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Fort Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

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  • Fort Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

    Adjunct Ride Dates: July 20-24 2015
    Main Event: July 24-26 2015

    We have finalized the plans for one of the best mounted campaign events planned after Appomattox 2015.

    We would like to announce the 150th anniversary of the Battles of Platte Bridge Station and Red Buttes that occurred on July 26th 1865. What does this have to do with the CW you may ask? Many individuals seem to forget that many units that still had many months left on their enlistment papers were sent west to fight on the western frontier. Specifically the 11th Kansas cavalry was sent west for just a few months after the CW and suffered more casualties in two days than in 4 years in the east.

    We are hosting a commemorative "Last Ride" that recreates the 150 mile journey from Ft. Laramie to Ft. Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) that the 11th KVC traveled just days before many of them would die. We will be riding the same 150 miles from fort to fort along the original Oregon Trail. This campaign event is not for the lighthearted. Although this mounted cavalry adjunct is a sub-event to the main 150th event at Ft. Caspar in Casper, Wy, the standards and focus of this ride will be to authentically recreate the daily frontier hardships for the 11th KVC along the Oregon trail. Uniforms must represent those of that unit, and we will live the 5 days of this ride out of the saddle. We will also include the under-represented contracted pack mule/horse. The additional food rations and other unit items will be put on these pack animals which will follow us the entire 150 miles. The only thing that will not be truly campaign will be staged food and water for the mounts since (as anyone who lives along the Wyoming portion of the Oregon trail knows) natural grazing is limited and there is a decent risk that the horses will not make the journey without aided effort of food/water.

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and is nicely timed after all the major 150th CW events are over. Ride past famous parts of the Oregon Trail that was patrolled by these CW units. See Ft. Laramie, Ft. Caspar, The famous wagon ruts that are cut into solid rock, and Register Cliff where civilians and soldiers alike scratched their name into the stone. If you want to experience the true daily life of the cavalry soldier on patrol and call yourself a true authentic or campaigner then this is your event! No registration fee, provided meals, and the possibility to win an an award as the "Most Authentic Representation of the 11th KVC" are all benefits of this event. Truly an event for us by us.

    Once this 150 mile mounted cavalry adjunct is completed, we will ride into Fort Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) about noon on July 24th and occupy the buildings of Fort Caspar. Fight with Indians reenacting the battles of Platte Bridge Station and Red Buttes and experience the life of a cavalry soldier who's enlistment had expired before many of them would die. The Fort Caspar Museum will open the fort buildings for us to occupy which rarely is allowed. Most of the main event will be a living history with a focus of public education however two reenactments are planned for the two battles listed above. The Red Buttes Battle is planned to be on part of the original grounds.

    This event is already attracting many of you who have contacted me directly. This event will focus on much higher standards than have been seen in this area in years and we need your help to give an accurate representation of this event and mounted adjunct.

    Lastly, I would be remiss not to give you the negatives of this event. The main event planned at Ft. Caspar starting Friday July 24th to Sunday July 26th is on the outskirts of town and therefore still has a fair amount of visual indicators of the city that boarders the grounds of the fort. This will be the largest negative. However the actual grounds of the fort has many acres of ground that we will occupy and demonstrate what the post looked like fully garrisoned/manned. Those that register first will be given preference to bunk in the actual fort buildings that will be opened ONLY for this event. The remaining individuals will camp in their representative garrison tent-age.

    Due to the negatives listed above we are ensuring that the mounted adjunct that follows the 150 mile journey along the original Oregon trail will be not one to miss for all you true campaigners! Additionally, we are providing the opportunity to fight Native Americans who don't take this lightly and have no fear when they attempt to count coup on your body! Get ready to feel the chaos of fighting the plains Indians; a confusing change for many CW soldiers who were used to fighting formations of enemy.

    Lastly, for you authentically minded infantry. A live firing competition will be held similar to the historic marksmanship shoots that were held during the civil war. Those reenactors who wish to participate will be given "Standard issue" rounds for the .58 cal '61 or '63 Springfield rifle. (Only Springfield's are allowed as Company I that was stationed here was armed with the '63 Spg). A variety of shots will be made my each competitor including shooting live volleys as a group and "at will" with a one minute timed requirement to discharge 3 accurate rounds downrange. Awards will be given to the best shots including an authentic Stadia Rangefinder to the winner. This is a rare opportunity to see how all those years of firing blanks have made your true marksmanship rusty! (Note: Reenactors participating in this live shoot will be transported from Ft. Caspar to the shooting range as it is outside of walking distance from the fort).

    In short, we are expending much effort to attract the more authentically minded as we are putting on an event to a degree that this area has never seen. This event will also have rare opportunities that you may not find at any other event. Please visit www.fortcaspar.com for the basic main event outline with further details of the 150 mile ride on the same 150th webpage. All reenactors must register and no walkons will be accepted. Uniforms will be based on the 11th KVC, 11th Ohio Cav, and 3rd USVI. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at steven@caspersafety.com or call me at 307-262-1725.

    If you really want to reenact the civil war soldier.....learn what they did when they still had 4 months left on their papers and attend this unique event!

    Mods, if I placed this in the wrong location please feel free to move or let me know. All the folders in 2015 events were empty and I didn't quite know exactly where it will fit.
    Steven Dacus
    Casper, Wyoming
    11th Ohio Cav (6th Ohio Cav: 1st Bat)

  • #2
    Re: Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

    This sounds really cool. Too bad I'm not a cavalryman....and 2000 miles away. According to the book Carbines of the US Cavalry 1861-1905, in May 1865 the 11th Kansas only listed 81 Sharps carbines. The 11th Ohio just 77 Spencers. Were the rest of the men issued muzzle loaders?
    Kevin Barnes

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

      Kevin,

      Great question. In fact there seems to be a "Black Hole" of records for both of these units that we will be portraying. You are correct with the 11th KVC having sharps, as they started heading west, but sometime between receiving the orders and arriving at Ft. Laramie, they showed up with Smith Carbines. I have been working with many of the local museums and historical societies to find out where and why they were issued the Smith but have not found "proof" yet. However, per their diaries and archaeological evidence, most of them definitely had the Smiths when they arrived out here. The 11th OVC is a totally different problem. Each company of that unit seems to have been issued different arms (both pistols and carbines/rifles).

      Company's A,B,C,D were originally armed with Enfield rifles (It is not known which model was issued. In the summer of '63 Companies A,B,C,D privately purchased 200 Frank Wesson rifles with the copper or brass Kittredge cartridge box made for the Wesson cartridges. Another 151 Wesson rifles were purchased by the War Department and issued to new recruits most likely in July and August ’63. Company B was armed with 36 cal Navy Colt revolvers, and 10 troopers in each company (A, B, C and D only) were issued M1855 Springfield Carbine pistols (58 cal). Company's E,F,G, and H were issued Spencer rifles with bayonet (possibly never issued), frog, and a musket style cartridge box (exact style unknown). The bayonet and frog was the same as issued for the Sharps Rifle. Company I was issued predominantly Wesson rifles. Company K was issued Merrill Carbines (It is not known which model it was issued) and some Colt Army .44 revolvers. Co. L was issued predominantly Wesson rifles.

      All I can say is that I feel sorry for their QM. For this event, 90% of the cavalry will be reenacting the 11th KVC since that was the main body of both of the engagements that this event remembers. The only 11th OVC members there during the battles were the crew manning the mountain howitzer, a couple courriers passing through, and Caspar Collins who was Volun-told to lead the 11th KVC due to all the officers calling in to sick-call that morning (once they saw the fort was "surrounded" by natives).

      Interesting history, and fun event planned.
      Steven Dacus
      Casper, Wyoming
      11th Ohio Cav (6th Ohio Cav: 1st Bat)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

        Finally! An authentic event close to home! I'm not a cavalryman nor am I a great shot but it would be fun just to go and be part of the infantry garrison.
        Last edited by KPavia; 03-23-2014, 02:05 PM. Reason: Answered my own question
        Kenny Pavia
        24th Missouri Infantry

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

          Several members of the 1st Maine are going to make the big trek to WY for this one! I've seen and done a lot of events, but I've never had the chance to ride this far, and over original ground too. Can't wait!

          Take care,
          Tom Craig
          1st Maine Cavalry
          Tom Craig

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

            Looks like the 11th OVC was a QM nightmare. Good thing you're portraying the 11th Kansas. Smiths are owned by enough cav reenactors that you can make that your preferred weapon with Sharps as a secondary alternative. This kind of thing really makes me wish I was a rider. I've always been fascinated with the west
            Kevin Barnes

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

              We are receiving a fair amount of interest from many of you guys and I want to get some of the uniform requirements out here as soon as possible. Keep in mind this post is specifically pointed at the cavalry for the mounted adjunct. The infantry requirements for the main weekend event will be posted later. As you can read above, this mounted adjunct will mostly be representing a mixed unit from the 11th Kansas Cavalry. Pictures are worth more than any written rules and I strongly suggest looking at the following link for photographs:

              http://ozarkscivilwar.org/photograph...lways-select-2

              But to still have a written list is necessary, and is as follows:

              Headgear:

              A late war forge cap or non-issue/private purchase hat is preferred. Hat brass in this ride is not required but will also be allowed (11th Kansas, Co. I or H-See pictures). Dressed Hardee hats will not be allowed. No Stetson’s (Cowboy Hats). No limp hillbilly farmer hats. No hat cords. No stampede strings.

              Jackets

              Fatigue Blouse is mostly preferred but Mounted Service Jackets/Shell Jackets will be allowed (Keep in mind we are handing out awards on authenticity so actually try!).

              Pants

              Mounted pattern and infantry/foot pattern accepted. The 11th Kansas was an infantry unit before they were mobilized into a cavalry unit and there is a fair amount of documentation that shows much of the infantry gear/clothing was kept.

              Shirts

              US Issue Shirts, Gray Wool Flannel, Blue Wool Flannel, Knit or correct civilian pattern shirts will be allowed. Although this is a western event, if you come showing up like Custer, you will be asked to leave.

              Drawers

              Unlike many events where there is little chance to see people’s drawers, this long drawn-out 150 mile ride has more of a chance to show your drawers as we have the possibility of crossing some rivers (not guaranteed). Although I will not be looking at everyone’s drawers, just remember that you are coming to experience soldier life on the western frontier…and we are awarding the most authentic!

              Footwear

              Socks of solid color, off-white, gray, buff, blue, or other period correct style sock. No modern cotton, smart-wool, or similar hunting/sporting socks.
              Brogans with pegged or sewn soles or below the knee boots are allowed. Heal plates optional. Please refrain from above the knee style boots. Please also consider your impression to which you choose to tuck or not tuck the pants!

              Overcoat

              I know many reenactors have a “Fake” overcoat on their saddle since they “never use it” and it is too expensive to have a real one to wear. However, since this is in the western high plains desert of the Oregon Trail, evenings and mornings I (even in July) get chilly. Even though having an overcoat is not required, whatever you bring with you to stay warm must be period correct. Our unit’s “spring drill” that we have mid-June (because of the snow being present until then), still requires the use of an overcoat during the morning coffee. Again, although not required, I strongly suggest one. As stated above, both sky blue mounted or foot pattern will be accepted.

              Accouterments

              Standard black buff or bridle leather sword belt with shoulder (optional) and saber straps are required. Please outfit your belt in the way necessary to load and fire a sharps or Smith Carbine. A limited number of “extra” pistols will be accepted (as documented by the unit in the western theater of the war and further documented in diaries of the men moments before the battle on the Platte River). However, extra cylinders will not be acceptable.

              A carbine sling will be needed for your Sharps or Smith carbine.

              A haversack will be necessary for this trip as you will actually be living out of it for the week. Pack wisely. A US tarred version please.

              I honestly have not found much on what style of canteen the 11th Kansas or 11th Ohio had. So please keep it correct for late war canteens. Same goes with blankets. Please use appropriate gray or brown US issue blankets.

              Cover/Shelter Half: Please be sure to bring your shelter half. Most likely, you will be bunking with someone with your shelter half. There is not a single stick to use for poles in many places, so be prepared for many options. Please also be sure to bring your gum blanket/ground cloth/poncho.

              Weaponry

              The 11th Kansas were issued a variety of Sharps carbines throughout the war. However when they arrived in the west, they showed up with newly issued Smith Carbines. Additionally, the 11th Ohio (also present) was issued spencer rifles. Therefore Smith’s, Sharps, and Spencers (in that order of Priority) will be allowed. If you do not have one of those, please consider riding without a carbine or please contact myself for consideration on whatever you may have. (ie- Frank Wesson and Merrill carbines would also be acceptable as some of them are documented to be in the 11th).

              As far as pistols, the only thing we could find was that these Regt’s had every pistol under the sun. QM records and some diaries indicate that almost everything was used out west. Therefore, the standard Colt Army/Navy, and appropriate version of Remington’s will be accepted.
              Sabers: Must be correctly constructed with wire wrapped, leather bound grip and peened tang. (sabers with the nut on the end will not be accepted). Either model (1840-1860) will be accepted.

              Horse Equipment

              • Saddle - Model 1859 McClellan - All iron hardware, including jappaned or blued iron bar buckles.
              o Wool web girth and surcingle with iron roller buckles.
              o Crupper was an issued item
              o Breast straps (martingales), were not an issued item for the 11th, in the 1859-1874 standard issue (though troopers would go out of their way to get one on rare occurrences). Any breast strap should therefore be of civilian pattern or field produced (three leather straps joined by an iron ring) Brass heart sutler row breast straps are strongly discouraged. Although we are in the rocky mountains, we are riding on the river bottoms and should not need them over the 150 mile journey.
              o Saddle-Bags
               Smaller black bags with iron buckle closure.
               Should contain a correctly reproduced or original curry comb, brush, hoof-pick, and horseshoes.
              The U.S. issue of black bridle leather Halter and Blackened bridle will be necessary. They can be the 3 or 6 buckle style properly outfitted with link strap and sewn reins. A nosebag will be quite necessary for this trip to properly take care of your mount. A picket pin and rope will also be necessary as we will actually be picketing our horses to eat at night/lunch. No modern rope. Lastly, the proper horse blanket made of blue wool with woven orange stripe will be necessary. Since saddle pads are discouraged, I urge you to consider additional blankets (grey) and your shelter half for more padding if you need it. Although not prohibited (due to individual equine needs), please ensure your saddle pads cannot be seen under your cavalry blanket. Please also ensure your blanket is folded properly (6 layers).

              Horses

              Generally solid colored (aside from stars, blazes, stripes, snips, socks, stockings, etc) no Paints, Appaloosas or other breeds with stand-out colorings and markings. For those of you that have done your research, yes, I know there were limited documented cases of Indian ponies being used by the 11th, however our goal is the NUG solder in the 11th.

              Again, this event is shaping up to be one not to miss or forget. Where else can you say you have ridden 150 miles of the original Oregon trail, deep in the heart of hostile country while guarding the Telegraph line?

              If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to PM me or reply to this post.

              11thOVC.jpgAnderson, Martin 11th KVC.jpgCustard, Amos.jpgHull, Lewis Byram 11th KVC.jpgPlumb, Preston 11th KVC.jpgVanslyke, Harrison 11th KVC.jpgBates-Jr.-Cpl.-Charles-31708.jpgBorland-Cpl.-Elijah-31705.jpgCatt-Pvt.-William-31706.jpgCook-Pvt.-George-W.-31700.jpgMay-William-31704.jpgVanslyke, Harrison 11th KVC.jpg
              Steven Dacus
              Casper, Wyoming
              11th Ohio Cav (6th Ohio Cav: 1st Bat)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Fort Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

                Wish I did cav (not enough time, money, and certainly sense--been marching a long time and riding seems nominally more comfortable!), but this event sounds REALLY effin cool! Have a blast, boys!
                Ivan Ingraham
                AC Moderator

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Fort Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

                  Ivan, thanks for the sentiment! We are working hard to make it as enjoyable as possible, or maybe a better way to say it is as "authentic" of a campaign experience as possible while trying to navigate across the high mountain deserts!

                  I would like to get the word out that we are still looking for anyone interested in portraying the civilian contractor trailing two pack horses/mules. Please spread the word as we would love to have someone (ideally two individuals) take this role on.

                  Much planned for this great adjunct!
                  Steven Dacus
                  Casper, Wyoming
                  11th Ohio Cav (6th Ohio Cav: 1st Bat)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Fort Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

                    Is the trail on dirt,gravel or paved roads? Just need to prepare horse and rider .
                    Jerry Ross
                    Withdraw to Fort Donelson Feb 2012



                    Just a sinner trying to change

                    Hog Driver
                    Lead ,Follow or Get out of the way !

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Fort Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

                      Jerry,Yes to all. Much of the original Oregon Trail is still being used by ranchers for driving cattle, and a fair amount of it is also a pipeline right of way (good thing it's buried). Also, from Glenrock, Wy to the final destination of Fort Caspar on the West Side of Casper, Wy, we will have to be consolidated to a road. As far as actually riding on pavement, that should only be while crossing roads to get to the other side and the final 5 miles of the whole ride. Even if we follow a road, Wyoming has 50-100 foot shoulders so we really should not actually ride on pavement too much.

                      Aside from that, the VAST majority of the trail is dirt. For those that know Wyoming dirt/soil gravel is quickly swallowed up by the clay soil. Below are some pictures of the trail on my scouting trip last week. Each picture is looking straight down the "Trail". In some places I am thankful for GPS as it was not obvious where the trail went and in other places it is definitely obvious. These pictures account for about 60 miles of the 150 miles. I will be taking pictures of the rest over the next few months.

                      My original goal was to completely stay off ANY roads, but then the idea of riding on the Original Oregon trail that the 11th Kansas did that same July 150 years ago kinda goes away. So I decided to stay as true to the original path as possible which means some pavement (i.e. - The site of Deer Creek station is in the middle of today's small town of Glenrock, Wy.)

                      1011792_1488554878031622_8426953655771725857_n.jpg1535433_1488554764698300_8672242590141801274_n (1).jpg1535433_1488554764698300_8672242590141801274_n (1).jpg1544360_1488554928031617_9179695134267297815_n.jpg1926787_1488555001364943_6038154314008923026_n.jpg10168087_1488554898031620_3712036289249037022_n.jpg10169363_1488554834698293_4761947734657511069_n.jpg10174933_1488554981364945_5019175421500819867_n.jpg10246676_1488554958031614_4616259539784835113_n.jpg10252025_1488554788031631_4159776882381916728_n.jpg10256514_1488554808031629_1565696414487685000_n.jpgruts.jpg
                      Steven Dacus
                      Casper, Wyoming
                      11th Ohio Cav (6th Ohio Cav: 1st Bat)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Fort Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

                        Steven thanks ! I have never been that far west on horseback . I am working on getting a plan together to go!
                        Jerry Ross
                        Withdraw to Fort Donelson Feb 2012



                        Just a sinner trying to change

                        Hog Driver
                        Lead ,Follow or Get out of the way !

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

                          Steve you had me at "no limp hillbilly farmer hats." While most of us from Idaho will be infantry, it will be a treat just to be around authentic troopers. Looking forward to this one!
                          Soli Deo Gloria
                          Doug Cooper

                          "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

                          Please support the CWT at www.civilwar.org

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

                            Doug,

                            I have to admit I stole that line from the 1st Maine guys. I, like you, enjoyed that specific "requirement" and chose to put the same phrase in our requirements. But we do look forward to having you!
                            Steven Dacus
                            Casper, Wyoming
                            11th Ohio Cav (6th Ohio Cav: 1st Bat)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Fort Caspar (Platte Bridge Station) Campaign Sub-Event in July 2015!

                              Strong work, Steve--- Looking forward to it. This will be one to set the standard---for a long time.
                              --Mark Jacobsen

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