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.
Well put sir. I listed alot of cons and all, but the bottom line was, I enjoyed myself. Although, now that I've had time to think about it, I should've added the hit I took and where I landed, and the subsequent nickname my guys gave me on Saturday among the "ugly".
Mr. Comer, I would fall in with you again anytime and follow you into the gates of h*ll if you were so inclined to go.