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tompritchett
07-07-2006, 09:27 PM
In the events conference the issue came up on documentation on vivandieres in response to the 145 Manassas rules and regulations. Therefore, I am opening this thread as a means for those that have researched vivandiere impressions to share their documentation with themselves and with others. Please only post documentation and/or questions about the posted documentation. This is not to be a discussion of whether or not the impression should or should not be allowed but only a discussion of documentation. I will readily pull posts that try to turn this discussion into a flame war or discussion about event rules (please open another thread instead for those types of discussion). Nor will any direct attacks on any posters be tolerated; keep your comments limited to documentation issues only. This applies to both sides of the issue. Thank you.

MStuart
07-07-2006, 11:32 PM
This could be a good thread, as I'll bet there's more than a few of us (me especially) that are woefully under-educated on the vivandiere issue.

First question from the peanut gallery: Was there ever one documented in a cavalry regiment, either side?

Mark

TheVivandiere
07-08-2006, 07:17 AM
Hi,
First may I suggest the following web site: http://www.vivandiere.net/ This is a wonderful site. If you click on the Union Vivandieres, there is a list of the named ones that we can find. There are others that are not named and not on the list. Annie Etheridge was there and was wearing a dress. Marie Tepe was there but nto quite sure of what she wore. By Gettysburg she had what we call the vivandiere outfit, trousers with a skirt over it, shirt, vest and jacket, and a hat. So what they wore was not uniform amongst them. Each lady wore what she had.

Bridget Diver was with the 1st Michigan Cav. but I do not know the battles that she was in.

If you have any questions please e-mail me.
Angie Manning
Mifflin Guard Lead Vivandiere

bob 125th nysvi
07-08-2006, 08:52 PM
I was going to direct them to contact someone over at the Mifflin Guard because it seems to me that our Vivs are very well trained. But you beat me to it.

In fact don't you have a training/mentoring program for viv newbies?

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

tompritchett
07-08-2006, 11:32 PM
Could you give us some examples of some of the roles that they played in their regiments? I would be very interesting in learning more.

hanktrent
07-09-2006, 06:00 AM
Clicked over to http://www.vivandiere.net/ and didn't see this addressed, but may have missed it.

When not occupied actually performing duties, how did viviandieres fit in socially? I'd think that a woman alone among hundreds of men would have difficulty finding peers to chat with, eat with, etc., in an era when unisex camraderie wasn't so common and could be looked on with suspicion.

Did vivandieres socialize and mess with officers? Leave the regiment to board and socialize with neighboring women? Eat and camp alone? Or find other women connected with the regiment to socialize and eat with, and if so, who?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

tompritchett
07-09-2006, 06:27 AM
Clicked over to http://www.vivandiere.net/ and didn't see this addressed, but may have missed it.

Ditto. BTW, excellent questions.

TheVivandiere
07-09-2006, 06:50 AM
Vivandieres, when not in the field during battle, did many different things. Each lady was different. Some worked as laundresses. I know of one that brought her servant along. Marie Tepe was known to play cards with the guys. Some if they knew they had the time, would go and work at the army hospital until needed. I great place to get this information is from period newspaper articles. To say that they all did the same, can't be done.

The Vivandieres in the Mifflin Guard go through a 2 year training period. The first year is in camp. They are learning the drill, the history of the vivs, CPR and first aid, etc. They make sure that the men have something good for them to drink. We keep two large crocks filled with water and a gator-aide like drink. Also, when the guys get back from the battle, one of them walks up and down the camp streets looking at each guy to check on them. The second year of training is out in the field. These ladies are putting to work their skills they learned the previous year under the supervision of a mentor vivandiere. They are looking and watching the guys, learning how they do with the heat. We test each trainee vivandiere along the way. They have to be able to answer questions on the history of the vivandiere. They are given a list of books that they are required to read. One book I would suggest to anyone who wants to know more is, "All the Daring of a Soldier."

Angie Manning,
Mifflin Guard Lead Vivandiere

Bill_Cross
07-09-2006, 11:02 AM
The Vivandieres in the Mifflin Guard go through a 2 year training period.
This implies multiple vivs.

The unasked question so far is: what documentation do we have that vivandieres were more than an historical curiosity, as much a product of the peculiar "yellow journalism" newspaper culture of the period? If you read either or [i]The Blue & the Gray In Black & White, you'll see that newspapers were not at all unwilling to print bald-faced lies, and relished semi-mythological accounts of individual heroism to sell papers. Gallant, chaste ladies serving the brave lads in the sanguinary field of battle played nicely in that media culture. What would Bill O'Reilly do?

But I digress, and mean no disrespect. I asked similar questions about assertions made in this forum several years ago concerning the prevalance of laundresses in the field. I questioned whether the impression was PEC: plain, everyday, common. No hard evidence was presented then or later showing that laundresses were a regular part of campaigns. Indeed the logistics to support hundreds or thousands of laundresses would have exascerbated an already huge problem for armies in the field. That armies hired local women when in fixed camps is beyond question. But assertions that each regiment had a group of women who followed them about the countryside seems absurd even in the absence of evidence disproving the notion.

Nevertheless, some reenactors bent on advancing the importance of their laundress impressions attempted to infer some commonality from anecdotal evidence of this sergeant's wife or that private's sweetheart following them south to the Heart of the Rebellion. These individuals weren't happy when I challenged their theories, and I suspect my questions may be met with the same reaction. As I have said, I mean no disrespect, but would question how a group the size of the MG would need more than perhaps one or two vivandieres, if that.

Nothing I've seen after years of this question being asked would indicate that vivs were anything more than a rarity, except perhaps in the first months of the war when both North and South thought the conflict would be brief, glorious and lacking in much gore. The same holds for troops of 10 year-old drummer boys, or the "ice angels" I saw at mainstream events attended in years past: something totally disconnected from history (and perhaps dangerous in the case of ice angels, given that some experts believe ingesting ice-cold liquids when overheated can be harmful to the body).

While the vivandiere impression allows women to participate in the military side of the hobby, and often unites spouses whose paths would otherwise remain unconnected for the weekend, I ask whether this impression, like Abe Lincoln and R. E. Lee, is not so badly over-represented in the hobby as to make it another impediment to historical accuracy. Its prevalence also detracts by implication from the truly excellent cross-dressing impressions that occasionally turn up, especially the excellent Alex Garbeck, who could easily pass for a beardless youth if we didn't know her off the field. The net result is the hardcore oversimplication of "no women in the ranks," a reenactorism in reaction to another reenactorism.

TheVivandiere
07-09-2006, 12:30 PM
Concerning Mary Tepe, quoting from "Women in Gettysburg 1863" by E.J. Conklin, "When the regiment was not in action, she cooked, washed, mended for the men. She drew the pay of a soldier and was allowed 25 cents per day extra for hospital and headquarters services, maker her pay $21.45 per month for over two years. Then some friction inthe Paymaster's Department about the enlistment of women stopped her pay, but did not dampen her patriotism."

Concerning Rose Quinn Rooney, Co. K 15th Louisiana, "At the battle of First Manassas, she signalized her courage and devotion by bravely pulling down a fence in teh midst of bursting shells to let the Battery of the Washington Artillery pass through."

Concerning Annie Etheridge, "At the First Battle of Bull Run, 'Annie Etheridge and her big horse were not on the field because the Second Michigan Regiment was being held in reserve, though at the end it was moved to cover the retreat.'"

I will try to get most of my books back from being loaned out so I can give you more information.

Thanks,
Angie Manning
Mifflin Guard Lead Vivandiere

frankstevanus
07-09-2006, 01:05 PM
Perhaps the question should more appropiately be put: What physical evidence (that is O.R.'s, personal journals or such documents) is there to prove that women wearing these vivandieres were actually at 1st Mannassas and served in a combatative function like the other troops?
I too have looked at the sight mentioned but have failed to be provided with one shred of evidence that they were at Mannassas or any other battle for that matter.
[Deletion - discussion of event rules, not documentation issues. THP]

tompritchett
07-09-2006, 03:05 PM
Vivandieres, when not in the field during battle, did many different things. Each lady was different. Some worked as laundresses. I know of one that brought her servant along. Marie Tepe was known to play cards with the guys. Some if they knew they had the time, would go and work at the army hospital until needed.

Thank you for answering this question. Would love to hear more specific examples as I am interested in learning more about their roles versus the many less than historical impressions that I have seen my former unit.

TheVivandiere
07-09-2006, 03:47 PM
For Annie Etheridge from her pension application on file with the Library of Congress, "Where was she during battles? On the field with the regiment or as close to it as possible: binding up wounds in the storm of shot and shell and deadly mines, directing and aiding the wounded to the rear, to find the surgeons. Twice her hourse was shot from under her, but she never quailed. The soldier sick in camp, was sure of a visit from Annie, and of her ready sympathy and every comfort she could command. And often the encouraging, hopeful words were of more benefit that the delicacies that Annie's loving heart and willing hands found some means of providing. She was 'Our Annie' indeed...sympathizing and comforting us in sickness, sharing our perils on the battlefield and binding up our wounds."

For Mary Tepe from a comrade in the 114th PA about her receiving the Kearny Cross, "She was a courageous woman, and ofter got within range of the enemy's fire whilst parting with the contents of her canteen among our wounded men. Her skirts were riddles by bullets during the battle of Chancellorsville."

Also for Mary Tepe, from Frank Rauscher's "Music on the March 1862-1865 with the Army of the Potomac" published in 1892, "Looking at a party playing, she saw a soldier win a large sum of money in almost no time, so she thought to go and do likewise, and invested with the banker; but instead of winning, Marie soon lost, and was fifty dollars poorer by reason of her experience. She was too sharp to be caught again, and being thoroughly disgusted she played no more."

For Rose Rooney from "Memories" by Fannie Beers published in 1888, "She was no hanger-on about camp, but in everything but actual fighting was as useful as any of the boys she loved with all her big, warm, Irish heart, and served with the undaunted bravery which led her to risk the dangers of every battle-field where the regiment was engaged, unheeding the zip of the minies, the shock of shells, or the horrible havoc made by the solid shot, so that she might give timely succor to the wounded or comfort the dying. When in camp she looked after the comfort of the regiment, both sick and well, and many a one escaped being sent to the hospital because Rose attended to him so well. She managed by some means to keep on hand a stock of real coffee, paying at times thirty-five dollars per pound for it."

tompritchett
07-09-2006, 04:01 PM
From your readings, is there any commonality about how the vivandieres dressed in camp and on the field? Were they primarily in camp dresses or in the hybrid dress/slack combinations you typically see at most reenactments? Were there any younger women that adopted a more boyish style of clothing just for the practicality and freedom of movement across the fields?

MStuart
07-09-2006, 05:00 PM
What I'm reading in the last few posts is that they were, more or less, tending to the wounded on the battlefields. That may be over-generalizing.

Were any of these young ladies armed in any way? Did any actually take part in combat?

Interestingly, there's a picture of Mary Tippee on E-bay right now and it looks like she's got a pistol holster.

Mark

TheVivandiere
07-09-2006, 05:28 PM
Vivandieres wore many different outfits. Some did wear dresses all the time. One example being Annie Etheridge. Others wore a Turkish style outfit, including Mary Tepe. We know that she, Mary, adopted the Turkish outfit when she joined the 114th PA after leaving the 27th PA. She was with the 114th for the 1st Bull Run. (Correction, she left the 27th PA in the summer of 1861 after leaving her husband).

Here is an article that I found on-line: DAILY CHRONICLE & SENTINEL [AUGUSTA, GA], October 10, 1861, p. 1, c. 1
A Vivandiere.--A really beautiful and exquisitely formed lady, a vivandiere, of the 14th Louisiana regiment, was in the city this morning and created considerable curiosity on the streets. She is in company with several officers of the regiment. She is dressed in full costume--short dress, &c.,--and is very beautiful. She is en route for Virginia.--Mont. Mail, 7th.


For weapons, there is a picture of Mary Tepe taken in the cemetary at Gettysburg just a few days after the battle, it looks like she is wearing a pistol holster. It is known that Kady Brownell did practice and was known as a sharpshooter in her unit. I don't have other information on that topic right now. That innformation is in books that I have currently loaned out. As soon as I get them back I will post that information.

I do know that Mary Tepe was wounded in the left ankle by a bullet at Fredericksburg.

Also, where did they march or ride? It is known that Kady Brownell marched right next to her husband and Mary Tepe was marching right with the boys. Annie Etheridge rode her horse with the ambulances and surgeons. So, in battle they were right there with the men, and other times right behind them.

hanktrent
07-09-2006, 06:43 PM
Were they primarily in camp dresses or in the hybrid dress/slack combinations you typically see at most reenactments? Were there any younger women that adopted a more boyish style of clothing just for the practicality and freedom of movement across the fields?

The original images of vivandieres in dress/pants combinations look as if they're wearing something virtually identical to a civilian Bloomer costume (reform dress), although they may have some military styling such as a Zouave jacket or brass buttons. Reform dress was introduced by the women's rights movement in the 1840s for practicality and freedom of movement, so I wonder if women who wore it felt they were already in a practical garment?

Dress reform advocates had trouble getting their garment accepted for normal public wearing in civilian life, though that was the original goal. By the 1860s, many of the first wearers had abandoned it as drawing too much attention to the style, away from the substance, of women's rights.

I wonder if the dress reformers were glad to see their garment at least being accepted as a war-time expedient? Or if vivandieres ever felt a connection, for better or worse, to the women's rights movement when they chose reform dress as their uniform?

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Bill_Cross
07-09-2006, 09:20 PM
With a FEW exceptions, you're citing accounts from 1861. There were many curiosities during the EW, including a wide variety of dress and weapons. But it sounds as though vivandieres were not PEC: plain, everyday, common. That they existed is without doubt, or that perhaps one or two of them served on through the war. But there were hundreds of units in the armies on both sides; presumably if vivs were PEC, there would be a long list of pension applications from these women.

As to the photos, it's well understood among historians that most CW portraits were staged, often with props that belonged to the photographer. So when a private soldier is shown with a sword in a CDV, it doesn't prove he carried an edged weapon in the field. The same skepticism should be brought to photos of odd-ball impressions, especially as many CW-era photos cannot be definitely dated.

I accept that vivandieres existed and that perhaps a handful actually took the field. Until substantial evidence of their presence can be produced, I remain skeptical of the impression, especially its widespread presence in the hobby.

[Deletion: Topic for a new thread, not this one as it was defined in my opening post. THP]

Ringgold
07-10-2006, 01:22 AM
. . . We know that she, Mary, adopted the Turkish outfit when she joined the 114th PA after leaving the 27th PA. She was with the 114th for the 1st Bull Run. . .

I believe you mean Second Bull Run. The 114th P.V.I. was not even raised at the time of the First Bull Run battle.

Much to Pennsylvania's dismay, she had no regiments actively engaged in the First Battle of Bull Run. The 4th Regiment was the closest we Keystoners had in that fight, but we'd prefer not talk about them too much.

Tigerrebjim
07-10-2006, 07:58 AM
Concerning Rose Quinn Rooney, Co. K 15th Louisiana, "At the battle of First Manassas, she signalized her courage and devotion by bravely pulling down a fence in teh midst of bursting shells to let the Battery of the Washington Artillery pass through."

Where might this documentation be, as the 15th La was not created until July 25, 1862? This per Bergeron's book on Confederate Units.

JIMTee

TheVivandiere
07-10-2006, 08:09 AM
Where might this documentation be, as the 15th La was not created until July 25, 1862? This per Bergeron's book on Confederate Units.

JIMTee

For the First Manassas she was with Shafer's independent battalion. This is from "Lee's Tigers" by Terry L. Jones. Published in 1985.

For Mary Tepe, according to "Four Brothers in Blue" by Robert G. Carter, "She was in the first battle of Bull Run." She was with the 27th PA at the time with the Fifth Division, under Col. Miles, First Brigade under Col. Blenker.

sbl
07-10-2006, 04:27 PM
Daughter of the Regiment

The Story of Kady C. Brownell
and
her husband Robert

(unpublished)


By
Scott B. Lesch



Chapter Seven
The Battle of Newbern

"Colonel Ambrose E. Burnside had taken Roanoke Island on the North Carolina Coast. His next objective was the colonial town of Newbern, [also spelled New Berne] on the Neuse River. His forces, called the Coast Division, encamped on Roanoke received reenforcements in late February 1862. For the 5th this came in the person of Sergeant Robert S. Brownell who had been detailed to recruit and bring in the unit’s strays back in December. He would later refer to this as his “detective” duties. Private Caleb Henry Barney noted Brownell’s arrival with Lieutenant Levi Goodwin of Company A, and men from various companies, relating that Robert “who had officiated as sort of Provost Sergeant while we were at Camp Slocum, had been left behind to pick up.”
Private Barney also noted that Kady, “or Katy as we called her then” arrived with Robert. Barney had heard of Kady’s participation with the 1st as “one of the vivandieres of Company H..” “She enjoyed the freedom of the camp in a sort of bloomer costume, more appropriate to the wilds of Roanoke than the streets of Providence.” Company A’s Captain Wheeler explained to Frank Moore in a 1866 letter that Kady was attached to the company as a laundress."


"Where was Kady? She was with Robert and Company A of the 1st detachment. Private Barney spotted her at about 6:00 P. M. when the order was given to halt in the woods to the right of the road. The men were to bivouac where there was little dry ground. In Barney’s words “We were an uncomfortable set, but the most thoroughly uncomfortable of all, seemed to be Mrs. Kady Brownell. She had started on the march with a pair of ladies’ ordinary walking shores, but as these soon became saturated with water, one of the soldiers gave her a pair of men’s calf-skin boots of a small size, which he took from a house on the line of march. These she put on, but of course they soon became wet through also, and anyone who has ever tried the experiment of marching in wet calf-skin leg boots, can readily imagine the blistered condition of her feet at night. As she sat with her back against a tree, weeping with her head on her husband’s shoulder, I imagine she was sighing for the flesh pots of Camp Sprague, [Barney must have heard of this comfortable Washington camp] and thinking like the rest of us, that there must have been some mistake about the wording of those recruiting posters, which said “No Hard Marching!” "


"During this period when the 5th expected whatever was required of the brigade, Second Lieutenant James Moran of Company D was discussing the 5th’s lack of unit colors with fellow officers. Moran’s captain, George H. Grant pulled a small “bunting,” or cotton flag from his coat. Grant had used this flag during the recruiting of his company. The officers set about cutting a sapling and secured the flag making a crude unit color. “Who will carry it?” The problem was that as officers they would be too busy to carry the flag and attend to their duties. There was no trained or appointed Color Guard or Color Sergeant as needed per the battalion drill to set the battle line or guard the flag. This little gesture of unit pride was now a problem. Kady Brownell [Moran recalled that they referred to her as “Kitty”] stepped forward and volunteered. With the brigade about to go into action, Moran handed her the flag. This incident of Captain Grant’s flag was reported in the New York Daily Tribune adding that Kady waved the flag as the men rallied about it. Lieutenant Moran did not remember this inspirational scene. The brigade was ordered forward. The units came to attention on the road, right faced into column, and marched forward. Kady carried the little flag off to the side of the column rather than leading the unit. Captain Wheeler commanding Robert’s Company A, verified a number of times that Kady was allowed this privilege until the unit came under fire. As the brigade reached the range of the Confederate guns, shots crashed over head in the trees. General Burnside and his staff were there directing troop movements. The brigade was ordered to file to the left and at this point Kady was lost to the sight and concern of Lieutenant Moran"


Chapter Seven

Barney, Caleb, A Country Boy’s First Three Months in the Army, Personal Narratives of the War of the Rebellion, Second Series, No. 2. Providence: Williams & Co.,1880

Pension Records for Robert S. Brownell N. A. R. A.

Senate Pension records for Kady Brownell, N. A. R. A.

James Moran letter The Providence Sunday Journal June11, 1905:13.

Frank Moore Papers, Special Collections Library, Duke University.

hanktrent
07-11-2006, 06:04 AM
I would buy the whole concept, if you stuck to the original roles, limited the numbers and only employed Vivandieres, where they were documented.

So how can the hobby determine what the original roles, numbers and situations were, without asking for research on vivandieres to be posted, debated and cross-examined?

Seems to me the starting point is to get the research presented, then (if accuracy is the goal) use it against vivandieres who aren't accurate.

As we all know, lots of soldiers like having women trailing along behind handing out gatorade and ice, and cooking for them in camp. All the research in the world won't change that, but stifling the posting of research won't stop it either.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Pvt Schnapps
07-11-2006, 06:54 AM
http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/moa_browse.html


Search in The War of the Rebellion for: "vivandiere"
No matches.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Search in The War of the Rebellion for: "vivandier"
No matches.


Is there another spelling?

Pvt Schnapps
07-11-2006, 07:08 AM
http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/moa_browse.html

Search in Harper's New Monthly Magazine for: "vivandiere"
1 of 1 work
Harper's new monthly magazine. / Volume 3, Issue 15 (August 1851)

Charles Lever Maurice Tiernay, The Soldier Of Fortune 2 matches in 2 of 10 pages

But see: http://ehistory.osu.edu/uscw/features/articles/0005/vivandieres.cfm

"Calculating the exact number of women who served in this capacity is difficult, if not impossible. Because the presence of vivandieres was not sanctioned by the military establishment of either army, women who served as vivandieres are rarely mentioned in official records. Only in regimental histories, post-war records and personal accounts do their names and identities emerge. In any case, the total number of women who served in this capacity is quite small."

A good article, on the whole. Interesting that the US army authorized a much greater number of laundresses than the French did vivandieres (with the exception of the Guard) --

"In 1860 they [French vivandieres] were assimilated with the rest of the troops as regards decorations and pay. They also took part in marches and parades. A regulation of 1865 fixed their number at:

1 per infantry battalion (2 after 1869)
2 per light infantry battalion (3 after 1869)
2 per cavalry squadron;
4 per artillery or engineers regiment.

The number of canteen women in the Imperial Guard was higher. Grenadiers and voltiguers regiments had 20 each."

Finally -- in case you wondered --

Search in The War of the Rebellion for: "cantiniere"
No matches.

FWL
07-11-2006, 07:21 AM
Without jumping into the numbers fray, I would want to know more about the name. I understand its French and the role of vivandiere was formalized in the French Army in the Crimean War.

In reeancting I thing we make the preciptious mistake of naming every woman a "Vivandaire" in the American Civil War whether she be a laudress, a nurse, a tag along wife. I think some of the men even writing back then used the term loosely. For example some one finds an account of a woman traveling with an early war regiment doing all sorts of duties, then she gets involved in a battle somehow. We then label her a "vivandiere" and use it as justification for having hordes of woman on the battlefield where they were never there.

I understand some of the zouave units out of New York had formal vivandiers that were documented had uniforms of sorts and defined roles.

FWL
07-11-2006, 07:28 AM
Greg the over represented roles has ruined the mainstream side of the hobby, the vivandaire of course is one of them. My wife was a vivandiere but she stopped doing it once she got into the research and found out how rare they were. She is focusing on the nurse role where field hospitals were used.

Frank Lilley

Greg Deese
07-11-2006, 08:23 AM
Justification research, meaning I am doing this to validate my rare impression; is just as worse as stitch counting.

Read too many specialty impressions distracting from the battle. Research that word for a change, battle. Who was and really wasn't near a battlefield?

Otherwise quit doing battles and re-label the events as CW impression demonstrations with no basis in reality.

I like to see a good battle line, with accurate soldiers, that isn't over populated with everything from kid troopers to Indian scouts. Only seen it once at Perryville in 2002 and some smaller Campaigner events.

MStuart
07-11-2006, 08:44 AM
This is not to be a discussion of whether or not the impression should or should not be allowed but only a discussion of documentation.

Just thought I'd throw that up as a reminder.

Mark

I can't wait till we start the "dismounted cal-vary" discussion.

Wild Rover
07-11-2006, 09:01 AM
Greg,

Hate to pee on your party, but over age, over wieght dudes were not PEC either.

If it is documented and then there is no problem with authentic vivs...

Documentation, created by real research is the key. Just banning something because the farbs do it is wrong.

It is about documented history.

Not us vs them

When the cph folks all grasp that, then the hobby will move forward. It is far harder to be the establishment than the fight it.

Pards,

hanktrent
07-11-2006, 09:15 AM
Justification research, meaning I am doing this to validate my rare impression; is just as worse as stitch counting.

So, um, what's wrong with stitch counting? We have to stop talking about clothing next? :)

If the research shows the impression was too rare, then voila--use that to ban it. Accurate research includes context, and it can't validate something to be more common than it was.


I like to see a good battle line, with accurate soldiers, that isn't over populated with everything from kid troopers to Indian scouts. Only seen it once at Perryville in 2002 and some smaller Campaigner events.

I'll admit I haven't seen a vivandiere portrayed at an event in probably ten years, and the couple of times I recall seeing female or children reenactors inadvertantly caught within range of a battle, they ran and hid till it was safe. So maybe this isn't as emotional an issue for me as some folks.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Pvt Schnapps
07-11-2006, 10:21 AM
Now that we've thumped on Greg for not going with the flow on this forum, can we acknowledge that -- as my earlier posts show -- there are no mentions of vivandieres in the OR, and the one serious web-site not sponsored by a repro vivandiere indicates that they were very rare?

This brings up the question of why one would bother with a two year training program for an impression of something so idiosyncratic in the actual war as to admit of no standard uniform or duties.

I think a vivandiere would be entirely appropriate when documented for a particular unit at a particular battle, or for the army of Napoleon III. But in any other context it's as silly as bersaglieri hats at Gettysburg, green frock coats at Spotsylvania, and dismounted Rush's lancers. Not that there's anything evil or immoral in it. Just silly.

I believe Greg raises a good point about research, too -- the time you spend trying to justify a fringe impression is time you could have better spent learning more about the actual war.

Button Whizzer
07-11-2006, 10:52 AM
;) Ever stop to consider civil war reenacting has more vivandieres than buglers? That says something. What exactly is said I don't have the foggiest notion.

In a modern age where broken homes are common perhaps it is nice to think of a father-daughter hobby where both can share some love of history and spend time together outside camping, time around a campfire, and all that goes with it. Just thought I would toss this into the mix.

Brandon

hanktrent
07-11-2006, 11:01 AM
I think a vivandiere would be entirely appropriate when documented for a particular unit at a particular battle, or for the army of Napoleon III. But in any other context it's as silly as bersaglieri hats at Gettysburg, green frock coats at Spotsylvania, and dismounted Rush's lancers. Not that there's anything evil or immoral in it. Just silly.

Just to clarify, I agree. This thread is supposedly about historic research, but to bring some focus to the research, I'd like to see a list of historic situations which are going to be portrayed at upcoming reenactments, where a vivandiere was documented to the time, place and regiment(s) being portrayed (not just any regiment at any place in the general area), and what the vivandiere did during the days to be portrayed.

If the answer is there were none, that's good historic information too, and it would be refreshing to hear someone who normally does a vivandiere impression to say so, since that would go a long way toward dispelling the idea that the research is all about justifying an impression, no matter what.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

MStuart
07-11-2006, 11:01 AM
;) Ever stop to consider civil war reenacting has more vivandieres than buglers? That says something. What exactly is said I don't have the foggiest notion.

In a modern age where broken homes are common perhaps it is nice to think of a father-daughter hobby where both can share some love of history and spend time together outside camping, time around a campfire, and all that goes with it. Just thought I would toss this into the mix.

Brandon

I'll be there's lots of folks out there that agree with that statement. Unfortunately, family togetherness runs contrary to other's visions. Sometimes, these are the guys who do the hobby to get away from the family.

Mark

CandaceRose
07-11-2006, 12:03 PM
I agree 100% with Hank. Unless you can show me some concrete documentation of this specialty impression to not only the unit she is "playing" with, but also the battle they are participating in, then they have no business on the field. Same with any other military unit or civilian participation at a major reenactment. The one vivandiere I've had the extreme displeasure in being acquainted with could spout of accounts of vivs all day long (while at the same time claiming civs had nothing to do at home during the War, that's why they followed men to the battlefields), but could not specifically document a viv in her "home" unit nor justify her uniform consisting of a polyester, serged seam get-up and JC Penney blouse. ICK Unfortunately, the impression just breeds farbism and is one of those that the hobby would be better off without.

Bill_Cross
07-11-2006, 12:20 PM
This brings up the question of why one would bother with a two year training program for an impression of something so idiosyncratic in the actual war as to admit of no standard uniform or duties.
Most CW "units" are clubs pretending to be military organizations, much like the drill societies that flourished before the war: fraternal organizations with a martial flavor who happened to wear uniforms and drill, but were not really soldiers and never saw themselves as such (the famous Col. Ellsworth and his Zouaves are the best-known example).

Because they are part of a hobby, most units today are really clubs in funny clothes. No real discipline can be maintained, at least none that the members don't willingly agree on. Clearly the Mifflin Guard has decided that women have a place on the "military" side of their organization, and enough interest in vivandieres has surfaced to justify a program to train them. I applaud the rigor and emphasis on safety, though like you, Schnapps, would personally prefer to see it applied to the authentic civilian impression (the real "cutting edge" portion of our hobby). But since no one in the Mifflin Guard has asked me....

Your research simply confirms my original doubts about the prevalence of vivs outside of the overheated prose of period newspapers.


The one vivandiere I've had the extreme displeasure in being acquainted with could spout of accounts of vivs all day long... but could not specifically document a viv in her "home" unit nor justify her uniform consisting of a polyester, serged seam get-up and JC Penney blouse.
We need to separate the quality of an impression from its historicity. I have a beautifully-awfully-made McGee & George cap pouch made by the wild man of leathers, Butch Myers (with a triple-stamped "McGee & George" imprimatur ala the original it's based on). It would be entirely inappropriate, however, for an Eastern CS impression. If research shows that vivandieres are more common than it would seem, then the quality of the viv impressions should be judged separately from the appropriateness of them being on the field in the first place.

Wild Rover
07-11-2006, 12:21 PM
I agree 100% with Hank. Unless you can show me some concrete documentation of this specialty impression to not only the unit she is "playing" with, but also the battle they are participating in, then they have no business on the field.

100% agree on this end as well.

But don't discount it just because the farbs run rampant with the impression. History must guide us, not hobby.

Just like the use of Common tents- if they were used then use them, if not don't.

Everything in the end must be tailored to event specific impressions.

Pards,

tompritchett
07-11-2006, 12:25 PM
Just to clarify, I agree. This thread is supposedly about historic research, but to bring some focus to the research, I'd like to see a list of historic situations which are going to be portrayed at upcoming reenactments, where a vivandiere was documented to the time, place and regiment(s) being portrayed (not just any regiment at any place in the general area), and what the vivandiere did during the days to be portrayed.


I agree. This thread was definitely going off its original focus with questions about the PEC of the impression (again a topic for a new thread). I think that Mr. Trent's addresses the PEC issue while staying within the original intent of this thread. Thank you.

dustyswb
07-11-2006, 12:31 PM
I'll be there's lots of folks out there that agree with that statement. Unfortunately, family togetherness runs contrary to other's visions. Sometimes, these are the guys who do the hobby to get away from the family.

Mark,

That's a might wide brush you are using there, no? I consider myself a family man, and my family has never participated in an event. I started in this hobby before I was married and had kids. I attend 6 to 7 events a year. The rest of the time is spent with the family. Do I schedule things around the events? If I can, but that's only 21 days out of 365.

Family first, always.

tompritchett
07-11-2006, 12:36 PM
So how can the hobby determine what the original roles, numbers and situations were, without asking for research on vivandieres to be posted, debated and cross-examined?

Seems to me the starting point is to get the research presented, then (if accuracy is the goal) use it against vivandieres who aren't accurate.

Thank you Hank. Could not have said it better myself.

Greg Deese
07-11-2006, 01:03 PM
Let's start with a comprehensive polling of which battles had Viv's and which didn't. It's a great starting point to understand the whole phenomenon. We are talking about Vivandieres on the campaign right?

I would like:

1. Battlefield Name 2. Number of Vivandieres documented US/CS at the battle 3. Number of Viv Casualties

Casualties could include Vivandiere KIA, MIA, wounded, POW and deserters.

I want battle reports and not newspaper articles or dime novel stories, no mustering camps, ladies welfare associations, no spies, females disguised as soldiers, no camp followers, laundresses, officer wives, no hospitals or other non-combative scenes. I want combat reports of Vivandieres on the battlefield, right beside their regiment. Now make three columns with the info and dazzle me with your historical understanding.

tompritchett
07-11-2006, 01:10 PM
I would also like to see records of vivandieres in non-combat roles, especially attending wounded behind the lines - bandaging wounds or just giving water.

FWL
07-11-2006, 01:19 PM
I would also like to see records of vivandieres in non-combat roles, especially attending wounded behind the lines - bandaging wounds or just giving water.


Tom that's my whole point in another post. Are you describing a nurse or civilian woman that's helping the wounded or is she a vivandiere? What specifically makes her a "vivandiere". No one has answered that yet.

Regards

Bill_Cross
07-11-2006, 01:20 PM
I would also like to see records of vivandieres in non-combat roles, especially attending wounded behind the lines - bandaging wounds or just giving water.
I believe Schnapps has already addressed this issue with his report on the OBs.

What role the vivandieres may have played is less important right now than simply determining whether there were more than a handful. Even if all the so-called anecdotal evidence were genuine, we're still not even up to all the fingers on one hand.

Wild Rover
07-11-2006, 01:56 PM
Somewhere I have a documented list of Viv's/DoR's sent to me by Tara Myzie. When I find it I will post it.

BTW- For years Tara was the DoR of the LR, but no one knew that, as she did not attend events where it was undocumented.

Pards,

MStuart
07-11-2006, 01:56 PM
Mark,

That's a might wide brush you are using there, no?

No...the keyword was "Sometimes", lest I'm pilloried for my less than thoughtful previous comment. It wasn't meant to or at any "side" of our hobby. Man O Man, have we gotten off topic. Not that I haven't had anything to do with it.

Mark

FWL
07-11-2006, 02:04 PM
Mark,

That's a might wide brush you are using there, no? I consider myself a family man, and my family has never participated in an event. I started in this hobby before I was married and had kids. I attend 6 to 7 events a year. The rest of the time is spent with the family. Do I schedule things around the events? If I can, but that's only 21 days out of 365.

Family first, always.


Dusty you beat me to the punch. The militant farbs (and I don't think Mark is one of them) use this tired old excuse to label "authentics or HC" that don't allow families in military camps as anti-family. This is another hollow scream to drag down the history focused side of reenacting. My son (bugler) and wife (authentic civilian) go to events with me when there is a authenticated role for them. Otherwise they don't. Like you we don't need to have them at an event to maintain family harmony. There's allot more to that than reenacting. I'll be at Rich Mountain without them. I'll miss them. But I'll pi## on anyone that tells me I'm doing this to get away from them. We're bigger than that.

Regards

tompritchett
07-11-2006, 05:29 PM
Gents, let's get back on topic please.

bill watson
07-11-2006, 06:10 PM
Not everything we do is about those events where we're concerned with projecting an overall effect. An accessible group of vivandieres who know what they are talking about -- know the limits of the experience and have the research to support what they say -- is quite valuable. Need to turn the telescope 45 degrees: Justifying their presence at an event is a use of the research, but it's certainly not the only use. Sometimes I just want to know something because I want to know it. Sometimes I want to know something because I'm tired of hearing a clown with bones in his hat shoveling out misinformation by the ton, and want to intercede with some actual knowledge. I'm going to assume anyone who does research is going to be better off for it, and I'm going to assume the rest of us are, also.
More people can benefit from research than just those gathering it.
Sometimes we seem to fear distribution of any facts that require context, for fear of selfish misinterpretations. Well, heck, just keep piling on facts and the misinterpretations will break down under the sheer weight of knowledge.

sbl
07-11-2006, 06:20 PM
Daughter of the Regiment

The Story of Kady C. Brownell
and
her husband Robert

By
Scott B. Lesch
(Unpublished)


Chapter Five
Bull Run

"A tale that made the New York Daily Tribune on July 24 under “Our Savage Foes” and repeated in The Providence Journal on the 25th that members of the 2nd New York Militia [with the 1st Division over on the Union left] saw “Rebel sharpshooters” pick off two vivandieres adding the wounded."


"Chaplain Woodbury visited the aid station at the well of the Matthew house. He followed the wounded taken from there to hospitals set up back on the road to, and at Sudley Springs. Robert Brownell remembered caring for the wounded with Kady near a schoolhouse. As the nearest school house was almost one-half mile to the right of their position at the Groveton-Sudley road there may have been confusion with the Church buildings back at the Springs. Brownell’s story was also told thirty five years later to the newspaper."


"At the point where Burnside’s men were alarmed by the retreat, the units formed with orders to act as rear guard. Several reports read that the 1st formed into line. Their ranks were broken and stacked arms knocked over by fleeing men from other units. Here is where Kady may have been separated from Robert in Frank Moore’s version of Kady’s story. While Moore had Kady still in action during the battle and the Carbineers retreating, the actual time and position of the Brigade could have Robert back in ranks and Kady possibly attending to the wounded. No mention of her flag was made. This prize may have been lost or removed from it’s staff and secured on Kady’s person. Retreating troops from other units were passing by and through the area of the Brigade. Moore’s story has Kady seized by the hand of a soldier from a Pennsylvania regiment. “Come, sis; there’s no use to stay here just to get killed; let’s get into the woods.” A few steps later, this man had his head blown off covering Kady with blood. While this incident may have happened as written, only two Pennsylvania Regiments had been on the campaign. The 27th, “home” of another noted Vivandiere, “French Mary” Tepe was back near Centerville with the Fifth Division. The 4th, part of the Third Brigade, had stayed behind on the 20th as their enlistments were up. There did not seem to be time for Kady to get an introduction and if she claimed he was a Pennsylvanian, it may have been some distinctive similarity of his uniform. The short span of this episode made introductions unlikely. This horrific scene may also have been when Kady received her wound if the round was a bursting shell as it was termed “shot” and “piece of shot” . Robert Brownell remembered, “She was struck by a piece of flying shell and slightly wounded.” She claimed a leg wound in her pension request in 1882. It was termed “upper third of the right thigh”, received on the retreat from the hospital. Shock, along with Kady’s youth may have gotten her to the woods where she found some of Robert’s company and an ambulance. Her wound may have been superficial, but still dangerous as the “shot” had to pierce her skirt, trousers, and undergarments carrying cloth and dirt into it. Robert continued that, “The forage master, who had two horses, put her on one of them, and she got safely off to Centerville.”
As the Brigade moved off toward the Union left, it passed though the woods avoiding the Stone Bridge over Bull Run on the Warrenton Turnpike. Reaching an open space in the woods, they came under heavy Confederate artillery fire. Reaching the Warrenton Turnpike back to Centerville, Burnside, at the head of his staff, saw the jam at the broken Cub Run Bridge, again caused by Confederate shelling. He had the Brigade ford Cub run. The Rhode Islanders crossed as best as they could. Kady abandoned the ambulance which couldn’t make the ford and was under the same fire that cause the backup at the bridge. Moore had her catch a stray horse and ride off to Centerville. This was dramatic, if true, and also painful.
On August 1, 1932, the Providence Evening Bulletin ran the story, Edgewood Veteran of ‘61 tells of “Kitty” Brownell. 2nd Rhode Island veteran Napoleon B. Wilson, age 93, told the reporter of how he saved “Kitty” during the retreat. He saw her in an ambulance that was stopped at a stream. “I helped Kitty off the wagon and over the stream. There were men and horses running in all directions. Well sir, I caught a colt and helped Kitty on and we rode all the way to Washington, about 60 miles I guess. Kitty was exhausted by then and she was taken care of somewhere or other.” Wilson’s story can be taken as oral history or a story retold so many times based on Kady’s legends that Wilson wove himself into the tale. Wilson also told the reporter that “When we advanced at Bull Run, Kitty was right in the front line, bearing her color.
She wore a red coat and grey skirt and had a soldier’s hat over her short hair.” “And when we retreated Kitty stood up there waving her flag almost in the enemy’s faces and shouting to the men not to retreat. She was almost captured, but she retreated in time.”
Napoleon B. Wilson’s version of Kady’s adventure is important as he was a surviving eye witness. His story must also be taken in context to his other stories in the same article and his service record. Wilson was a “teamer”, not teamster, and wagoner by occupation and served with the ammunition train and brigade quartermasters’ department. His skills, when supplies were still moved mainly by horses and mules, were in demand. Wilson claimed that Abraham Lincoln wrote a hospital pass for him and that he was present at Lee’s surrender at Appomattox as an orderly to General Henry Hunt, Chief of Artillery. Wilson was reported sick in the U.S. General Hospital in August 1862, and the Lincoln story is possible. As he was mustered out of the 2nd Rhode Island on June 14, 1864 without any record of reenlistment, his term of service was up ten months before the surrender. At 93 Wilson had heard all the stories of this defining time in his life and from the article seemed to enjoy telling them. At Bull Run, when Colonel Slocum was hit, he fell back and died in Wilson’s arms. Wilson got him to the rear to an aid station. Elisha Hunt Rhodes also claimed to have tried to pick up his Colonel, who was still alive, and carry Slocum away with the aid of a Private Parker. Rhodes did not record Wilson’s help or presence. Wilson did not include Rhodes, who later became Colonel of the 2nd, in his version. If Napoleon B. Wilson in 1932 gave credit to Kady for bravery, he can be forgiven for embellishing his version of her adventures as well as his own.
As Burnside’s Brigade made the Cub Run Bridge, it came under fire from Captain Kemper’s Alexandria Light Artillery. His guns threw spherical case shot into the tangle of men and vehicles. With Kemper was the ardent old secessionist Edmund Ruffin, who had pulled a gun lanyard against Fort Sumter, and fired the first shot to rake the road. One of the shells landed among a team on the bridge overturning a wagon. This caused the bottleneck. The reports by the Regimental commanders of Burnside’s Brigade credit their units as coming away in good order from the field . Some individuals reported a different story. After this disaster at Cub Run, as Elisha Rhode wrote, “the stampede commended.” Rhode’s friend Sam English recorded that after crossing the bridge on his hands and knees, “I started up the hill as fast as my legs could carry . . . ” Chaplain Woodbury was able to ride around the chaos and reached Centerville where the Rhode Islanders rallied in their old “Brush Camp.” Napoleon Wilson remembered how a Lieutenant Church sat exhausted on a stump, and refused to move. He was captured.
Kady’s story is taken up by Frank Moore. She stopped at Centerville where the army was resting and reforming. Robert could not be found, and rumors that he was wounded or dead, “tortured” her. She even remounted the horse to search for his body when she encountered Colonel Burnside, who assured her Robert` was alive and they would meet soon. For Kady to address the Colonel at this time seems natural in her grief. For Colonel Burnside to know of where individuals were at this time may have been unlikely. The stories and documents do point to some friendly relationship with Ambrose E. Burnside. On this terrible day, Colonel Hunter had passed Divisional command to him under fire. Colonel Porter believed his tactics showed “too hasty vigor.” He had barely extracted his Brigade to safety. Perhaps Burnside was still able to show some compassion for Kady Brownell."

New York Herald, Dec. 17, 1895: 12.

The Repository, Canton Ohio, Dec.30, 1895, from the New York Sun: 5.

New York Herald, May 31, 1905, page: 6.

New York Times, Feb.16, 1913, page: 2.

Moore, Women of the War: Their Heroism and Self-sacrifice: True stories of brave women in the Civil War, Hartford: S. S. Scranton, 1866.

Descriptive Book of the 1st Rhode Island Detached Militia, Rhode Island State Archives.

etc etc

tompritchett
07-11-2006, 07:12 PM
Well spoken Mr. Watson. Well spoken.

zouavecampaigner
07-11-2006, 11:07 PM
Just to clarify, I agree. This thread is supposedly about historic research, but to bring some focus to the research, I'd like to see a list of historic situations which are going to be portrayed at upcoming reenactments, where a vivandiere was documented to the time, place and regiment(s) being portrayed (not just any regiment at any place in the general area), and what the vivandiere did during the days to be portrayed.

If the answer is there were none, that's good historic information too, and it would be refreshing to hear someone who normally does a vivandiere impression to say so, since that would go a long way toward dispelling the idea that the research is all about justifying an impression, no matter what.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net


Hank, (sorry if this is answered in a post I haven't read yet) even when it comes to documented times, at least with French Mary (Marie Tepe pronounced "TEPP" not "Tepee" or "Tipee"), she was often times in the rear at field hospitals, such as at Gettysburg. While the regiment was engaged, she was acting as a nurse behind Little Round Top at the Weikert Farm, along with the members of the brass band of the 114th PA. At Spotsylvania, she, again with the band, was acting as a nurse and they as stretcher bearers in the trenches. The one documented time she was in combat was the time she was wounded at F-burg. She didn't want to take the Kearny Cross she was given, but she sure as heck didn't mind wearing it in her famous photos! ;)

Vivs have always been something near and dear to me, and not just because I've dated a couple, but being in a campaigner 114th PA Zouave unit, we've had to defend our campaigner viv many many times at events, be it from other hobbyists, or from people who just don't know any better. We've even had to defend (with words and documentation) our viv from other vivs who are actually jealous that the unit we portray actually had a fully uniformed vivandiere their entire term of service! Now that's, well, annoying!

Regards,
Shaun Grenan
Gettysburg, PA
The Glad the Motorcycles are Gone Zouaves

zouavecampaigner
07-11-2006, 11:11 PM
Somewhere I have a documented list of Viv's/DoR's sent to me by Tara Myzie. When I find it I will post it.

BTW- For years Tara was the DoR of the LR, but no one knew that, as she did not attend events where it was undocumented.

Pards,

Chris,

explain the 24th michigan DoR ;) ;) ;)
The 24th will always be my "home" regiment, as they were raised in my town =)

Regards,
Shaun

Ringgold
07-12-2006, 02:58 AM
For Mary Tepe, according to "Four Brothers in Blue" by Robert G. Carter, "She was in the first battle of Bull Run." She was with the 27th PA at the time with the Fifth Division, under Col. Miles, First Brigade under Col. Blenker.

She may have been there, but she wasn't "in the battle" (nor the 27th P.V.).

According to Bates' _History_of_Pennsylvania_Volunteers_, pg. 383 of volume I, where he details the history of the 27th, ". . . In the battle which ensued at Bull Run, the Fifth Division was held in reserve on the Centreville heights, and did not become actively engaged. It remained in position until past midnight of the 21st, and until the army had retired, when it marched to Alexandria, . . ."

I wonder how she got along with those Philly Krauts in the 27th . . .

zouavecampaigner
07-12-2006, 03:40 AM
I wonder how she got along with those Philly Krauts in the 27th . . .


Mark,
that's a good question! She apparently got along well with all the "Philly Krauts" in the 114th PA, even though she was born in France. Also, when Marie was with the 27th, I'm not certain she was a vivandiere, as she was with her husband, but after him and some cronies apparently stole her goods and money from her sutlering, she left him, and the 27th, and found her way back to Philly.

Also, here's a good bit of info from the unit history in the section on Spotsylvania:

"Hers was the only face in the vicinity which seemed in any way gay. She was laughing and pointing very unconcernedly, as she stumbled over axes, spades and other obstacles, on her way through the trench! She was wonderfully courageous or else did not understand the danger . . . the shower of musket-balls, shrapnel, and every sort of projectile falling in the midst of us was trying to the nerves of our coolest."
(Frank Rauscher, Band Leader of the 114th PA)

Regards,
Shaun

zouavecampaigner
07-12-2006, 03:42 AM
http://cwnurses.tripod.com/mtepe.html


Also, something to note, Marie was 27 in 1861, and was one of the OLDER vivandieres at that time.

Bill_Cross
07-12-2006, 10:27 AM
More people can benefit from research than just those gathering it. Sometimes we seem to fear distribution of any facts that require context, for fear of selfish misinterpretations. Well, heck, just keep piling on facts and the misinterpretations will break down under the sheer weight of knowledge.
I don't think anyone here, even Greg, is against research. What you're detecting is a reaction against the anti-historical uses of research, often to justify a pre-conceived impression or action. This came up last year about Native Americans fighting for the South, and what kinds of garb (or lack thereof) they wore. A particularly notorious individual had asserted his "right" to wear traditional Indian dress at events like Gettysburg because of "proof" that Native Americans had fought somewhere during the war. Despite or perhaps even because of the notoriety of the Gettysburg reenactments, many took exception to this practice, offering all kinds of evidence to the contrary.

I believe the same thing is happening here: the information about vivandieres is welcome, but the flagrant abuse of the impression (justified for ahistorical reasons like "family values" and "equal opportunity for women in the hobby," or even safety on the field) has caused some to question whether vivs belong on the field at all. I don't believe the objectors are saying "we don't want any research on vivs because we don't want women on the field," so much as saying "isolated references to a couple of women who might have been on campaign doesn't prove that vivandieres were more than an historical curiosity."

When scientific or scholarly research is presented, it usually has to pass a committee of peers to assess the soundness of the research and the methods used to obtain it. While this forum isn't anything approaching a peer review committee of scholars, several smart, well-researched people like Schnapps have raised some good questions and asked for hard evidence. That's not the same as decrying research at all, and I think we need to make that distinction.

Yes, bring on the research, but make sure it's substantial research with some verifiable facts!

bob 125th nysvi
07-12-2006, 08:20 PM
is not proof of non-existance. If it were so God would not be beleived to exist.

Did every regiment have a viv or laundress? No.

Were viv present at many battles especially in the east and with eastern units. Antocedal evidence seems to indicate yes.

[deletion - digression THP]

So should we preclude the existance of vivs at a reenactment, sure if you can PROVE that there were no vivs there. Otherwise it is only reasonable that we ask for an accurate representation of the vivs or other women helping out on the battlefiled (aka no ballgowns).

Now the question posed is WHAT is an accurate representation? It might be a full or part uniform. If not it should be ordinary work clothes like any farm girl would wear. From the accounts their main job seems to be looking out for the welfare of the men in medical/physical sense. I'm sure the educated ones may have provided other services like letter writing for the illiterate men. How close did they get to the actual firing, today's vivs may actually follow the action a little too close but everything iwe do s compressed by space and time.

[deletion - off-topic THP]

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
ESperance, NY

Greg Deese
07-13-2006, 02:52 AM
"A tale that made the New York Daily Tribune on July 24 under “Our Savage Foes” and repeated in The Providence Journal on the 25th that members of the 2nd New York Militia [with the 1st Division over on the Union left] saw “Rebel sharpshooters” pick off two vivandieres adding the wounded."

Yes of course, the Rebel sharpshooters wasted ammunition on two Vivandieres and then they roasted the bodies and consumed them like cannibals. I can see where an article titled "Our Savage Foes", couldn't possibly be mistaken as unbiased. The image of cold hearted sharpshooters gunning down two women, who are aiding the wounded; that's propoganda! Got to give those newspaper men credit, they probably did more to keep the war stoked up than any politician or soldier ever did. Sold alot of papers. This is hardly evidence of Vivandierres geting killed in battle. Was there a casualty report or anything else to support such a tragic and infamous event?

In regards to Vivandieres on the battlefield, I count three bona fide examples so far. I would like to see more empirical or anecdotal evidence. I believe the total number of actual combat viv's is going to be alot lower than people think. As this relates to battle reenactments and the specialty role of vivandieres.

hanktrent
07-13-2006, 08:31 AM
So should we preclude the existance of vivs at a reenactment, sure if you can PROVE that there were no vivs there. Otherwise it is only reasonable that we ask for an accurate representation of the vivs or other women helping out on the battlefiled (aka no ballgowns).

For everything where there's no specific evidence--and that includes most things in living history--we have to decide, is the default assumption that it did exist, or that it didn't?

For some things it's obvious. We don't even think about assuming soldiers had pants, coats, shirts, canteens, etc., even if we can't document them to every man being portrayed. And it's also easy to assume a lot of things didn't happen at a particular time and place, because they would have been mentioned if they did: cavalry mounted on oxen, gatling guns, etc.

If someone believes the default assumption should be that viviandieres were present until proven otherwise, that puts the burden on finding a letter saying, "Our viviandiere was sent home last month," or "I was surprised to see no daughters of the regiment on the field of battle."

If someone believes the default assumption should be that viviandieres were not present until proven otherwise, that puts the burden on finding recollections, newspaper accounts, letters, or whatever, specifically mentioning them.

Since neither kind of documentation is going to be available for the vast majority of historic situations being reenacted, there can be no agreement on what's closer to accurate, unless the basic assumptions are agreed on. I dunno, when this kind of difference in basic assumptions has come up before, there's just not much way to reconcile it.

But on a lighter note, if I can show a woman cooking in a ballgown, why couldn't she wear one on the battlefield? :D

http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/research/luce/object.php?id=94775

(yes, I know how to discuss the painting seriously, but I couldn't resist)

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

bob 125th nysvi
07-17-2006, 08:16 PM
I quess if I was going to error it would be on the side of INCLUSION as opposed to exclusion.

My problem with 'historical' documentation is that many times it concentrates on a big picture only. So at a particular engagement the unit presence would be documented. Hopefully digging farther down we might be able to get a roster of who was on the regiments rolls on a particular day. But unless mentioned do we actually KNOW who particpated in the fight that day?

Would we know anything about the civilians associated with the regiment on a given day? Sutler's, contractors, teamsters etal.

It seems to me that the people who portray vivs have done a fair amount of research proving they existed and what they did.

The question seems to boil down to can anyone prove/disprove the attachment of the viv to a certain regiment on a certain day at a certain spot on the battlefield?

The other problem becomes the amalgamation of reenactor units into companies and battalions for an action.

So even if the vivs prove they were with a certain regiment at a certain point in the war, once that reenactor regiment is rolled up into the 'Battalion' what do we do with the viv? Are they automatically excuded because they weren't with all the 'regiments' that have been rolled up into the 'Battalion'?

Also what becomes acceptable proof of existance and attachment for the purposes reenactment mangement and are they all going to accept the same documentation?

I mean in this discussion people have cited time and again sources proving the participation of women with combat units in a number of roles, yet we seem to have people who keep arguing that they didn't exist. So what do we do to convince everybody?

As I see it a blanket rule one way or the other becomes the slippery slope. Maybe the solution is for the unit to provide documentation for ALL roles it intends to portray at the reenactment. Documentation the person is in, no documentation the person is out. So if a unit can document the existance of a viv or other female role directly related to the unit, she gets to participate.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

MStuart
07-17-2006, 09:04 PM
But on a lighter note, if I can show a woman cooking in a ballgown, why couldn't she wear one on the battlefield? :D

http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/research/luce/object.php?id=94775

(yes, I know how to discuss the painting seriously, but I couldn't resist)

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Can I get that on velvet?

Mark Wiseacre

tompritchett
07-18-2006, 12:03 AM
I think the issue should be that there was documentation that the specialty impression occurred with that unit during the time frame of the event but not necessarily associated with that particular battle. For example, using this reasoning, if someone could document that such and such unit had at least one vivandiere during 1861 and there was no specific reason for such a vivandiere not be have been present at a specific battle in 1861, then it could be assumed that she was there. Likewise, if there is documentation about a vivandiere being present in the field with a Confederate regiment both in 1861 and 1863 but no specific documentation either way about 1862, then it could reasonably be assumed that she was probably present at a battle in 1862.
However, if there is no documentation of any vivandiere ever being present with a specific unit, it would not be correct to assume that there was one just because some units had them.

Stiggs
07-22-2006, 09:16 AM
No cavalry mounted on oxen? Dang, there goes my Mongo impression!

frankstevanus
07-23-2006, 06:27 AM
I know you are making a joke, Stiggs. But, actually the chances of seeing a cavalryman riding an Oxen are far greater than seeing a woman wearing one of those silly costumes in a battle during the civil war. While no extant photos exist (at least not to my knowledge) there are references to the use of Oxen in pulling wagons and artillery pieces. And a few wood carvings (believe to be dated to the period) showing (on both sides) men riding oxen that are pullling the same.
It would be neat to see at an event a team pulling an artillery piece to action.

No cavalry mounted on oxen? Dang, there goes my Mongo impression!

flattop32355
07-23-2006, 07:23 AM
And a few wood carvings (believe to be dated to the period) showing (on both sides) men riding oxen that are pulling the same.


Not sure if this would hold true for the artillery pieces, but for wagons, I believe it was the practice for the teamster to ride upon one of the animals rather than seated on the wagon.

Can anyone (Mr. Campbell, possibly) shed some brighter light on this subject?

RJSamp
07-23-2006, 08:58 AM
Artillery Drivers rode/drove on the horse.

Teamsters rode/drove on the mule.

If you're thinking Conestoga wagon prairie schooners with Ma riding with her feet on the buckboard think again.

RJ Samp

hanktrent
07-23-2006, 03:04 PM
Here's the humorous drawing I happened to be thinking of when I wrote about cavalry on oxen. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a16230
Though it's not actually cavalry, it does include a man with a saber mounted individually on an ox, just to the left of the crease, in addition to the teamsters riding the oxen who are hitched to the guns and limbers. I also like the bugler on the little mule.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net