited by Philip cav; 12-27-2011 at 12:15 PM.
    Philip D. Brening
    Austin's Battalion of sharpshooters Co.A

    "Somebody put water in my boots" Pvt. John D. Timmermanm
    3rd New York Cavalry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    bowling green kentucky

    Re: Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    Having spent the last 1.5 years researching, studying, producing, listening, watching, reading the cavalry side of things I have witnessed a lot of talking and not a lot of walking.
    - a lot less talk, and a lot more action
    We seem to use the internet for bashing or correcting, and its easy to do. Start with your own impression, I don't know any authentic who has it together. If you can examine yourself, honestly feel good about your impression based on research, then we are all headed in the right direction.

    I have yet to go to an event in the last 10 years where there was someone actually checking at the gate, holding anyone accountable. Nobody likes to be "that" guy in person, but we can all do it online.

    So again, start with yourselves, then if you pass muster, we can evaluate each other in the field and hold each other accountable.

    Last point, don't get your feelings hurt. If you are not doing something right or correct, would'nt you want someone to help you? I would, am, will!

    Isn't this the AC??? SO this thread should be comments based on original images or documentation, right? All of this is simply one mans(modern at that) opinion. Please if you are going to point out what you don't like, show what IS right with proof!!
    Don't throw stones if you live in glass house's
    Last edited by kaelin; 12-27-2011 at 11:00 PM. Reason: added more common sense
    Kaelin R. Vernon

    "Do small things with great love" -Mother Teresa

    " Put your hands to work and your hearts to God" -Mother Ann Lee

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Red Oak, IA

    Re: Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    Pet Peeve's:
    1. Trailering your pony to an event where Commanders have no idea how to use Cavalry. Need of intergration among all brnaches is needed
    2. People who think the standard gait for Cavalry is a gallop.
    3. I agree with Patrick, people who do not know how to take care of their mounts in the field. This includes: feeding, watering, grooming
    4. People who over bit their mounts, thinking that will solve their horse "problems".
    5. Lack of fighting on foot for mounted troops.
    Bill Jordan

    “I ended the war a horse ahead.”
    Nathan Bedford Forrest

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Lewisburg, Tn

    Re: Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    My biggest pet peeve is the large amounts of Federal bits. Next to that would be the number of Remington pistols in the ranks.
    Andrew Verdon

    7th Tennessee Cavalry Company D

    Tennessee Plowboy #1 of the "Far Flung Mess"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Re: Pet Peeves - what really bugs you about our impressions...

    Great thread Mike!

    1. Shotguns, muzzleloading carbines, etc that have staples driven in them in order to be carried with a Federal style carbine sling. I could be wrong, but I don't think there is the kind of evidence of this practice in order for it to be done, especially in the numbers I've seen. If you actually use your ramrod (like we do at nearly all authentic events), you will eventually loose that ramrod riding with it muzzle down like that. Put a rifle style sling on it and put it across your back if you need to use your hands for something, otherwise just hold it!

    2. Bad hats.............I don't know if much more needs to be said about that. Pretty self explainatory. A hat is the first thing someone notices in your impression.

    3. I second what Mike said about the Federal issue saddle blanket. Get a coverlet, endgrain carpet, plain wool blanket, spanish moss blanket, etc. All of those, (maybe besides the spanish moss blanket) are readily avaliable.
    Semper Fi
    Dan Chmelar

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