In conversations with several friends, two of the key issues facing the hobby are communication, both between impressions (blue vs gray) and organizations, and the lack of true officer training in the proper use of Combined Arms.
Going beyond the drill and outside the box, to incorporate all three arms both authentically and safely will add greatly to the experience of the participants at a reenactment.
The Date is set for the March 9-11, 2007, at Old Bedford Village (The web site for the village is http://www.memberbbb.com/bedfordvillage.html) which has around 40 period houses, a school house for classes and a Period Tavern for a Saturday Night Social.
There will be a dual impression (both sides) officers weekend focussing on the 1862 Army Officers Companion and leadership skills,.
This program would not be intended to preach at anyone, but rather to work together, as a team, to increase our knowledge and cooperation.
There would be a Saturday night social at a period tavern, and period homes for each organization.
There would be no instruction on company or battalion drill, but the topics discussed are-
This year we will have both mandatory classes, and then Electives, with all students attending the Mandatory classes and choosing 2 electives
Employment of Artillery
Employment of the Mounted Arms
On the Battlefield- the combined use of arms
Military Etiquette/ Period Etiquette
Map making and field reports
Evolutions of the Line
Outpost and Grand Guard
Field Paperwork and Period Penmanship
This is a good deal to accomplish, and each topic would be addressed by different instructors from various groups, making the effort a true team program.
A program like this would go a long way towards creating a better team atmosphere and long lasting working relationships that will better the hobby and give the boys in the ranks better experiences. I do not expect the weekend to be all inclusive of all the materials we would ever require, but rather a starting point, from a "How to be an Officer for Dummies" period handbook. Can't argue that is the place to start. Just wetting the proverbial appetite, and enjoy the fellowship are the goals.
There are no know it all’s at this, just folks working together to help each other. No lines between organizations, sides or method of reenacting, going back to the basics and taking it directly from period sources.
It is truly a great site, and you would be staying in period houses, with period fireplaces and we would host the training in a period school house they have on site. The Tavern would be used for meals and a Saturday night social.
Bedford Village is a non profit organization, and requires a $12 fee per person to attend such a training weekend, which includes firewood and the full use of the town, which would be "rented" to us for the weekend.
For food my long -suffering wife, Laura Anders, has agreed to organize period meals on site, and for those who came to previous camps of instruction, you have a good idea how good it is. She would request the assistance of any ladies in your groups who would wish to help her in the preparation and serving of the meals. Any ladies assisting will receive a $20 discount on registration.. She plans on serving 3 meals Saturday, and 1 on Sunday morning.
With the use of the period houses, you may bring whatever sleeping gear you require. Period dress, blue, gray or civilian, as you prefer.
Housing assignments will be made by organization, and couples may request individual housing.
The total fee for the weekend, including the meals and housing would be $35. Any funds left over will be donated to the village as well. For those ladies assisting Laura, the fee would be just the $15. All students will receive a Bugle Call CD and a copy of Outpost and Grand Guard and Troops on Campaign.
To make the program work, we would require at least 20 participants, and with preliminary emails, we have many officers from many various organizations who are attending, and we will limit the total to 60. I am truly encouraged by the number of folks, from 8 different organizations, who have responded to me, and I feel that the collective efforts of all involved will pay off in 2007 and beyond.
I would hope to have all on site by 8pm if possible, for a welcome reception in the Tavern, and end the program around noon on Sunday, to allow for travel. It truly is a wonderful period place for such an activity, and is located only about an hour west of Hagerstown Md. I hope you embrace this program, as the chance to work together to learn and build partnerships that will benefit us all, and the boys we serve.
I wanted to post this, as there may be officers who may be interested in the program who have not received the email I circulated.
If you are interested please email me to reserve a slot, and registration forms and general information will be posted on the CVG site at www.chesapeakevolunteerguard.org in the next week or so.