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Recruiting : Baker's California Regiment - Co. A - for Anders Bluff on 21-23 Oct 2011

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  • Silas
    Re: Recruiting : Baker's California Regiment - Co. A - for Anders Bluff on 21-23 Oct 2011

    Time is running out to register for the only ad hoc campaign company being formed for this event. Per a notice posted by Anders on another forum :

    Along the Potomac- 150th Balls Bluff Registration


    Registration is getting near the 75% full mark, so if you want to be part of the final 150th event of 1861, I urge you to go to the event website at and register ASAP.

    This will be the first reenactment of the Battle of Balls Bluff on the actual ground. The state park has been working hard for over a year clearing trees and restoring the battlefield to its 1861 state.

    Registration is limited, and due to space and park regulations we cannot "squeeze" more participants in once we reach the limit.
    We still have space in Company A, but time is running out. Standards are pretty basic for this impression. Don't delay or else you'll be aced out. PM's on this forum are a good way to reach me.

    Leave a comment:

  • Andrew Jarvi
    Re: Recruiting : Baker's California Regiment - Co. A - for Anders Bluff on 21-23 Oct 2011

    I just completed my forms and am dropping them in the mail tomorrow, looking forward to serving in Baker's Regiment Co. A! These guidelines are really not hard to meet.

    Leave a comment:

  • Silas
    Re: Recruiting : Baker's California Regiment - Co. A - for Anders Bluff on 21-23 Oct 2011

    Now that Manassas will soon be in the rear view mirror, it's time to start gearing up for Ball's Bluff this October.

    There is certainly a mainstream quality to Ball's Bluff with the usual encampment and spectator battles and the like. However, the thing which sets this event aside from others is that some of the event is slated to occur on original ground. The thing which will set this company aside from others is that this will be a true campaign effort. No tents. No backpacks. No whiners. The goal is to portray this company of Baker's California Regiment as it was when it crossed the Potomac and climbed the bluff.

    As usual, we will be drilling more than other companies to establish uniformity, correctness and alacrity. Since this was one of the skirmish companies at Ball's Bluff, the skirmish drill is going to be strongly emphasized.

    Early registration is only fifteen bucks and concludes in just two weeks. Time to start making plans for this year's event planned by Chris Anders. Contact me by PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • PieBoy96
    Re: Recruiting : Baker's California Regiment - Co. A - for Anders Bluff on 21-23 Oct 2011


    Registration for ALONG THE POTOMAC is now live at

    Additional information will be continually added to the website, so check back often.

    Leave a comment:

  • Silas
    Re: Recruiting : Baker's California Regiment - Co. A - for Anders Bluff on 21-23 Oct 2011

    Not everyone in the original regiment was a Californian so that's not a problem. PM sent.

    Leave a comment:

  • Andrew Jarvi
    Re: Let's lighten the load a bit.


    Though I am not a Californian, I would love to fall in with your company for this event. And on a side note, it was a pleasure to meet you in Charleston.

    Leave a comment:

  • majdoc
    Re: Let's lighten the load a bit.

    It looks good. Being a native prune picker like you. I'll look into it and see if it is possible to make it.

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  • Silas
    Let's lighten the load a bit.

    After further review of the Official Records and some other sources, I'm amending the above gear list by deleting one item : the knapsack. Leave it at home. The California Regiment didn't carry knapsacks on the march to Ball's Bluff so we won't either. Per the official records :

    Edwards Ferry, October 20, 1861-11 p. m.

    COLONEL: You will send the California regiment (less the camp guard) to Conrads Ferry, to arrive there at sunrise and await orders. The men will take with them blankets and overcoats and forty rounds of ammunition in boxes, and will be followed by one days rations in wagons. The remainder of the brigade will be held in readiness for [303] marching orders (leaving camp guards) at 7 o'clock a. m. tomorrow, and will all have breakfasted before that hour.

    Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
    CHAS. P. STONE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

    Col. B. D. BAKER, Commanding Third Brigade.
    O.R. 1:5, pp. 302-03.

    Other sources I've read indicated the regiment conformed to the order by proceeding at light marching order. Accordingly, we're going light. Dumping the knapsack forces reductions in other areas because there are fewer places to stow junk. Carrying less gear means more mobility and allows us the freedom to hunker down somewhere if the elements get too cold, wet or both.

    It also reignites that old problem about how much stuff is too much and how much is not enough. With choices of carrying an overcoat, blanket, gum and shelter half, which two would you certainly carry?

    A campaign experience at an historic place. Sounds like fun to me.

    Leave a comment:

  • Recruiting : Baker's California Regiment - Co. A - for Anders Bluff on 21-23 Oct 2011

    As part of the Chris Anders' Along the Potomac on 21-23 October 2011, I have been authorized to recruit a campaign company to portray Co. A of Col. Baker's First California Regiment. Similar to what Senator Baker did in forming a regiment, those with California ties are being sought to fill this company. Although native and transplant Californians are the target of this recruitment effort, non-Californians are also welcome to participate.

    This will be a campaign company. No tentage other than individual shelter halves will be allowed. The "camp-no camp" rule will be in effect. Bring all the gear you want, but carry all you take be it on the march, up the bluff or into battle.

    Impression standards :

    As recently as three weeks before Ball's Bluff, the regiment had been attired in gray light jackets, red striped gray trousers, gray felt overcoat and a "very heavy and entirely impervious fatigue cap." Member of the unit felt like second class soldiers. An expedition in early October where the gray clad California Regiment clashed at night against green clad Berdans and a squadron of Federal cavalry was a factor in the provision of proper uniforms. As Per Francis Donaldson of Co. H complained in a letter to his brother, "Who is responsible for sending upon such an expedition men dressed in the garb of the enemy?"

    Shortly thereafter, the regiment was finally issued new uniforms, specifically : "dark blue jacket, light blue pants and dark blue fatigue cap." Per Donaldson, "They are of a very superior and substantial quality and add greatly to our appearance. Indeed we look like a new regiment just come out."

    Accordingly, the uniform for Company A will be :
    a. Forage cap with appropriate company letter only. No regimental number, crossed cannons, fancy names or other brass junk allowed. No exceptions.

    a. Lined fatigue blouse (sack) : Schyulkill Arsenal preferred. Sacks from other makers allowed.

    a. Light blue overcoat, preferred.
    b. Gray overcoat, discouraged, but allowed.

    - Although the 15th Mass possessed gray overcoats with red linings at Ball's Bluff, there is no indication yet whether the 1st California was reissued its old gray overcoats from the beginning of their original service or were issued new overcoats. Having received standard issue uniforms, it is most likely also they received proper issue overcoats. Accordingly, each man should bring a light blue overcoat. Some gray overcoats allowed.

    - Under no circumstances will a sutler grade overcoat pass muster because there is no telling what the weather will be like next October. A functional overcoat made from proper pattern, proper material and properly lined will likely come in handy.

    a. Domet flannel, Federal issue pattern.

    a. Schyulkill Arsenal, light blue in color, preferred.
    b. Gray, some allowed, but are generally discouraged.

    a. Federal issue pattern of canton flannel preferred,
    b. Period civilian patterns permitted.

    a. Federal Issue patterns of cotton or wool
    b. Hand knit civilian pattern

    a. Federal issue Jefferson Bootees.

    Weapon :
    a. 1861 Springfield.
    b. Austrian.
    c. Enfield.
    d. 1842 Springfield.

    - Company A is one of the two skirmish companies sent forward during the battle. Under the general principle that line companies carried smoothbores and skirmish companies carried rifles, the preferred weapon is 1861 Springfield. Austrians, Enfields and 1842 Springfields allowed in that order by preference.

    a. Triangular pattern with a functional locking ring required

    a. All sewn Gaylord pattern bayonet scabbard preferred.
    b. Multi-rivet patterns permitted.

    a. 1857 pattern waist belt (with leather keeper) and US belt plate (puppy foot or paw backs) preferred. Belt maybe of waxed or blackened buff leather.
    b. Other patterns permitted.

    a. All sewn 1850 Pattern cap pouch preferred,
    b. Others permitted.

    a. Appropriate pattern for the weapon carried.
    b. NOTE : US cartridge box and Eagle sling plates required.

    a. Federal pattern SMOOTH SIDE canteen with cloth cover required. Bulls eye canteens not allowed.
    b. NO STAINLESS STEEL CANTEENS. Any found in the ranks will be destroyed upon discovery.

    a. Federal, painted cloth haversack required.

    a. 1855 pattern double bag knapsack. This is the only allowed type of knapsack.
    b. Go without.

    a. Grey Federal Issue blanket, preferred
    b. Brown blankets, allowed

    Per the Regulations :
    Blanket woolen gray with letters US in black four inches long in the centre to be seven feet long and five and a half feet wide and to weigh five pounds

    a. Neither required, but both encouraged.

    a. Tin Plate, cup, utensils required.
    b. Plates and canteen halves okay.
    c. Stainless steel items w

    a. No modern glasses, wrist watches, cell phones, or other modern items.

    The items in the impression standards are noted by preference. The first item is the most preferred. The each item down the list is an allowable, but less preferred, item. Although some allowance is allowed for individual items at the bottom of the spectrum, each participant is expected to have the bulk of his uniform and kit toward the higher end of the spectrum, not the lower end.

    This is a unique opportunity for Californians to portray an Eastern unit with a decent percentage of Californians in its ranks. (More than 200 persons identified as Californians participated in this regiment.)

    More information will be provided as event details are revealed. Registration has not yet opened.

    This is a unique company of a unique regiment being recruited for an event on actual ground. This battle reenactment will be worth putting on your calendar.

    - Mark (Silas) Tackitt, a native Californian