View Full Version : Manassas Bugling AAR (Federal Cumberland Guard Brigade perspective)

07-26-2011, 12:07 PM
Saw many bugler’s at Manassas, mostly Federal.

Chuck Woodhead, ANV (Infantry), was mounted on Sunday!
Chris Cook and his son, Mounted CSA.
Roque Haines Mounted (sounded like him).


Kevin Ritton, USV
Rich Pawling , National Regiment (saw Captain Tom Carlson from afar)
Geoff Spangler, Vincent’s, and looking mighty Macaroni!
Doug Grunn, Mifflin Guard (looked like him from afar, definitely heard him)
2 new buglers, 3rd USV with Scott Buffington. They need to learn to project the call.

Chris Hall Army of the Ohio did not attend.
Jari Villanueva, Regulars, did not attend.

Cumberland Guard
RJ Samp, Chief Bugler
Mark Heath, 2nd Bttn Bugler
(French Horn player) 2nd Battalion skirmish bugler
Kevin McDonald, 2nd Bttn Bugler
Bruce Austin, 2nd Bttn skirmish Bugler

(Red) Jay Walker, mounted artillery

Ken Doyon? Cavalry, (it looked like him).

Notes on the event:
Too many buglers sounding calls down at the dirt. Lift the bell UP.
Too many weak buglers. The calls in the field need to be sounded at a true Outside Forte. That’s Drum and Bugle Corps speak for LOUD (FFF! or FFFF). Many of you can’t be heard at 100 yards. Half the speed, double the volume. Make the horn sing by pushing air from the diaphragm. Experiment with using a larger mouthpiece (saw many peashooters out there).

Still see way too many verbal commands being given and executed, THEN the bugle call being sounded. This is flat out WRONG, unfortunately I don’t think we’ll ever get it right in those outfits due to entrenched commanders and habits. When I see a top notch bugler like Geoff Spangler, Roque Haines, or Doug Grunn sounding a call AFTER the men have already stepped off or wheeled, I simply shake my head and cry. George Rabbai gave up on this back in 1997 and told me good luck on getting change to occur. We’ve got it down cold in the West, East Coast is still sleepie sleepie.

The number of officer’s loudly echoing commands on both sides is at an all time high…..not needed if you can hear the commands (or the bugle call). Not our province to change as bugler's but is an extension of the whole signaling commands over distance procedure and how we are messing up as reenactor's.

Since they didn't have prelude calls in July 1861, I experimented with using Prelude Calls vs not using prelude calls for our two battalions……a clairon is a poor signaling device for directing signals to a specific target….it’s an area volume tool. Over 50 per cent of the time I sounded a call without a prelude towards a battalion the other battalion also obeyed the bugle call. Well trained officer’s in the Brigade (I've worked with most of them several times before), but we could see why Butterfield’s October 1861 (or later) prelude call system is a necessity. We wanted several times to call another brigade to help us out but never could get their attention…..no wonder McClellan order’s drill by the Brigade and Division in October 1861, they just didn’t know how to use buglers at Bull Run. Unfortunately, these same habits\skill level are the same that I witnessed at G140, GAC 135, RECON III, Return to Manassas, et al. So it’s not a period event 150 years later authenticity level thing. Some unit's\commanders just don't want to do it right.

We still have tapes, CD’s, there are some YouTube video’s, manuals, and bugler’s and officer’s willing to work with others to improve bugling in the hobby.
As good as we think we are today, this is the BOTTOM. This is the BASE. By next season I’d love to see us up to 1862 levels:
Colonel gives a Softly spoken command given to a nearby bugler.
Prelude Call followed by an outside forte bugle signal sounded towards the men, bell up.
Prompt obedience to the call on the final note of the bugled signal.
Use of calls from the General and Skirmisher calls for both line and skirmisher ordered troops.
Calls from the Colonel’s bugler to the skirmish line bugler.
CASEY’s Calls. (we used Scott's\Hardee's at Manassas)
Use of the Attention in camp, on the march)
To the Colors on the field at the head of a column
Wheels vs Flank commands.

We’ll work on the 1863 stuff in 2013 (Signal of Execution, Regimental sized skirmish lines, relayed signals, Casey's Attention usage, to The Colors as a rally, Lie Down on the march, Taps).

07-26-2011, 12:55 PM
Where is a good place to buy a reproduction bugle?

I used to play trumpet/euphonium in high school.


08-15-2011, 09:42 PM
Hi RJ, Tim Cunningham here. Are you going to Jackson next week? I am