I can't say that this instance was more enjoyable than the battle scenarios, but we had a great down time watching the ford we camped 10 feet from fill up with horses and personnel, male and female kids and all. Remembering the regs advising not to water yourself or your horses in the creek made me laugh at most of the people that weren't just soaking their feet in it, but it was enjoyable to just watch that many people just relaxing. Down side to that was the Friday and Saturday night attacks that came blazing through there, even after guards were set up, along with the fireworks show right as I fell asleep. The big laugh was when the Reb cavalry came back into camp after scouting the Yankee camps dressed as Yankees and getting fired upon by the 3" rifle set up in the middle of camp. Now, that was exciting. You can't expect to have everything be authentic in an event this large but the battles seemed ok to me, regardless of the lopsided numbers and it not being on the original battlefield. I guess if I had to have a number one complaint it would be the amount of vehicles that were left in camp practically all weekend. Like I said before, I got my $20 worth.
I keep seeing people mention the lopsided mumbers. If there was one event for the confederates to outnumber the federals big time this was it. The original battle consited of about 12000 confederates and around 5000 federals....
Maybe it just seemed alot more lopsided than it really was. Did anyone ever get a real count?
I too felt that the vehicles in camp throughout the weekend was the biggest problem. The sad thing is that we have no one else to blame for this problem but our fellow reenactors that show a lack of consideration. Unit commanders could have solved this problem by simply telling the owners to move them. Despite this I had a great time at the event. The only way to get a feel for the size of a large "army" with its numbers is at the large event. There is a big difference between events with a few hundred vs an event where thousands are present. I know I got my $20 worth of chiggers.LOL :lol::lol:
Water, tp, food and etc are not a problem for me since I always bring my own anyway, be prepared an old Eagle Scout once said. The wave of CS infantry coming onto the field Sunday looked super.
I'm just glad all of you got to go. My Spring and Summer have been a regular roller coaster. I wanted to go to this event more than any I have had the chance to attend in years. Wilson's Creek was the first National Event I had the chance to attend 20 years ago. The Tuesday before the event my Father-n-law suffered an brain aneurysm and is still in the ICU with no end in sight. Having already lost my Father and Grandfather this year I am still in shock. I have missed being out in the field with all my pards and this event was no different. Life happens wether you want it to or not.
17 even with spray.......... The waiting 20 minutes in hip high grass on Saturday morning probably didn't help either.
Originally Posted by 44 Henry
Yes, this was as the same event where the organizers had an irrational fear of flintlocks.
Originally Posted by mike51tenn
Now that I have a few moments it is time to post my own thoughts about Wilson’s Creek. After reading all the posts, I am glad that the event met some of your expectations. Mine were mostly met by the delightful folk in the Town of Little York, at the edge of the battlefield toward the creek. I would like to first thank each and every one of the townsfolk for making it a memorable weekend. They came together to assist with a good experience in spite of the woes caused us by he who shall not be mentioned (no not Voldemort) but the one person more hated in Missouri today than Quantrill himself. I also want to say how sincerely grateful I am for the help given me by all those in Town who reached out to help spectator and reenactor alike.
The problems started on Friday AM with the beginning of the spectator throngs. There was absolutely NO – let me repeat NO – form of crowd control by the organizer. Spectators were asking those of us in Town where the battle was to be. They asked us where the opening program was. There was no staff of the organizer to be found to answer these questions. There were over 900 hundred spectators at the top of the battlefield! Finally several of us in Town realized we had to do something for safety’s sake. We started bringing the crowd back toward the creek to be in some semblance of safety. We had to try and stop them from using the 4 portalets in Town reserved for our women – only to be cursed out in a blue cloud by some. I was supposed to be having fun as a reenactor, not providing free crowd control. Several spectators vented their frustration from the organizer on us – unfair to say the least.
Friday afternoon’s battle also had no crowd control, although there was an area with VIP tape that most of the spectators gravitated to. I had only a 100 or so spectators I had to help control. The only portalets on the battlefield side were the four for Town. We had to keep people from using them because they had NOT been cleaned (they still had not by Saturday PM). There were local constabulary in bright yellow T-shirts, but they only ventured away from the ice wagons once or twice. When I requested some help, they sneered at me and insisted that “You should ask nicely”. Just one of many stormy moments this past weekend.
Friday night was very pleasant. We in Town gathered at the village’s edge to watch the cavalry and infantry incursions. That ended quickly, but then a most beautiful lightning display occurred. We huddled under the fly of one of our “Yorkies” and talked into the wee hours of the morning. Old friendships were strengthened and new ones forged.
Saturday provided some good moments as the battle developed. Once again the organizer had no spectator control in place, but we were visited by the Greene County Sheriff’s department and a local Christian Cowboy group on horseback. Both groups pitched in with a willing hand to aid with crowd control, a task I once again had to undertake. I send special thanks to both groups who were a godsend. We had to prevent soldiers from draining our water tank because refilling was a very “iffy” proposition. But some of our womenfolk gathered water in buckets and went with a dipper to help quench the thirst of the soldiers, even though they were St. Louis Dutch! As the soldiers left the field of battle, the mayor went out with our box of oranges and we are delighted that so many troopers and soldiers partook of our fruit.
The low point of my weekend with the organizer came on Saturday after the AM battle. A family of 5 (one a Downs child) wandered into Town looking for the “Camping Experience” they had paid dearly for. (No Capt Doug- I don’t care to answer questions about the Benjamins.) No staff member could be found, they had no idea where to go, so I helped them get back to the Wilson Creek Foundation tent, where one of the volunteers broke down crying. It was due to one person and one person only. I hope the family was finally able to enjoy their experience.
I and my fellow “Yorkies” did these things not for praise, but because we are living historians. We can’t stand by and watch the world around us fall apart due to one or two individuals. I am in deep gratitude to several people this weekend. I am also privileged to have worked with staff from the Blue Gray Alliance this weekend. The BGA will do things right when it comes to Shiloh. They were military commanders only this weekend and were not running the logistics of this event. As a member of the BGA and the mayor of Purdy TN for the BGA Shiloh, I can voice my promise that the same negatives associated with the organizer of Wilson’s Creek should not be present next March. I can also assure any who wish to follow our guidelines and join us in Town will be welcome and will have a good experience.
As I look back on the weekend, a few moments will always stand out. For the first time we had children in camp – nine in fact – all in period dress and with a period attitude. I believe our Towns will grow as the 150’s pass us by.
Originally Posted by desotobob
Since your a member of the BGA what if any profit was made, and who did it go to. Donations to a worthy cause is the reason a lot of us support different events and organizations. It appears by your status (Mayor) you might be able to provide that information or know someone who does. Not to much to ask, considering what Folks spent to get there. Need to know should not be at play here, right to know is my way of thinking. Mayor keep up the good work, crowd control? Not what you signed up for I'm sure.
Over the years, I've discovered that every event has problems. Most or all of the problems are solved before they are ever noticed by the average participant. I realized that firewood was a problem in parts of the federal camp because I was on a wood detail that found 8 pieces of rotting wood. I knew there were water issues, but we didn't run out on our end of camp. I knew there were crowd control problems because they got in our way on the federal camp side of the creek. Despite this, the problems got solved, whether by Wilson's Creek staff, command staff or the people with no real authority at all. Generally we don't see the problems until they become dangerous, like in Raymond 2001, and that didn't seem to happen this weekend. For that I would like to thank everyone who saw a problem and jumped in to fix it. All of you made it a great event for me and every other reenactor who did not have to suffer the same problem.
That being said, I had only two specific complaints. One was the cavalry raid on federal camp Thursday night. Several mules were spooked and either broke or pulled loose their picket line. More importantly, I split the crotch seam in my trousers on Saturday, and now I have to mend them!