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  • Gratitude

    Thank You.

    This is a pittance of the thanks deserved to the many that made this event possible, but please accept my best efforts at professing my gratitude to the following people and organizations for allowing us to accomplish an event smoothly and efficiently. It would not have been successful without their support.

    Events like this do not magically happen. The logistics and planning have to occur and be refined over many months and there are many negotiations and issues that must be surmounted or bypassed to make this successful. To the participant, all of that should be transparent since no one notices when things are going right, and that is as it should be, I think.

    Starting out, I need to thank the Authentic Campaigner staff for approving the event to have listed on the site. Ms. Terre Lawson spurred the idea for the event as she posted that the interest was there and assisted with putting me in touch with the correct people. Moderators and forum members kept the exchange of information up and me honest as I provided updates, etc.

    Dom Dal Bello, organizer of the exceptionally successful 135th Anniversary march, provided excellent perspective and steering. Jim Butler gave me sage advice and counsel for organizing a venture of this magnitude, as did Matt Woodburn, who provided the groundwork and inspiration for this event with his own incredibly successful effort at 150th Shiloh. Thank you, gentlemen.

    To Joe Loehle for the gracious donation and hosting of our website, www.bentonvillemarch.com which he gave me full access and rights to adjust it as I saw fit. He helped to organize it in a logical way, and we will leave the web site up for a while if people wish to contact him for similar work in the future. His email address is at the bottom of a few pages.

    When we set out to accomplish what we did this weekend, Taylor McCullen and I had a vision of what we wanted to do and how it would be conducted. It went extremely smoothly and we met nearly every timeline and goal with precision. For any and all compliments and professions of thanks that were delivered to me, the event quite simply would not have happened were it not for his yeoman’s work in assisting me with the planning and conduct of the entire weekend. He managed all of our social media feeds and has a Job-like patience for doing so, and for that I am deeply grateful.

    From the outset, he attended every meeting and conditioning hike with me. He negotiated the permissions for the use of the land for Friday’s site, the logistics behind establishing it, and acquired the necessary permits and police escort for the march (I trust everyone’s rods and cones and visual synapses have recovered from the lights; sorry about that, but it couldn’t be helped!), as well as the firewood for two sites, the porta-johns, and the shuttle support to the site. He and Pete Bezeruk provided the water for Friday’s site and our march. Pete, thanks for the use of your truck, driver, and the support over the weekend.

    Further, Mrs. McCullen, Taylor’s mother, drove our primary safety vehicle and was instrumental in evacuating a seriously ill participant to treatment at 0400 and then returned to join us for the march. This happened at a very early time and would not have been possible without her support. As it stands, the individual is on the mend and doing well. No one wants to test a safety plan, but I am pleased to say that our safety plan worked.

    The commissary and food (as well as the fabled Peep Show!) for the weekend would not have happened without the dedication of Katie and Tyler Underwood. They attended the planning sessions to build the menus which we based upon historical returns of what units received from foraging details. Balanced against what soldiers of the period should have received in garrison for a full day’s rations, we created a good set of meals for each section of the event. Without their help and assistance in acquiring all of the food, packaging it (with which Pat Ferringer assisted--no mean feat feeding 300 people), getting the portions correct, and staging it for smooth distribution, none of the issuances would have gone as well as they did, so I thank them for the logistical support through tireless effort and the use of their truck for the weekend.

    The event was made possible by the Bentonville Battlefield Park staff and event committee. They agreed to our plan and assisted in refining it so it would go smoothly. I thank Mr. Donny Taylor, Mrs. Amanda Brantley, and the entire staff of the NC park system for hosting an amazing weekend and allowing us to conduct this march and experience as efficiently as we could. I trust our preservation donation assists the park in some small way so as to have it be enjoyed by future generations. A final check to the Friends of Bentonville will follow from the last preservations monies we raised over the weekend.

    We served with the First Federal Division and they graciously welcomed us into the ranks, assisted with our plans by letting us camp on our own on the First Michigan trenchline, helped to establish our area with designated signs, and worked our schedule into theirs. The battle scenarios being what they were, I think we worked well together. To Darrel Markijohn, Bob Minton, Bernard Biederman, Mike Lavis, Lance Dawson, and the host of other staff officers who helped make such a large organization function, I offer my sincerest gratitude for allowing us to participate in the manner that we did. I trust we met your expectations, and if in the heat of things, warmer words were exchanged or tensions were released in any manner deemed unprofessional, you have my sincerest apologies. We could not have done this without you.

    The 10th Iowa Staff. AJ Jerram as the adjutant for his phenomenal assistance with registration, rosters, accounting, and energy over the weekend by running our check-in at registration with a bit of help, but largely on his own—Mike Phineas, I owe you a few beers for stepping up to assist after coming from Texas—and helping keep the schedule working for the entire weekend. He was also a great confidant in managing the Regimental maneuvers and making sure I got things accomplished correctly and expeditiously. John and Nolan Wickett for participating and patience. Brian Hicks for his outstanding job as Sergeant Major; a great Senior Enlisted Advisor makes a unit strong and ours was the best. Matt Woodburn and Steve Ewing for QM and Commissary duties respectively. It couldn’t have happened without your dedication, and I trust this event met Mr. Woodburn’s high expectations as it was his last military event after a storied 30-year reenacting career. Taylor McCullen for working all the more hard over the weekend and keeping things moving by arranging for early and independent weapon’s inspections, among a host of other small fires he extinguished. Mike Jones and Guy Musgrove for their enthusiastic participation as our couriers and the use of a horse for me over the weekend.

    Musicians. Thanks, boys, you all kept the pace and the lively tunes going to buoy the spirits. It was amazing to have such a fine compliment of music and you all performed magnificently. Greg Bochniak for all of his support as our bugler. Never missed a call and always available to provide the right counseling and guidance in the proper use of the bugle for communications. Outstanding job to all.

    Company Commanders, subordinates, and their NCOs. Gentlemen, you made it easy. We took a disparate group of people from different commands and backgrounds and put an entire Regiment in the field that numbered more than 300 men! Michael Comer, Johnny Lloyd, Lemuel Ellington, Jeff Hayes, Simon Taylor, and Pete Bezeruk, I can’t say enough about your conduct and leadership this weekend. You raised six of the finest Companies in the hobby and participated with energy all weekend. We made it work and showed that not only can we come on to the field and look good doing it, but that we can do a credible job of operating and deploying as a Regiment. Would that we could have had more time to conduct Battalion drill, but it was a sight to behold as we marched in to the event in our assault column.

    Finally, all of you who participated. You took a tremendous leap of faith in me by attending an event that you had great expectations for and created a buzz about it that maintained through your arrival and your supreme enthusiasm over the weekend was nothing short of impressive. The morale always seemed to be high, and I can’t thank you enough for adopting the 10th Iowa as your unit. On behalf of my ancestors and all who fought during the Civil War, I thank you for paying them an incredible homage. There were just too many amazing vignettes to speak about and you all made them happen.

    I trust everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The Camptown Shakers performance was wonderful and they said being in our camp was their highlight for the weekend. Mark Doble, the brewmaster who provided the refreshments on Saturday evening was mesmerized by the camp and the grand time that followed. If you get a chance to thank him on Facebook or visit his brewery at Aviator Brewing in Fuquay Varina, NC, I know he would appreciate it.

    If I have forgotten anyone for their support, I offer my sincerest apologies.

    Safe travels as you make your way home and recover from this event. As some of you are immediately going back into it with Sailor’s Creek, I wish you all the best for a successful and fun weekend.

    Until the next one, FORTY ROUNDS!!!
    Last edited by Ambrose Bierce; 03-23-2015, 12:55 PM.
    Ivan Ingraham
    AC Moderator

  • #2
    Re: Gratitude

    Gentlemen,

    Thank you for all your effort at Bentonville. It was a wondeful capstone to 35 years of military portrayals for me. I don't plan to retire and disappear entirely, but will limit my furure events to citizen portrayals.

    I must thank Steve Ewing who was our Commisary at Bentonville. That man is tireless and I have witnessed him with that energy at numerous events over the years. To everyone who had a hand in the event, you did a great job in my book. You have my thanks.

    As I leave the military side of the hobby, I will miss the history, the battlefields, the learning of battles, etc., but mostly I will miss all of you. Your friendships were what kept me in a hobby for that long. The secret to lasting that long is to always be doing something new. If you keep repeating the same thing, you will grow bored and leave. Do something new and keep learning about Civil War history. That's how we grow men to create events like this.

    From the depths of my heart, THANK YOU!
    Matt Woodburn
    Retired Big Bug
    WIG/GHTI
    Hiram Lodge #7, F&AM, Franklin, TN
    "There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

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