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Thread: Provost Marshal and Provost Guard-Duties

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  1. #1
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    Default Provost Marshal and Provost Guard-Duties

    Are there any resources that "break down" the duties of the Provost Marshal's Office? I am looking at starting up a detachment within our Infantry unit, which offers those that are unable to "fall in" as Infantry, another option to participate in the hobby. I've tried to do some searching, using google and yahoo search engines, and nothing really comes up, as far as the duties of the positions. Would anyone, maybe have any suggestions as to how the Office of Provost Marshal and Provost Guard worked? The times that I have actually participated in Provost Guard Duty at events were mainly for "security" reasons. However, I thought of adding a little more to the impression. To give it a "real feel" for guests/spectators, as well as for other reenactors. Please, I welcome any and/or all suggestions, comments or guidance. Thanks for your time.
    Last edited by "Doc" Nelson; 07-29-2006 at 04:07 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default

    Contact Charles Mathis, Provost Marshal of the Army of Tennessee at:
    pvtmathis@att.net

    Also, get a copy of:

    Rebel Watchdog: The Confederate States Army Provost Guard by Kenneth Radley

    However, you're going to find that "those that can't fall in as infantry" probably aren't going to make good provosts either.

  3. #3
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    Default Try some other sources

    The officer's version of Kautz has specific info about the duties of provost marshals. This is available online. Other titles of related interest include: the nco version of Kautz (available online); US and CS regulations (both available online); Mahan (available online); the 1862 Army Officer's Pocket Companion (Stackpole Press: Borders Books); and Gilham (guard information isn't online, but is extremely similar to other sources cited). I've linked the online titles at http://www.zipcon.net/~silas/links.htm#N_7_

    Since you're in Kentucky, you might consider borrowing some good Confederate kit and joining Charles Mathis' provost entity of the AoT for Perryville. Sometimes the best way to learn is to do. Contacting Charles soon would be a good idea. ACT NOW. REGISTRATION FOR PERRYVILLE IS TEN BUCKS FOR ONLY TWO MORE DAYS. IT INCREASES TO TWENTY BUCKS AFTER 31 JULY.

    Approximately four weeks before Perryville, the provost proposal will be published online. It is working document which details what the provost will be doing at Perryville and subsequent AoT events. It could be scaled down to lesser sized events. For example, Charles will be running the provost company at Ft. Stevens, Oregon, during Labor Day Weekend. There may only be 150 Federals present. (We'll be portraying the 8th California, Co. B, which was stationed at the fort from April - October, 1865.)

    I have suggested that Charles' provost proposal be published on the NSA forum. There are some great things in the proposal. Here's a link for the forum: http://www.nsalliance.org/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi?

    Silas Tackitt
    AIG, AoT

  4. #4

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    Doc, the Lt. Colonel of the 26th Michigan (Henry H. Wells) was Provost Marshall general of Alexandria, VA. We'd love to have you "fall-in" with us from time to time! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/26thMI/

  5. #5
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    Doc

    I have read in the Annals, Army of the Cumberland, Department of Provost Marshal. There was alot of paper work, also dealing with local people on all sorts of issue, of course this was the officers. Then you had enlisted doing the guarding, delivering messages etc. I will say this book is very interesting

    Cheers
    Michael Pierpoint

  6. #6
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    The Provost Guard was usually regular infantry detailed for the purpose, so trying to create an impression for fellers that can't "fall in" as Provost might be wrong.

    If they are physically unable to participate as military, then I suggest that you, Doctor, issue them a medical discharge and send them back to civilian life. This hobby needs more civilians.

    If, on the other hand, you are just interested in keeping some old guys around the campfire, make no excuses and throw another log on the fire.

    Specialty impressions like Provost always seem pointless. They have no real authority over others, so they can't provide event security effectively. They usually spend their time yelling at people for doing things that don't really matter. They wear their badges (we don't need no stinkin' badges!) like they are Wyatt Earp, come to clean up Dodge City, and strut around like peacocks. I've got more respect for the drummer boy that can keep time.

    Mint

  7. #7

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    Our regiment, 7th Wisconisin of the old Iron Brigade, was detailed to Provost duty when too shot up to take the line anymore. That they were hardened infantry by that time goes without question.
    While I applaud your effort to find a niche for some of the older, perhaps physically challenged member of the reenacting community, I'm not sure provost duty is the thing you want. Being used as gophers with badges on is simply not an impression that's going to earn you much respect among other reenactors. Guarding stuff that doesn't need to be guarded is quickly perceived as a waste of time. I remember a Gettysburg several years ago when a provost stopped me and a group of my comrades who were crossing in front of a group of wall tents. He firmly chided me about being in a brigade command area of limited access, etc, etc. I thanked him for his time, and politely and firmly kept walking in the direction I was originally going. My latest Gettysburg experience involved seeing a provost corporal with his stripes on upside down, trying to find a unit with whom he and his fellows could fall in. Fortunately he found one before getting to us.
    What can I offer you instead of a provost? I would recommend an obscure Federal unit, perhaps one known to have had a number of older men, draftees, etc., that didn't have a combat record that you have to defend. Pick your events carefully, so that you don't find yourself in one of those high-energy events that will tax your men beyond their capacity. Do what you pick very well, and you will have more respect than if you go the provost route. Just my $0.02 (Hey - I just realized my computer keyboard has no "cent" symbol!)

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

  8. #8
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    One modern role of camp provosts is defarbing the camp when the men go off to battle. Typically this involves tieing tent flaps when someone forgets to do so and storing away any modern items that might have been left behind. Another duty that can be performed by the experienced, but now less physically able, reenactor is drilling new recruits freeing up the fighting men to perform other tasks and getting ready for the upcoming battles. I can remember one event when such a reenactor was especially valuable to me as I had dual responsibilities as the company acting 1SGT and QM for the confederates at the event.

    Just a suggestion.
    Thomas H. Pritchett
    Moderator, Military & Other Business Conferences
    www.campgeiger.org

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tompritchett
    One modern role of camp provosts is defarbing the camp when the men go off to battle. Typically this involves tieing tent flaps when someone forgets to do so and storing away any modern items that might have been left behind. Another duty that can be performed by the experienced, but now less physically able, reenactor is drilling new recruits freeing up the fighting men to perform other tasks and getting ready for the upcoming battles. I can remember one event when such a reenactor was especially valuable to me as I had dual responsibilities as the company acting 1SGT and QM for the confederates at the event.

    Just a suggestion.
    These are all excellent suggestions. Keep the vision of what you see your new unit to be in front of you. Get a good reputation and don't bite off more than you can chew!
    Nope - can't get to that derned cent sign yet!

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

  10. #10
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    I recommend finding a real task that might be less challenging. If you have a unit commander / headquarters that makes an effort to function as a real HQ, then there is plenty of clerical work to do. Our reenacting colleague Mr Shaffner is making a reenacting career of doing this. Or consider the Subsistence Department, providing real-world, real-time rations. (Believe it or not, you can eat "by the book" for a weekend at far less expense than if you cart along lots of modern food.)

    My 2 .

    Rob -- your keyboard doesn't have a sign, but your computer has a hidden one. You just need to know how to get to it. If you know how to access the alternate character set, try "ALT 155".

    I can't guarantee that others will see them. If you see gibberish instead of four "cent" signs in this sentence, disregard my suggestion.
    Ron Myzie
    "God gave us two ends - one to sit on and one to think with. Success depends on which one you use. Heads you win, tails you lose."

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