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Chickamauga, Kershaw's Birgade

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  • #91
    Re: Chickamauga


    This is an interesting discussion, and one I feel I should finally weigh in on. Why does my opinion matter, well, because I’m the one the does your food!

    I’ll be honest. Many of you honestly have no idea how much work goes into the rations. I had begun researching rations and movements of the 2nd SC for over a year. I went out and bought books and visited archives to find as much information as I could find. In fact I think the first email that Skip sent me on the project was in August of 2012. I painstakingly research every aspect of the rations. I try to give you men a ‘historical food experience’ right down to the packaging of your food. But there is so much more work that goes into it.

    First, I have to collect money from 200+ people to get food. Now this is no easy task. Do you all realize that I received over $100 in food money less than a week before the event? How can I order food in that amount of time? I am not contracted for the work through the Adjunct. I make no money, I take no money. I am a serious living historian who likes food culture and history (and anyone who ate at the Star Restaurant at Westville in 2012 know what I mean). So it tends to bother me when people act like I can go to the nearest corner shop and pick up an extra 5 peoples rations for the weekend. That’s not how it works. For one thing, a lot of products need to be ordered within two weeks of the event for freshness, and because of that, prices fluctuate greatly. For example, bacon at Gettysburg was $2.65 p/p, for Chickamauga it was $4.20 p/p. Yes, I had to use a more ‘farm to table’ operation for Chickamauga, but I was not about to haul 200lbs of bacon from the Washington D.C. area.

    Which leads me to another point, when I do this, I am not a ‘link’ in the chain, but the entire chain. I make a budget, source it/produce it, package it, haul it, ship it, and distribute it. This is no easy task. Now couple that with being a Loan Shark and tracking down 200+ people for rations, it becomes, at times, very tiresome.

    Which is also this concept of paying for rations. I work on the macro level not the mirco. I don’t care who pays for rations in your company, just that you receive the rations for the number of men who did pay. Don’t come to me looking for 10 men’s rations when only six have paid. Don’t tell me, these are troops in the field and I am obligated to feed them. I’m not. I’m a volunteer in a hobby, and my obligation ends at bringing food for those people who have paid. I cannot produce food without the funds. Simple as that.
    Historic division of labour is something else we need to work on. Brigade A.C.S. issues to Regimental A.C.S. food in bulk numbers. Regimental A.C.S. breaks down the rations into bulk Company numbers. When you get to the company level is where the rations get cut into individual portion sizes. Brigade Commissary should not be the ones issuing out food to the troops that is the responsibility of the Regimental Commissary of Sustenance. The Regimental A.C.S. should do nothing else except make sure his rations are properly distributed to the men of his regiment. Nothing else should be on his plate, and the F&S should expect nothing more of him (or anything less).

    In closing, I love to do food work for these things. Yes, I am crazy. Yes, I know it’s a lot of work. Yes, I curse myself every 48 hours prior to each event. But, Mr. Boulden is asking for honest feedback. Telling me ‘bacon good’ doesn’t help. Do I want to know that you all enjoyed the rations? Yes. Did you enjoy them in a historical manner? Even better. But where did I fail? Where can it be better? Gettysburg had some issues. People came to me, we talked (mind you though, I was in charge for feeding 680 people for 3 days in two different armies!), we fixed the problems. So, is the juice worth the squeeze? I think it is, but I enjoy doing this crazy work. If you do too, next time we need to pay for food, get your money in on time. Bug your mess mate to do the same. Because really at the end of the day, the quicker the money gets in, the better the experience is for everyone.

    Note: Skip and I have been working as the core of a team for a few events now.

    P.S. - I would like to thank my team: Mark Susnis, Huck Grren, Clint (for runnin' the bacon), but most of all, the other half of the "A Team" Mr. Paul Boulden.
    Last edited by Moose; 09-27-2013, 09:46 AM.
    Joseph Caridi
    Washington's Guard/Potomac Legion