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Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

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  • Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

    Since I don't see it listed, in the immortal words of Charles Heath:

    "I had fun. How 'bout you?"

    There, I said it. Let's kick is all off!

    Last edited by Johnny Lloyd; 04-03-2017, 11:03 AM.
    Johnny Lloyd
    John "Johnny" Lloyd
    Moderator
    Think before you post... Rules on this forum here
    SCAR
    Known to associate with the following fine groups: WIG/AG/CR

    "Without history, there can be no research standards.
    Without research standards, there can be no authenticity.
    Without the attempt at authenticity, all is just a fantasy.
    Fantasy is not history nor heritage, because it never really existed." -Me


    Proud descendant of...

  • #2
    Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

    Saturday's fight was so cool to do. But for me the best part was Brian giving us a detailed history lesson to about six of us after the fight. The place was absolutely beautiful. A hidden gem on the scale of CW sites.
    Ken Cornett
    MESS NO.1
    Founding Member
    OHIO
    Mason Lodge #678, PM
    Need Rules?

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    • #3
      Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

      After the assault Saturday, I had a long talk in the Confederate redoubt with somebody I consider an old friend, Joe Smotherman. One of the particulars of our discussion, besides ex-wives, was overblown event hyperbole. In that context, I could give a flying rat's fart if anyone thinks I'm driving the hype train here. The land provided for the 2017 Fort Blakely event- the approach march trail, the Federal works and camp site, No Man's Land, and the CSA redoubt, was THE best I've ever experienced for an event. Coupled with gorgeous weather and some first class effort and planning, those who missed this one should be kicking themselves. Don't worry, Landrum says another is coming your way in 2019.

      In all truthfulness, except for the fact this event could've used another 150 Federals, it was perfectly planned. There were some problems of a tactical nature, our company had some specific private concerns which were addressed directly to battalion staff, but we all left the park in a highly excited state. The 24th Missouri put 16 rifles plus an officer in the field, and were one of four companies in Walter Cook's battalion.

      The 3 mile Federal approach march was not difficult, though Tyler Underwood and I had to prod on a couple of stragglers. We reached camp and immediately set up shelters, issued rations, improved the works, and held guard duty. Rations were plentiful as advertised- pork, potatoes, onions, carrots, soft bread, hard tack, canned tomatoes, cabbage, pickles, and coffee. Nice job on the rations.

      Our camp site had perfect ground about 50 yards off the main line of works, though our company privately wondered why we did not just camp directly aft of them. This would have come in handy throughout the night, as the rebs pushed our buttons most of Friday evening, including one clown who raced through our camp at 1030pm, and sprawled head first into the works trying to escape. In all fairness, CSA leadership sent over a note of apology though we argued to tie the kid up to a tree all night and let the ants have him.

      Most of that night, well, all of that night for one of the companies, was spent out in the rifle pits or the main line. Night skirmishing is cool. And dangerous. But all's well that ends well, and it was a nice warmup for Wauhatchie in October. We had some fresh fish who picked a nice event for their first, and these kids held up just fine.

      Saturday we skirmished some more, then formed up early for the main advance. I personally felt the approach pace was a little quick, and may have tired out the men some. The CSA redoubt was magnificent. The work put in by Brian DeRoches and others was fantastic. Nobody was going to beat me over the wall, and I was the first Federal into the fort. I immediately came face to face with Pat Landrum, Silas Tackitt, and about 100 rebs, so I handed Silas my rifle and sat down tiredly on a step. The rest of the battalion followed, and true to historical form we gathered up Landrum's command and marched it off. My gracious thanks to those in gray who so helpfully allowed us to take them prisoner, and I tried to temper any harsh words coming from my guys. Prisoner scenarios can be dicey, and since the customers could not see INTO the fort we kept things fairly civil.

      Sitting in the redoubt for the next couple hours, drinking fine bourbon and talking to Pat, Silas, and Joe, while the customers walked through the fort looking at the CSA living dens in wonderment, was the highlight of the weekend. I even had a chance to go say hello to Liz and young Hannah, who was secured by rope to her mothers waist lol. That is one re-enacting family. The next time Landrum goes blue, I'm signing on as a rifle in his company. Thanks for all of it Pat. Saw some friends I hadn't seen in years, and many of the same familiar faces. That's what makes the hobby what it is.

      Pictured below is the 24th Missouri and associate members, in the Federal works at Fort Blakely portraying the 83rd Ohio.


      Ft Blakely.jpg
      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

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

        I seldom do Confederate at events in the south, I'm sure glad I did this time. We were kept busy but nothing ever seemed tedious. The battalion staff did a great job of keeping us in the dark about what was going on big picture, which made the event more fun.
        Having multiple short but sharp skirmishes with little notice kept things interesting and for the first time in a long time I saw other guys really focused on maintaining their weapons and ensuring cartridges were readily available.
        We were fortunate in regards to the adjutant, he seemed to run himself ragged but the battalion worked smoothly.
        From the ranks it was an excellent, well run battalion.
        The Federal looked good and did a great job stretching their numbers, and had no reservations about expending ammunition.
        Aside from one annoying documentary producer who eventually got told off, it was an incredible event that really set the bar high for the other 2017 events.
        Rob Warren
        GySgt 2d MarDiv

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        • #5
          Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

          I had a good time, but boy was I tired at the end. Great ground, good weather, good people, good rations. If you account for the spectators at an immersive event, as Mike alludes to above, I think the attack went a little fast. I had one spectator accost me after the attack as we herded prisoners that they missed it all and wanted to see the Park staff about it. Nothing I could do about it, I guess he thought my Sgt stripes were real...LOL. Now if Tyler can remember to set his watch to Central time next time.....
          Frank Siltman
          24th Mo Vol Inf
          Cannoneer, US Army FA Museum Gun Crew
          Member, Oklahoma Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
          Company of Military Historians
          Lawton/Fort Sill, OK

          Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay -- and claims a halo for his dishonesty. Robert A. Heinlein

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          • #6
            Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

            From my end as the main Federal organizer.

            First off thank you everyone who came out to support this effort. This was my first time actually commanding a battalion, and let me say you fellows wore me out. And Id also like to thank you all for bearing with me on that!
            I saw some of the concerns about the assualt going in so fast, I think between having a smaller force and the historical fact that the assualt lasted a little over fifteen minutes that we did the best we could. On the camping location, historically no Federal regiments camped in the line but several hundred yards behind it, as regiments were rotated off and on the line every 24 hours ( consult Andrew's Campaign for Mobile).
            That all being said this is stuff in 2019 we can address and loom foward to.
            Besides some hiccups all in all I am happy how it came off and I am very much in debt to all of you who registered and to Brian Desroachers for all his outstanding leg work.
            I have notified the Sgt Major about post war time zones for the future. ;)

            Walter Cook
            Liberty Guards Mess

            - - - Updated - - -

            With all of that being said, please let us know what you all want to see in 2019 and we will work to make it happen!

            Walter Cook
            Liberty Guards Mess
            Last edited by FlaCpl.; 04-04-2017, 11:45 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

              As a member of the Iron Grays and the Red River Battalion we thank Brian and Mr. Landrum. It not enough to just tell everyone that you missed a great time. Now is the time for organizations to work together to refine our impressions while also going forward with events that get everyones attention. Yes, more Federals would have helped. But, now that we know that let's make it happen. You guys were well entrenched when we pressed on Sat. night. You were not going to be cracked...Bully to you all. That "clown" was Sgt. Larson. He a good soldier but lost his way that night...to his misfortune. Our rations were a little short...4 biscuits and potatoes for 18 was an example, We did have other items that filled or stomachs....but we supplemented as all good secesch do. Proud of the RRB. Wauhatchie Bridge is looming to be even as good...but let's get numbers and we'll knock Ft. Blakely 2019 out of the park .

              -Tudd Dean

              Mr. Dean, please sign all posts with your name. Thanks!- JML
              Last edited by Johnny Lloyd; 04-04-2017, 03:55 PM.
              Tudd Dean

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              • #8
                Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

                I was company C commander, 83rd OH for the weekend. Damn fine job my gents did, I must say. Good show. ;)

                Highlights:

                -The road march was over hillier terrain than I anticipated, but was a neat experience getting to walk on ground not marched upon by troops since the war itself.

                -Guard in the rifle pits 24-hour ops was FANTASTIC. There was excitement from the rebs yelling at us and trying to get us to give away our positions in the dark. I could hear when they changed guard at that distance too. When running from the pits to the main camp on the opposite side of the military crest of the hill, I could feel how soldiers who did just that felt- open and exposed to enemy fire. RUN!

                -The out-of-season green apples issued in spring, whether it was intentional or unintentional, were a neat simulation and worked well. Troops ate what they got and paid the price for it, by historical accounts.

                -The charge on Saturday. WOW. My real military training kicked in and we were vulnerable to enemy fire for about 100+ yards up to the earthworks... When the rifles started shooting, we tried to take cover and return fire. The dash had to be made right up against the works since the CS forces had to shoot down at us and could not effectively do so when we were up against the works.

                -Good friends and new comrades!

                -Seeing 6 AC mods there in real life (Underwood, Tipton, Comer, Lloyd, Tackitt, Cornett) ... ;)


                Walter Cook/Brian DesRochers- damn fine job! Will be back. If you missed it, it is a shame that you missed out.

                All the best- Johnny Lloyd
                Last edited by Johnny Lloyd; 04-04-2017, 01:20 PM.
                Johnny Lloyd
                John "Johnny" Lloyd
                Moderator
                Think before you post... Rules on this forum here
                SCAR
                Known to associate with the following fine groups: WIG/AG/CR

                "Without history, there can be no research standards.
                Without research standards, there can be no authenticity.
                Without the attempt at authenticity, all is just a fantasy.
                Fantasy is not history nor heritage, because it never really existed." -Me


                Proud descendant of...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

                  Thank you Mr. Loyd!
                  I value everyones imput.
                  Something that made me extremely happy were solid veterans saying they had super immersive experineces unlike any others. Made me happy. I also would like to thank you all for helping the park recieve a $1000.00 preservation check! Bully!

                  Walter Cook

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

                    The $1000 check was the best part!

                    Seriously, I have stood watch in a war zone and the rifle pits scenario was the most realistic I have seen so far to that experience... pitch black, hearing noises in the night, boredom, hunger, etc. That is what it is like, gents. No way around that in ANY era.

                    My only criticism is the modern vehicles/spectators that cut through every so often, but I know that can't be helped sometimes. I know the park was open during the event, but perhaps controlling traffic differently might have helped.

                    The police showing up over noise disturbance was funny. ;) LOL
                    Johnny Lloyd
                    John "Johnny" Lloyd
                    Moderator
                    Think before you post... Rules on this forum here
                    SCAR
                    Known to associate with the following fine groups: WIG/AG/CR

                    "Without history, there can be no research standards.
                    Without research standards, there can be no authenticity.
                    Without the attempt at authenticity, all is just a fantasy.
                    Fantasy is not history nor heritage, because it never really existed." -Me


                    Proud descendant of...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

                      So, he lost his way as in got physically lost? Or lost as in lost his freaking wits? I hope he was not drunk. He basically came sprinting out of the woods to our flank, shot his rifle off within feet of a sleeping comrades head, and screamed "you're dead Billy Yank!!!"

                      Our company had been rotated off the line and was scheduled back at midnight. We were all sleeping. But shortly after this clown sortied through we were roused and went back out early. There's really no room in our hobby for that sort of f----foolery, and it wouldn't disappoint me to see this guy banned from the 2019 event.

                      Sorry if he's a friend or acquaintance, but put yourself in our shoes.
                      Last edited by Johnny Lloyd; 04-04-2017, 03:53 PM. Reason: Keeping the cussing down per site rules. Carry on ;)
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

                        Originally posted by Strawfoot View Post
                        So, he lost his way as in got physically lost? Or lost as in lost his freaking wits? I hope he was not drunk. He basically came sprinting out of the woods to our flank, shot his rifle off within feet of a sleeping comrades head, and screamed "you're dead Billy Yank!!!"

                        Our company had been rotated off the line and was scheduled back at midnight. We were all sleeping. But shortly after this clown sortied through we were roused and went back out early. There's really no room in our hobby for that sort of f----foolery, and it wouldn't disappoint me to see this guy banned from the 2019 event.

                        Sorry if he's a friend or acquaintance, but put yourself in our shoes.
                        Are we sure he was not drunk?
                        Johnny Lloyd
                        John "Johnny" Lloyd
                        Moderator
                        Think before you post... Rules on this forum here
                        SCAR
                        Known to associate with the following fine groups: WIG/AG/CR

                        "Without history, there can be no research standards.
                        Without research standards, there can be no authenticity.
                        Without the attempt at authenticity, all is just a fantasy.
                        Fantasy is not history nor heritage, because it never really existed." -Me


                        Proud descendant of...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ft. Blakeley Mar 2017 AAR

                          I agree with Mike. Btw Mike my hats off to you and your fellows for all your hard work and being troopers!

                          Walter Cook

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