My thanks to Colonel Woodburn and the WIG for all the work that they put in to this event, as well as the work of Brandon Jolly and the color guard. My thanks also to the men of Company C, who took up every task asked of them and pushed through every physical and mental obstacle this weekend and coalesced as a company. Words can not do justice to the feelings of pride I have for the men of Company C, nor can they describe the emotions I felt this weekend, being part of an event such as this.
The only thing I have to compare it to is Raymond I, and that would be comparing apples and oranges.
The Eagle and The Journal
My blog, following one Illinois community from Lincoln's election through the end of the Civil War through the articles originally printed in its two newspapers.
I suppose I'll throw in my few comments here even though my "event" was technically over by Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. I would have to say that this event was one of the most memorable things I have ever participated in after nearly 25 years in this hobby. From our perspective on the steamer Minnehaha, the atmosphere was electrifying. Troops crammed in like sardines, getting stuck on sandbars, having to send out a landing party, the eerie silence and darkness of the river at night save for the dull hum of the engines and splash of the paddles, the uniqueness of traveling up the river to conduct amphibious landings at night...all made for a truly "once in a lifetime" experience. The effect of dropping troops off on an embankment, watching them form up into a column with the band playing, while we slipped off into the darkness was an incredible sight and thrill to behold. My only regret is that we didn't get to see the whole regiment assembled at one time as they marched off to join in the fray.
Apologies to all of my friends who were there that I didn't get to see/speak with, but my whole night was rather pre-occupied, and quite frankly, in the darkness, I could barely recognize the few folks I did see. My actual job Friday night, and indeed my impression requirements from a historical standpoint, pretty much precluded the luxury of socializing with any of the "sojers" so I wasn't intentionally snubbing anyone (okay, maybe a few of you ). By the time we dropped off the last of you, and got back to Savannah, none of us had had any sleep to speak of in the previous 24 hours and I know I remained in a delirium until around 1 p.m. on Saturday.
I would like to publicly thank Matt for putting this all together as well as inviting/allowing we sailors to participate in what was an epic experience in reenacting history. When I started reenacting in the latter days of the 125th series, I was always envious of the "grand event" stories that I missed out on. Never figured anything I could experience would top those. Boy, was I wrong. I would also like to thank my crew of Bob Dispenza and Russ Gilliom for their tireless help throughout the afternoon prep work before the landings and through the night. I couldn't have handled anything without you guys and your professionalism. I would also like to thank Pete Emerick who helped with the prep work on the Minnehaha, as well as Shane Seley for his help on the first run Friday night. Finally, I would like to thank Jimmy Kennedy of the Pickwick Belle and Mister Sam, the pilot of the Pickwick Belle for letting us use their VERY expensive toy to play with for the weekend. They truly bent over backwards to make our collective experience one which we will never forget. In fact, I would even encourage everyone to send an email to them to thank them for their efforts. If you all could have seen the amount of mud and mayhem that became visible on the boat when the sun came up the next morning, you would understand why I would suggest it.
This truly was one for the record books...
Jon Isaacson, BM - USN
150th Anniversary Shiloh
First off, to Mr. Woodburn and everyone who worked so hard for so long, Many Thanks!
There were so many period moments I would have to take off my shoes to count them all!
The brightest and best: the walk off the boat and up the rocky slope into Friday night
camp; gave me chills. Camping along the trail; new men tramping up the trail all night,
with a quick, determined stride, barely seen in the light of the flickering candles set up
to mark their way. Had some of the same thoughts for the morrow the men of the 15th
Iowa must have felt.
Looking up and down the column or to the left and right of the line of battle - I served
with the Good Men of Co C, so we were near the center, and it was a sight I will NEVER
Sat. night in camp: tapping the whiskey barrel, old friends and new, good food, the
constant lightning that went right round us - I have not experienced merciful weather
at an event for quite some time ~ just more fine planning by Matt Woodburn et al!
Our banners resplendent, our officers riding ahead, wagons with us - it just does not get
much better! Physically tough, but I was mostly ready for that, mostly. And I haven't
even found any ticks yet.
For those planning next year's WIG event, this one will be hard to beat! Thanks again.
Your most obedient servant and comrade,
James C. Schumann
Old Northwest Volunteers
Perception can be an interesting thing. Fact can be even more interesting.
Glad you had a good time. It was good to see Buell's Army of the Ohio finally make it onto the field to support us.
Member of Ewing's Foot Cavalry
Thank you Mr. Woodburn and staff who did the great cat wrangle of 2012! I can't imagine what it took to pull this off. Marching out on Saturday morning and seeing the graves of those we were representing made me very humble, and very greatfull for their sacrafice. My thanks also to the surgeons who had their hands full with heat exhaustion cases. You fellows were great, and I thank you. And when a few of the lads went down and the surgeons were busy elsewhere, their pards or fellows with medical training stopped to lend a hand. This made me very proud. No one was left on their own, or left behind.
Thank you to my pards in Co. K and the new friends I made this weekend.
Thank you again....
Wow! It's amazing to read everyone's take on the weekend. For me, my experience is closest to Jim Butler's - Company K was next to his.
Since so many have said so many thing, I'll not repeat the pros and cons already given except one:
A BIG ROUND OF THANKS TO MATT WOODBURN AND THE REST WHO SPENT COUNTLESS HOURS GETTING THIS EXPERIENCE READY FOR US! WOW!
More pros from my standpoint:
- Getting to know and work with our brother re-enactors from Europe. You fellows were great and I'm glad I got to work with you.
- Getting a chance for us all to work in a much larger body - and learning all the ups and downs that that entails. We have learned something we'll be considering and using for many years to come.
- The huge amount of support and togetherness I see on this thread! Folks, we pick things to death and often hurt each other's feelings in the process. I'm so thrilled to see this amount of solidarity in the Authentic ranks that I almost don't want to put any cons down to support that.
- The support we received from our brother campaigners not able to serve with us and the rest of the army as we marched out on Sunday.
- The as yet untold amount of money we raised for the Iowa flags this weekend, between the gift to Matt Woodburn and the shirt sales.
The cons - there are only two I want to hit. The list is small, and I love that, but I have two more:
- Two bugles when the colonel gave an order. It was great to have a wing bugler when we were working individually but that needed to cease the instant Matt Woodburn preceded an order with "Battalion." We learned a lot about moving and working a large formation together and that would have helped us even more. I'm thrilled for musicians who want to bring their part of the story with us but this one instance should serve as a lesson learned. One colonel, one bugle.
- For me and many in my Company K, as well as in Company H at least, the elephant in the room is ammunition quality. We got an arsenal bundle with pyrodex in it. We also got MANY with no caps, and several with insufficient amounts of caps to even cover the 10 rounds. One of our fellows even was issued ammunition with 6 winged caps. Shame on those of you who knew you'd get away with it. Matt was very clear on this and there are many many sources, at your local level and on-line. If you still don't know how to properly roll rounds, there are many ways to find out. Through this, thanks again to Matt for being VERY clear on what was expected.
Even with the cons, and there are many fewer than the vast number of pros, I had a great time!!!! Thanks to all for coming and helping make this weekend what it was.
Best to all,
Member, Company of Military Historians
Saginaw City Light Infantry
Hubbard Winsor Lodge #420
Stoney Creek Lodge #5
Historic Fort Wayne Coalition
BGA Gettysburg - 24th Michigan
A huge BRAVO ZULU, from Colonel Woodburn to the Privates in the ranks. This was the single greatest adventure of my lifetime. I have but one con, the complete lack of water, and that is to be blamed on the event and not the adjunct.
To see the Paddle wheeler coming down the river, to the hear the Bosun's pipe, watching the rounds be issued. To stand and watch the Regiment form for the march, to stand at the rear of the column and barely see the Mounted Adjunct at the front. The field music, the color guard. Meeting some of you for the first time and seeing some I haven’t in a few years. The seemingly never ending paperwork, trying to write in my account book as we were quickly moving through the sea of wounded.
I was so tired Saturday afternoon, and I also fell victim to the heat but fortunately it was on the road, 600 yards from Saturdays camp. Never have I had such a stressful time at an event.
I never got to sample the stores from Saturdays treasure trove and survived on the ration I was issued on Friday evening. My thanks to the Battalion Staff for ensuring I had at least some breakfast Sunday morning.
To witness the Dress Parade across from the ranks was amazing. To see the 15th Iowa's flag in the breeze. The stolid stance when the interruptions passed what seemed unnoticed.
To all of you who offered simulated injuries or the unfortunate who presented real emergencies, I wish to thank you. I am glad no one was hurt to seriously. I truly learned to make due with very limited supplies, personal exhaustion, and to deal with the chaos of so many suffering it was saddening to know I couldn’t help all.
Thank you all again,
Last edited by Chris Fisher; 04-03-2012 at 06:06 PM.
Tinct Opii Mess
We knew the 15th would be a top deck group, so we prepared for months, learning knots we never even used (except to hang those cursed Minnehaha banners). No one fell overboard, so from our end this was an astounding success. Though there was one poor sojer who had a technicolor yawn over the bow. Seasickness? On a river?
It was also a pleasure to talk with 15th Iowa folks later, whom we could pick out anytime by their new Hardees with eagle pin. It was like may memorable events - trying at the time, never to be forgotten later.
US Naval Landing Party (www.usnlp.org)
Navy and Marine Living History Association (www.navyandmarine.org)
"The publick give credit for feat of arms, but the courage which is required for them, cannot compare with that which is needed to bear patiently, not only the thousand annoyances but the total absence of everything that makes life pleasant and even worth living." - Lt. Percival Drayton, on naval blockade duty.
"We have drawn the Spencer Repeating Rifle. It is a 7 shooter, & a beautiful little gun. They are charged to us at $30.00. 15 of which we have to pay."
William Clark Allen, Company K, 72nd Indiana Volunteers, May 17, 1863
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