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The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

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  • The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

    "Howling Dervishes Dancing and Kicking Around in our Ranks": The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles.

    The attached article is provided here with permission by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles.
    Attached Files
    Paul Calloway
    Proudest Member of the Tar Water Mess
    Proud Member of the GHTI
    Member, Civil War Preservation Trust
    Wayne #25, F&AM

  • #2
    Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

    This article was published as “Taking Hits: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle”, Civil War Historian magazine, January/February 2006, Vol 2 No 1, and was re-printed without permission as, “The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle: Taking Hits”, Camp Chase Gazette magazine, September 2006 (plagiarized article credited to “A.J. Fisk”).

    This article is also included in The Columbia Rifles Resarch Compendium, 2nd Edition.

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    • #3
      Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

      That really helped me. I just wish I knew how to ad moulage at a moment's notice (Blood spraying, torn limb, etc.) It's a very nice article, and every reenactor should read it.

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      • #4
        Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

        the only shortcoming with the "blood" spurting from ones mouth, or the sudden spurt of "blood" issuing forth from ones body, is that all forms of fake blood that I have seen stain clothing. So unless you want to have a bloodsoaked uniform, then you should keep at a distance from the fake blood.

        It would be interesting to see people dragging severed limbs on and off of the battlefield.
        Tyler Gibson
        The Independent Rifles

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        • #5
          WHERE CAN I PURCHASE A COPY OF The Columbia Rifles Resarch Compendium, 2nd Edition.

          WHERE CAN I PURCHASE A COPY OF The Columbia Rifles Resarch Compendium, 2nd Edition., 1ST EDITION ETC?
          drsimm@juno.com
          Don Simmons

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          • #6
            Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

            "It would be interesting to see people dragging severed limbs on and off of the battlefield".--Tyler Gibson

            NO it is not, I assure you.

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            • #7
              Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

              Dale-

              Agreed.

              -Johnny
              Johnny Lloyd
              John "Johnny" Lloyd
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              "Without history, there can be no research standards.
              Without research standards, there can be no authenticity.
              Without the attempt at authenticity, all is just a fantasy.
              Fantasy is not history nor heritage, because it never really existed." -Me


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              • #8
                Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

                Dale, agreed, seeing wounded and dead in real life is not fun, especially when you know them!!!

                Don Woods
                USMC
                OIF II
                Don Woods
                Member ABT

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                • #9
                  Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

                  Originally posted by tater View Post
                  all forms of fake blood that I have seen stain clothing. So unless you want to have a bloodsoaked uniform, then you should keep at a distance from the fake blood.

                  It would be interesting to see people dragging severed limbs on and off of the battlefield.
                  Regarding the fake blood, staining of clothing is just one reason why one rarely sees it used in reenacting, and usually when it is, it's by someone with a "head wound" or something similar.

                  As for soldier-impressionists "dragging severed limbs on and off the" field, why would soldiers in the Civil War have done such a gruesome thing? This isn't a George Romero film. In those days when it was hacked off by a cannonball, it was gone for good. They didn't re-attach limbs in those days.

                  I suggest that there's a difference between portraying a wounded soldier and portraying the gore that was present on every Civil War battlefield. The former is certainly feasible and probably desirable for those who do "more-accurate" portrayals overall; the latter is, like "authentic" disease, an aspect of the Civil War that reenactors do not and should not portray. The reason why the topic of battlefield gore was covered at all in the essay is because it was a reality of the battlefield, and it's important for reenactors to understand if they are going to actually be knowledgable about this subject.

                  Regarding the CRRC, if you want info on obtaining one, use "www.google.com" with "Columbia Rifles Research Compendium" in the search window, or go to www.columbiarifles.org and click on the big CRRC2 icon.
                  Last edited by Kevin O'Beirne; 12-18-2007, 01:47 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

                    Originally posted by Dale Beasley View Post
                    "It would be interesting to see people dragging severed limbs on and off of the battlefield".--Tyler Gibson

                    NO it is not, I assure you.
                    Dale, agree 100% Half the reason I can tolerate this hobby is the lack of blood. Somethings just dont need to be seen again. Seen it, had a comrade lose an arm, No Thanks. We start doing this, I am out.
                    Robert W. Hughes
                    Co A, 2nd Georgia Sharpshooters/64th Illinois Inf.
                    Thrasher Mess
                    Operation Iraqi Freedom II 2004-2005
                    ENG Brigade, 1st Cavalry Div. "1st Team!"
                    Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America

                    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
                    And I said "Here I am. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

                      There was a minor brawl over this in the medical section of Szabo's Zoo. I think we were split down the middle (fortunately without any blood). As you can imagine I clamped down on the idea of fake blood for the same reasons here - bad taste, given what's going on in real life, fake blood looks fake, most reenactors have no idea how to act wounded, and the like. I plugged this article in case I got any dissenting views. Eventually it wandered over to blood-stained aprons on surgeons. Not only are blood-stained aprons something of a reenactorism, it seems they were not part of the official issue in the hospital supply requests.

                      I set up my surgical procedures so one only gets a glimpse of what's going on and their fetid imagination fills in the rest.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

                        I agree with Dale and Kevin. Fake blood is definatly in bad taste. Plus it seems a little corny and overly theatrical when I do see it at an event.

                        As for blood staining, a blood stain could be authentic where someone may have cut himself or something and got blood on his clothing. The problem with fake blood is it is NOT real blood, and will stain the clothing a different way then real blood.
                        James Duffney
                        61st NY
                        Brave Peacock Mess

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                        • #13
                          Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

                          This article will certainly come in handy this coming weekend at Crittenden's Farm (based on the Cedar Mountain affair) , and I hope the casualty scenario is a good beta test for After The Battle/Slaughter Pen in November. Well, let's see if we can find that prisoner article as a companion piece.
                          [B]Charles Heath[/B]
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                          [URL="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Elmira_Death_March/?yguid=25647636"]2-4 Oct 09 Death March XI - Corduroy[/URL]

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                          • #14
                            Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

                            Originally posted by Dale Beasley View Post
                            "It would be interesting to see people dragging severed limbs on and off of the battlefield".--Tyler Gibson

                            NO it is not, I assure you.
                            In my first unit there was an event you can set your clock to. It happened every year at our annual event at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. It was a fight. Two guys would square off in a mock fight and roll around on the ground for several minutes while everyone stood around and cheered (or laughed). Finally after years of this, a veteran member of the unit (who was also a member of the NYPD) said “Have you ever seen a real street fight? Have you ever been in the center of a bar brawl?” He went on to say that there is no way to fake a fight like that, too many people are milling about unconcerned, there are no real punches and the two combatants aren’t trying to injure the other man. There’s just no way to fake it.

                            Carry that into ‘taking hits’ and I agree with him. Why fake something that can be so offensive, sacrilegious and disrespectful? I don’t think anyone who takes a hit intentionally sets out to mock the wounded or dead, but I think it comes off that way to the public sometimes.

                            Solutions to taking hits:
                            • Just Sit Down In 1996 I helped organize a living history for the public and we had pre-planned hits. At certain points in the battle demo men were schedule to take hits, but instead of dropping to the ground in mock pain, they simply stopped marching forward and sat down on the ground ‘Indian’ style. By the time the demo was over, the demo field was spattered with the ‘wounded’ who were sitting quietly. The impact on the public was just greater than if they had taken ‘hits’.
                            • Just Sit Down Part II Another take on the first idea is to end your demo, then ask folks who are wounded (again with pre planned assignments) to simply step out of the ranks or to sit down. The public gets to see the impact of the battle on the original unit you are portraying without the play acting.
                            • Just don't do it I’ve participated in small picket posts events were the ‘no hit rule’ was in effect. Basically we did what the soldiers did 99% of the time in the 1860s. We set up CS and US lines a few hundred yards apart and just starred at each other for two days. No (or few) shots, no hits, no wounded, no flanking, no prisoners and no skirmishers. We simply changed guards every few hours, cooked our meals, tried not to freeze and watched the enemy lines. We still had tension as we knew the opposing side was out there someplace. Those are some of the best events I’ve ever attended, but this only works in small number (less than 50 per side)
                            • Just don’t do it part II If you’re a big battle, have the announcer tell the public why you aren’t demonstrating wounded/dead soldiers. I think the public will understand you’re doing it out of respect to the Boys of ’61 and will enjoy the reenactment just the same. Radical idea and will probably never happen, but it’s something I’ve thought about for years.
                            [COLOR="DarkRed"] [B][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua]Christopher J. Daley[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Behavior of Soldiers Wounded in Battle by Kevin O'Beirne, Columbia Rifles

                              Hi,

                              I would say we need to take hits, but leave the fake blood at home. I have seen some very bad hits, with the so called "wounded" rolling around and laughing. That being said, I have seen very good hits, where I actually thought that one of my friends had been wounded. Because I have never been on a real war ( I am very glad about that), I do not know how men react to gun shot wounds. Becasue of this, when I take a hit, I portray killed soldier, and just lay there as still as I can.

                              Christopher J. Daley
                              Just Sit Down In 1996 I helped organize a living history for the public and we had pre-planned hits. At certain points in the battle demo men were schedule to take hits, but instead of dropping to the ground in mock pain, they simply stopped marching forward and sat down on the ground ‘Indian’ style. By the time the demo was over, the demo field was spattered with the ‘wounded’ who were sitting quietly. The impact on the public was just greater than if they had taken ‘hits’.

                              Just Sit Down Part II Another take on the first idea is to end your demo, then ask folks who are wounded (again with pre planned assignments) to simply step out of the ranks or to sit down. The public gets to see the impact of the battle on the original unit you are portraying without the play acting.
                              Not a bad idea, but instead of sitting there, I would like them just to lay down. The main thing I have against the just sitting there, is that for me, the battle would just lose something.The article that was posted, is a good one, and I hope to learn something from it. Just my 2 cents.
                              Andrew Kasmar

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