View Full Version : Never pass up an opportunity for a first person impression

02-20-2006, 03:17 PM
I hope I am putting this in the right folder; if not, mods please move it.

I just returned from Olustee and had a few instances of being able to jump into an impromptu first person scenario. I thought I would pass these along to maybe jump start some creative juices flowing among others.

The first involved our 1st Sgt. and one of our other unit members. We were sitting around camp doing our usual duties when we looked over and our 1st Sgt was on the ground in full wrestling with one of our other pards. It started as most such events would have in a camp with some basic horseplay (both were just having a bit of fun) but they really looked like they were going after it. It was reminiscent of the more experienced soldier deciding to teach the upstart whelp a lesson for not knowing his place (think the Sgt. trying to get the recruit to hit him just once). As soon as this started the rest of us gathered around and started whooping and hollering. I jumped out and started taking bets on who was going to win (I was offering 2:1 on the 1st Sgt). By the time all was done (3 or 4 minutes) we had several spectators watching what was transpiring with befuddled looks on their faces as they couldn't tell if this was "real" or "staged" (a bit of both really). Regardles it was priceless and represented something that did happen in camps when soldiers became bored and restless. By the way a good time was had by all including the hapless private who ended up pinned under the 1st Sgt. when all was said and done. Later the 1st Sgt told me he was afraid someone would break them up but was glad it played out like it did. I can tell you that for a few minutes we were right there in camp in 1864. The only thing that would have been better (and hindsight is always 20/20) would have been for a provost to show up, take both into custody and turned them in to the Captain who I know would have done some unspeakable evil to both of them as punishment.

The second was after the battle Saturday and I was doing my duty by preparing the fire for cooking by the unit. I was stoking it up a bit to get the last couple of logs on burned down to a good coal bed when a couple of teenage girls came by to ask if we were going to roast some marshmallows (add that one to the list of ignorant questions); when I responded "No m'am I'm gettin ready ta cook muh supper"; they responded "oh you mean "pretend"". I responded that no I really was going to cook over the fire. They responded "and EAT it??". I couldn't help but chuckle under my breath at that one when I responde "yep". They were amazed that we really dod cook without the use of modern stoves and microwaves. I believe they probably left the event with some new appreciation for the life of a soldier during the war as they actually saw me doing what a soldier would have done under the circumstances. Too bad they didn't hang around to see me break out the blackened tin canteen half skillet and the salt ham and corn bread I was going to eat; that would have probably really blown them away.

On Saturday I was asked to assume the second sergeant's role. On Sunday morning (still somewhat in my "role") I asked another member of my mess (my son to be exact) to watch my breakfast as I cleaned up for morning colors. When I returned, my salt junk was starting to turn black and the grease which I was going to fry the eggs I acquired froma local henhouse was burned. I took advantage of the situation to really dress down the private complete with throwing the empty skillet to the ground and going off. (of course I would not have been this way if I did not know the private well enough to do so without him being offended as it was a complete accident). Of course I still had to go without breakfast until after colors :( Guess whose duty it was to get my kit ready to go and clean my musket at the end of the day? :twisted:

Finally as we were falling in for inspection, a private from another batallion came running by with his musket over his head yelling "I will not mock the 1st Sgt" over and over again as he ran around the brigade. A few minutes later another private came by in a similar way yelling "I will not shirk my fatigue duties". Once again a priceless moment as the rest of the brigade gat a good laugh out of both of em.

So there you are, you don't have to "plan" a good first person impression scenario, just be ready when one presents itself.

02-20-2006, 03:40 PM
There you go Robert allot more fun and appropriate than hearing about some local sports event ect. Another reason to go to the right events.