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Thread: Blue/Gray Alliance?

  1. #1
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    Default Blue/Gray Alliance?

    In the November issue of the Civil War News there is an article which talks about the "Blue/Gray Alliance" and its plans for the 150th anniversary events. The article (and the Blue/Gray Alliance website) lists an impressive number of major reenactment units as belonging to it, including The USV, National Regiment and the Mifflin Guard. I just got off the phone with Tom Downes of the NR and he was talking to Tony Daniels of the USV and we all had the same three questions:

    1) Who are these guys?

    2) When did our organizations join the North/South Alliance?

    3) Why weren't we told about it?

    Anyone know anything about this?
    Scott Washburn
    Mifflin Guard
    www.paperterrain.com

  2. #2
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    Default

    Scott, I was kind of wonder the same thing when I first saw that 150th cycle of events website at www.150thcivilwarevents.com which must also be for this Blue Gray Alliance. For the Confederates it shows the ANV, PACS, and Longstreet's Corps being part of the "Southern Alliance." As PACS member and company commander, I don't recall ever being asked if this was a good idea or being asked to share this information with any of the guys under my command. However, I guess I could have missed the memo. I really don't have a problem with the leaders of these organization taking the initiative to try and work together, but I don't see how the 150th cycle is going to be any better than the 145th cycle unless significant improvements are made at the traditional reenactments. They need to come up with something new and inspiring, but to me it just looks the same old thing in the East.

    John A. Wyman
    Co. H, 2nd Maryland Infantry (PACS)
    Co. A, Chesapeake Rifles (CVG)

  3. #3
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    So Scott...are you saying you and the other organizations listed in this BG Alliance arent involved in this endeavor? And here I thought after 15 years, these groups, both East & West were working together for the 150th event cycle.
    Somebody's pipe dream I guess.

    Thanks for the heads up to file this Blue/Gray Alliance as fantasy and false advertising. People do need to take note that anyone these days can build a website and promote things that dont exist, implying your involvement and support in the process.

    Kent Dorr - Ohio
    "Devils Own Mess"

  4. #4
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    Default Answers

    I understand the curiousness and the questions as to the content of the 150th cycle website and the new alliance names that are beginning to pop up around reenacting. I'll try and shed some light on the parts that I have knowledge of and maybe help in understanding what is in the works. I by no means give an absolute explanation for everything nor do I speak for the individual commanders of the various fine organizations that exist today.\

    To clarify some of the questions.
    1. To my understanding the North/South Alliance is no longer in existence. I will defer any further explanation or comment on that subject to someone with more knowledge on the situation if they choose to post.

    It became apparent and necessary to begin trying to establish a partnership between reenacting organizations in order to facilitate the 150th Cycle events, especially in the West. Most folks were wondering where and when the 150th cycle events would occur and were looking forward to them with anticipation. Commanders started talking and discussing options for hosting the 150th's. Any one of you who have ever hosted even a small event realize the logistical stress that an event of any size produces. Every detail has to be addressed and plans executed flawlessly in order for an event to be successful. It is from this need for organizational and functional structure that bonds began to form and organizations begin to talk about binding together to make things happen.

    In the West, the commanders of a few organizations began to develope a set of objectives. It was the main objective of two of these organizations to provide quality 150th Cycle Western Theatre events over the next six years. From this planning process came the identity Blue/Gray Alliance. This title was designed to represent the Northern and Southern contingents of reenacting organizations active in 150th Cycle Events. So far, Cleburne's and First Federal Division have began the process of binding together under the Blue/Gray Alliance. We are endeavoring to do what's right and are diligently working and planning on a Western National event for each of the 150th Cycle years. Land walk throughs and logistical planning has already begun, even for events as far away as 2014.

    Our Eastern counterparts and brothers in arms shared the same vision and desire that was necessary to make the 150th Event cycle a memorable one so they began to have conversations in the East as well. ANV and Longstreet's Corp are good friends of Cleburne's and are committed to making the Eastern Theatre events as successful as the Western Theatre events. Conversations were had in the East and friendships were developed with a mutual vision to help promote and support the efforts of those who will host 150th Cycle events. Cleburne's has committed to attending a selection of Eastern events and those in the East have committed to taking a trip out West during the Cycle and support events here.

    Consequently, the idea developed to try and get everyone together, from all facets of reenacting, in order to compile a list of the 150th Cycle events including each of the "genre's" of reenacting if you will. The Leadership Conference in January, in Chickamauga, is specifically for the purpose of allowing ALL reenacting organizations to present and have listed on the 150th Cycle site their event so that we as reenactors can pre-planned and organize ourselves and our companies, battalions, brigades, and divisions for attendance at the event of our choosing. I guess the two key terms that would best describe the current efforts underway are COOPERATION and INFORMATION. Without the two, I feel that reenacting may dwindle. IMHO.

    I hope that I was able to shed light on the philosophy and concept of what's being done at this point. Again, I remind you, I do not speak for specific commands or commanders. I'm merely trying to provide some insight on the process.

    I hope to see all of you on the field and get to know you better over the next few years. We are a special breed of people, reenactors, and I am proud to call myself a member of this brotherhood that seeks to protect and recreate our Nation's history.
    Mark Way
    Chief of Staff
    Cleburne's Division
    www.cleburnes-division.com
    150th Anniversary Battle of Farmington/Corinth - September 2012
    www.battleoffarmington.com
    150th Anniversary Battle of Vicksburg/Raymond - October 2012
    www.friendsofraymond.org
    150th Anniversary Battle of Gettysburg - June 27-30, 2013
    www.bluegraygettysburg.com
    150th Anniversary Battle of Chickamauga September 2013
    www.150thanniversarychickamauga.com
    Blue Gray Alliance member

  5. #5
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    So I guess a better question to ask, whether they are still in existance or not, is who are the principle players? Nobody has mentioned any specific names whatsoever (only units who may or may not be involved) and curiosity has many of us here...
    Ross Lamoreaux
    Moderator and Sewer of Historical Clothing and Tall Tales

    "But our opportunity to learn and grow, to communicate the richness of the lives that have gone before us, that does not change. We do not outgrow it. It does not tatter and fall apart in our hands..." -Mrs. Terre Lawson, 2010

  6. #6
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    Mr Way...thank you for taking the time to put forth some explanation.

    I think many are still confused about the website....is it yours? And if it is and is a expression of what you have laid out here...did you not see the danger in the implied use of people names and their organizations as being in support of the concept? While I applaud the idea of cross region cooperation/support for the 150th cycle, this kind of misstep can kill the idea of what you are attempting, even before it gets ready to take flight. My advice would be that you need to contact the commanders and or appropriate representatives of the Mifflin Guard, National Regiment and the USVs promptly and make serious amends.

    Kent Dorr - Ohio
    "Devils Own Mess"

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaHoosier View Post
    So I guess a better question to ask, whether they are still in existance or not, is who are the principle players? Nobody has mentioned any specific names whatsoever (only units who may or may not be involved) and curiosity has many of us here...
    Ross...access the website and you will see a separate link for the commanders of the aformentioned organizations.

    Kent Dorr - Ohio
    "Devils Own Mess"

  8. #8
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    Default The 150th cycle

    I posted the thread concerning the 150th. Cycle Website. I cannot speak for any other organization, but General Jake Jennette has kept the ANV's leadership informed about the progress of the Southern and Federal Alliances from almost day one.

    For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would be unhappy about various major reenacting organizations working together to insure the upcoming 150th. Cycle mega events are a success.

    I would suggest if you are not getting information about this program from the leaders of your organization; you ask them.
    Bill Rodman, If you need a really bad example.
    King of Prussia, PA
    wrodman1@aol.com

  9. #9
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    Default

    Bill, I for one am not against any organizing of 150th events, I am a big proponant. I was just curious about who the players were since reading the first post in which Col. Washburn had no idea, and he's one of the listed players. He mentioned that a couple of others had no idea either. To me it sounded like we have an organization that put out there that they had more players involved than how many they really had. If the commander of the Mifflin Guard didn't know he was part of an effort, as well as the commanders of the National Regiment and USV, how many other people didn't know either?
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  10. #10
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    Bill, I agree these organizations need to work together to put on some good events for the 150th. However, I just don't have a lot of confidence in them doing so based on the 145th cycle, especially this past season. I once considered myself a mainstreamer some campaiger tendencies, but as each season goes by I find myself more and more on the campaign side of the fence. I once thought the large numbers of troops at mainstream events made those events cool. I could look past some of the weak impressions and modern stuff just for the thrill of seeing lots of troops in the field. Unfortunately, with the way things have been going for the past four years, some alleged campaign events like September Storm at At High Tide have pulled some pretty good numbers compared to some of the traditional events of the 145th cycle with the exception of 145th Gettysburg. I guess I'm just trying to say that the more traditional reenactments with all the fuss and energy that goes into them just haven't, at least for me, been worth it without the quantity of troops that we saw in the 135th and 140th cycles. Now that I have a larger family and more responsibilities on the home front, I really need to way my options wisely when choosing events as I can't do as much as I did 5 years ago. I need to invest in events that will over the most return, and many of the big mainstream events just haven't been doing it for me. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that the organizers for 145th Spotsylvania completely dropped the ball and the event didn't happen. I just have a hard time believing that there will be enough troops at the 150th mainstream events to make them worthwhile. I've even heard some people saying that perhaps the Ander's style event in the East is the "new mainstream."

    I don't like being pessimistic, and I do hope folks can work together to provide some good experiences for the average reenactors. I hope this new Southern Division can also contribute to the 150th cycle, but it is hard to be excited after the past 4 years.

    John A. Wyman
    Co. H, 2nd Maryland Infantry (PACS)
    Co. A, Chesapeake Rifles (CVG)

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