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Just Thinking

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  • Just Thinking

    Now that it is just a memory I can’t help but think what I am sure others have already thought, and that is if this had been real, we would have marched on. We would have probably lost comrades to the chill and to crossing flooded streams. Animals would have died. Wagons would have broken down. But, we would have pressed on, yank and reb and somewhere south of Mansfield we would have had a show down and many would have died, been wounded, or marched off to some foul prison camp. Then we would have reversed our march and a day later repeated the carnage at Pleasant Hill. We would have marched, exchanging occasional fire. The mud would have become dust. The cold rain would have been replaced by the heat and humidity until the next rain came to turn the roads to mud again. Mosquitoes would have flourished. Ticks and chiggers would have popped out to plaque us with misery. More suffering, more deaths until finally the Federals would have crossed the Atchayala to safety and the Confederates would have returned north. Civilians would have buried some of the dead. Others would have simply been forgotten in the forest where they fell far from home. They would have tried to put together their lives back together, rebuild the homes that had been burned and washed away the blood from the floors of their homes, their churches, their schools where men had bled out. This was something that would be repeated somewhere else and had been repeated for nearly three years. People suffering, people dying, the land baring the scars of war. People with long memories remembering for the rest of their lives what had happen. We only played war, but I know and you know, we got a small taste of it all in the Kisatchie woods. I know this, when we stood on the forest service road Friday morning with a cold rain falling and mud oozing around blistered feet and bodies tired and thoughts foggy with fatigue, I saw the finest people this hobby has to offer. Others, the civilians, were not there, but they are the finest also. Calling people iron men and women of Kisatchie seems a bit trite, but that is the best I can come up with to describe folks that endured and perservered. Thanks to all of you and on some muddy or dusty road or around some campfire, I hope to meet you all again.
    Last edited by Old Reb; 03-15-2009, 08:13 PM.
    Tom Yearby
    Texas Ground Hornets

    "I'd rather shoot a man than a snake." Robert Stumbling Bear

  • #2
    Re: Just thinking

    To the sage words of my friend Tom Yearby, all I would say is "Amen."
    Fred Baker

    "You may call a Texian anything but a gentleman or a coward." Zachary Taylor


    • #3
      Re: Just thinking

      I found myself thinking the same things when I got back to my vehicle Tom and was starting to feel the warmth of the heater. An event like this really makes you realize how miserable those boys were and how fortunate we are to live in the age we do.

      Don't take your blessings for granted folks.
      Michael Comer
      one of the moderator guys


      • #4
        Re: Just thinking

        I agree Tom and was thinking along the same lines on the way home. We had several talks about the event and our thoughts on the subject. One of my pards stated that he didn't feel secure because he did not know where he was or how to get out. My thought on the subject; this is what made the event along with BGR. You don't know where you are at, you are isolated to your company/regiment. There is no parking lot close by and no communication with anyone on the outside. We were left thinking about our wife's and children and what was going on at home. To survive one had to count on his company and messmates, so it dosen't take long to get friendly and count on people you have never seen before. After waking up; all that was thought about was marching and making good time doing it. Thursday night we sat in a cold rain around a blazing fire telling jokes, laughing, bitching and pitching in to help one another survive with shelters. A small taste of the life lived by the soldier during the war.

        I would like to thank Fred and Tom for another great taste of the Red River Campaign and the life of a common Civil War soldier. It is always a pleasure with you two boys!
        Last edited by boozie; 03-15-2009, 08:52 PM.
        Grandad Wm. David Lee
        52nd Tenn. Reg't Co. B

        "If You Ain't Right, Get Right!"
        - Uncle Dave Macon


        • #5
          Re: Just thinking

          While at church today I thought a lot about our experience. I would have to say that in 19 seasons nothing compares to the closeness that was created Thursday night. We had some complaints(early in the evening) but all 21 men that were left came together and learned to depend on one another. Thursday night was the greatest experience in my re-enacting career.

          Tom and Fred you have done to this hobby a great thing. As I have stated to you both before thank you for truly bringing history alive.

          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


          • #6
            Re: Just thinking

            After 20 years in the hobby, I thought I had experienced the best immersive events the hobby had to offer. I was wrong. I find it hard to imagine what kind of event could possibly top this one and keep drawing a blank. I found myself thinking several times during the event what an old pard once used to say: "Boy this sucks. I like the way it sucks. I wish it would suck more." By Thursday night, I'm not sure it could have sucked much more. However, it was when things were at their worst that I appreciated my troopers and the men we were there to honor the most.

            We set out to portray, as accurately as we could, the men of the 2nd La Cavalry, literally fighting for their homes in the opening days of the Red River Campaign. I hope we did them a small amount of justice. I likewise hope that somewhere in Valhalla or Fiddler's Green, those same men are smiling down on us as we survived our own Henderson's Hill, just as they did, in amazingly similar conditions almost to the day 145 years later.
            Larry Morgan
            Buttermilk Rangers


            • #7
              Re: Just thinking

              When I told my wife how our Thursday night went she replied with, "wow you must be very pleased that you had this experience. You got to feel the misery and pain the men would have felt. You fellows want an authentic experience, and with the weather I don't think you could have came any closer." It's a very good feeling that your wife relates to you enough to understand what this is all about. Thursday night made the event for me, period. On Friday morning looking around and seeing the debris on the ground as we packed up, it's easy to see how people described the aftermath of a battle. There was every sort of article and object scattered on the ground. It's easy to understand how men marched away from a camp or battle without socks, shoes, or any other needed equipment in their haste to stay with the regiment. Cousins Fred and Tom thanks for one of the most memorable events that can ever be had, to those that missed it, well......
              Robert Gobtop
              Ol Sipley Mess
              Proud Member of the S*** A** Platoon BGR


              • #8
                Re: Just thinking

                Old Reb Tom's vivid descriptions were the very thoughts going through my mind after I got home from BGR two years ago.

                After using up all the hot water taking a shower, I sat on the side of my bed and slipped a pair of soft, clean cotton socks on my bruised and blistered feet. It felt so good- I almost cried a little. I sat there while my wife slept and gave thanks for the time that I live in, to be blessed with so much. I also gave thanks for having had the chance to better understand the sacrifices and suffering of the generations that preceded us.

                SO- I'll be honest and say there was a bit of dread that accompanied my excitement for Piney Woods this year. It was the great respect for the demands of BGR that motivated me as I prepared my body and my mind, and it paid off- my feet did much better this time, and I had more stamina, though I am two years older and approaching the half century mark.

                My point is that Piney Woods was good enough- close enough to the "real thing" in its conception and execution to elicit a bit of dread from those who had gone through it before. It's the respect that Kisatchie demands from you. Would not a true veteran of that time and place dread having to suffer through it again? BGR and Into The Piney Woods were tough by design. Any and all who slogged through it is a better person for it. It definitely surpassed the hype.

                Dollar for dollar, about the best $50 I ever spent. Thanks again for everyone responsible for its success.

                Dan Hadley


                • #9
                  Re: Just thinking

                  It is hard to believe it is all over.
                  I had started the week taking notes so I wouldn't forget anything. It wasn't long before I quit that practice for 2 reasons i was to tired / too busy. I realized I couldn't forget any of it if I tried.
                  I had the soldiers experience. I think more of that experience than any other was befriending and bonding with the men of Company G.

                  I am now at work with dozens of emails to reply and a huge emptiness inside me.
                  Now that it is all said and done I know that the Kisatchie and the Men of Company G we always be with me.
                  I wont remember all of your names but I will always remember your faces.
                  Russell L. Stanley
                  Co.A 1st Texas Infantry
                  Co.A 45th Mississippi
                  Co.D 8th Missouri (CS)
                  Steelville JayBirds Mess


                  • #10
                    Re: Just thinking

                    Many thanks Tom and Fred for all you did to make this happen. My hat is off for you.

                    Brett "Homer" Keen
                    [I]"Excessively spirited in the pranks and mischief of the soldier"[/I]

                    OEF 03-04 [I]Truth Through Exploitation[/I]


                    • #11
                      Re: Just thinking

                      I've been in the hobby little more than a year. This is only my second immersive event (the first a weekend tactical). It was such an emotional experience. It will be the benchmark by which I will judge all other events I participate in. I hope it does not make those events less meaningful for me.

                      Fred and Tom, thank you. You are both gentleman of the highest caliber and I owe you both a great debt. Tom, thank your wife for the offer of coffee the other day and I apologize for not accepting her hospitality.

                      To the men of the Lazy Jacks Mess and the French Mess thankyou for all your kindness and camaradiere. William I tried to bid you a proper goodbye on Saturday but you weren't in your room. My best to Corporal "La Plume". Thank you for sharing your fires and your coffee. JT from Edinburgh, enjoy the snuff pard and I hope we get to meet again on the field.

                      Finally, to my close pards from Thursday night. Richard, Jordy, and Ryan. That was an experience I shall never forget or regret. Huddled together in that wet and leaking shelter, sharing blankets, chattering teeth and frozen feet. I was truly transported back to 1864. Without each other I doubt if we would have fallen in on Friday morning. Hey Jordy, I'll bet the Cav don't look to bad now does it Pard. God luck with the rodeo and stay safe.

                      I gotta stop before I get all misty eyed and stupid. I'm here in Vicksburg, MS and it's still raining. God Bless the boys on both sides Federal and Confederate, then and now. God protect our service men and women all over the world who shoulder a heavy burden so we can stay safe and warm in our beds at night.

                      Best Regards,
                      Steve Boecker
                      Co. A First Texas Infantry
                      28th Louisiana IPW

                      "Too late, sir, the battle is won.”
                      Richard Taylor after the Battle of Mansfield to a messenger from Kirby Smith ordering him to retreat


                      • #12
                        Re: Just thinking

                        Many thanks to Uncle Tom ,Fred,Colonel Frank, Patrick and everybody who participated in this event for making it so real.
                        There were lots of occassions when i felt like i was back in the day.

                        Thursday night was real trying on the mind and body and i,d like to specially thank Brent Brumagin for checking in all the shelters to make sure everyone was ok,also to the Colonel for the hot drink beside the fire.

                        Steve B thanks for the gift ,hope to fall in alongside you soon pard.

                        Del,thanks for the firper all week,those scenarios were special and it takes a lot for you to do them in the right way ,you know what i mean.

                        I have never seen someone so determined to finish a march as Billy Birney whose feet were in tatters and yet took off his boots and marched the remaining distance on the road in socks,determination buddy.:baring_te

                        Thats enough from me now,

                        J.T. Jason Tailford (Scotsman)

                        Liberty Rifles

                        Lazyjacks Mess.


                        • #13
                          Re: Just thinking

                          You are easier to understand when you write English!
                          Tom Yearby
                          Texas Ground Hornets

                          "I'd rather shoot a man than a snake." Robert Stumbling Bear


                          • #14
                            Re: Just thinking

                            French returned well, thanks to all for this event, which even if he finished abruptly, was filled with great sharing moments ...
                            Thanks to Tom, Fred, Joe and all the organization...
                            Thanks to the friends of the Lazy and to the American companions of our company...
                            Thanks all...
                            William Miconnet
                            French Mess
                            BGR & IPW Survivor
                            Never ever give up!
                            In memory of Steve Boulton, live the little story, lost in the history...
                            I believe!


                            • #15
                              Re: Just thinking

                              William will be receiving his documents making him an honorary Texan.
                              Tom Yearby
                              Texas Ground Hornets

                              "I'd rather shoot a man than a snake." Robert Stumbling Bear