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  • Marmaduke's Raid

    It is not my intention to gloss or embellish here, nor make any who missed this event have regrets. I merely wish to make an observation, for whatever merit it may be worth. The term "events for us by us" has been a staple here at the AC Forums for years. I have seen it bandied about, and used in various contexts many times. But in my years of re-enacting, having started at Prairie Grove in 2000, I have never seen it come to life as it did last weekend in Missouri.

    What I saw was perhaps 250 individuals sieze a weekend and take ownership of a 72 hour period of living history. What I saw simply, was a team conducting a successful exercise. For starters, I had the undoubted pleasure of riding to and from Missouri with fellow Texans Cody Mobley, Phil Graf, Adam Ox Johnson, and Rick Biddle. This gave me a wondrous insight to what they saw and experienced that weekend in their roles as bushwackers/self-styled militia. Of course, added to this was my own venture atop a pile of rocks in the middle of the Missouri hills with Eric Fair's micro battalion of dismounted cavalry.

    I made welcomed new acquaintances (Pete Berezuk, Skip Owens, Matt Lakin etc...), saw some old comrades (Mess#1 it was cool seeing you all again), and re-affirmed the main pre-event question in my mind of whether I still possessed what it took to make it through an immersion event of this nature.

    More than all I was heartened by what I saw from my fellow living historians, from the 3rd MO Cav, to my 21st TX foes, to Silvana and her crew, to the fullblown commissary that Huck Green and Mark Susnis set up on top of a mountainside of rocks. Bravo! I was also encouraged by the new and young faces I saw on both sides, which confirms the fact indeed that serious civil war re-enacting is thriving and well. Not wishing to seem glassy-eyed here, but I will admit this event will go down as one of the most enjoyable I have ever experienced. Additionally, outside of the 105th Ohio I probably could not tell you the names of the numerous regiments I have portrayed over the years. But surely I will remember the name of this non-discript dismounted cavalry unit from Missouri.

    Well done.
    Mike Phineas
    Arlington, TX
    24th Missouri Infantry
    Independent Volunteer Battalion
    www.24thmissouri.org

    "Oh, go in anywhere Colonel, go in anywhere. You'll find lovely fighting all along the line."

    -Philip Kearny

  • #2
    Re: Marmaduke's Raid

    Yep, awesome time. My feet have forgiven me from the march we made getting to you guys but it was all worth it.
    Mike McGee
    Cure All Mess ~ Hard Case Boys
    Co A, 4th Tennessee Infantry Regiment "The Shelby Greys"
    Co C, 25th Regiment, Indiana Infantry


    Pvt. Francis "Frank" Agee- G, G, G-Uncle
    Co H, 22nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment
    KIA Battle of Shiloh-April 6, 1862
    Resting in Peace on that Hallowed Ground

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Marmaduke's Raid

      Thanks Mike! I'm glad that so many of you had a good time and found the endeavor worthwhile. And just for the record the event raised $500 for the preservation of Ft. Benton in Patterson, Missouri.
      Frank Aufmuth
      When you hear my whistle, Hell will be upon you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Marmaduke's Raid

        Everyone,

        Lost:

        During Sunday's battle near the federal fort- a confederate cotton haversack with a broken strap.

        If anyone found such an item please contact me ASAP.
        Email: jersny@gmail.com

        Jeremy Snyder
        WIG
        Jeremy Snyder
        WIG

        150th Manassas
        150th Athens
        150th Wilson's Creek
        150th Antietam
        150th Fredericksburg
        150th Marmaduke's Raid
        150th Gettysburg
        150th Corydon
        150th Buffington Island LH
        150th Ft. Sumter Boat Assault LH
        150th Resaca
        150th Pickett's Mill
        150th Petersburg LH
        150th Kennesaw Mountain. LH
        150th Pilot Knob
        150th Franklin LH
        150th Ft. Fisher
        150th Bentonville
        150th Lincoln Funeral March
        150th Grand Review March
        150th Ft. Snelling Mustering Out LH




        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Marmaduke's Raid

          Heard you looking for it Jeremy, hope you find it. Maybe Frank could find it if nobody else did.
          Mike McGee
          Cure All Mess ~ Hard Case Boys
          Co A, 4th Tennessee Infantry Regiment "The Shelby Greys"
          Co C, 25th Regiment, Indiana Infantry


          Pvt. Francis "Frank" Agee- G, G, G-Uncle
          Co H, 22nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment
          KIA Battle of Shiloh-April 6, 1862
          Resting in Peace on that Hallowed Ground

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Marmaduke's Raid

            Journal kept during the 150th anniversary reenactment of Marmaduke’s Raid, April 5-7, 2013:

            April 5th
            Frozen miserable last night. One of the worst. Ground radiated cold. The night lasted forever. Rubbing feet together to the count of 100, then again, then again, still freezing. Damp rotten wood foraged in the dark.
            Inevitably morning came and it was a pretty sight, up on a ridge, surrounded by leafless oak trees. All the leves on the ground ankle deep.

            April 6th
            Quite a trying day. Yesterday was uneventful, Patrolling. We were to meet up at the 3rd Missouri’s camp but became totally turned around in the dark. Very frustrating. Eventually the militia pickets called out who comes there and we were saved but it still took 15 minutes to find them in the dark. They would not light a candle to guide us in. Eventually I lit a match so they could guide me in, followed by the others.
            At first they said advance one with the countersign. I yelled that we had none as we were scouts. They didn’t hear with the wind blowing and offered to shoot f we did not give the damned countersign. There was much yelling back & forth in the dark.
            We were to meet up with stragglers in the camp. They were not there. The militia camp was well appointed in a way we are not used to. We were able to raise someone in the camp kitchen who gave us coffee but as to food there was nothing to be had. The head cook started bellowing from his darkened tent that there would be nothing until morning. I explained that we were scouts & would be gone in the morning. He barked “Who is your first sergeant?” I said we don’t have one. We’re scouts.” He was not about to get out of bed & accomodate us. Later we were given a pot of cold rice and pork to eat from. We fell asleep by a company fire waiting from 9oo PM to 12 for our boys to come in. They didn’t come. Their escort to bring them in had not arrived to bring them up, so they were lost all night.
            Today we were up at dawn, foul mood. Guerilla hunting. Met refugees & questioned them. They of course denied even hearing about any sessesh or guerillas. I was questioning the second group we came upon, the capt. came running saying that Reeves’ band was right behind. We legged it and were fired upon. It was close. We raced into a swamp. I plowed through some thickety brambly chapparel and scared a cottontail rabbit from cover. We ran nose and nose for an incredibly long while. Time seemed suspended as the rabbit and I ran together. He weaved and found himself in front of me but not pulling away. He eventually bounced to the right and I kept going straight, splashing through the swamp.
            We made our way to to a broad ravine that leads to the Missouri Militia camp. I was at the end of the column and looking back through the dense brush caught the image of a man walking along the road we had just left. Then another. I told the captain and he sent me back to see. I expected it to be more mossbacks but it was Reeves’ band. I recognized one of them by his red overshirt. I gave them two pills from my revolver to repay their earlier compliment, and looked back for the column but they had vanished. They had run into a rebel picket in the ravine and were after him. So we were suddenly boxed in nicely where we didn’t expect it.
            We got up close on the picket. I told him to come in out of the rain but he fired at me and Wingfield on my right and ran, being narrowly missed by our fire. He was some sort of regular rebel cavalry, part of Marmaduke’s main force no doubt.
            The healthiest thing for us to do now was head up one of the ridges, as we had Reeves’ men behind us and Marmaduke’s in front. We headed up the one on our left. We found a bit of a ditch in the hillside and hopped in but more rebs had moved our way after being alerted by our missed picket. They saw us, headed for us, closed on us and commenced to flank us up the ridge. It looked like we were up the spout. Our only course was to keep them from getting around the side of us, which meant running full chizel up the ridge through rocks brambles deadfall and get clear of them. We made it but it was a buster. The rebels moved well and drove us well away then moved back down into the ravine toward our main militia camp.
            After some debate we decided to head there as well along the tops of the ridges. The first person we ran into was Gentry, one of our stragglers. It was a surprise to see him loping along a ridge toard us in all the confusion. He had been chased by rebs as well and had also legged it to higher ground.
            We made it into the militia camp and were able to recruit ourselves a bit & ran into a couple of old friends in the works who were now with the 3rd.
            The remaining sessesh had been driven back down the ravine and soon our group headed back out to see what we could find, accompanied by a detatchment of the 3rd.
            We were to bring in any suspicious citizenry we found, which really means all the citizenry hereabouts, unless they had loyalty papers and could talk a good game. Them loyalty papers don’t really mean anything. They would swear loyalty to the Emporer of China to avoid having to tell us anything about their bushwhacking friends.
            We moved along a road in the general direction of Marmaduke’s main force. Before long, two women were spotted off in the brush and we went after them. It was a woman and her negress and there was no end to the chin on either of them.
            We moved them Apart. Wingfield talked to the negress and I to the white woman. It was hard going. She didn’t have papers, then she did have papers. She claimed Reeves’ men had shot at them, which I said I doubted very much. She said she had no loyalty to the rebs or to us, even though the rebs had just tried to kill her and her servant. I didn’t believe any of it. I told her we were just trying to drive out a crew of murderers in the form of Reeves’ band. She said she didn’t care if I died for the Union or not, which was about all I needed to hear to tell her she was under arrest and her slave was now Federal property under the contraband law. This sent up a great howl. Her negress kept trying to move toward her like some kitten, wouldn’t answer any of Wingfield’s questions. The news that she was now free didn’t seem to mean anything to her one way or the other.
            Then the captain arrived & said to let them go & off they went. As they were leaving the nigger girl sassed “I bet you think I’m a free woman now!” I still can’t chain up what she meant by that.
            So now here we were chasing two women around in an open field with the detachment from the 3rd looking on.
            They were shinning it pretty good. The mounted man with us galloped ahead of them & said to them “That won’t work.” We caught up & rearrested them. Jut then word came that reb cavalry was headed up the valley toward us. The militia detachment was about 12 rods off taking this all in and our captain was heading back into the brush motioning for us to follow, reb cavalry about to come athundering any second and Gentry, Wingfield & I are stuck there with these two wailing idiot women, not knowing which way to kick them and end this comic opera.
            I asked our mounted man to ride over to the regulars & have them take them. They would not. Our captain said to leave them as the white woman had loyalty papers and that was that. We just left these two she devils behind so they could give the sessesh detailed directions on how to find us. Some of the most dangerous people are the ones who aren’t fighting. Leaving them was the stupidest thing I ever see, I swan to heaven.
            We kept moving back down the valley. the regulars and us, away from Marmaduke’s force, looking for citizens, according to our orders.
            By and by the regulars apprehended a group hiding in some brush. They fished Anderson out from where he was hiding right as I arrived. We knew his name was Anderson because the capt. wrote it down when we talked to him this morning. The capt. had seen him talking to Reeves’ men before they attacked us and I had his name pretty well committed to memory as someone I surely wanted to talk to again. I gave him a good blowing up. Why did Reeves’ band show up 2 minutes after we left him this morning? He didn’t know. I told him that if he were to die it would prevent the death of countless loyal men as he was nothing but an agent of the bushwhackers. That seemed to hurt his feelings. It’s connivers like him that make a man hard hearted.
            Well now the regulars lit out with the men as prisoners & our company was left with a budget of women & girls. To make things worse they were making camp about 5 rods below where we had our camp, up in a ravine,though they din’t know it. So that was no go.
            One of the women said they had almost no food and couldn’t move because there was no one to carry their baggage since we had arrested their men.
            We were part of a mind to tell them to do their best and light out from this place. We couldn’t bring them to our camp. It was irksome. Why on Earth had they not gone along with the regulars. They were too afraid they said.
            After a bit we elected to bring them to the Union picket line as they had three young girls with them and they had almost no food.
            Soon the older women set to talking with me and I tried to get information out of them. The younger girls were carrying on. The youngest one was giving me the most sauce. One of them was a bit sullen. The subject of loyalty came up and I said about the quiet girl “She hates the Union. She won’t even look at me.” The other girls laughed but then the oldest daughter, who looked to be teen aged said “That’s because you took away her father.” That put an end to the festivities pretty quick, as far as I was concerned. I felt like a right twit.
            So three of us started moving this boodle up to the picket line. I was in the rear. The group ahead had stopped and sat down by the road with their bags, when the youngest girl who’d given me all the sass waved at me and pointed wide eyed up the road. I stepped into the brush, and sure enough a butternut horseman hove into sight riding fast, pistol drawn with more behind. I went like a shot, right past Wingfield & the captain. I yelled “Charge boys!” at them as I went past, which is our code for “Scatter!” I ran through the brush and trees untill I got to a swampy area where the trees were too dense for horses to follow easily. I hoped to see the others, but didn’t. I kneeled there shaky & panting. I could see up to the road through the brush. I sighted a couple of horsemen on the road making a search I suppose and could have hit them easily but was concerned that it might go harder on our boys if they’d been gobbled. In hind sight I feel I should have done something to distract those dogs. I regret it now. But there were women al over the place to worry about, not to mention I was worried about myself.
            I shucked off my union coat and all my traps but the pistol, hid them and made for the road. I was going to use the ruse we had concocted that I was with the reb Arkansas cavalry if I encountered any enemy. Beside the union coat all my clothes are citizen’s clothes.
            The road was empty & quiet. My heart was heavy, & getting harder. Next time we meet women in need they will just have to fend for themselves. If we had not been helping these mossbacks, (sic)
            I went back into the swamp, put my traps back on and hedded to our camp, which has been a sad and worried place once I brought news of what had happened. There were no shots fired in the incident, on account of the women I’m sure, so I know that our boys weren’t killed, but if they were taken prisoner their fate is uncertain.

            April 7th
            Up this morning and headed up the ridges. Gentry brought in a dispatch yesterday that the 3rd Missouri is withdrawing today. He went to their camp in citizen’s clothing and came in sight of some of Marmaduke’s pickets who let him be because they thought he was one of them.
            At any event he returned w. this dispatch. Also some rations.
            So we buried our traps in some leaves and headed to the militia camp to find it was mostly empty. We moved through it and looked down into the ravine below to see rebels coming up the slope on the right like so many creeping lice. I ran off to the left to look and sure enough, here came more. I could hear firing off in that direction, behind them.
            I shouted to Gentry that we were about to be flanked & that we needed to pull foot. I don’t think he heard me and I haven’t seen him since.
            I legged it past the rebs coming up the slope on the left and headed toward the firing. Our boys were in a hollow holding their own but were being attacked front and sides from the ridges. I went tree to tree along the top of the ridge and then moved down to where I could see rebs moving steadily along the high ground below me around our right flank. I fired right into them, determined to draw some of them away, then ran like blazes. Soon a group was after me and I fired and ran and fired and ran. I would have been happy to just freeze to the running part but I wanted them to follow me so I kept stopping to watch and sending them a pill every now and then to keep them distracted,
            Soon only two of them were chasing me. The man on my left coudnt get too far around me for fear of running in to our main body. I looked down to where the main fight was happening. We seemed to be holding our own at the pinch. I could see a wide half circle of squirrels skeddadling through the leaves away from the fight.
            All I had to do was keep the reb on my right from getting around behind me, so I kept firing & running as I said.
            It was very nervos work. The ground here is big loose rocks, deadfall and about a ton of dead leaves per inch to trip on, all the while always on an incline. I was running stumbling, crawling at times behind logs, sliding down the ravine.
            By the time my pursuers gave up I had worked my way 2/3 of the way around the ravine as I was not going to come away from the main force. I could see them below me, continuing to fall back, which was a disappointment, but the rebels were not able to break them up which was the good news.
            I was played out twice over and sat down on a rotten log. It was then that I realized that I had lost my pistol and my knife during the scrap I had with those two flankers. My holster and sheath had nothing in them but air.
            I went back over the ground I’d covered since I last remembered having my pistol out, sure it would turn up, but it had been sure enough swallowed by the leaves on the ground. As they ley up on the side of a ridge the way they do it’ll be 100 years before anyone finds them. I had to give up the search & shove for the main force.

            I would say that this event was an example of immersive reenacting at its best. This the sort of thing I got into this hobby to do. I expected it to be good, and my expectations were exceeded.

            The area was basically a long narrow valley with high ridges on either side. The action and interaction occurred in the valley and on one of the ridges, about 15 miles from the site of a clash between US and CS forces 150 years earlier.

            I was part of a group portraying the 12th Missouri Cavalry, Company B, a particularly aggressive and notorious band of union guerrilla hunters under Captain William Leeper. I had never had such an experience before. It was sort of an independent scouting, skirmishing situation. I didn’t feel very notorious or aggressive. I was hanging on the whole way and frequently overwhelmed by situations that came out of nowhere.

            Encounters with military and civilian groups were random, unless we were trying to make our way to the main Union defence line. This was the only static, safe turf in the whole situation, and getting there was usually difficult.

            There was a palpable sense of relief once we got into the Union defenses and knew we could sit down by a fire without having pistols ready, and start begging some real food and ready coffee.

            Long periods occurred where my group saw no one. When we did, the unique tragedy of what was happening in Missouri at the time was being played out everywhere. We really only glimpsed the “enemy”. I found my self having to try to outwit local refugees and being caught up in the problems displaced people were faced with. Within a day, I was already experiencing the anger and frustration of this area of the war, and could psychologically and emotionally grasp how fast people found themselves having to toss out their moral compasses in order to stand a chance of survival in this paranoid, deadly landscape. Everyone was scheming, hiding and taking advantage of their antagonists. There was no way to function there except to do the same thing. The most deceitful and brutal came out on top. And “on top” didn’t mean much beyond “still there”. This sounds a little melodramatic, but that was the deal. It set the heart pounding more than once.

            One of the first results of this landscape is the dehumanization of anyone not “with you”. I’m not even sure how it happened, but looking back through that little journal, I was calling the Confederates “dogs”, even “lice”. It’s now much easier for me to see how refugees at the time became little more than objects of blame and abuse.

            It occurred to me later how much the scenario paralleled modern counterinsurgency situations. Separating and questioning civilians, checking their papers and sometimes arresting them. The civilians quickly becoming savvy, wary, cooperating just enough to get us to go away. As the interrogators we were frustrated because it was easy to identify their attitude, and that the methods we had were limited and ineffective.

            Our band was in a good first person groove, and it didn’t really occur to me until afterward that we met pretty much nothing in our random encounters that wasn’t the Missouri Ozarks, 1863, anywhere we went. Even the children were full bore interactive first person at this event. Wow.

            The most valuable thing this event, and any like it, offered was “invisible history”. The land, the tools, the parameters were recreated, and the situation spontaneously unfolded along the same psychological and emotional patterns that were in play originally.

            Things looking and moving like they did in another period of time is a kick. Nudging that apparatus over the line into truly thinking and acting like a participant at the time is when this hobby is at its rare best. To me, that’s the payoff. This event did that, and I hope to see more of this kind of effort and participation in the future.

            Congratulations to Frank Aufmuth and everyone who put this together and brought it to life.
            [SIZE="3"][SIZE="2"]Todd S. Bemis[/SIZE][/SIZE]
            [CENTER][/CENTER][I]Co. A, 1st Texas Infantry[/I]
            Independent Volunteers
            [I]simius semper simius[/I]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Marmaduke's Raid

              Thanks Mike! Still no leads on my missing haversack yet.
              I had a good time serving with you. I like your sense of humor!
              Jeremy Snyder
              WIG

              150th Manassas
              150th Athens
              150th Wilson's Creek
              150th Antietam
              150th Fredericksburg
              150th Marmaduke's Raid
              150th Gettysburg
              150th Corydon
              150th Buffington Island LH
              150th Ft. Sumter Boat Assault LH
              150th Resaca
              150th Pickett's Mill
              150th Petersburg LH
              150th Kennesaw Mountain. LH
              150th Pilot Knob
              150th Franklin LH
              150th Ft. Fisher
              150th Bentonville
              150th Lincoln Funeral March
              150th Grand Review March
              150th Ft. Snelling Mustering Out LH




              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Marmaduke's Raid

                I was one of the CSA mounted cav. and this was my first imersion event ever. It was wonderful. I will look at all local events as being wanting of realisum and challange. My mess mates who all worked to prepare for this event all did well and our kits functioned great, this was the ultimate field test. The sence of confustion nervousness,,uncertainty and physical taxing all were made clear as the weekend progressed. I take my hat off to the dismounts who walked the long road up and down hills and made good time amd with good humor to boot. My only concern were the abundance of ticks. I am truly covered in bits and found ticks three days after the raid was over, but thankfully the bits are dring up and no "bullseye" rings have developed. Thank you to all who worked to put the raid on and to the many troops who took part...IT WAS WONDERFUL. plm
                Save me a place at the fire,

                Paul L Muller

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Marmaduke's Raid

                  Agree with you on that one Paul, pulled 9 off me and have a few chigger bites still hanging on. BTW, you can thank the little picket group at the crossing for saving your part of the creek bottom from burning to the ground. I woke up around 2am and wondered what the bright light behind me was and discovered a 10 foot patch of brush/leaves on fire and spreading. All 6 of us sprang up out of a dead sleep and stomped it out before it got out of control. It possibly came from a homemade torch someone had that came tromping through that night getting water at the crossing.

                  Long live Fort Spain!!!!!
                  Mike McGee
                  Cure All Mess ~ Hard Case Boys
                  Co A, 4th Tennessee Infantry Regiment "The Shelby Greys"
                  Co C, 25th Regiment, Indiana Infantry


                  Pvt. Francis "Frank" Agee- G, G, G-Uncle
                  Co H, 22nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment
                  KIA Battle of Shiloh-April 6, 1862
                  Resting in Peace on that Hallowed Ground

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Marmaduke's Raid

                    Thanks for stomping that out! At 2 AM I was out cold. Had that gone undetected there certainly would have been an awkward situation.
                    Frank Aufmuth
                    When you hear my whistle, Hell will be upon you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Marmaduke's Raid

                      I want to thank Frank and everyone else who participated in this event, particularly all the various military and non-military groups with whom the civilians interacted all weekend. So much happened, almost from the moment we arrived in that secluded valley on Friday afternoon, that I'm not sure I can remember it all.

                      Essentially there were about a dozen civilians who were in the Goose Creek valley trying to get across the Black River (today Clearwater Lake) but prevented from crossing by flooding. We combined forces for safety and for companionship.

                      Friday afternoon, after the civilians had found shelter in the woods, Mia Marie (as Charity) and I ran across a group of armed ruffians who claimed to be hunters. (What do you hunt with pistols, I wonder?) That night all the refugees banded together in a single encampment near the spring, including one chicken and lots of ticks, the Ragsdale family with two children, my 16-year-old "niece" Ann, a neighbor lady (Megan Spring, otherwise known as Mrs. Ella Spring) and Charity, as well as two gentlemen (Mr. Anderson, a/k/a Hank Trent, and Mr. Ragsdale.) That first night was pretty cold, though having a friendly chicken snoring near my head seemed to help soothe some of my anxieties.

                      The following day the refugee groups decided to move their encampment closer to the Black River. The gentlemen thought it would be better to find a hidden camp site nearer to the ford than to stay camped so close to a source of water that everyone in the valley must have known about.

                      Iím not sure how it happened, but the different refugee groups became separated in the move to the new camp site. Although Charity and I tried for hours, we were never able to get back to our new site or find any of the other refugees.

                      Instead, we were detained, questioned, attacked (we lost the poor chicken eventually) and bothered more than half a dozen times, by Confederates, U.S. soldiers, Reeves Scouts, Leeper's men (whom we did not recognize until much later b/c of their off-kilter uniforms), bushwhackers, mossbacks, and who knows what all else. It was interesting to find ourselves lying first to one group, then telling almost the opposite story to the other group. Of course no one in their right minds believed us.

                      We were in an almost continual state of alarm the entire time, had lost all our food, our chicken, and even our water bottles. By the time we reconnected with our other civilian groups later that afternoon we were exhausted and hungry. At that point we were invited (or forced?) to march for a long way to the Confederate encampment, where the Col. rather rudely dismissed us. He was probably quite right to do so, but it was pretty disappointing. However, he sent us bacon and corn dodgers later, and the sentries allowed the children to fetch water out of Goose Creek, which ran between our camp site and the Confederate bivouack.

                      The event was a tremendous physical challenge. Hiding, running into the woods, climbing the steep hills, foraging for food and water, sleeping on rocks (or not sleeping, as the case may be), constantly running into and trying to talk ourselves out of trouble -- it was unforgettable.

                      Modern times slipped away, and all the excitement, terror, humor, and friendships became absolutely real. Every single person we ran into maintained such perfect first-person that we simply forgot about our non-Marmaduke existence.

                      I am grateful and appreciative of everyone's hard work. Kudos to the Aufmuth family, especially Frankís kids. From what I could see of the battle on Sunday morning, when the civilians had finally climbed back to the federal fort and were granted refuge, it came off really well. This was a fantastic event; for me, this was the best and most authentic possible way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
                      [FONT="Book Antiqua"][SIZE="3"]Silvana R. Siddali[/SIZE][/FONT]
                      [URL="http://starofthewestsociety.googlepages.com/home"][FONT="Book Antiqua"][SIZE="3"]Star of the West Society[/SIZE][/FONT][/URL][B]
                      [COLOR="DarkRed"]Cherry Bounce G'hal[/B][/COLOR]:wink_smil

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