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Thread: A Private Looks at Wilson's Creek

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    228

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    Wow, reading these posts I'm wondering if I was really at Wilson's Creek... This was basically my first time back in the field since Rich Mountain, almost five years. Hanging till the end, and getting out of there without a swarm of ticks on me was my primary goal. Everything else was gravy. Look, this event was what it was. It didn't take a rocket scientist to see it wasn't going to be an authentic event, so you just gotta make the best of it.

    When I get to an event, the first question out of my mouth is, "where's the water...?" Everything else I just figure out as I go along. I was in the 1st Fed Div at Raymond in 2001. The water situation at that event could've been summed up in one word: dangerous. Wilson's Creek was nowhere near that bad, in fact I was pleasantly suprised with the water situation. They ran out for awhile on Saturday, no big deal. The problem was corrected and we pressed on. So the port-a-johns listed a little. Really?

    Firewood? Never was a problem. Camp site? We were all aware of the lady discovering cancer, and what the organziers were up against. But to tell the truth, they did a commendable job of clearing that area. OK, so we tripped over a few roots. Big deal.

    I showed up and soldiered with one of the best Federal companies west of Iowa in Cal Kinzer's 24th Missouri, and drilled under one of the best drillmasters ever to don a uniform by serving again with Dom dal Bello and his AoP. Learned some new calls listening to the best civil war bugler in the land. I didn't hear any bitching, whining, or complaining from any of my pards in our entire brigade, comprising both the AoP and the Frontier Battalion. It was a bully time, just like old times. A dead whale or a stove boat.

    I guess it's all in your expectations. It's great to be back in the field.
    Mike Phineas
    Arlington, TX
    24th Missouri
    Army of the Frontier
    www.24thmissouri.org

    \"The floggings will continue until morale improves...\"

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    West Tennessee
    Posts
    434

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil McBride View Post
    Does that conclusion about red trim apply to all states' troops present at Wilson's Creek or just Missouri soldiers? I ask since we were portarying Arkansas soldiers. And for fun, since all the period photo images are in black and white, it seems perhaps a bit of a leap to conclude no red trim among the many units in the summer of 1861 unless a whole lot of written primary sources say as much pretty directly.

    Phil McBride
    I was not aware they were portraying State troops. As Mr. Comer said, the red trim debate did indeed concern only the MSG troops.
    John Spain
    4th Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A. / 25th Indiana Infantry, U.S.A.
    Bitter Brothers Mess
    Jeff Davis Independent Guard

    "JWNW"

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tuskaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    4,352

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strawfoot View Post
    Wow, reading these posts I'm wondering if I was really at Wilson's Creek...


    I showed up and soldiered with one of the best Federal companies west of Iowa in Cal Kinzer's 24th Missouri, and drilled under one of the best drillmasters ever to don a uniform by serving again with Dom dal Bello and his AoP.

    I guess it's all in your expectations. It's great to be back in the field.

    Sigh. Less than 50 yards apart. I should have gone traipsing about. Glad you are back home with the time to come out and play.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



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  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tuskaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    4,352

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strawfoot View Post
    Wow, reading these posts I'm wondering if I was really at Wilson's Creek...


    I showed up and soldiered with one of the best Federal companies west of Iowa in Cal Kinzer's 24th Missouri, and drilled under one of the best drillmasters ever to don a uniform by serving again with Dom dal Bello and his AoP.

    I guess it's all in your expectations. It's great to be back in the field.

    Sigh. Less than 50 yards apart. I should have gone traipsing about. Glad you are back home with the time to come out and play.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



    Moderator, When I remember. We got Rules here!

    Did your sales post disappear? Try again. But read the rules first.
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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    193

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    Mike,
    It was great having you fall in with the 24th at Wilson's Creek and I agree with your perception of the event and our unit. Hopefully you will join us again soon! I really dont see what all the complaining is about. I bet we all had it pretty good compared to the real boys of 61'. The gripes make me wonder if anyone complaining would have lasted a day back then. Lets all toughen up or stay home. If our ancestors were here, they would punch us in the face for complaining about this stuff. I dont care who made money or who did a bad job. As long as even one little kid is now interested in the civil war or one parent even considers donating to battlefield preservation, it was worth it. Come on guys. If people in your unit spent the weekend griping, switch units. If you spent the weekend griping, stay home next time.

    James Teeple
    24th Missouri

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    O'Fallon, MO
    Posts
    3

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    Wilson's Creek was my first national event to attend. Overall, I was very pleased by it. Experiencing that many artillery pieces fire simultaneously, seeing so many of the enemy on the field...I was impressed and a bit overwhelmed.

    Since this was my first national, I guess I didn't see the logistical problems others have identified here. Wobbly portalets? No water or firewood? These kinds of things are par for the course at many of the other events I've attended outside of CW reenactments. I thought it was great that we didn't have to provide our own hay for our horses and that dry firewood was in abundance near or just inside the treeline.

    What I wasn't happy with was having to camp in a stubble-field power cut (I still have the hives to remind me of it). Nor was I happy with the battlefield ride on Friday evening. I felt it was entirely inappropriate to canter/gallop through the entire battlefield and not take our time to pay respect to that hallowed ground. I would have preferred a slower pace (even if it meant seeing less of the battlefield) so we could have shown humbleness and respect while reflecting on the events that took place there 150 years ago.

    Suttler's Row was a larger version of the ones I typically see at smaller events and it was no surprise that there was some farbiness there. What was a surprise was the "Confederate" money you needed for food concessions. That was kinda hokey to me. I'm sure the powers that be felt a need for it, but I couldn't figure it out. It just seemed goofy.

    To close on a high note...I really enjoyed meeting a lot of like-minded people who share my passions for history and education. Overall, I had a blast and would gladly do it again (with the exception of breaking out in hives...lol).

    Phil Blanton
    5th Mo Vol Cav

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    933

    Lightbulb Wilson Creek

    Wilson Creek

    As long as they made money----------------------------Botttom line. History did not suffer, only the reenactors from what I see posted. Lay the blame at the feet of one Individual, when so many are involved. I'd would not want that laid at my feet. Nature of the Hobby folks, get used to it. Remember when they say it isn't about the money it is and alway will be. Any chance you think about numbers being posted to who for how much. Not to much to ask considering how far some drove and the money they as individuals spent.

    Always
    Doug Thomas
    Lyons Battery CS
    Kentucky
    Holding on the High ground

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Bartlett, Tennessee
    Posts
    147

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    I had this huge list of pros and cons and somehow hit the reply to thread button and erased it all, oh well. I had a good time, met alot of decent people, some helpful, some not. Would I go again? Yep. Did I get my $20 worth? Yep.
    Mike McGee
    Cure All Mess - Hard Case Boys
    -------------------------------------
    In Honor: Pvt. Francis Marion Agee- G, G, G-Uncle
    Company H, 22nd TN Infantry Regiment
    KIA Battle of Shiloh April 6, 1862
    Resting in Peace on that Hallowed Ground

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    New Madrid Missouri
    Posts
    933

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    Here's my take on the event.

    I came with the express idea of remembering Missouri State Guard troops - Burbridge's Regiment was who I chose. Nobody ever remembers the State Guard. They weren't Confederate or Federal, they were the Missouri State Army put together to defent Missouri after Lyon had pulled his little act at Camp Jackson in May. Most people think that Missouri wasn't even involved in the war!

    I wanted to do something about that and pay these guys some due that they deserve. I put together a battalion. Many did not show. Some came and did not participate leading me to wonder why they were even there. Some came and made the best of it. Some came and whined about this and that and left. Some came and my patience with them ended. Some bridges were burned this weekend, others were built.

    Yeah, the toilet paper ran out but people managed. The Thursday tactical along sutler row was just asinine but my life doesn't revolve around that. We didn't have firewood delivered. Big deal, we were camping in the woods and there was plenty of deadfall. We never ran short of water on our end - can't vouch for anyone else. The cars in the camps were probably the worst I've seen at an event but hey, nobody should have been looking for reenacting Nirvana at an event like this.

    As a commander, I think the CS command and the brigade commands we were put into for scenarios did their best to make sure we were getting what we expected. I was asked over and over - 'are your boys happy?, are your needs being met?' and special requests to allow us to reach our goal were met with enthusiasm and assistance. I have no complaint whatsoever about the command on our side. They bent over backwards to accomodate us even though we were not the type of unit they were used to working with.

    So, all in all and despite the problems, we did what we came to do. Folks, I got something out of this event and I cannot say that about most mainstream events I have attended for the last decade. I've done this hobby a long time and could care less about another powder burner. I don't care if a round is fired or not. I think the battles are usually stupid and nothing like what they would have been.

    BUT, I felt the excitement in some scenarios. As we went up that hill on Sunday and I saw that hand painted repro of Burbridge's colors in front of us; man I felt something. As those colors went down and were picked up to wave again I felt something. As my men were taking hits, hollering about ammunition getting low, wavering, begging me to let them fall back, I felt something I haven't felt in a long time - the sense of being there. For me the Bloody Hill scenario will be one of the highlights of my reenacting career and I thank my boys for that and the command for giving me the ability to take that position in the ranks and do what we did.

    My thanks go out to my company commanders and the boys who pitched in for the duration to do this thing. I think we accomplished our goals and stood well for Burbridge and his men.
    Last edited by huntdaw; 08-16-2011 at 09:59 AM.
    Michael Comer

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Middleburg Florida
    Posts
    139

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    I attended Wilson's Creek and fell in with the AoP. We arrived on site Friday morning after a long drive for Jacksonville Fl. We found out pretty quickly that the logistics were poor since parking was screwed up from the get go, but we were happy with out camp since we were ale to set up a way from all of the wall tents and 1920s beach chairs.We quickly learned how the weekend would be turning out. We had been looking forward to portraying US Regulars with a good group of guys, but after forming up we were told that our company would be combined with another company of "regulars". The men we were combined with were pretty terrible, I wont even comment on the material culture of their impressions, but they would not stop talking in the ranks, they could not preform basic drill manuvers even in company drill, it was just bad. Good news was we only had to fall in with them on Friday and we were back to the original plans on Saturday. Friday night we posted picketts and ended up just ignoring the "attacks" from the confederates since it was a bunch of yahoos and 12 year old kids that wanted to act like herp derps and run through our camp all night. As our adjutent said, "they brought 5000 rounds with them and you know they aren't going home with any".

    On Saturday morning going into the battle I ended up stepping in a hole while marching and sprained my ankle pretty bad, one of my buds stayed behind with me and we ended up behind the state guards line during the battle. I got to see the wagons ford the creek which was pretty sweet. The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to get medical staff to check out my ankle which took several hours, and I ended up having to get uop and walk aound looking for someone since they wernt going to come to me after being asked several times. One medical staff that I spoke to one Saturday around noon that told me he would be right over to camp to check it out didnt come check on it till sunday around 11. I ended up having to drive into town to go to a walgreens to get a wrap for my ankle because none of the medical staff or emts had a wrap which was kinda stange I thought. Saturday was packed with spectators which was good to see, and most seemed very interested in the history of the civil war and were not just coming for funnel cakes and to watch grown men play war with their fake army buddies.

    Sunday morning I ended up changing back into my modern clothes and hanging out as a spectator since I wasnt able to participate in the scenarios due to my injury. I sat on top of the hill the federal camp was on and watched the battle which was pretty sweet. I was able to visit sutlers row which was a disappointment because I found a lot of stuff I wanted in 96 Storehouse but had no room for it on the way home. The Sutler of fort scott was awesome, they had an awesome set up, and their products were first rate. Everything they had for sale came in a period box and was displayed in shipping crate full of saw dust or was laid out to give the fill for a period sutlery.

    Over all I would give the event a 5 out of 10 as it was nothing to great, and had very poor logistics behind it.
    Brandon Hand
    48th NY CO. F
    Middleburg Fl.

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