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Bill_Cross
07-31-2006, 12:29 PM
This topic came up on another thread about whether it's OK or not to leave an event early. The reasons some object to the "leave early" crowd are:

1. It destroys unit cohesion

2. Weakens morale

3. Seems "cowardly"

4. Subjects the leavers to ridicule.

Indeed, there is one individual who has the nickname "One Day Skeffington" because he shows up Saturday AM, stays through the day, and is gone by dark. He's a nice person and we all like him, but when he signs up for one of my companies or regiments, I know he's good for about 24 hours maximum. Part of that is because he lives close to many events to drop in and drop out. I think this is one reason so many gray left McDowell early during the 2003 iteration after the weather turned rotten: many of them lived within a couple of hours. So-called "graybackitis."

Sometimes there's no avoiding leaving early. At "Into the Wilderness," we lost one fellow when his wife became ill (she was doing the authentic civilian thing, for those of you who feel we "hardcores" aren't "family-friendly"). But I also found out after dark that one of my company commanders had left without telling anyone but his lieutenant. His reason: many of his command had left early, so he didn't see any need for his services. My feeling is: don't accept command if you can't stick out until the end. The lieutentant got a field "promotion" for the event, and handled himself capably during the battle the next AM.

In the interest of full disclosure, I confess I was grateful when Recon 2 1/2 was scrubbed on Saturday night, as we'd accomplished about all that could be done by the end of that day. Sticking it out in rain and lightning would've just meant a night of misery. On the other hand, I was sorely disappointed when Recon 2 was scrubbed, as most of the "progressive" campaigners had thrown up shebangs and were ready to handle a second night of cold.

VaTrooper
07-31-2006, 12:36 PM
Unless it was a health issue I wouldnt leave. Weather is just another part of the game.

indguard
07-31-2006, 12:48 PM
Unless someone gets hurt or sick or the event was cancelled, there is NO reason to leave early.

In FACT, I feel it shows disrespect for the hobby, the event AND your own pards to constantly leave early from every event.

(Naturally, there will be individual times when all you really CAN do is one day. I am talking the chronic one day participant here)

WTH

roundshot
07-31-2006, 01:52 PM
What a ludicrous question. This is a hobby. A person can leave when they **** well decide they want to. Yes, they may have to manage the "fallout," but no one else has the right to decide if it was "justified" or not. Get real, people!

Bob Williams
The West Point Battery

Rob
07-31-2006, 02:41 PM
My job requires me to work Sunday afternoons. I don't get home until about 3:30 Monday morning.

Feeding my family is just a bit more important than a hobby - this one, or any other. If people don't like the fact that I miss most Sundays, then they'll just have to go on not liking it.

Tom Scoufalos
07-31-2006, 03:01 PM
I just wanted to make a quick post on this thread to assuage some guilt I have been experiencing this season.

Typically, I show up at an event later than I would like (late, LATE Friday is my norm) and stay until the bitter end. I enjoy the hobby so much that I usually do not want to leave early almost irregardless of the circumstances. I would also like/enjoy showing up earlier than I typically do, but in my line of work I need to put in for any days off a full 4 MONTHS ahead of time, so that is not always practicable.

However, this season has been very atypical, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is my upcoming marriage in about a month. Add to that trading up to a bigger house a couple of months ago and a couple of providers from my office on medical LOA obliging me to work one to two weekends a month (vice typically a couple a YEAR) and you have a recipe for a shot year of living history.

To cut to the chase, I love the hobby and have been able to go to a couple of events this year. However, at those events, I have become a "one hit wonder" so to speak. Typically arriving late, late Friday and leaving Sat afternoon/early evening. For me, this is the only way to get any hobby time in, and I have felt bad about it, but not bad enough to stop going to events altogether if I can help it.

For example, I had been getting kit together for 11th NY/1st Regiment (Fire) Zouaves for the past 3 years. Got the weekends mixed up and found out 2 weeks before the event that it fell on the same weekend as Nicole's bridal shower. Explaining why the groom in this case was necessary at the bridal shower is beyond the scope of this email! Anyway, suffice to say I could get away Friday night and stay through the scenario Saturday, but that's it. Did I go? **** yeah...pardon the hyperbole, but I was all but despondent when it looked like I could not go at all. Did I leave early? Had to. Did I want to leave early? It killed me, but wanted to do the right thing by HER, which comes first (my priorities = God and my personal Savior, family, career, personal health, temporal church and civic responsibilities, and somewhere after that, reenacting). Would/will I do it again? Yeah, most likely, until the dust from all the changes in my life settles down. Is it selfish of me? I really don't know, ergo the guilt that I am seeking to assuage by posting this.

-Tom Scoufalos

Rob
07-31-2006, 03:18 PM
Tom,

Congrats on your upcoming marriage.

Don't feel guilty. You gotta do what you gotta do.

ewtaylor
07-31-2006, 03:23 PM
I think it depends on the situation. Some people only care about themselves and will leave an event no matter what. Some have to leave early on Sunday because of work and travel distance. Some go to campaigner events and figure out they have bitten off more than they can chew and quitely disappear. Some go to events and quickly figure out the event is way too farby to stand and leave as soon as possible (or right away). No matter what your reason, I think you should be man enough to let your company commander know you are leaving. If you know you are leaving early on Sunday, or right away, you should let them know. I think it is extremely rude to leave without telling someone when and why. After you have done this, then leave-- it is just a hobby.
ew taylor

BobSullivanPress
07-31-2006, 03:27 PM
In my many years on the musket-toting end of the hobby, I always thought that arriving late/leaving early is more than that.

Here's what I mean: If I tell you I have to work Saturday but will arrive for Saturday evening and Sunday, I'm not arriving late.

If I tell you I can't be there for Sunday, then I'm not leaving early when I leave Saturday night.

Leaving early to me means an unplanned departure. And in my book, illness and family emergencies count as legitimate reasons to leave early, but little else does. To me, there 's a verbal contract going on here. You arrive when you say you will arrive, you depart when you say you will depart. Other people depend on your being there when you say you'll be there.

I don't think there's anything wrong with choosing to not attend the full event. We have lives outside of this hobby. But if at all possible, stick to your verbal contract.

Bill_Cross
07-31-2006, 03:34 PM
We have lives outside of this hobby. But if at all possible, stick to your verbal contract.
While it's "just a hobby" (a phrase used to excuse many sins), some events are more than just a matter of contributing a musket. Mainstreamers perhaps don't see that part of it, since in my mainstreaming days, the only thing that mattered was showing up for roll call and being on-time for the sham battles.

With campaigner/progressive events, those two events are often minor after-thoughts-- well, maybe not if you're orderly sergeant.... Many events post a full-time guard mount, and the strain on all is increased if folks bug out. Each company is usually accessed a certain number of bodies, and the more you have, the less the burden ("many hands make for light work").

Since campaigner events are often planned well before the first cars roll in off the Interstate, guard mount assessments are doled out early, too. If you show up later than you indicate (other than for a legitimate delay), or leave early because you want to get a jump on traffic, it may mean one or more of your pards will have to pick up your slack.

So I like what you say about honoring your verbal contract. If I'm in charge, and I know you have to work late Friday night, I can deal with it. If you get off Friday night and decide you'll just "bag it," then I'm the one left holding your bag.

Tom Scoufalos
07-31-2006, 03:38 PM
Bob- that sounds about right; I do forewarn my chums on these affairs.

Rob- thanks much!

Tom

MStuart
07-31-2006, 03:52 PM
The very fact that we're having this discussion is proof positive that some folks have a "problem" with others leaving early. One doesn't need to justify anything to anyone here....only to one's unit. And if they don't have a problem with it, neither should we.

Mark

FWL
07-31-2006, 03:57 PM
While it's "just a hobby" (a phrase used to excuse many sins),


Bill you hit the nail on the head with that quote. In one hobby that phrase is used all the time to cut corners and justify mediocrity or worse. In the other "hobby" its a phrase seldom used.

Two different hobbies in one people could generally care less when they come and go (for whatever reason), in the second unless its a real health reason or family emergency its looked down on. Either you are there for the whole thing or don't come.

Regards

EasySam
07-31-2006, 04:34 PM
"It's just a hobby". Stamp collecting is a hobby. So is fishing. When you do these is irrelevant to anyone but you. I say reenacting is a bit more. Let's say your hobby is softball. There are 9 on the team. You're pitching and comes the 3rd inning you decide to leave. Do you tell your team, hey I want to go mow my yard, sit & watch TV, go swimming, etc.? The team depends on you but it's just a hobby, so you leave. You have just stepped all over their hobby. It is like the fellers who will tell you over & over that they will be there and don't show - An excuse can always be found. I guess what I am saying is that reenacting is more than a hobby to me. And before anyone suggests I "Get a life", I do have a full life. I submit that if you want to look at this as "it's just a hobby", at least acknowledge that it is a "team hobby". And being part of a team suggests some responsibility to your mates. There is one feller in our Company who, in my 6 years as Captain, has only stayed overnight once. Usually he shows for one battle and is gone. The thing is, he is a fine man and a really good reenactor. I actually feel sorry for him, as he misses the best part.

roundshot
07-31-2006, 05:06 PM
It's interesting how the mainstreamer/campaigner theme has entered into this thread and, once again, someone seeks to quickly and self righteously categorize folks as being in either the "honorable camp" vs. the "other guys." Missed. Big time. It makes for a convenient oversimplification of the issue with not a little bit of self promotion. The substantive issue is: Do I have a right to tell you when it is OK for you to leave an event? The answer is NO, mainstreamer, campaigner or otherwise. If you're tough enough to suck it up without your backpack in a steady rain, you're tough enough to suck it up when some guy who dosen't want to be there packs it in. I may not like it, but my vote dosen't count in his life. Neither does yours. And yes, Bill, sometimes you get left holding the bag. That's part of the risk/reward of rank/leadership (and what you get paid all those big $$ for!).

Bob Williams
The West Point Battery

Phil
07-31-2006, 05:27 PM
True, it is often the individual's decision to leave the event early, but this is often in complete disregard to those who spent plenty of time and effort to attend the event only to have it dissolve because some folks got scared of the rain, or other trifling excuse.

Yes, you have the freedom to make your own decisions, but with that freedom comes the responsibility to accept the consequences of your actions. You may find less folks willing to invite you to their events, and less willing to show up to the events you put on or promise to attend.

MStuart
07-31-2006, 06:45 PM
Isn't this thread just a veiled condemnation of the guys who left the Rich Mountain event early? The little "cynic guy" on my shoulder just slapped me on the head and wanted me to ask. But I don't expect a frank answer.

Mark

Rob
07-31-2006, 06:52 PM
When you make a commitment to others you should keep it.

In my own case, my unit has known about my hours since December... I offered to give up my stripes, but no one took me up on it. (Sometimes I wish they had.)

Hondo
07-31-2006, 06:58 PM
Sam,

You hit the nail on the head. There are some of us that feel the way you do. It is much more than a hobby!

Hondo

redpatch
07-31-2006, 07:20 PM
There have been a lot of good points made here. Nothing wrong with people seeing things differently as long as they know who they are playing with and understand what is generally expected.

I think the overridding theme here is be courteous to those you are attending an event with and considerate of the expectations of others. With that said, family emergencies, last minute employment issues, health, etc. trump an event. I doubt there are many anywhere in the hobby(s) who don't appreciate that.

Rob Galbraith

bob 125th nysvi
07-31-2006, 08:57 PM
is a LOT more authentic than having everybody who started the event finish.

In real life they'd be DEAD, WOUNDED OR MIA or on detached duty.

Funny how a campaigner started this thread.

The reality of both versions of real life (the real war and reenacting) is that people weren't around to finish what they started for a variety of reasons. All good in the eyes of the participant.

So people leave because of family issues, jobs, travel, bored out of their tree or having bit off more than they could chew.

Either way its their choice.

What they should DO is tell someone they are leaving and if it involves something that happened at the event (like an injury) why.

Otherwise have the Sargent list them as AWOL or Dead and get on with the war.

Talking about a mountain out of a molehill!

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

indguard
07-31-2006, 09:48 PM
is a LOT more authentic than having everybody who started the event finish.

I find that simplistic comment a bit ridiculous.

THEY (back then) also STARTED with THOUSANDS of men in the ranks.

We start with a few hundred when we are lucky.

They could lose a percentage and still operate. We, on the other hand, operate on such close percentages that if we begin to lose people for the 2nd day of the event it materially affects the ability of things to continue.

If you want to stand on this "attrition" claim of yours, then we should directly PLAN that a certain number of people must leave on Sunday! Would you like to be picked to have "died" on the filed and told you must go home and not be allowed to participate on Sunday because you are "dead"? Well, you would face that probability if we were to adopt attrition standards as you seem to be advocating!

The simple fact of the matter is, we usually CANNOT afford to lose large groups of men from the ranks in reenacting. And guys that go home early without legitimate reasons HURT their pards AND the event.

Again, no one is saying that a guy who HAS to work one of the two days is a jerk and no one is saying that family obligations must never interfere with the hobby. When you really have to go, you just HAVE to go.

But, guys that drift in and out without considering what it does to their "team" (and that IS what your mess or company IS, after all) are NOT the kind of people that we need in a hobby where numbers are down anyway!

reb64
07-31-2006, 10:10 PM
To do what we do requires having a job with weekends off, or one with occational weekends off that the spouse/girlfriend doesn't mind you using up, and you don't mind using your only free time away from pressing houshold repirs/car repairs etc. So far I have always had jobs that din't require weekend work, but there are times when a weekend is in conflict with birthday/anniversdary/scv meeting etc./company event. I say just be thankful for those who come and stay as long as they can. If its a habit someone has picked up when you know they can stay, then have a man to man talk, tactfully unless you lose them.

madisontigers
07-31-2006, 11:30 PM
interesting question.

Button Whizzer
08-01-2006, 06:54 AM
Would you like to be picked to have "died" on the filed and told you must go home and not be allowed to participate on Sunday because you are "dead"? Well, you would face that probability if we were to adopt attrition standards as you seem to be advocating!

Isn't that precisely why fate cards and dead companies are used on a consistent basis? Participants appear to believe it is a great idea.

Maybe it is just me, but people really missed the boat here.

Brandon

Rob Weaver
08-01-2006, 07:08 AM
I work every Sunday, without exception unless I take vacation time. I'm not keen on doing that often as that means it's vacation time I can't take with the rest of my family. It's not lack of commitment that causes people to leave early; it's their other valid commitments. I think it would be helpful if we began to think of each day of an event as distinct, with last day numbers more often than not being smaller. (OTOH, does anyone ever join an event just for Sunday?

Sgt. Rob Weaver
Pine River Boys
Co I, 7th Wisconsin Volunteers

tompritchett
08-01-2006, 07:55 AM
OTOH, does anyone ever join an event just for Sunday

Actually yes. Usually occurs when the event is close and the individual had a commitment that prevented him or her from attending on Saturday. Not as common as people splitting out earlier but not all that uncommon either.

Regular3
08-01-2006, 08:18 AM
If a fellow knows going in that he can only do one day of an event, then I would assume he's told his pards and/or "superiors" beforehand and they will have planned for it, for example, I've known for 50-plus years the date of my parents' anniversary - July 21. So I knew months ago that there was a 99.44 percent chance the family would be doing something to honor my parents on their 60th, which just happened to be the weekend of Manassas 145. Thus the unit knew about it and our officer had a plan in place to deal with my absence (I'm currently acting First Sgt.)

If a fellow learns of an emergency at home or gets sick or hurt himself or just decides he can't deal with the event any longer, common sense and courtesy would say he should tell someone in his unit before he leaves. Otherwise, how would they know he's not lying sick or injured or worse in some remote corner of the event site? At most mainstream event sites he'd be fairly easy to find, but in an area like Rich Mountain skulking off without a word to anyone ... while certainly authentic ... could result at the very least in an unnecessary waste of time spent searching - A search which could even conceivably risk his fellow participants coming to harm as they roam the ridges and hollows looking for him ... And I would expect a search to be mounted if a fellow couldn't be accounted for, whether it's a mainstream field like Cedar Creek or a C/P/H event site like Rich Mountain. This may sound like alarmism, but accounting for all the men is a big part of the job of being an officer or NCO, even in this "hobby."

Wild Rover
08-01-2006, 08:20 AM
Gents,

This "leaving early" thread is quite interesting. There are several points of view one can take.

A- It is just a hobby. Period, Really. No matter how often we nail ourselves to a cross for XYZ (preservation, interpretation, enlightenment, etc..) in some self scarificing manner it is a hobby.

B- Team- Folk stay for each other. Yup, seriously, and this is where long standing units, not ad hoc ones, shine. Men form friendships from being "through" stuff with each other, and in standing units they have been comrades for a long time, compared to ad hoc toss togethers.

C- Leadership- Is the leader making the right choices and keeping the investment (staying at the event) worth the return (fun)? If not it is no wonder folks leave. This could be the company commander, the battalion commander, the overall commander or the event organizer. I think meltdown speaks more to this than any other item.

D- Perception vs Reality- Were folks properly prepared with the vision of the event. Communication issues?

I have worked through all of the above at various times.

Pards,

Pvt Schnapps
08-01-2006, 09:48 AM
Mssrs Sandusky and Williams state the case well, I think. Re-enacting works best as a hobby, pursued in various ways and with differing standards according to taste. It's when we freight it with a more profound significance that we begin to create frictions that seem nothing less than silly to outsiders.

But the original question really does seem to take up on other posts and underscore the difference between those who call themselves "campaigners" and those who call themselves "mainstreamers," or claim no label at all.

"Campaign" events tend to be carefully crafted one-offs that take a lot out of the organizers and depend heavily on a relatively small fraction of the reenactor population. It's the opposite of doing Cedar Creek every year. There's a lot of insecurity about whether the event will come off and who will attend, and how it might be affected by the scheduling of other "campaign" events.

The picture is further complicated by ideological arm wrestling among the small number of p/c/h factions -- the closest analogy that comes to mind are the different groups of Palestinian rebels in "Life of Brian."

In that context, leaving early has far more repercussions than it does among larger, more stable mainstream units at annual events.

Nonetheless, it's still a hobby and I wish folks would lighten up.

Here's a suggestion for handling early departures. In my home company it's pretty much taken for granted that at mainstream events we'll have fewer people on Sunday than on Saturday. Rather than decry it, we make it a part of the event, completing a "Return of Killed, Wounded, and Missing" ("Form 21" in Kautz's The Company Clerk) and giving the early absconders a choice of their fate. (For details of how to do this, you can look at pp. 16-17 in "School of the Clerk" -- http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18340).

As I said, we do this mainly at mainstream reenactments, but it's a touch of authenticity that's often missing at "campaign" events.

BTW, "Buttonwhizzer" -- do you try to sound like Charles Heath, or does it just come naturally? :-)

BobSullivanPress
08-01-2006, 10:24 AM
I like the analogy of a baseball team.

I don't understand how people think that one element of the reenacting community or another has some sort of monopoly on leaving early. It's been my experience that this idea is equally shared among all levels of reenacting. I don't see the need to twist this into a discussion of how some people portray Civil War soldiers.

To me, it has absolutely nothing to do with who's clothes and equipment you wear. It has to do with making a verbal contract and then honoring that contract. Five little words: "Yes, I will be there." And if you aren't, doesn't that then become a lie? Do you appreciate it when people lie to you? Me neither.

Yes I will be there.

Yes, I will be there, but I may/will arrive late.

Yes, I will be there but I may/will be leaving early.

No, I will not attend.

To me, "Are you going to be there?" is a multiple choice question, and I expect a honest answer. I do not judge those who choose to attend an event as they see fit. It's not required, and some folks don't put an event as high on the priority list as others. That's fine. It really has nothing to do with attendance. It has nothing to do with authenticity. It has to do with honesty.

As I re-read this, it seems harsh. But hey, some times the truth is.

Bill_Cross
08-01-2006, 10:45 AM
I don't understand how people think that one element of the reenacting community or another has some sort of monopoly on leaving early. It's been my experience that this idea is equally shared among all levels of reenacting. I don't see the need to twist this into a discussion of how some people portray Civil War soldiers.
I don't see this campaigner/mainstream animus in the thread, except for those individuals who are looking for reasons to talk about our differences and not the topic. Early departures affect both wings of the hobby, and all the examples I cited myself were from campaigner/progressive events. I think we need to stop looking for trouble; there's enough of it in the hobby without manufacturing it. And I don't mean you, Bob, but those who say things like "figures a campaigner would start this thread." Well, since I'm talking about campaigner ####-ups, would you prefer I talk about the mainstream events I don't go to???

Someone asked if this was a slam at those who left Rich Mountain early. I wasn't at the event-- though signed up to go, so perhaps I'm the worst sort of malingerer (I let them know well in advance I couldn't attend, and someone else got to wear the butterknife). I didn't know anyone left early, as I rarely read AARs for events I didn't attend. I know the Internet sometimes seems to exist in order to make sport of events the wags talking about it didn't go to, but that seems both duplicitous and even evil.

The problem of early departures is more noticed at campaigner events for the reasons Schnapps points out: they're tightly-crafted affairs that rely on fewer people to get a lot done. "Reenactor math" usually means you'll start the event down 20% from your registrations, so losing more bodies can cut into guard mount (sometimes causing it to be cancelled), or otherwise mean more work for fewer hands. I've seen people get burned out shouldering the extra work, so it's a real concern.

To me, "Are you going to be there?" is a multiple choice question, and I expect a honest answer. I do not judge those who choose to attend an event as they see fit. It's not required, and some folks don't put an event as high on the priority list as others. That's fine. It really has nothing to do with attendance. It has nothing to do with authenticity. It has to do with honesty.
That about sums it up. It's not that some of us have reasons for leaving early, it's about those who quit in the middle.

Linda Trent
08-01-2006, 03:17 PM
I think you should be man enough to let your company commander know you are leaving... I think it is extremely rude to leave without telling someone when and why.

I agree whole-heartedly that a participant should be man, (or woman), enough. :) McDowell Davis Run was one such example for me. I got put in the position of immersion civilian coordinator since Abby Walker had to undergo surgery. One of our participants apparently *knew* that she was going to be leaving early, (as in Saturday about 1:00), to attend a wedding, but didn't tell any of the coordinators. She just told one of the other participants, who decided for whatever reason not to inform me immediately when someone noticed that she was missing.

During the event someone mentioned not having seen this Mrs. "Y" for a while, and in character we all agreed that none of us had seen her since late morning. At this point I realized that we could have a very serious situation on our hands and I took a time-out to ask the participants if anyone had seen her since early morning, it was now late afternoon. Everyone had agreed that they had not. The group became alarmed and we immediatly began to launch into a 21st century search and rescue; at this point the one person piped up that her friend had left late that morning around 11 or noon and would not be returning.

Folks, some of the terrain and situations we are in during events can be quite hazardous. If you're going to attend an event and have to leave early PLEEEZZ tell the organizers or your commander or someone in authority. A missing person can be a very serious thing cliffs, snakes, twisted or broken ankles, storms, etc. We made a rule for the remainder of the event which I think is vital anyway to never leave camp alone or if for some reason someone absolutely to, he/she was to make certain that I (as organizer) knew where he/she was going and approximately when he/she would return.

Leaving an event is one thing, leaving without telling the proper authorities is quite another.

Linda.

FWL
08-01-2006, 03:27 PM
At most mainstream event sites he'd be fairly easy to find, but in an area like Rich Mountain skulking off without a word to anyone ... while certainly authentic ... could result at the very least in an unnecessary waste of time spent searching - A search which could even conceivably risk his fellow participants coming to harm as they roam the ridges and hollows looking for him ... And I would expect a search to be mounted if a fellow couldn't be accounted for, whether it's a mainstream field like Cedar Creek or a C/P/H event site like Rich Mountain. This may sound like alarmism, but accounting for all the men is a big part of the job of being an officer or NCO, even in this "hobby."

Darrell lets be clear about RM. I attended. They published an emergency phone number well in advance of the event. They required every participant to be in the company they actually registered with. they knew where all companies were once the curtin went up. There was no skulking off. Officers did periotic roll calls to ensure they knew where the men were. Once the curtin went up it was a military camp. No wandering off to sutlers ect. We were very easy to find. On the other hand the large mainstream reenactments I've been to I think its almost impossible to find anyone at anytime. At RM you could have found people if you had to I would guess within 1/2 to 1 hour. I felt far safer at RM lets say than Antietam 140.

Rob Weaver
08-01-2006, 03:38 PM
In some sense, we all style ourselves after military units. Your commander should know where you are, and especially if you have decided to leave early. He or she sends the info up to the next level, as appropriate.
I think we owe each other honest answers, too. "Yes, I'll be there for Saturday only" is simple and to the point.

Sgt. Rob Weaver
Pine River Boys
Co I, 7th Wisconsin Volunteers

FWL
08-01-2006, 03:44 PM
BTW, "Buttonwhizzer" -- do you try to sound like Charles Heath, or does it just come naturally? :-)

Now that's interesting. I'm going to go home and have a pipe and refreshment and think on that for awhile. PS if I become an officer (never wanted to) would you be my manservant? Just a thought!

Regards
Frank Lilley
Detached Again

dustyswb
08-01-2006, 07:46 PM
WTH,

At Payne's Farm, the CS side knew of a guy that needed to leave Saturday night for modern life reasons. He volunteered to be one of the "dead" casualties, stayed on the battlefield after the "battle" and was carried off the field by his mates. He then left the event quietly.

Frank, for what it is worth, the emergency number at RM didn't work the several times my wife tried to call it after her father had a stroke Saturday morning. I found out Sunday when I returned to my car.

bob 125th nysvi
08-01-2006, 07:55 PM
I find that simplistic comment a bit ridiculous.

THEY (back then) also STARTED with THOUSANDS of men in the ranks.

or ridiculous than yours that you are recreating a battle that involved 10s or 100s of thousands of men with a few hundred or dozen.

HMMM

I guess it all depends on what realities you are willing to suspend.

And by the way, MIlitary units shed soldiers all the time for a variety of reasons that's a reality. Maybe you should read the accounts of how stragglers were late getting into camp all the time. Or the rolls of units that listed men unaccounted for. Or how men died in camp of disease without ever getting shot at.

So nobody during the CW was at TOE and who was where changed every day.

Don't tell me I'm working the wrong end of the hog because you like your end better.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

Regular3
08-01-2006, 08:07 PM
Leaving an event is one thing, leaving without telling the proper authorities is quite another. -- Linda.

And I was under the impression that this was the original theme of this thread - that some people have a habit of leaving either (a) without telling anyone in authority and sometimes (b) without telling anyone at all -- but then I sometimes miss the point.

YankRI
08-01-2006, 09:39 PM
Interesting topic for discussion (although I'm not sure about this split sentence thing between the title and message box!).

I for one like leaving on Sunday morning, regardless of the event. Not sure why except by Saturday night I'm usually pretty beat. On top of that I usually have a drive and a half coming from RI.

Fortunately most CW events I go to wrap up by 9-10 a.m. and the WWI and WWII events end on Saturday night. But if I'm at an event with a Sunday afternoon battle, I let the 1SG know that I'm good for battalion dress parade but then I'm hittin' road. Even doing that, I don't get home until early evening if the event is in Virginia.

Prematurely,

RJSamp
08-01-2006, 09:54 PM
Actually yes. Usually occurs when the event is close and the individual had a commitment that prevented him or her from attending on Saturday. Not as common as people splitting out earlier but not all that uncommon either.

this occurs for me about once a season....Sat Wedding, or big party, et al.

My wife just graduated from University...Saturday Ceremony. Drove down to Conner Prairie IN that night.....slept in my car in the rain storm (the boys were under canvas or in a couple of Mennonite barns).....and came out ablazin' on Sunday.

We have plenty of guys who work on Saturday and only come for Sunday.

GrumpyDave
08-02-2006, 06:11 AM
Never. Only if the event organizers said, "Hey folks the weather that's aproaching may put your life in danger, we're calling the event off." Or, you have some type of actual physical situation that may cause you harm. Heat, ankle, knee or the like. Otherwise, it's not OK to leave early, ever. Get there at or before the required time and only leave when the event is over. When you sign up for an event, you make a commitment to the organizers and other participants. Keep it. If an old fart like me can hang, so can you.

tompritchett
08-02-2006, 07:43 AM
Personally, I do not have a problem when members tell me ahead of time that they can not attend or have to come late or leave early. This is a hobby and must fit into others' life priorities as such. What I do not tolerate are the unit commanders that try to pressure unit members to change their decisions before the event because the individuals' priorities do not agree with the commander's priorities. If I know that I have a member that will only be making two or three events a year for whatever reason, I accept the fact and am glad for his presence at that events rather than bitch and complain that he or she is not making more events.

However, I agree strongly that this is also a team hobby and that if you have committed to the event, you should honor that commitment to your pards. Part of the military experience is loyality to your comrades. If you read about soldiers during any war, you will find numerous occassions where men were wounded or sick and resisted strongly being sent back for treatment because they knew that there leaving would leave their comrades with one less rifle. If we are indeed reenacting soldiers we should adopt this very common loyality to our comrades. Having said this, I have also have no problem with people having to leave early for legitimate personal reasons such as family emergencies.

Rob Weaver
08-02-2006, 03:27 PM
Personally, I do not have a problem when members tell me ahead of time that they can not attend or have to come late or leave early. This is a hobby and must fit into others' life priorities as such. What I do not tolerate are the unit commanders that try to pressure unit members to change their decisions before the event because the individuals' priorities do not agree with the commander's priorities. If I know that I have a member that will only be making two or three events a year for whatever reason, I accept the fact and am glad for his presence at that events rather than bitch and complain that he or she is not making more events.

However, I agree strongly that this is also a team hobby and that if you have committed to the event, you should honor that commitment to your pards. Part of the military experience is loyality to your comrades. If you read about soldiers during any war, you will find numerous occassions where men were wounded or sick and resisted strongly being sent back for treatment because they knew that there leaving would leave their comrades with one less rifle. If we are indeed reenacting soldiers we should adopt this very common loyality to our comrades. Having said this, I have also have no problem with people having to leave early for legitimate personal reasons such as family emergencies.
This is nice middle ground. I pack a fatigue blouse with no insignia sometimes if I know that I'll be losing enough men that I can't really justify wearing rank. It is a balance - commitments and the team.

Sgt. Rob Weaver
Pine River Boys
Co I, 7th Wisconsin

8thILCavalry
08-02-2006, 06:30 PM
Our unit has the Corporals call a number of members in the unit to find out, that week, if they will be arriving to the next weekends event. Then the Corporals, give that number to the Sgt. He gets all of the names that are going and then the Sgt. tells the Captain the amount of soldiers that will be there. Many times we will get people saying they will be there only one day. Some say Sat. and some say Sun. We had events were someone would leave on Sat. and the next day someone else would show up and replace the one we lost. But we usually know before the event that that will happen.

Now Leaving an event because you are bored or some other selfish reason is Wrong, but if its a family emergency, we say goodbye, we will take care of your tent and gear and send them off quickly.
I have heard of units packing up and leaving because they don't want to galvanize the other side and that, in my book is a selfish reason to leave early. Its a hobby, not a crisis.

And also, the ones that do leave early and don't tell anyone is historically
correct in this hobby. They are called Deserters. :)

madisontigers
08-02-2006, 06:42 PM
hmmmmmmmmm

tompritchett
09-01-2006, 06:06 PM
This theme, and the more general theme of "no-shows" has been picked up on the Camp Chase Forum. The link is http://www.campchase.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=165&topic_id=2169&mesg_id=2169&page=

Jim of the SRR
09-02-2006, 11:58 AM
This topic came up on another thread about whether it's OK or not to leave an event early. The reasons some object to the "leave early" crowd are:

1. It destroys unit cohesion

2. Weakens morale

3. Seems "cowardly"

4. Subjects the leavers to ridicule.

Indeed, there is one individual who has the nickname "One Day Skeffington" because he shows up Saturday AM, stays through the day, and is gone by dark. He's a nice person and we all like him, but when he signs up for one of my companies or regiments, I know he's good for about 24 hours maximum. Part of that is because he lives close to many events to drop in and drop out. I think this is one reason so many gray left McDowell early during the 2003 iteration after the weather turned rotten: many of them lived within a couple of hours. So-called "graybackitis."

Sometimes there's no avoiding leaving early. At "Into the Wilderness," we lost one fellow when his wife became ill (she was doing the authentic civilian thing, for those of you who feel we "hardcores" aren't "family-friendly"). But I also found out after dark that one of my company commanders had left without telling anyone but his lieutenant. His reason: many of his command had left early, so he didn't see any need for his services. My feeling is: don't accept command if you can't stick out until the end. The lieutentant got a field "promotion" for the event, and handled himself capably during the battle the next AM.

In the interest of full disclosure, I confess I was grateful when Recon 2 1/2 was scrubbed on Saturday night, as we'd accomplished about all that could be done by the end of that day. Sticking it out in rain and lightning would've just meant a night of misery. On the other hand, I was sorely disappointed when Recon 2 was scrubbed, as most of the "progressive" campaigners had thrown up shebangs and were ready to handle a second night of cold.

Bill,

Is it okay to leave an event early when you will have to do without your knapsack for the evening? (In spite of the fact that it wasn't cold or wet.)

Regards,
Jim Butler

Jim of the SRR
09-02-2006, 12:09 PM
It's interesting how the mainstreamer/campaigner theme has entered into this thread and, once again, someone seeks to quickly and self righteously categorize folks as being in either the "honorable camp" vs. the "other guys." Missed. Big time. It makes for a convenient oversimplification of the issue with not a little bit of self promotion. The substantive issue is: Do I have a right to tell you when it is OK for you to leave an event? The answer is NO, mainstreamer, campaigner or otherwise. If you're tough enough to suck it up without your backpack in a steady rain, you're tough enough to suck it up when some guy who dosen't want to be there packs it in. I may not like it, but my vote dosen't count in his life. Neither does yours. And yes, Bill, sometimes you get left holding the bag. That's part of the risk/reward of rank/leadership (and what you get paid all those big $$ for!).

Bob Williams
The West Point Battery

Bob,

This is not a mainstream or C/p/h issue. It affects all sides of this hobby.
And when folks always bail out early (which is their God-given, Consitutional right), then there will be consequences. The main one is that your peers will not think very highly of you. When you leave with no valid reason, they will be thinking ill of you and some will be just down-right pissed off with you.
We used to live in the "Me" generation, now we live in the "Me and F&*K You" generation. Leaving people holding the bag just makes you a real as*h*le!

Regards,
Jim Butler

Jim of the SRR
09-02-2006, 12:19 PM
I don't see this campaigner/mainstream animus in the thread, except for those individuals who are looking for reasons to talk about our differences and not the topic. Early departures affect both wings of the hobby, and all the examples I cited myself were from campaigner/progressive events. I think we need to stop looking for trouble; there's enough of it in the hobby without manufacturing it. And I don't mean you, Bob, but those who say things like "figures a campaigner would start this thread." Well, since I'm talking about campaigner ####-ups, would you prefer I talk about the mainstream events I don't go to???

Someone asked if this was a slam at those who left Rich Mountain early. I wasn't at the event-- though signed up to go, so perhaps I'm the worst sort of malingerer (I let them know well in advance I couldn't attend, and someone else got to wear the butterknife). I didn't know anyone left early, as I rarely read AARs for events I didn't attend. I know the Internet sometimes seems to exist in order to make sport of events the wags talking about it didn't go to, but that seems both duplicitous and even evil.

The problem of early departures is more noticed at campaigner events for the reasons Schnapps points out: they're tightly-crafted affairs that rely on fewer people to get a lot done. "Reenactor math" usually means you'll start the event down 20% from your registrations, so losing more bodies can cut into guard mount (sometimes causing it to be cancelled), or otherwise mean more work for fewer hands. I've seen people get burned out shouldering the extra work, so it's a real concern.

That about sums it up. It's not that some of us have reasons for leaving early, it's about those who quit in the middle.

Bill,

I know you were not at Rich Mtn, but were you aware that the men who left early from Rich Mtn from my company were all Rowdy Pard members? (except for one man)

Regards,
Jim Butler

Bill_Cross
09-02-2006, 04:08 PM
I know you were not at Rich Mtn, but were you aware that the men who left early from Rich Mtn from my company were all Rowdy Pard members? (except for one man)
Jim,

I understand there were some issues at the event, and that a number of people left, not just my fellow RPs. They apparently felt the lack of packs was a safety issue given the weather, but I did not spend much time talking with them about it. I suggest you take it up with them directly, or perhaps one of them will chime in here?

Jim of the SRR
09-02-2006, 05:15 PM
Jim,

I understand there were some issues at the event, and that a number of people left, not just my fellow RPs. They apparently felt the lack of packs was a safety issue given the weather, but I did not spend much time talking with them about it. I suggest you take it up with them directly, or perhaps one of them will chime in here?

Oh please...no more chiming on this RM issue. It has beaten to death. We discussed with each other at the event. Ultimately each person makes their own decision and I have no choice but to respect that.

Jim Butler

Mint Julep
09-02-2006, 08:13 PM
Bill,

I think Jim's valid point was that your comments are negative towards those that leave an event unexpectedly, both for the extra burden they place on those that remain and the disappointment they cause for the organizers, yet every Rowdy Pard in his company, YOUR organization, did that very thing.

There were zero safety issues surrounding the idea that they might sleep on the ground without their knapsacks. The vast majority of the participants did so and lived to tell the tale. Granted, there was anxiety for some that they were seperated from their personal possessions, but is it possible that the was the intent of the event planners? How else will anyone ever experience that feeling of "Here I am marching away from my stuff, not knowing if I'll ever see it again"?

Funny how, when your comments come back to bite your butt, you have no comment.

It is hard to fly with the eagles when you march with turkeys.

MJ

TimKindred
09-02-2006, 10:11 PM
Comrades,

Point is, this was nothing more than a bunch of folks who wanted to play "gotcha!". They hinted about this sort of thing during the run up to Rich Mountain, but in the end, it was a brazen attempt to add a "period" moment when it was not at all required.

I registered for the event, but withdrew and gave up my spot when I was scheduled for surgery during that same weekend. Thus, I was not there. However, had I been, and the folks in charge tried to make me leave my knapsack behind, I too would have "packed it in".

The idea to drop packs is fine, but to march on and leave them behind for the rest of the weekend is pure unadulterated b*llsh*t and no amount of hostoriography or post-event apologetics can justify that idea.

I have great respect for the folks who organised Rich Mountain, but that part of the event was not needed, and to my mind, a dangerous lapse in judgement. Yeah, there are period accounts of regiments leaving the knapsacks behind, but they didn't have to pay for their stuff, and there were real bullets being fired at them. This is still a hobby, play acting, and to endanger someone's health in order to adda 'touch" of realism is uncalled for.

More times than not, knapsacks were recovered within hours and brought up to the line. What was being "reenacted' was the exception, and not the rule, and to my mind, a dangerous game being played.

For what it's worth, I won't ever again register for any campaigner event unless there is in writing a guarantee regarding knapsacks being carried or dropped. If they are to be dropped and not recovered prior to the end of the event, then fine. Say it up front and let the folks choose whether to play along or go to another event. Otherwise, let it alone and let's get on with it.

I feel that, although much positive was accomplished with the Rich Mountain event, and many positive moments were accrued, this one part (dropping packs and not having access to them again) was a black eye and will cause many to rethink just what is being offered regarding event descriptions.

These are my own opinions, and should be judged as such, but as I said, I'm not registering for any event again unless there is some iron-clad guarantees regarding personal effects, etc.

Respects,

TimKindred
09-02-2006, 10:18 PM
Bill,

I think Jim's valid point was that your comments are negative towards those that leave an event unexpectedly, both for the extra burden they place on those that remain and the disappointment they cause for the organizers, yet every Rowdy Pard in his company, YOUR organization, did that very thing.

There were zero safety issues surrounding the idea that they might sleep on the ground without their knapsacks. The vast majority of the participants did so and lived to tell the tale. Granted, there was anxiety for some that they were seperated from their personal possessions, but is it possible that the was the intent of the event planners? How else will anyone ever experience that feeling of "Here I am marching away from my stuff, not knowing if I'll ever see it again"?

Funny how, when your comments come back to bite your butt, you have no comment.

It is hard to fly with the eagles when you march with turkeys.

MJ

Comrade MJ,

Anytime you want to discuss the pros and cons of our organisation, feel free to look me up. Regarding turkeys, that's a better moniker for the adolescent types who think that dropping knapsacks for an overnight without proper notice is kewl.... Grow up pard..... I have no problem at all with anyone who left Rich Mountain regarding that sort of scenario.

hanktrent
09-03-2006, 07:44 AM
Point is, this was nothing more than a bunch of folks who wanted to play "gotcha!". They hinted about this sort of thing during the run up to Rich Mountain, but in the end, it was a brazen attempt to add a "period" moment when it was not at all required.

I wasn't there either, but I've been at events where similar things happened, and I disagree. That kind of surprise is a great opportunity, and can only happen when it is a surprise.

An example: At the last Immortal 600 event, we'd been told we were to spend two nights in the original casemates at Ft. Pulaski as prisoners. The first night, instead of marching us into the prison, the guards marched us out to the swampy flats by the ocean and made us camp there in a cold breeze and a light drizzle, with no shelter but the blankets we'd brought for sleeping indoors. Rather than starting in the prison, the event was starting with our journey to the prison.

At the time, I couldn't help secretly thinking, "Of course! This is designed to set us up psychologically for the prison experience, to give us a sense of being out of control of our own fate and dependent on our captors. Nice touch." While simultaneously appreciating the experience itself.

When the drizzle didn't let up, they brought us into the prison itself, in the middle of the night. I'd thought that was the original plan, but afterwards I found out they'd planned to keep us outside all night, but had decided for safety reasons to bring us in early, before our blankets got too wet. So they were making responsible decisions behind the scenes.

Without touches like that, and midnight roust-outs for counting, and such, the event would have been just another SOYA living history. I've been waiting four years for another version, and as soon as registration opened for next year's event, I sent in my registration.

However, I don't agree with gratuitous harrassment combined with blatant farbism. You know, the kind of thing where the army comes up, trashes the civilians' belongings, shoots a couple people, then snaps a few pictures, hands out modern compliments all around, and goes off to talk about movies and the internet. I don't respect farbs and I have no desire to give them the "gift" of allowing them to pretend to bully me.

But if period harrassment or surprises are part of a larger context of overall period behavior, designed to enhance participants' period experience, I'm all for it. We need more surprises, and more envelope-pushing at events, and less psychological coddling.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

bob 125th nysvi
09-03-2006, 08:58 AM
Are limited to strictly emergency things like family illness or something going seriously wrong on the farm. But then I'm usually 4-5 hours away minimum not there is not much immediate help I can provide. Besides I leave the cell phone in the car there is no way to immediately get to me.

Although I used to have a job that I was on call 24x7. They literally called me 4 times in one day while I was vacation at Disney World. If it is choice between feeding the family and fighting the war your on your own boys.

Weather, no. That's part of the game.

Only ex-baseball players quit when the weather turns bad. Linemen stick it out.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

bob 125th nysvi
09-03-2006, 09:05 AM
Comrade MJ,

Anytime you want to discuss the pros and cons of our organisation, feel free to look me up. Regarding turkeys, that's a better moniker for the adolescent types who think that dropping knapsacks for an overnight without proper notice is kewl.... Grow up pard..... I have no problem at all with anyone who left Rich Mountain regarding that sort of scenario.

For the Rowdy Pards to leave an event when they feel it is justified but no one else gets too?

Doesn't fly Tim. If you want to ding everybody else for leaving events early you find acceptable but they don't you can't bug out at events you don't find acceptable.

The door swings both ways.

Did the Rowdy Pards leave an event enmass or not? No explanations, yes or no.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

ewtaylor
09-03-2006, 12:39 PM
"It's just a hobby". Stamp collecting is a hobby. So is fishing. When you do these is irrelevant to anyone but you. I say reenacting is a bit more. Let's say your hobby is softball. There are 9 on the team. You're pitching and comes the 3rd inning you decide to leave. Do you tell your team, hey I want to go mow my yard, sit & watch TV, go swimming, etc.? The team depends on you but it's just a hobby, so you leave. You have just stepped all over their hobby.

What if the organizers of the game decide to make it "shirts and skins". Your team is instructed to leave your shirts in the dugouts. Some guys are worried they will get sunburnt or maybe catch a cold. Is it ok for them to leave??

I don't understand all the crying about leaving packs behind. It was billeted as being a campaigner type event (or should I say Authentic type event). To me that means just about anything could happen and you (as a private) aren't always going to know the agenda.
Easy Sam I'm not picking on you I'm just using your quote as an example.

ew taylor

FWL
09-03-2006, 12:49 PM
Its interesting that of all the guys posting on this one was at RM that was MJ. Well I was also there. This has been beaten to death on this and other forums. Let it go. Some of my friends stayed and some left. I stayed. They are still all my friends whether I disagree with them or not.

RJSamp
09-03-2006, 01:17 PM
Are limited to strictly emergency things like family illness or something going seriously wrong on the farm. But then I'm usually 4-5 hours away minimum not there is not much immediate help I can provide. Besides I leave the cell phone in the car there is no way to immediately get to me.

Although I used to have a job that I was on call 24x7. They literally called me 4 times in one day while I was vacation at Disney World. If it is choice between feeding the family and fighting the war your on your own boys.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

I'll buy all of this.....emergencies are emergencies. The problem is that this often requires the influx of vehicles to haul the stuff out of camp..... we had a family emergency in the Western Brigade at Corinth NSA.....and out come two or three pick em up trucks/SUV's in the middle of Saturday to haul all the belongings out of camp.

If it's an emergency, then it's an emergency. Grab what you can carry and scurry off. If you have to carry off the heavy metal, don't bring it in in the first place, and have your pards tote it off on Sunday PM. Cars out of camp means exactly that.

Then there's the rainouts. Wilson's leak comes to mind.....some units bugged out early prior to orders (the event was not cancelled and orders were to stay)....and some loaded horse trailers had trouble negotiating the creek crossing and steep hill 'roads'. Never occurred to them that the horses would have been just fine WALKING across the creek and up the hilla.....joining up with the trailers on the high and dry ground of the macadamized roads. By dragging the loaded trailers over the ruts and soggy trails they made it worse for others following. And of course the event turned out just fine anyways after most of the AOP, Western Brigade, and Cumberland Guard had bugged out.

Sometimes one person's inconvenience/period moment is another person's 'emergency' (rain, cold, no blanket, etc.)....as long as you leave quietly without disrupting those that stay.....see yah!.... but headlights at night, cars in camp, any talking after lights out, diesel hauled trailers, banging car doors, and the squawk of electronic door locks....pass.

Rob Weaver
09-03-2006, 01:26 PM
I think if you're going to leave early that it's absolutely necessary to leave without interfering with those who are staying. March your stuff out to the car quietly. Most of the time, I can march out with my gear in a single trip - I am infantry, after all. One time I remember having to leave Gettysburg early. There was a side road a hundred yards or so from our camp, just on the other side of a barbed wire fence. I left my stuff on the other side of the fence, got my car and drove around to the road. Loaded up and was on my way in 15 minutes without bothering anyone!

Mint Julep
09-03-2006, 01:54 PM
Tim,

I've done several events with RP companies or in companies in line next to them. As a group, they are fine, I have no issue with them.

I also have no issue with the scenario at RM. Had I been a Federal on the mountain, I would have felt the same twinges of anxiety regarding my gear. However, the event left behind guards to watch the gear, so theft was not a concern.

What I do take exception to is the criticisms leveled against those that would leave and event early and when the critic is asked about his associates, he sidesteps the matter. Has he not and does he not lump his own comrades into the criticism? I think he does. I think his pards should be knocking on his door to ask him about it.

I thought the point of reenacting was to "do it like they did". Well, they dropped packs and walked away and sometimes never recovered them. We can mimick this by dropping packs and not recovering them until much, much later. Is it a hardship? Sure. Is it a pain in the backside? Yes. Is it relative to the experience of the CW soldier and something we should interpret for ourselves to learn from that experience? Absolutely.

Are some men going to balk and second guess the idea? Naturally. I'm sure if it happens a couple of more times, though, it will become more acceptable. In a few years, you will see something simliar, but watered down, at a mainstream events, or at the very least, one of the much heralded "bridge events".

MJ

Linda Trent
09-03-2006, 02:44 PM
We can mimick this by dropping packs and not recovering them until much, much later. Is it a hardship? Sure. Is it a pain in the backside? Yes. Is it relative to the experience of the CW soldier and something we should interpret for ourselves to learn from that experience? Absolutely.
MJ

MJ,

I agree with you. This is the same sort of thing that the civilians have faced at military events for the last 6+/- years. Having to deal with the unknown, having our things searched and seized by both armies as they come through: having food taken and not knowing which army we'd encounter next and whether or not they'd grant us a morsel of food. Having rules where both food and material items (including blankets) could be taken by either army -- with the only stipulation that the material items had to be returned to the 21st century owner after the event on Sunday, where we could be blindfolded (a.k.a. Outpost), put under military guard (WOTJ), being seperated from our food and shelter and not knowing when (or if) we'd get to return to it before the end of the event, is just something that's part of being a civilian.

Having our edible and material things gone through, trampled, seized, etc. is nothing new to civilians. Wearing only the clothes on our backs, and not having a change of clothes is nothing new, either. We've learned that being in a hurry to lodge our displeasure over some things with the army only makes the army work more slowly (as evidenced at McDowell, by the Provost officer), or angers them to the point of violence (as evidenced at ITW when Noah's character was shot). Sometimes we get stuff back at nightfall, and sometimes we don't, it's just a crap shoot.

Again, it's a hardship. It's a pain in the backside. And it's relative to the experience of the CW civilian and something we should interpret for ourselves to learn from that experience.

Linda.

Bill_Cross
09-03-2006, 03:03 PM
Oh please...no more chiming on this RM issue. It has beaten to death. We discussed with each other at the event. Ultimately each person makes their own decision and I have no choice but to respect that.
Then why did you ask the question if you didn't want an answer?

Bill_Cross
09-03-2006, 03:05 PM
I think Jim's valid point was that your comments are negative towards those that leave an event unexpectedly, both for the extra burden they place on those that remain and the disappointment they cause for the organizers, yet every Rowdy Pard in his company, YOUR organization, did that very thing.
As I've said before, I didn't attend the event. Jim needs to ask someone in the RPs who was there if he wants an explanation, but his comment to me indicates he's only looking to score a point. While I belong to the RPs, I wasn't at the event. If the individuals did something "wrong," then you'll need to take it up with them.

It is hard to fly with the eagles when you march with turkeys.
No comment, Joe. I've heard plenty of gobbling from your end over the years. ;-)

Jim of the SRR
09-03-2006, 03:13 PM
Its interesting that of all the guys posting on this one was at RM that was MJ. Well I was also there. This has been beaten to death on this and other forums. Let it go. Some of my friends stayed and some left. I stayed. They are still all my friends whether I disagree with them or not.

Nope, I was there as well.
My point isn't to discuss the knapsack issue again. I was really trying to point out the hypocrisy of those decrying folks leaving events early when their own pards just bailed out enmasse at a recent event (leaving others holding the bag). Additionally, many of these people commenting were not even at RM, so all their cyber-insight will really not reflect how it really was on site at that moment.
Also, there was NEVER any safety issues faced without packs at RM. Weather dried out all afternoon, weather was cool and dry at night, fire wood and bedding materials (for those with fieldcraft skills) were readily available.
One last reason for not leavinge arly (unless emergency, family, health issues are at stake) is that you embarass the rest of your group. When your gorup shows up at colors the next morning and many are gone, you make the remaining men look bad (guilt by association).
Again, I will never question anyone for leaving and I will always respect their individual decision (you have no choice but to accept it).

Regards,
Jim Butler

Jim of the SRR
09-03-2006, 03:20 PM
As I've said before, I didn't attend the event. Jim needs to ask someone in the RPs who was there if he wants an explanation, but his comment to me indicates he's only looking to score a point. While I belong to the RPs, I wasn't at the event. If the individuals did something "wrong," then you'll need to take it up with them.

No comment, Joe. I've heard plenty of gobbling from your end over the years. ;-)

Bill,

I guess your timing is really bad right now. My only advice is when discussing the topic of "folks who leave early", I would leave off "Treasurer-Rowdy Pards" when signing it...at least for a while.

Thanks,
Jim Butler

FWL
09-03-2006, 03:22 PM
Nope, I was there as well.


Sorry Jim I missed that you were there. I agree there were no safety issues at RM. I just did'nt want to go down that road again. The only thing I leaned from that discussion is there are some very different tolerances on the safety issues.

Regards

Mint Julep
09-03-2006, 08:46 PM
As I've said before, I didn't attend the event. Jim needs to ask someone in the RPs who was there if he wants an explanation, but his comment to me indicates he's only looking to score a point. While I belong to the RPs, I wasn't at the event. If the individuals did something "wrong," then you'll need to take it up with them.

I'm sure Jim had a conversation with the exiting RPs on the mountain. The issue is not what they did, but what you said about them. Jim's question of you, and my follow-up of the same line, is whether your comments are an indictment of your comrades. I understand what he is asking. I think you are smart enough to understand it also. [comment deleted - Provost]

As for your "gobble" comment, well, I already admitted to participating with the RPs at past events.

JS

Strawfoot
09-03-2006, 11:20 PM
"Also, there was NEVER any safety issues faced without packs at RM."


I wouldn't go that far Jimbo... After betting (and winning) on the weather forecast, even ET admitted that if it had rained Saturday night it would've sucked for the battalion up on that mountain. I know I would've gladly paid $100 for a groundcloth that night.

But in hindsight, the risk and uncertainty made it even more rewarding.

tompritchett
09-04-2006, 07:04 AM
I would say that all the "points" have been scored now. Let's move to another subject as this thread is starting to become personal.

Bill_Cross
09-04-2006, 01:12 PM
I would leave off "Treasurer-Rowdy Pards" when signing it...at least for a while.
I remain proud of the group and my association with it. I'm confident they left for a good reason, and I won't be drawn into this kind of inuendo. It doesn't reflect well on you, Jim, that you're pulling this kind of thing. I expect it from Smotherman, who is a professional boo bird on these forums, and whose posts generally bring down the level of discourse here to one of rabble-rousing. But somehow I expected better from you. Don't know why, I just did.

RJSamp
09-04-2006, 03:09 PM
As you may know, events are extremely important to the unit. Each attending unit will accomplish much during scheduled events. This is due in part to the continuity, consistency, and intensity of our drill/events. It is also due to the hard work and superior effort put forth by the individuals in each unit. A portion of that effort is attendance. Full attendance is expected of individuals and units that indicate their participation.

Individuals all make personal sacrifices in order to attend events. There are a few individuals that feel the event should give them special consideration---make an exception for them---allowing them to miss an activity or day within an event while other members are denied this permission. This is a double standard which the event organizers do no believe in. Reenactors and staff alike are under the same set of rules, regulations, and policies. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

Here are the list of excused absences.......
(30 days in advance if you want to miss a day).

********************************************

For the want of a horse shoe nail the war was lost......for the want of a couple of dozen reenactors that decide to get out of Dodge?
***********************************************

Did soldier's die/desert/get captured/report in sick/get wounded.....absolutely. Does the event, staff, fellow soldiers in the HOBBY count on you? Absolutely. If we treated drill and attendance as seriously as the high school orchestra members/hobbyists do....maybe the product would be better?

Mark Wadsworth
09-04-2006, 04:19 PM
I have left two events early over the years. The first one was when one of the guys who I shared a ride with was sick.
The second time I left early was when my BS meter pegged.
That was the battle of Seven Days about 5 years ago. I didn't feel like waiting for the battle to start at 3:00 pm when I had a 6 hour drive to go back home. That was what I told myself. But to be honest, It was a poor event and I didn't feel like staying any longer

Jim of the SRR
09-04-2006, 09:15 PM
Bill,

I sent you a private message.

Thanks,
Jim Butler

TheQM
09-05-2006, 10:37 PM
There has been a good bit of discussion about the Rowdy Pards at Rich Mountain. I am a member of the RP's and attended the Event.

We voted as a unit on whether or not to stay on the mountain Saturday night. After we voted to leave the mountain, each member individualy reported to the First Sergeant that he was leaving. We then marched down the mountain as a unit. I don't doubt that we were pretty visible. I believe we were the only unit that left as a group, although there were a good many other folks who left as individuals.

If you want to get technical, we didn't actually leave the event, just the mountain. We spent the night down near where the Confederates were camped. I had a very enjoyable evening with my friends and a good night's sleep!

If we made the right decision, or not, is pretty much a moot point. The reasons people stayed or left have already been discussed ad infinitum It ain't like any of us can go back and do it over again!

Loyal Virginian
09-06-2006, 12:45 PM
One reason for not participating in the full schedule of an event (one that has not been mentioned), which I believe includes more than me, is religious obligation. As a general rule, I do not reenact on Sunday. It is my sabbath and is devoted to religious activity with my family, congregation, and its members.

But, the folks in my unit know that; they know that I don't reenact on Sunday. Our unit usually asks ahead of the event who is going to be there and when they plan to arrive and when they plan to leave, and I let them know that I will depart sometime late Saturday. And when I leave, I make sure to check out with the CO or 1st Sgt. Communication and courtesy, no surprises.

That does not make me a casual reenactor (which I think is where the chief problem here lies), but it does limit my involvement. I accept that, and so do my comrades. On those rare occasions where a reenactment extends over into a Monday, I am usually back for the Monday events.

When I participate in an event that does not involve my unit, I let the organizers know ahead of time that I will not be participating on Sunday. I have not yet had any objections from organizers. I have appreciated their cooperation and courtesy, which courtesy I believe comes from being courteous enough to let them know ahead of time what my plans were.

Courtesy is violated when someone just strolls in and strolls out, leaves in a way that interferes with the ongoing activity (i.e. expects people to tolerate his bringing his car into camp on Saturday to load up), or otherwise fails to communicate and coordinate. That's disruptive and not right. And not necessary (again, with the exception of emergencies as mentioned in other posts).

bob 125th nysvi
09-06-2006, 06:54 PM
I'll buy all of this.....emergencies are emergencies. The problem is that this often requires the influx of vehicles to haul the stuff out of camp..... we had a family emergency in the Western Brigade at Corinth NSA.....and out come two or three pick em up trucks/SUV's in the middle of Saturday to haul all the belongings out of camp.

If it's an emergency, then it's an emergency. Grab what you can carry and scurry off. If you have to carry off the heavy metal, don't bring it in in the first place, and have your pards tote it off on Sunday PM. Cars out of camp means exactly that.

Then there's the rainouts. Wilson's leak comes to mind.....some units bugged out early prior to orders (the event was not cancelled and orders were to stay)....and some loaded horse trailers had trouble negotiating the creek crossing and steep hill 'roads'. Never occurred to them that the horses would have been just fine WALKING across the creek and up the hilla.....joining up with the trailers on the high and dry ground of the macadamized roads. By dragging the loaded trailers over the ruts and soggy trails they made it worse for others following. And of course the event turned out just fine anyways after most of the AOP, Western Brigade, and Cumberland Guard had bugged out.

Sometimes one person's inconvenience/period moment is another person's 'emergency' (rain, cold, no blanket, etc.)....as long as you leave quietly without disrupting those that stay.....see yah!.... but headlights at night, cars in camp, any talking after lights out, diesel hauled trailers, banging car doors, and the squawk of electronic door locks....pass.

Oh Yeah you have to leave without disrupting the event.

If you're a heavy camper (and I'm not everything comes in and out on my back in one trip) then make several trips to the car or say to a buddy 'Hey I've got to go can you grab my stuff and get it home for me?' Think anybody will say no?

Own horses myself and if you ever want to attend an event with a large percentage of concieted pompus idiots go to a horse show and meet the competetors. Doesn't surprise me that they brought their trailers down and then had trouble getting out. AND beleive me the horse would have rather walked out. Trailering is another dumb human idea.

As a horse person it pains me to say many of the people I've met with horses at events shouldn't have them. At all.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY