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  • "Taking it like a man" revisited...

    Originally posted by Steve Acker View Post
    TAKING HITS is a part of any event that involves firing into an opposition. On Saturday we will break first person for must a minute to explain how we are working with those who take hits. Right now it looks like we will ask those taking hits to join another company or dead company. More details later.

    Steve Acker
    All-

    "The Mill" was a WONDERFUL event. If you didn't experience it, then you did miss out.

    But I must admit, I was looking forward to the "taking hits"thing. I heard during the event that the whole idea didn't materialize due to the fact most (not all) people weren't taking hits on their own and it became a moot point.

    Not a problem, but I feel it adds to the challenge of all when commanders/NCOs/fellow privates and units get atritted of bodies and have to compensate real-time for such manpower loss.

    Kabuki referees (Reapers??? ) in period dress on each side (perhaps more than one on each side and all calls final) could call losses as the battle progressed. The 'wounded or killed' would have to go to the 'dead platoon' and march-in later as 'reinforcements' after the alotted time was up.

    If this has been done at past events, I admit ignorance of it in advance-mea maxima culpa.

    Most events, both mainstream and progressive, just don't seem to bother with this detail.

    The closest thing I have seen as official was at an old 'streamer event in Bentonville, NC in 1999. But they had the 'wound cards' that were modern Army and looked totally un-period and it disturbed the mood worse than the crowd watching the darn thing.

    Hence, yet another reason why most 'streamer events really stink...

    Son, any thoughts from the group as a whole... ? I'd like this to be more "how to" and less opinionated as most threads on this topic usually go.

    Thanks for your time -Johnny Lloyd
    Last edited by Johnny Lloyd; 06-09-2008, 08:16 PM.
    Johnny Lloyd
    John "Johnny" Lloyd
    Moderator
    Think before you post... Rules on this forum here
    SCAR
    Known to associate with the following fine groups: WIG/AG/CR

    "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


    Proud descendant of...

  • #2
    Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

    Just curious, by "Army Wound Cards" Are you reffering to four color 4x10 inch START Triage Tags?
    I think I relise what youre driving at. At Rich Mountion a year ago little Index cards w/ Killed, Wounded and type/location of wound or Captured were issued. That seemed to work very well. I went to one event and each Company CO was responcable for "Reaper Duty" but that was only a small event. Quite a few times heard being whispered down the line " Lt says If youre birthday is between Sep and Jan Take a hit in the next three muinets", that too seemed to work very well. At the big events it dose seem like there is alot of powder burning and no casualties till the last 10 min. of the battle. At the big ones CO's have more on there minds that casualty ratios, I think unifourmed Reapers should start being considered. At campaign events I like the idia of "Dead Companys" returning latter as reinforcements.
    Steven Flibotte
    Liberty Hall Fifes and Drums
    Confederate Marines Company C./Marine Guard USS Galena
    Tidewater Maritime Living History Association

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    • #3
      Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

      Originally posted by Johnny Lloyd View Post
      If this has been done at past events, I admit ignorance of it in advance-mea maxima culpa.
      Johnny,

      Yep. Done to death. Pardon the pun. :p

      - Fate cards have tended to be fairly standard since August 1998, but also tend to be on the backlash circuit these days, but some folks will take their roster name and run with it thanks to Ancestry.com and similar sites. Sometimes the research on the part of individuals will yield some wonderful pre (and post) event information. Much of this depends on whether they are simply representing the individual as a name in their pocket, or actually portraying that man in depth. As a counterbalance, some groups are to the point where they have been satiated with the "impression of the month club," and are asking not to be included in the roster name and linked fate card issues. Not everyone desires the level of first person impression detail that goes into a Winter 1864 event.

      - The "Dead Company" is done so often that this module is a set piece these days. It was novel at the 2001 Pickett's Mill event, but has been copied time and time again. Still, it provides a useful service, as it answers the "What do we do with these dead people?" question.

      - Having evaluators, to use a modern army term, as "tactical" referees isn't anything new, and if you thought Bentonville 2000 was bad, then you should have seen the pitiful imitation churned out at the 3.5 Recon series of events. There is much to be said for mobility, staffing, and for people to actually buy into the game. This is one of those areas of hugely unmet potential.

      I'm trying to recall if it was at the Antietam 2003 NPS LH or the Chancellorsville-Wilderness 2004 NPS LH (it may have been both) where the park visitors were incorporated into the scenario, and were given fates, and followed the instructions. That was a moment of thought provocation for both living historian and park visitor. Some of the visitors were visibly moved by it all. They were worth the price of admission.

      Good times.
      [B]Charles Heath[/B]
      [EMAIL="heath9999@aol.com"]heath9999@aol.com[/EMAIL]

      [URL="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Spanglers_Spring_Living_History/"]12 - 14 Jun 09 Hoosiers at Gettysburg[/URL]

      [EMAIL="heath9999@aol.com"]17-19 Jul 09 Mumford/GCV Carpe Eventum [/EMAIL]

      [EMAIL="beatlefans1@verizon.net"]31 Jul - 2 Aug 09 Texans at Gettysburg [/EMAIL]

      [EMAIL="JDO@npmhu.org"] 11-13 Sep 09 Fortress Monroe [/EMAIL]

      [URL="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Elmira_Death_March/?yguid=25647636"]2-4 Oct 09 Death March XI - Corduroy[/URL]

      [EMAIL="oldsoldier51@yahoo.com"] G'burg Memorial March [/EMAIL]

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      • #4
        Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

        Originally posted by Charles Heath View Post
        Johnny,

        Yep. Done to death. Pardon the pun. :p
        Yessir... I reckoned it to be so.

        I was at the Recon II event doing grey in May 2002 and I don't remember seeing reapers, but there could have been some- my eye was not trained to notice quality event details as it is now. All I remember is meeting Joe Hoffman at the entrance and talking awhile with him about his nice goods he had for sale. Also, I remember freezing myself silly Sat. night of the event as the rain came down on us.

        "Just curious, by "Army Wound Cards" Are you reffering to four color 4x10 inch START Triage Tags?- Steven Flibotte"

        Yep... the same. I was in the Army, but not a medic. :wink_smil

        "Quite a few times heard being whispered down the line " Lt says If youre [sic] birthday is between Sep and Jan Take a hit in the next three muinets[sic]", that too seemed to work very well.- Steven Flibotte"

        I have seen that done also at the Bentonville... 1999 (or was it 2000 Mr. Heath?) where wound cards were used along with that method. Amongst our group it got kinda chaotic, I must admit, and as normal, most people wanted to 'hang-in-there' for the final charge- ain't that the way it is all the time?

        I'd suggest something a little more formal and set- such as treating the event mechanically more like the way a sports event is treated- a few refs and all calls final. But for those that have been 'wounded' or 'killed' they would get the chance to still participate somehow that would not in the slightest way diminish their personal enjoyment or experience.

        Also, you and I know that someone out there wouldn't like a call made by a reaper and get a case of the arse about it all by taking it personally. Care must be taken to make it known to the individual that was 'wounded' that they will still be able to play and enjoy themselves at the event and nothing is personal.

        Anyone ever heard of drawing a red-colored cartridge and taking a hit when doing so? I have never seen that done, but heard about it.

        "I'm trying to recall if it was at the Antietam 2003 NPS LH or the Chancellorsville-Wilderness 2004 NPS LH (it may have been both) where the park visitors were incorporated into the scenario, and were given fates, and followed the instructions. That was a moment of thought provocation for both living historian and park visitor. Some of the visitors were visibly moved by it all. They were worth the price of admission.- Charles Heath"

        That does sound unique, sir. I'd like to see that done to include the 'taters somehow as participants at Living Histories. ;)

        There must be SOME way we can maximize the use of a "dead platoon" as standard operating procedure at quality events and hold to the use of such... hmmm. Bugs me a tad bit.

        Thank you- Johnny Lloyd
        Johnny Lloyd
        John "Johnny" Lloyd
        Moderator
        Think before you post... Rules on this forum here
        SCAR
        Known to associate with the following fine groups: WIG/AG/CR

        "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


        Proud descendant of...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

          Anyone ever heard of drawing a red-colored cartridge and taking a hit when doing so? I have never seen that done, but heard about it.
          I've seen the "red cartridge" method done before. It seemed to work okay. For some reason I always managed to draw a "red one" the first time I loaded my piece - cosmic luck I guess.
          Dave Schwartz,
          Company B, 79th NY Vols.
          (New York Highland Guard)

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          • #6
            Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

            The Mifflin Guard does a LH on the Gettysburg battlefield and every year, we replicate the movements of a unit that is chosen by the park ranger, with a separate "battalion" of spectators. Its very interesting. But anyway, when we did the 1st MN, our colonel passed out a card to everyone in the ranks during formation, if it had and X you were "dead," and if it was blank you "lived," in order to illustrate the casualty ratio. The battlefield did not want us to do any theatrics, so the "dead/wounded" just took a knee at some point. It worked very well, But it was not part of a "battle."

            I do like the idea of the red cartridge, though. Perhaps there can be a way to incorporate wounded/killed ratio though. Perhaps there can be 3 blue cartridges in you box that would be wounded, and one red that would be death.

            Even better, do research on the unit you are portraying for the battle, and calculate the amount of wounded/killed for every 40 men (for each round in a typical cartridge box) , and have that many wounded/killed rounds in your box. Example: the portrayed unit has 400 men. It loses 75 wounded an 25 killed. That would mean 2 out of 40 men were killed, and 8 out of every 40 were wounded. Any thoughts on this? I can see a few flaws, but I'm sure they can be worked out if we try hard enough.
            James Duffney
            61st NY
            Brave Peacock Mess

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            • #7
              Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

              Wilson's Creek in 1991 we were given fate cards. Worked fairly well.
              Nathan Hellwig
              AKA Harrison "Holler" Holloway
              "It was the Union armies west of the Appalachians that struck the death knell of the Confederacy." Leslie Anders ,Preface, The Twenty-First Missouri

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              • #8
                Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

                Originally posted by Hairy Nation Boys View Post
                Wilson's Creek in 1991 we were given fate cards. Worked fairly well.

                Fate cards are fine, but I would like to explore/use the idea of something more official at more progressive events along the lines of "reapers" and then being able to "resurrect" at a later point in "the game". Fate cards, I feel, rely too much on the individual's volition and you know how people can be when they have their Iron Undies on at an event.

                -Johnny
                Johnny Lloyd
                John "Johnny" Lloyd
                Moderator
                Think before you post... Rules on this forum here
                SCAR
                Known to associate with the following fine groups: WIG/AG/CR

                "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


                Proud descendant of...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

                  I like the history based approach. Like the Gettysburg LH Duff mentioned, if you are portraying a unit like the 1st Min at that particular battle, they took heavy casualties during their famous stand, and thus your unit should likewise take a heavy hit. It would be hard work, frustrating at times getting everyone on the same page, but in the end be worth it for the experience of being in a unit that was "cut up". I like the idea of the red and blue cartridges. Simple and the math of the deal could be worked out for the ammount of people you have on hand. To be fair to everyone you could make it like drawing straws. If you have to take the hit the first time around, you get to live the next time, and so on. Just a thought.

                  Respectfully....
                  Sean Collicott
                  Your humble servant....
                  Sean Collicott
                  [URL="www.sallyportmess.itgo.com"]Sally Port Mess[/URL]
                  [URL="http://oldnorthwestvols.org/onv/index.php"]Old Northwest Volunteers[/URL]

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                  • #10
                    Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

                    I don't really know if I like any of the ideas that involve cards, colored cartridges or referees. Seems to me if I spotted something like that during a reenactment it would kill the mood for me and the other guys seeing the same thing. I think something planned completely before the reenactment would work the best.


                    Tyler Habig
                    Tyler Habig
                    49th Indiana Co. F
                    [B]Tanglefoot Mess[/B]


                    [I]Proud Descendent of:[/I]

                    [I][SIZE=3]Aaron T. Kinslow[/SIZE][/I]
                    [I][SIZE=3]Co. D 6th Ky Reg Ky[/SIZE][/I]
                    [I][SIZE=3]Vol C.S.A.[/SIZE][/I]
                    [I][SIZE=3]Born Dec 17, 1842[/SIZE][/I]
                    [I][SIZE=3]Died Jan 31, 1862[/SIZE][/I]
                    Bummers
                    Backwaters

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                    • #11
                      Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

                      I can remember "Lazarus Companies" as far back as the mid nineties. The first one I was ever a part of was Rockford Ont.... probably 1994 or 95. The didn't use it on the tactical but in the "public" battle they did. There was no preodical for people taking hits... it was just generic... like "your unit will take heavy hits by the creek"... and we did. Then we were moved off the field and joined the Lazarus Company and came back on the field as reinforcements. People didn't mind taking hits because we all knew we were coming back. So it worked fine... In later years the Lazarus Company began showing up in Tacticals. Then I moved to a different state... and they never do it around here... and thus no one takes hits... I've done red cartridges and death cards... we even tried the "Sgt. tap on the shoulder" method. They are all pretty lame. Lazarus Companies work... not that they should be used all the time... but they do increase hits... if that what your looking for.

                      My favorite was the "Ok boys... fire and don't reload we are going to take an Arty hit on the next cannon fire"... "Keep moving forward"... "wait for it".... < March halfway across the battlefield unloaded and without firing a shot> "umm.... Sir, I think something is wrong".... "Wait for it".... "Oh... OK... yeah... they have their rammers crossed... I think they misfired".... "Sir, should we still go down in mass???".... " No...that would just be silly"... "RELOAD!!!"
                      Todd Reynolds
                      Union Orphan Extraordinaire

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                      • #12
                        Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

                        Lets be fair, nothing we as reenactors can do will ever come close to the randomness of combat. Even the most innovative efforts will fall short. That leaves to approaches to determining hits: for a public battle and for historical accuracy.

                        I understand that many campaigners object to public battles, and if that is the case with you, so be it. But for those who do still participate in public battles, the various colored cartridges in proper ratios seems to be the best. It is relatively random and will give the proper amounts of dead and wounded for the generic public battles. Granted, this requires everyone to play along to work well, but its better than being on your honor.

                        For campaigner events where there is a particular scenario, especially where we are doing first person, death cards with biographical info seem to work well. At At High Tide this summer, where we were doing the First Minnesota, our company was very faithful to our counterparts' fates, even down to where in the charge they went down if possible.

                        There is no way for us to capture the randomness of combat, nor the terror that comes from knowing that any moment could be your last. If you really seek that, I would suggest going to your local recruiting station. The closest we can come is being accurate in our portrayals of the numbers of men hit.
                        Andrew Roscoe,
                        The Western Rifles - An Authentic Civil War mess in PA, MD, VA, NC, and SC
                        24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry
                        Old Northwest Volunteers

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                        • #13
                          Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

                          Couldn't agree with Andrew anymore put that way.


                          Tyler Habig
                          Tyler Habig
                          49th Indiana Co. F
                          [B]Tanglefoot Mess[/B]


                          [I]Proud Descendent of:[/I]

                          [I][SIZE=3]Aaron T. Kinslow[/SIZE][/I]
                          [I][SIZE=3]Co. D 6th Ky Reg Ky[/SIZE][/I]
                          [I][SIZE=3]Vol C.S.A.[/SIZE][/I]
                          [I][SIZE=3]Born Dec 17, 1842[/SIZE][/I]
                          [I][SIZE=3]Died Jan 31, 1862[/SIZE][/I]
                          Bummers
                          Backwaters

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                          • #14
                            Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

                            Mr. Habig,

                            I agree with your earlier point about pre-planned casulties. At Death March X and After the Battle last year, the casulties were pre-determined before the event. Also, after they took the hit, they were "wounded" for the remainder of the event and were transported via ambulence to a "field hospital" in a barn. I was one of the "wounded" at DMX, and I must say it was one of the most unique reenacting experiences I have had.
                            James Duffney
                            61st NY
                            Brave Peacock Mess

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: "Taking it like a man" revisited...

                              Hello,

                              I realized after the fact that this is an old thread, and I can't seem to delete it. So, I guess I'll just leave it..

                              When we did Pickett's Charge for 135th Gettysburg, they assigned us places (by number) on the field to take hits (wounded or dead). That way you could go no further than a certain point on the field. I remember that many people were given the number for the Emmitsburg Road to simulate the canister fire. I've done the same thing with school groups.

                              One thing I have wanted to try is a "streaming wounded" situation in which ambulatory wounded, or seriously wounded men (with help) "stream to the rear" into cover. They wait there until their unit returns after an unsuccessful attack, reforms, and goes in again. Dead stay on the field in fewer numbers. That way, a unit can make repeated assaults and take casualties without causing an undue amount of attrition. It also adds another historical element to the engagement while creating a little "controlled chaos".

                              There are always a few guys who don't mind taking early fatal hits, and as they get tired, more will join them. We once had a guy that we called a "professional hit taker" because he loved taking a permanent hit at the outset so he didn't have to march in the heat. It always amazed us how a random pistol shot from the far reaches of the field could always seem to knock him down with a fatal shot!

                              YHS,

                              Dan Limb
                              Co' F 2nd Virginia Infantry
                              "Winchester Rifles"
                              Last edited by Dan Limb; 02-11-2011, 09:32 AM.
                              Dan Limb
                              One of THEM!

                              "In the moment of action, remember the value of silence and order" -- Phormio of Athens

                              "Your first duty is to get a decent hat. You cannot hope to do more. You should never wish to do less"

                              Direct Descendent of
                              James M. Hergesheimer, Co. A. 20th Iowa Infantry

                              Capt. James G. Campbell, Co. F., 19th Illinois Infantry. Wounded at Missionary Ridge

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