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View Full Version : MILL SPRINGS (Sept. 29th - 30th, 2007)



JEBeedle
01-15-2007, 08:33 PM
This is a NSA event and even though it will be look upon to be a mainstream event, I believe it will be well worth the trip. Just like Perryville ('02 & '06) this event will be held on the actual battlefield.

I hope to see you there.

JEBeedle
01-22-2007, 08:09 PM
Here is General Thomas AAR report of the battle of Mill Springs

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Somerset, Ky., January 31, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in carrying out the instructions of the general commanding the department, contained in his communication of the 29th of December, I reached Logan's Cross-Roads, about 10 miles north of the intrenched camp of the enemy on the Cumberland River, on the 17th instant, with a portion of the Second and Third Brigades, Kenny's battery of artillery, and a battalion of Wol-ford's cavalry. The Fourth and Tenth Kentucky, Fourteenth Ohio, and the Eighteenth U.S. Infantry being still in rear, detained by the almost impassable condition of the roads, I determined to halt at this point, to await their arrival and to communicate with General Schoepf.
The Tenth Indiana, Wolford's cavalry, and Kenny's battery took position on the road leading to the enemy's camp. The Ninth Ohio and Second Minnesota (part of Colonel McCook's brigade) encamped three-fourths of a mile to the right, on the Robertsport road. Strong pickets were thrown out in the direction of the enemy beyond where the Somerset and Mill Springs road comes into the main road from my camp to Mill Springs, and a picket of cavalry some distance in advance of the infantry.
General Schoepf visited me on the day of my arrival, and, after consultation, I directed him to send to my camp Standart's battery, the Twelfth Kentucky, and the First and Second Tennessee Regiments, to remain until the arrival of the regiments in rear.
Having received information on the evening of the 17th that a large train of wagons with its escort were encamped on the Robertsport and Danville road, about 6 miles from Colonel Steedman's camp, I sent an order to him to send his wagons forward under a strong guard, and to march with his regiment (the Fourteenth Ohio) and the Tenth Kentucky (Colonel Harlan), with one day's rations in their haversacks, to the point where the enemy were said to be encamped, and either capture or disperse them.
Nothing of importance occurred from the time of our arrival until the morning of the 19th, except a picket skirmish on the night of the 17th. The Fourth Kentucky, the battalion of Michigan Engineers, and Wetmore's battery joined on the 18th.
About 6.30 o'clock on the morning of the 19th the pickets from Walford's cavalry encountered the enemy advancing on our camp, retired slowly, and reported their advance to Col. M.D. Manson, commanding the Second Brigade. He immediately formed his regiment (the Tenth Indiana) and took a position on the road to await the attack, ordering the Fourth Kentucky (Col. S.S. Fry) to support him, and then informed me in person that the enemy were advancing in force and what disposition he had made to resist them. I directed him to join his brigade immediately and hold the enemy in check until I could order up the other troops, which were ordered to form immediately and were marching to the field in ten minutes afterwards. The battalion of Michigan Engineers and Company A, Thirty-eighth Ohio (Captain Greenwood), were ordered to remain as guard to the camp.
Upon my arrival on the field soon afterwards I found the Tenth Indiana formed in front of their encampment, apparently awaiting orders, and ordered them forward to the support of the Fourth Kentucky, which <ar7_80> was the only entire regiment then engaged. I then rode forward myself to see the enemy's position, so that I could determine what disposition to make of my troops as they arrived. On reaching the position held by the Fourth Kentucky, Tenth Indiana, and Wolford's cavalry, at a point where the roads fork leading to Somerset, I found the enemy advancing through a corn field and evidently endeavoring to gain the left of the Fourth Kentucky Regiment, which was maintaining its position in a most determined manner. I directed one of my aides to ride back and order up a section of artillery and the Tennessee brigade to advance on the enemy's right, and sent orders for Colonel McCook to advance with his two regiments (the Ninth Ohio and Second Minnesota) to the support of the Fourth Kentucky and Tenth Indiana.
A section of Captain Kenny's battery took a position on the edge of the field to the left of the Fourth Kentucky and opened an efficient fire on a regiment of Alabamians, which were advancing on the Fourth Kentucky. Soon afterwards the Second Minnesota (Col. H. P. Van Cleve) arrived, the colonel reporting to me for instructions. I directed him to take the position of the Fourth Kentucky and Tenth Indiana, which regiments were nearly out of ammunition. The Ninth Ohio, under the immediate command of Major Kammerling, came into position on the right of the road at the same time.
Immediately after these regiments had gained their position the enemy opened a most determined and galling fire, which was returned by our troops in the same spirit, and for nearly half an hour the contest was maintained on both sides in the most obstinate manner. At this time the Twelfth Kentucky (Col. W. A. Hoskins) and the Tennessee brigade reached the field to the left of the Minnesota regiment, and opened fire on the right flank of the enemy, who then began to fall back. The Second Minnesota kept up a most galling fire in front, and the Ninth Ohio charged the enemy on the right with bayonets fixed, turned their flank, and drove them from the field, the whole line giving way and retreating in the utmost disorder and confusion.
As soon as the regiments could be formed and refill their cartridge-boxes I ordered the whole force to advance. A few miles in rear of the battle-field a small force of cavalry was drawn up near the road, but a few shots from our artillery (a section of Standart's battery) dispersed them, and none of the enemy were seen again until we arrived in front of their intrenchments. As we approached their intrenchments the division was deployed in line of battle and steadily advanced to the summit of the hill at Moulden's. From this point I directed their intrenchments to be cannonaded, which was done until dark by Standart's and Wetmore's batteries. Kenny's battery was placed in position on the extreme left at Russell's house, from which point he was directed to fire on their ferry, to deter them from attempting to cross. On the following morning Captain Wetmore's battery was ordered to Russell's house, and assisted with his Parrott guns in firing upon the ferry. Colonel Manson's brigade took position on the left near Kenny's battery, and every preparation was made to assault their intrenchments on the following morning. The Fourteenth Ohio (Colonel Steedman) and the Tenth Kentucky (Colonel Harlan) having joined from detached service soon after the repulse of the enemy, continued with their brigade in the pursuit, although they could not get up in time to join in the fight. These two regiments were placed in front in my advance on the intrenchments the next morning and entered first. General Schoepf also joined me the evening of the 19th with the Seventeenth, Thirty-first, <ar7_81> and Thirty-eighth Ohio. His entire brigade entered with the other troops.

JEBeedle
01-23-2007, 03:50 PM
On reaching the intrenchments we found the enemy had abandoned everything and retired during the night. Twelve pieces of artillery, with their caissons packed with ammunition; one battery wagon and two forges; a large amount of ammunition; a large number of small-arms, mostly the old flint-lock muskets; 150 or 160 wagons, and upwards of 1,000 horses and mules; a large amount of commissary stores, intrenching tools, and camp and garrison equipage, fell into our hands. A correct list of all the captured property will be forwarded as soon as it can be made up and the property secured.
The steam and ferry boats having been burned by the enemy in their retreat, it was found impossible to cross the river and pursue them; besides, their command was completely demoralized, and retreated with great haste and in all directions, making their capture in any numbers quite doubtful if pursued [boldface mine]. There is no doubt but what the moral effect produced by their complete dispersion will have a more decided effect in re-establishing Union sentiments than though they had been captured.
It affords me much pleasure to be able to testify to the uniform steadiness and good conduct of both officers and men during the battle, and I respectfully refer to the accompanying reports of the different commanders for the names of those officers and men whose good conduct was particularly noticed by them.
I regret to have to report that Col. R. L. McCook, commanding the Third Brigade, and his aide, Lieut. A. S. Burt, Eighteenth U.S. Infantry, were both severely wounded in the first advance of the Ninth Ohio Regiment,, but continued on duty until the return of the brigade to camp at Logan's Cross-Roads.
Col. S.S. Fry, Fourth Kentucky, was slightly wounded whilst his regiment was gallantly resisting the advance of the enemy, during which time General Zollicoffer fell from a shot from his (Colonel Fry's) pistol, which no doubt contributed materially to the discomfiture of the enemy.
Capt. G. E. Flynt, assistant adjutant-general; Capt. Alvan C. Gillem, division quartermaster; Lieut. Joseph C. Breckinridge, aide-de-camp; Lieut. S. E. Jones, acting assistant quartermaster; Mr. J. W. Scully quartermaster's clerk; Privates Samuel Letcher, Twenty-first. Regiment Kentucky Volunteers; Stitch, Fourth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers, rendered me valuable assistance in carrying orders and conducting the troops to their different positions.
Capt. George S. Roper deserves great credit for his perseverance and energy in forwarding commissary stores as far as the hill where our forces bivouacked.
In addition to the duties of guarding the camp, Lieut. Col. K. A. Hunton, commanding the Michigan Engineers, and Captain Greenwood, Company A, Thirty-eighth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, with their commands, performed very efficient service in collecting and burying the dead on both aides and in moving the wounded to the hospitals near the battle-field.
A number of flags were taken on the field of battle and in the intrenchments. They will be forwarded to headquarters as soon as collected together.
The enemy's loss, as far as known, is as follows: Brigadier-General Zollicoffer, Lieutenant Bailie Peyton, and 190 officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates, killed; Lieut. Col. M. B. Carter, Twentieth Tennessee; Lieut. J. W. Allen, Fifteenth Mississippi; Lieut. Allen Morse,«6 R R--VOL VII» <ar7_82> Sixteenth Alabama, and 5 officers of the medical staff and 81 non-commissioned officers and privates, taken prisoners; Lieut. J. E. Patterson, Twentieth Tennessee, and A. J. Knapp, Fifteenth Mississippi, and 66 non-commissioned officers and privates, wounded; making 192 killed, 89 prisoners not wounded and 68 wounded; a total of killed, wounded, and prisoners of 349.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS, Brigadier-General, U.S. Volunteers, Commanding.
Capt. J. B. FRY, A. A. G., Chief of Staff, Hdqrs. Dept. Ohio, Louisville, Ky.
[Inclosure.]
CIRCULAR.
HEADQUARTERS BEECH GROVE, KY.,
January 18, 1862.

JEBeedle
03-06-2007, 09:25 PM
The site map is on line, take a look. http://www.millsprings.net/Reenactment_Map_2007.jpg

I just visit the battlefield today and it looks like their will be plenty of room to move around maybe too much room.:)
If you haven’t been to Mill Springs it is a very nice still intact battlefield. In November they just completed their museum which is very nice I encourage all of you to visit and donate.

This will be a good event and I hope to see you all there.

ewtaylor
03-07-2007, 08:44 AM
http://www.geocities.com/pentagon/quarters/1864/Default.htm

This site has loads of info for anyone wanting to know about the Battle, Soldiers, and equipment.

I noticed on the map you provided there are 3 camp sites. Is there going to be a spot for the "heavy" campers? I believe it was called "mixed" campsite at Pville.

ew taylor

JEBeedle
03-07-2007, 01:34 PM
http://www.geocities.com/pentagon/quarters/1864/Default.htm

This site has loads of info for anyone wanting to know about the Battle, Soldiers, and equipment.

I noticed on the map you provided there are 3 camp sites. Is there going to be a spot for the "heavy" campers? I believe it was called "mixed" campsite at Pville.

ew taylor

I don't think so because if we go by history, Thomas 1st division was camp about 1 mile away in a garrison camp. In fact most of them were in Sibley tents for about one day. Some of the 10th Indiana was on picket duty the night before the battle so they were not in their cozy sibley.
The same thing for the rebs. They were in winter quarters 8 miles south along the north side of the Cumberland River (Beach grove)

csuppelsa
03-07-2007, 03:12 PM
Busted link.

JEBeedle
03-07-2007, 06:30 PM
http://www.geocities.com/pentagon/quarters/1864/Default.htm

This site has loads of info for anyone wanting to know about the Battle, Soldiers, and equipment.

I noticed on the map you provided there are 3 camp sites. Is there going to be a spot for the "heavy" campers? I believe it was called "mixed" campsite at Pville.

ew taylor

This site works some days and others it doesn’t

Silas
03-09-2007, 01:17 AM
Is there going to be a spot for the "heavy" campers? I believe it was called "mixed" campsite at Pville.
I very much hope that no one involved with organizing Mill Springs allows a mixed camp as was forced upon us at Perryville. A mixed camp is an abomination which neither resembles a military or civilian encampment. It is a magnet for farbacious conduct and practices.

Silas Tackitt

Rob Weaver
03-09-2007, 10:14 AM
A mixed camp is, indeed, a modern response to the challenge of families who reenact together. They didn't exist when my wife and I had young children many years ago. She doesn't reenact anymore, at all, largely because of the contentious attitudes which she encountered. We must recognize and provide for the needs of families who have chosen to pursue a hobby together.

Memphis
03-09-2007, 12:09 PM
We must recognize and provide for the needs of families who have chosen to pursue a hobby together.

According to hobby lore, family camping within the Civil War reenacting hobby has been around since 125th Bull Run, and the poor prioritization of placing family (spelled profits) ahead of history has done enough damage. Women and children on the company streets and history just don't mix well. Having said that, I do respect the opinions of others who recognize the camping areas are essentially authenticity free zones where anything goes, and the public is not supposed to notice.

Rob Weaver
03-09-2007, 01:12 PM
I think we're really on the same side, here. While recognizing that the company street is not Motel 6, still we need to understand that there are some families in which one spouses impression is primarily military while that of the rest of the family is civilian. Even if the soldier stays in the so-called civilian camp, you've in effect, created a mixed camp.
I'm not really sure how much damage has been done to the cause of history by our camping efforts. I encounter few spectators who are under the impression that a military camp really looked like where we stay.

JEBeedle
03-09-2007, 11:43 PM
Theirs military camp were military camps and then there is Civilian camp were the civilians camp. I think this speaks for itself.

I very much hope that no one involved with organizing Mill Springs allows a mixed camp as was forced upon us at Perryville. A mixed camp is an abomination which neither resembles a military or civilian encampment. It is a magnet for farbacious conduct and practices.

Silas Tackitt

I agree with Silas 100%

If we go by the history of before battle both armies were in a GARRISON CAMP not on campaign. This is January 1862 early war no shelter half’s, you get to live in a sibley tent for a weekend but this does not mean you get to bring the kitchen sink. You still carry everything on your back. Now after the battle on the night of January 19th the Union army did sleep on the ground during pursue of the confederate army.

Jim of the SRR
03-10-2007, 12:16 PM
"these tents were shelter for up to 12 men; but in fixed camp use, as many as 20 men were made to share one tent. In cold or rainy weather, when every opening is closed, they are most unwholesome tenements, and to enter one of them of a rainy morning from the outer air, and encounter the night’s accumulation of nauseating exhalations from the bodies of twelve men (differing widely in their habits of personal cleanliness) was an experience which no old soldier has ever been known to recall with any great enthusiasm. Of course the air was of the vilest sort, and it is surprising to see how men endured it as they did."
from Billings, Hardtack and Coffee

Clearly, just because you are in a Sibley doesn't mean you get to bring the cot, cooler, mother, sister, kids, kitchen sink and VW bus.

Jim Butler

Silas
03-10-2007, 12:22 PM
There has been an emphasis in the military camps to improve impressions, but there hasn't been the same emphasis in civilian camps. I am not speaking about the efforts of the "authentic" civilians who are blazing a trail which others should be noticing and following. I'm speaking about the overwhelming majority of the nonmilitary reenactors who reside in that nonmilitary encampment known as a mixed camp.

It is sometimes called a refugee camp, but no one there looks like any refugees I've read about. It's common to find flags, recruiting boards, decent sized kitchens, tables, chairs, chests, lanterns, beds and et cetera. No wagons, but maybe a wheelbarrow which is typically used for firewood only. The barrow sure didn't hold all of the stuff seen in that family's particular encampment.

There is no period impression in the mixed camp. It's an impression-free zone where anything goes. Because there is so much eye candy, 'tators tend to travel through. That's not the impression of my hobby that I want paying public to see. After public hours, any veneer thin impression which might have been present during the day is stripped away. At best, these towns at night resemble olde tyme, civil war themed camps. At worst, it's bedlam. I do not like to walk through them during nonpublic hours because I see some of the worst things in the hobby, not the best.

I do not understand why the nonmilitary camps must continue to be a black hole of authenticity, or why we allow them to be such.

I would like the civilian camp at Mill Springs to be a town of civilians. I don't think it ought to be used as a dumping ground for the families of military reenactors where the men can get stew and booze when the public is not present.

The period feeling in this town ought to continue beyond the daylight hours. The provost entities ought to be able to roust any men in said town who are present without passes. Think of it more as a catch and release policy rather than evil hardcores banning family relations. You'd be surprised how much more you'll get out of the hobby by playing the roles and the impressions beyond the normal public hours.

I'm all for entertainment on Saturday night, but it ought to be something other than a white gloved ball under some circus tent. Entertainment such as was found in the authentic civilian area at Perryville is the model.

I'm all for diversity in people, but not in impressions. Either impressions conform to an accepted, period standard or they don't. There is nothing period about mixed camps. Those who reside in the civilian camps ought to bring their personal and camp impressions to an accepted, period standard. We should not continually drop the standard in an effort to be inclusive.

There won't be a mixed camp at Banks Grand Retreat, and there will be families participating as true civilians. There won't be any public verses nonpublic hours. It's all-on for the duration of the four day event. This should be the model or standard in reenacting, not the exception.

Silas Tackitt

first_sgt_8thky
03-10-2007, 02:16 PM
Event Announcements (5 Viewing)
Please just list event information. Take discussions to the respective General Discussion forums, thanks.

Maybe all this whinning should be moved to the whine cellar.

csuppelsa
03-10-2007, 11:51 PM
There is no period impression in the mixed camp.

Thank you for the quote of the year my friend. I too think that the progressive civilian area at Perryville 06 should be the model.

PaperPusher
03-11-2007, 07:42 AM
Here, here Mr. Weaver. I agree that certain compensations need be made to those with families who reenact and those "future generations" of reenactors (i.e. our families) that show a love and respect for reenacting and it's purpose. It is imperative that we foster a family atmosphere at an event to teach our sons and daughters to embrace history and the lessons it has to offer! It is entirely possible to have camps to accomodate these folks and not intrude on the military camps.

Jim of the SRR
03-11-2007, 06:10 PM
Event Announcements (5 Viewing)
Please just list event information. Take discussions to the respective General Discussion forums, thanks.

Maybe all this whinning should be moved to the whine cellar.

This discussion directly pertains to the event. The NSA has always tried to improve the mainstream standard and I think that is a good thing.

Is "whining" defined as discussions that you don't agree with?!

Jim Butler

hanktrent
03-11-2007, 06:38 PM
It is imperative that we foster a family atmosphere at an event to teach our sons and daughters to embrace history and the lessons it has to offer! It is entirely possible to have camps to accomodate these folks and not intrude on the military camps.

So are you saying civilians should be given an accurate area to camp in with the same historical standards as the military, or an inaccurate area with lower historical standards?

I'm seriously considering attending Mill Springs as a civilian. Heck, my wife might too. I hope that doesn't mean we'll be required to be in the least accurate area of the event.


I would like the civilian camp at Mill Springs to be a town of civilians. I don't think it ought to be used as a dumping ground for the families of military reenactors where the men can get stew and booze when the public is not present.

What he said.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

RJSamp
03-11-2007, 09:42 PM
OK CPH community.....splane to me please
Original Battlefield
Reenacting the original scenarios as best as possible (and some say that P2005 with the AOP portraying the 105th OVI 300+ yards to the right of where they actually fought was the cream of all reenacted scenarios)

Camping on the original battlefield.....
So far so good!

Add:
Having an 'authentic' civilian camping area where none existed in the original battle
Having an 'authentic' minstrel show where none existed, none was held, and NO passes were issued to any officer or soldier to attend same the night of losing so many lives in a battle to win control of Kentucky.

Thanks!

Strawfoot
03-11-2007, 10:11 PM
[QUOTE=hanktrent]
I'm seriously considering attending Mill Springs as a civilian. Heck, my wife might too. I hope that doesn't mean we'll be required to be in the least accurate area of the event.



Hank,

I seriously doubt that ANY camp you are situated in will ever be considered the least accurate area of an event...

That'd be great to see y'all there. Oh, and nice try RJ.

ewtaylor
03-12-2007, 09:19 AM
NO passes were issued to any officer or soldier to attend same the night of losing so many lives in a battle to win control of Kentucky.



My regiment were issued passes first thing Saturday morning.
The spectators I talked to Saturday evening loved the civilian village. Almost all said it was better than those silly "Ladies Tea" and barn dances at most of the reenactments they've seen.
I know Mill Springs is a National Event (mainstream), but hopefully it will be as good as Perryville's Nationals. I'm sure there will be a mixed camp for those who must/want bring their families, I'm just hoping it will be tucked away somewhere.

ew taylor

tompritchett
03-12-2007, 10:44 AM
My regiment were issued passes first thing Saturday morning.

I believe R.J. was referring to at the original battle.

flattop32355
03-12-2007, 08:32 PM
(The following is done only partly tongue-in-cheek)


There is no period impression in the mixed camp. It's an impression-free zone

Well, duh!
It's not meant to be a place for accurately participating civilians to interact with the military. It's a place to park families, and somewhat military personel who can't/won't separate from the family by staying in the military camp. That's why the two are separated, often as widely as possible.

They generally have nothing to do directly with the activities of the reenactment. They are mainly a holding tank for folk not actively involved, but who choose not to be separated for the weekend from their actively participating family members. It's a modern accomodation (arguably) necessary to our hobby (Note: H-o-b-b-y: not occupation, calling, etc; h-o-b-b-y) except at events of the highest level of accuracy, where it is justifiably restricted.


I would like the civilian camp at Mill Springs to be a town of civilians. I don't think it ought to be used as a dumping ground for the families of military reenactors where the men can get stew and booze when the public is not present.

Fine. I'll agree. Then let's take this argument to it's logical "authentic" conclusion:

No tents. Period. The local population didn't live in tents; they lived in houses/cabins. Build them. Accurately. Occupy them 24/7 for the duration of the event. No extraneous activities that did not occur by civilians of the area in the period of concern. No nothing that cannot be reasonably documented as to having been done by the local civilian population of the immediate area at the time surrounding the battle. No ball, minstrel show, house of ill repute, Ladies Aid Society, Christian Commission, or anything else being done by the civilians that isn't documented as being done at that time by the locals. No interaction with the military beyond what could reasonably be expected under the period circumstances, and then only by those individuals who would be expected to have done so.


I'm all for entertainment on Saturday night, but it ought to be something other than a white gloved ball under some circus tent. Entertainment such as was found in the authentic civilian area at Perryville is the model.

With all respect, we cannot have it both ways. Either we insist upon total authenticity, or not. To poke one hole in the dike is no better than two holes, or ten, or a thousand. Why should Saturday night be any less authentic than Friday evening, or Saturday afternoon, or Sunday morning? If such entertainment actually occured that Saturday night, then by all means, let it occur at the event. If not........

To hold any kind of entertainment at an historic reenactment, be it period or no, at a time and place when it did not actually occur, is inauthentic to the historic event. Such is the logic being espoused upon other criteria, so it must be taken to its authentic conclusion here as well.

(Now, the tongue comes out of the cheek, for serious discussion of the following concept)


There won't be a mixed camp at Banks Grand Retreat, and there will be families participating as true civilians. There won't be any public verses nonpublic hours. It's all-on for the duration of the four day event. This should be the model or standard in reenacting, not the exception.

BGR is not a normal event. It is not even supposed to be a good event. It is expected to be an exceptional event, being attended by exceptional people with the enviable ability to rip themselves away from their real lives for an extended period of time to take part. Not all are so lucky this year.

How many civilian families are capable of accurately participating in this event? How much room is available at the event for them to participate, should they so choose?

Don't even try to compare its expectations to that of other more mundane events; to do so is just silly. It is geared to a select group of folk, not the great unwashed mass of reenactors. Contrary to your estimation, it actually is the exception, not the rule. If it were the rule, how many people do you honestly believe could participate in the hobby? That thought may make you personally happy, but I doubt it would benefit the hobby as a whole over time.

Reality may bite, but it must be factored in.

hanktrent
03-13-2007, 07:04 AM
No tents. Period. The local population didn't live in tents; they lived in houses/cabins. Build them. Accurately. Occupy them 24/7 for the duration of the event. No extraneous activities that did not occur by civilians of the area in the period of concern. No nothing that cannot be reasonably documented as to having been done by the local civilian population of the immediate area at the time surrounding the battle. No ball, minstrel show, house of ill repute, Ladies Aid Society, Christian Commission, or anything else being done by the civilians that isn't documented as being done at that time by the locals. No interaction with the military beyond what could reasonably be expected under the period circumstances, and then only by those individuals who would be expected to have done so.

While you may be writing tongue in cheek, I've been to more than one event like that. It's way cool to have an extended "magic moment" from beginning to end, rather than unconnected bits and pieces. In actuality, it generally comes down to one historic house being available and enough civilians to fill out one extended family to occupy it, because that's not what most reenactors want.

I've never been able to figure out how to make the most accurate choice in the minstrel-show atmosphere, if it's totally at odds with the historic mindset. Do you pretend it's not happening and worry about the (non-existent) dead and wounded instead, and seem like an idiot for not seeing what's going on right in front of you? Or do you take part in it because if they'da done it, they'da done it? There's just no easy "least wrong answer."

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

flattop32355
03-13-2007, 09:26 AM
I've never been able to figure out how to make the most accurate choice in the minstrel-show atmosphere, if it's totally at odds with the historic mindset.

Somewhere along the way, at least for a given event, a decision has to be made as to just what exactly you're wanting to reenact.

Do you wish to reenact the "exact" occurrances of that particular battle/area, replicating only those activities that actually occurred there (obviously, to the best of known historical record)?

Or are you trying/willing to include any period correct activity that would reasonably be expected to have happened at some point(s) in those war years, although they may not have happened exactly at that particular location, at that particular time?

Either, for me, is a viable alternative, depending upon what you're aiming for. Just make it known that that is what you are trying to achieve.

This same argument extends to holding events in places where no "event" actually occurred. Are you really reencting the Battle of Thisaway Creek, VA by holding it in Dunkerville, KS (which has none of the terrain features of the original), or are you just trying to simulate the times/tactics/mindset of that particular battle (or any battle) for the benefit of those participating/spectating?

If one is going to hold up the banner of absolute authenticity as the only way to reenact, be prepared to take the heat when one backs off of that decision, for whatever reason. Setting the bar so high that few can/will actually achieve the standard makes one a target for when they (and they surely will, at some point) knock over the bar.

It's fine to seek out the "ideal". It's quite another to expect it as the only reasonable alternative. Upon such notions, disappointment and disillusion hang heavy.

TNCivilian
03-13-2007, 10:15 AM
As someone that's about to come back as Military or Civilian, I'll pipe up from another quarter. If my Wife and I go Civilian, we expect to stay in the Civilian Camp. (Well, duh!!)

But if I go Military, and she Civilian, then we will end up in the Civilian or Mixed Camp. Most times we will have our Daughter with us. She is multi handicapped and in a wheelchair. Her Syndrome is likened to a mix of Autism and Cerebral Palsy. Camping with her should be very interesting, since she's never been camping before. Getting a period Wheelchair would help, since that won't stand out as much as her hot pink one that cost $7,000.

So, actually, the mixed camp is a good idea for folks like us. Is it really "Authentic"? No, probably not. But I also agree that it is important to try and include space for all family members. I've lost track of the number of reenactors I knew back then who left because their family wasn't into history/camping, or were not made welcome because they were in the "Mixed Camp".

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.

Steve Wermuth

hanktrent
03-13-2007, 10:40 AM
If one is going to hold up the banner of absolute authenticity as the only way to reenact, be prepared to take the heat when one backs off of that decision, for whatever reason. Setting the bar so high that few can/will actually achieve the standard makes one a target for when they (and they surely will, at some point) knock over the bar.

I think you're making it a bit more black and white than it is in real life.

If the goal is accuracy, I'd say a more realistic mindset is: "Given these choices, which is more nearly accurate?" or "Knowing that X happened, which among the possible choices is closest to X?"

Works well to deal with the shades of gray if the participants are wanting accuracy. Breaks down immediately if they don't.

If the participants are demanding a dance, a USSC booth, a potluck supper, etc., because it's always been done that way, or they'd be bored doing it more accurately, or anything else would be out of their comfort zone, etc... and you want to target those particular participants... well, there's not much you can do about that. That may be the case with Mill Springs.

Here's a recent real-life example of those shades of gray in "absolute authenticity." An event advertised for a civilian male in his 40s, to represent the father living in a still-standing historic house beside a battlefield. Hey, I can do that. So I offered.

Historically, we know he and his family were hiding in the cellar during the hostilities. The building's been altered so the cellar no longer exists, and the house isn't allowed to be occupied at night. However, the nearby stable still stands and can be occupied.

Knowing that I should be hiding in the cellar, which among the possible choices is closest to that?

How about... hiding in the stable? I suggested/offered to do that. It was historically completely inaccurate of course, but it seemed to me the "least wrong answer" to the problem. If that would make me a target because I willingly knocked over the bar, so be it.

Long story, it didn't work out that way and civilian participation was cancelled, but I think it's an example of one of the many shades of gray, in accuracy.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Crabby
03-13-2007, 12:53 PM
With all respect, we cannot have it both ways. Either we insist upon total authenticity, or not. To poke one hole in the dike is no better than two holes, or ten, or a thousand. Why should Saturday night be any less authentic than Friday evening, or Saturday afternoon, or Sunday morning? If such entertainment actually occured that Saturday night, then by all means, let it occur at the event. If not........

To hold any kind of entertainment at an historic reenactment, be it period or no, at a time and place when it did not actually occur, is inauthentic to the historic event. Such is the logic being espoused upon other criteria, so it must be taken to its authentic conclusion here as well.




Bernard,

At Perryville the town of Perryville, portrayed at the event, was set well prior to the battle, not during - to give the civilians a place to "play". The businesses protrayed were documented to Perryville in 1862. That is how the shows and businesses were able to operate without the death and distruction of the actual battle.

Was it completely acurate, probably not. Was it an immersion style event? No. Was it an event to help change the way civilians can do it? I think so.

Crabby

ewtaylor
03-13-2007, 02:15 PM
Bernard,
I agree with most of what you are saying. However, Perryville was a mainstream event not an A/C event. As we all know, civilians are going to be at mainstream events. Instead of the usual ball, ladies tea, or the more common just sitting around camp eating/playing modern stuff how about doing things "of the period"? I think the "town" of Pville was a great thing and a wonderful altenative to the same old same old you find at mainstream events.
Belittling "streamers" for bringing their families is not helping. Having activities for these civilians to participate in will. I talked my wife and daughter to attend one event with me. They got dresses, shoes, the works. After 1 hour they were ready to leave. "It was the most boring thing I have done!", they said. It was the usual mainstream thing of sitting around camp all day and then after the spectators leave we will have a big dance!
The spectators not only like the powder burning, but like to see what the civies did during this time period also. A "period" town was very informative.
Every year the local Battlefield has "school day" where the local schools bring hundreds of kids. One year we had 1200 kids!!! I think a period town would be not only educational, but fun. However there is not much, if any civilian participation.

Oh, and by the way "flattop" I hope you didnt shoot at me with those p-caps I sold you?

Ew taylor

Rob Weaver
03-13-2007, 08:34 PM
Excellent ideas all around! A hardworking civilian coordinator would do wonders at many an event. One of the thing we military types tend to overlook, though, is that civilians are, well, civilians. They're not organized in units that are relatively easy to point in a general direction and say "March." It's hard to organize volunteers. They're downright anarchic, fiercely egalitarian and easily offended. Second, and I'm going out on a limb here, I think it's harder to be a beginning civilian than a beginning miltary type. As a soldier, your choices are automatically limited, and your unit can always say by fiat: "We don't do/carry/use that." The civilian impression is much more wide open. My hat is off to those who really put their hearts in it. Third, intending no disrespect, I think the civilian side of the house has a greater number of "reluctant reenactors" than the military. The spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends and children who have a significant person in their lives who is truly passionate about reenacting, while they are not. They're there because you're there, and you mean the world to them. This category of people needs a lot of encouragement and inclusion, because they're not sure they want to be there as much as their significant other wants to be there. I've been that spouse who insisted on gnat's eyelash authenticity, at least as I understood it at the time, and my wife has a number of horror stories about the suffering she endured from her hardcore husband.

tompritchett
03-14-2007, 10:51 AM
Bernard,
I agree with most of what you are saying. However, Perryville was a mainstream event not an A/C event.

I believe Bernard was illustrating the extreme in more of a sarcastic manner to make his point.

tompritchett
03-14-2007, 11:09 AM
Gentlemen, I believe that much of the problem with all the comments in this thread go back to people being unwilling to accept that others reenact for reasons other than their own and might attend a specific events for reasons other than their own. Was Perryville designed to meet the same reenacting desires of a Bank's Grand Retreat? Of course not. At events like Perryville, IMHO, this difference in motivations for attending is probably even more pronounced for many, but not all, civilian reenactors because many of these civilians are present primarily to be with their significant other, or father, as he enjoys participating as a military reenactor - an issue that seems to be dominating this thread. Is that necessarily wrong? No. It all comes back to the original purpose of the event as reflected in the rules developed by the event organizers. Can units have authenticity standards more stringent than those laid out in the event rules? Of course, but that does not give them the right to judge those with less authentic portrayals, as long as those less authentic portrayals are within the event rules and guidelines. Likewise when such more authentic units attend events with less stringent authenicity standards, they should be prepared to accept that there will be units meeting the event guidelines but not theirs. If they can not accept this, IMHO, they have no business attending. Rather they should work directly with the event coordinators prior to raise the bar or establish their own events. (To be fair - that is indeed what AOT has been doing.) However, they also must remember that it is the event coordinators that have the final say on authenticity guidelines for the entire event. All a unit can do is address those guidelines applicable to their own troops.

JEBeedle
03-18-2007, 08:24 PM
Once again we manage to get off track.
This thread was made to talk about the event Mill Springs in September. So if you want to start a conversation on how civilians should camp and were they should be at an event then start another thread that talks about it. :evil:
The people who are putting together this event have open there arms for us and our going to try to accommodate to everyone, this is an impossible task to perform because you can't please everyone.
Civilians will be welcome and they will come but it is up to the individual to make the event more enjoyable.

15thiowac
04-13-2007, 11:15 AM
Well a few of us will be there. My question is, what are the ratios like so far?

Mr. Beedle,
Will there be any of your "OLD Red" unit there? I havent been in for a while and just wanting to see some of the old guys. Besides Wheres Eric?


Trying to make you think a bit.



Anyway, Mill Springs sounds like it should be a good time. The battle areas look good and the tactical field looks like it might have a good area for manuevers.

captdougofky
04-13-2007, 12:24 PM
I was at Mill Springs the last time it was a National, corn meal bag and wood chips on the road. Great time good event. Having said that I also camped in the mixed camp. I was at Perryville in 06 with the little town made up by the museum. I can appreciate the effort by all those involved but slab wood from the sawmill does not recreate Perryville 62. Farby looking yes it was, but if those who's effort help one persons learn something it was worth it. I am not going to run down the efforts of others or try to push my ideas of what I want a event to be. But I can tell you one thing keeping familys out of a event by either rules or the actions of a few will only run the hobby down. If you want real join the service they are taking people up to the age of 42 now. I can only guess that the age of most wanting familys excluded in one form or fashion, are younger than than that. I have the t-shirt on the real service, this is a hobby.

Always
Doug Thomas
Lyons Battery
Kentucky

TennCav
04-13-2007, 09:45 PM
But I can tell you one thing keeping familys out of a event by either rules or the actions of a few will only run the hobby down. If you want real join the service they are taking people up to the age of 42 now. I can only guess that the age of most wanting familys excluded in one form or fashion, are younger than than that. I have the t-shirt on the real service, this is a hobby.

Always
Doug Thomas
Lyons Battery
Kentucky


Thank You.

This whole subject here seems to have gone way past the guidelines "Please just list event information. Take discussions to the respective General Discussion forums, thanks."

Hoosier Yank
04-14-2007, 06:08 AM
I have the t-shirt on the real service, this is a hobby.

Always
Doug Thomas
Lyons Battery
Kentucky

Boy, I love it when that card is played.

I'll raise your T-shirt for a set of anchors from a retired Chief Petty Officer.

That lame excuse is tiresome. Having the honor and privilege of wearing the uniform from any branch and for any length of time should have instilled in you the pride to do the right thing and to do things correctly regardless if it is a hobby or work.

http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/y/o/u/William-J-Young-IN/PHOTO/0001photo.jpg

Huck Finn
04-14-2007, 07:38 PM
CPO:

Thanks for standing watch. Great comment, as well.

JEBeedle
04-14-2007, 09:07 PM
Well a few of us will be there. My question is, what are the ratios like so far?

Mr. Beedle,
Will there be any of your "OLD Red" unit there? I havent been in for a while and just wanting to see some of the old guys. Besides Wheres Eric?


Trying to make you think a bit.



Anyway, Mill Springs sounds like it should be a good time. The battle areas look good and the tactical field looks like it might have a good area for manuevers.

JASON,

Good to hear from you. I sent you a PM

captdougofky
04-15-2007, 07:30 PM
I'll trade my t-shirt for a coffee cup. My Sgt. of Ord. in the battery retired E-9 said he had one he would loan me. (T-shirt)

Always
Doug Thomas
Lyons Battery
Kentucky.

JEBeedle
04-16-2007, 09:09 PM
I was at Mill Springs the last time it was a National, corn meal bag and wood chips on the road. Great time good event. Having said that I also camped in the mixed camp. I was at Perryville in 06 with the little town made up by the museum. I can appreciate the effort by all those involved but slab wood from the sawmill does not recreate Perryville 62. Farby looking yes it was, but if those who's effort help one persons learn something it was worth it. I am not going to run down the efforts of others or try to push my ideas of what I want a event to be. But I can tell you one thing keeping familys out of a event by either rules or the actions of a few will only run the hobby down. If you want real join the service they are taking people up to the age of 42 now. I can only guess that the age of most wanting familys excluded in one form or fashion, are younger than than that. I have the t-shirt on the real service, this is a hobby.

Always
Doug Thomas
Lyons Battery
Kentucky

Mill Springs in '98 was fun and hopefully it will be better this year.

The discussion of families at events has been going around since I can remember and the solution was too camp in the civilian camps not the military. It seems that this discussion is in a different post.

Memphis
04-17-2007, 07:37 AM
To bring this thread back to useful Mill Springs event information, what civilian opportunities beyond the normal mainstream activities are in the works for this reenactment? I don't want to reignite the smoldering flame war, so just list real information and some contact info, please. My guess is someone(s) is out there working hard in the shadows to do something besides sit on the company street in sweat pants, cook, and watch the youngins.

RJSamp
04-17-2007, 01:24 PM
Am sure that Mrs. Lawson and her wooden spatula (SHUDDER) and the folk's of Brown's Stand will be back in force. They've done a great job at NSA events for many years. The "Caves of Vicksburg" vignette at Raymond 2001 was a remarkable effort/result.

Spinster
04-18-2007, 02:00 AM
RJ, Thanks for your kind :rolleyes: words. By the by, I had an axe at Brown's Stand. The lovely Miss Bruce had the wooden laundry fork. My signature piece for Banks Grand Retreat was a 5 foot wooden spoon, but it was weilded stirring hominey.

As for Mill Springs---well, a number of gentlemen have been trying to jump start us for this thing, Silas amoungst them. They are honorable men, kind and generous. Mike Moore always has a creative mind when it comes to civilian opportunities, and much of the credit for what happens belongs to him, as he says something along the lines of "Can you raise some folks to do X" and I say "Yessir". Then we get a few rowdies together and we are off to the races......

But, truth be told, right now we are tired and broke---Brown's Stand was a lot of work, multiple site visits and telephone on my part and that of Miss Bruce, but usually we had a place to stay at night. Corinth required a lot of site visits---money out of personal pocket for motels and travel and such like. Perryville was the same, only this time it took air travel for me, several times. Mrs. Simpson, as Civilian Coordinator, did the real work, as she lived an hour away, and made countless trips to the site. Her personal phone bill was over $1000 that month.

What folks do not realize in these efforts is that these sorts of expenses do not come out of some magic event fund----they come out of personal pocket.

And the same folks that brought you Brown's Stand, Corinth refugees, and the Town of Perryville, then headed out and spent a full week in the swamps of Louisiana for Banks Grand Retreat.

Thats right--Sunday to Sunday. A week. The army came in several days later, but for many of us, this was our only family vacation for the year, with the necessities of setting up hauled down there at 8 miles to the gallon. We spent over two years in the planning and had a fabulous time. Well worth the money, time and effort spent.

And even before we left , folks were asking what we were going to do about Mill Springs.

The answer is----not much. We're tired and broke. The event is 6 months away and little ground work has been done on the civilian side. All the other events listed above----we started the base research at least 18 months ahead of time, and had something to build on to start with.

Mill Springs staff has no information about the civilians in the area for us to even start from, and we can't pull something together in a quality manner in the time available. Perryville, Corinth, and Rippavilla had all spent the time to assemble information on the civilian populace around their area, and gave us a starting point.

No definitive plans have been made to adequately separate "mixed camps" from "civilian only" camps. We saw the disasterous aftermath of uncontrolled troops coming from the mixed camps into the "Town of Perryville" last year. Subsequent discussions with the AOT have only partially satisfied me as to our safety in such an environment, (and this is not a reflection on the goodwill and generosity of the commanders of the AOT).

At this point, what we've said is that if a separate civilian only area is set up, with adequate separation from mixed camps, we'll be there. And we'll figure out something appropriate to do.


It is my understanding that the Mockingbird Theatre will be on site---this time on Sutler Row, and tickets will be sold for each show through Ezra Barnhouse Goods. Folks didn't pay too much attention to that donation bucket, and it takes a lot just to transport and assemble that stage and tent. So this time, there will be tickets sold.

If you want something good---support it.

And for the feller up thread who had a problem with the "farby sawmill slab wood" appearance of the "Town of Perryville"----take it up with the Park and the funding agencies above them. When we signed on to do it, Mrs. Simpson had been promised stick built structures by the Park. When those did not happen, she saw to it that something else did---What did get built, got built by a few men who were close at hand and kind enough to do the job. And we kept our word to show up.

Spinster
04-18-2007, 07:58 AM
Boy, I love it when that card is played.

I'll raise your T-shirt for a set of anchors from a retired Chief Petty Officer.

That lame excuse is tiresome. Having the honor and privilege of wearing the uniform from any branch and for any length of time should have instilled in you the pride to do the right thing and to do things correctly regardless if it is a hobby or work.

http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/y/o/u/William-J-Young-IN/PHOTO/0001photo.jpg


By the by, Thanks for the above image--I'd been peering at the postage stamp version in the the CessPool for some time, thinking "This is an interesting feller with a good deal of smarts".

I appreciate you posting it in a size old eyes can see.

Mrs Crabb
04-19-2007, 08:25 PM
I would like to second what Mrs. Lawson said. Although unable to attend BGR, I was lucky enough to be a part of Brown’s Stand, one of the occupants of the ‘Town of Corinth’ and represented Mrs. Parks of the Park’s Store at Perryville.

I am sure that many do not realize the vast amount of time that is involved in putting together a civilian area as mentioned above. On top of the months and months of planning, research and finding participants who “play well with others”, is the actual on site work.

As a personal example, Perryville required the 8 hour drive down & back the weekend before to bring the wooden building, the trip for the event and the drive down & back the following weekend to bring the building home.
The hours that Bev & Mark Simpson and Danny & Emily Burns invested are untold.

For those who liked what they saw at Perryville, THANK YOU !
If you would like to see such in the future, please consider lending a hand. A tremendous amount can be accomplished by 4 or 5 men in an hour or two.

And if you liked the Minstrel Show at Perryville please come to the Mockingbird Theater at Mill Springs. It will be located on sutler row at this event. And yes tickets will be SOLD. Paying for that tent, the stage and the benches you all sat upon is a huge expense for Bill & Phillipa.

And yes the farby slab wood building will be at Mill Springs too, only on sutler row. I will not apologize that our sawmill lumber did not “recreate Perryville 62”. We used the original buildings on Merchants Row in ‘02 but I bet you didn’t see us. With the logistical problem of narrow two lane road from town to Battlefield Park and high volume of cars, not many came to Merchants Row. So for ’06 we tried to recreate town at the Park. Did it look like Perryville in 1862, no. Did we attempt to provide the idea of the town of Perryville, I think we did. Lumber costs money, quite a lot of money. We have $500.00 invested in the rough slab sawmill lumber for the building. But if you would like to build a nice frame building for the civilians at Mill Springs, I for one would be glad to use it.

So as Mrs. Lawson stated earlier “If you want something good---support it.”

Beth Crabb

And Mrs. Lawson, regarding that navy fella in the photo, not only is he a handsome man, but Bugs is real nice to boot! Except that he is as fat as a cabbage and is going to salt my yard !!!!! :lol:

coastaltrash
04-19-2007, 10:48 PM
Anyone who says something about the slat shack clearly did not see your small quarters at Fort Granger.The Crabbs are the finest people in the hobby and were pushing the bar before half of us knew what it was.

Patrick Landrum

Crabby
04-23-2007, 07:12 PM
Hey Patrick,
Just how many pickled eggs did Mrs. Crabb have to bribe you with to say that?

Crabby

Memphis
04-23-2007, 07:54 PM
I am suddenly reminded of a great Paul Newman scene in Cool Hand Luke.

Well, those eggs were only hardboiled. :roll:

tompritchett
04-23-2007, 10:15 PM
I am suddenly reminded of a great Paul Newman scene in Cool Hand Luke.

Reading this forum over the years, I am sometimes reminded of another line for Cool Hand Luke - "What we have here is a failure to communicate." :)