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Thread: A Private Looks at Wilson's Creek

  1. #61
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    Here's the link to the Wilson's Creek Battlefield Foundation, along with an explanation of its structure and relationship to the Park. Click around a bit to find additional information.

    http://wilsonscreek.com/AboutUs.aspx

    Join up to receive the regular newsletter. As with most 501(c)3 entities, its a good bet that the final financials for a given event are 12 months out, possibly more, depending on the fiscal year end utilized, tax return due dates, and the working schedule of the auditors utilized.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



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  2. #62
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    "the Logistics are what have turned me off from all Nationals"

    Isabella, it's silly to judge all nationals by the only one you've attended. The recent national at Manassas got almost universal positive remarks on logistics like water and other essential stuff. They aren't all the same. I believe it's safe to say a lot of folks were disappointed at Wilson's Creek on this score, so you can't always tell ahead of time.

    And you can have bad logistics at any size event.
    Bill Watson
    I write about history for people who regret not being there when it happened.

    Books
    Brother William's War, Illustrated, about a Southerner's war
    The Ludlam Legacy, Illustrated, about a young Yankee orphan's war.
    Seize the Day! A best-practices guide to wringing more satisfaction from your Civil War weekend
    The Little Book of Civil War Reenacting: An introduction for those who want to try it out

  3. #63
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    I beleive the woman in question belonged to the Washington Artillery unit and all the time I was around them she only acted as powder monkey, I never saw her in the no. 1 thru 4 positions. I'am not saying she didn't work no. 1 thru 4, I'am just saying she never did the two days I was next to them. They where a real nice group to be around and came from New Orleans.After talking to them great lenghts about their units history I learned they where trying to be as historicaly accurate as they could, I would almost bet they would have proof that sometime in that units history their was such a person as they went to much trouble not to hide her gender. If there never was such a person, I'am sure they would of just put her hair up in her hat, and gave her a pair of pants like the other women cannon crew at the event. I would like to hear their side of the story on the subject before we come to the conclusion it never happened

  4. #64
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    Bill Watson,

    One of the things I've done on occassion is crank up the 'How to Go to a National' . I felt irresponsible that I did not get that task done for this event.

    I did not get that done this time. I sure wish you'd open and direct that discussion on a separate thread--with the ultimate goal being another one of your cogent well-edited articles.

    I must admit, once I saw the conditions of the site, I called Robert Orrand and asked him to get a notice out to those we knew to be living in the Town of Little York --to bring a FILLED jerry can of water so they'd have a head start on water needs. This is never a bad idea at a large mainstream event, as water supply systems frequently break down, but this one had problems from the get-go.

    Much the same sort of call went out to the members of the Wagon Corps from the advance man for that group (who already knew how to prepare)---Bring Hay enough for the event for your animals, as what was on site was not acceptable as horse hay.

    I contrast the conditions we walked into as advance folks going in to Wilson's Creek to what I saw last fall at Twin Rivers--square bailed horse hay, stacked and heavy tarped, on site 2-3 weeks prior to the event, the same thing for firewood, water tanks sited and plumbed, and portas professionally set and serviced.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



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  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Thurman View Post
    I would like to hear their side of the story on the subject before we come to the conclusion it never happened
    Since the Washington Artillery of New Orleans was relatively famous, it's not hard to find out about them. Google "Washington Artillery" "she bear" for example.

    Hank Trent
    hanktrent@gmail.com

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by captdougofky View Post
    Mrs. Lawson

    I agree, I hope they made a ship-load of money. Anything over 100 feet considered a ship (USCG 75-79). Takes more to fill it up. Museums etc. is the what most if not all of us would like to see. My concern and those of us who have done the Hobby for awhile realize with the 150's at play and the amount of money at stake, pre-event advertizing should reflect who benefits. One need only to look at the impact Bull Run had. Numbers (money) has been posted by a lot of your Pards on the CPH side, not to much to ask of the Event organizers who ever they are. Too many times in the past events say they lose money--------never show the books. Since Wilson Creek was held in the Show-Me-State this should not be viewed as a unreasonable request.
    Keep up the good work.

    Always
    Doug Thomas
    Lyons-Kentucky CS

    Mr. Thomas Sir,

    I can tell you that the Armies of Tennessee, as a chartered non-profit organization of Tennessee, states on all advertisements of events that we host that "All Proceeds Go Towards Civil War Preservation." And, we can provide more specific information depending upon the particular event. We believe this to be a fundamentally moral and ethical obligation with respect to the reenactment community and public, for the sake of integrity and accountability. There are more than enough challenges to occupy our time and energy besides people having to wonder where the money is going to. When you operate from the position that any money taken in does not belong to you, but rather, that you are entrusted with a stewardship, you welocme "checks and balances" for the benefit of all parties concerned.

  7. #67
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    Thanks for that link, I looked it up and low and behold, wont ruin the ending for the other folks. Anyway some REAL interesting reading to say the least !

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred London View Post
    Mr. Thomas Sir,

    I can tell you that the Armies of Tennessee, as a chartered non-profit organization of Tennessee, states on all advertisements of events that we host that "All Proceeds Go Towards Civil War Preservation." And, we can provide more specific information depending upon the particular event. We believe this to be a fundamentally moral and ethical obligation with respect to the reenactment community and public, for the sake of integrity and accountability. There are more than enough challenges to occupy our time and energy besides people having to wonder where the money is going to. When you operate from the position that any money taken in does not belong to you, but rather, that you are entrusted with a stewardship, you welocme "checks and balances" for the benefit of all parties concerned.


    Fred

    The business model you operate by is a example all need to follow. Mr. Anders by comments made by others including a Moderator here on the forum follows the same path. He will in fact be overall CS command at Perryville, Kentucky next year (150th). It's no secret that I have had issues with Perryville and its approach to the M/S side of this hobby. One thing I've never had a issue with is were the money goes 100%. It is not to much to ask for disclosure. Those who's approach is a need to know basis is not a business model that people should support. Post the numbers and the donation to who and how much. Disclosure is not something to worry about if you have nothing to hide. I agree with everything in your posting---------Keep up the good work.

    Always
    Doug Thomas
    Lyons-Kentucky CS

    68qt.coolermess.com

    Never seen a Bag of Ice I didn't like. Not trying to stir Mrs. Lawson, just a little fun on a Friday morning.
    Holding on the High ground

  9. #69

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    A little late but I figured I would finally reply to this Thread. A reenactment wouldn't be a reenactment without complaining reenactors right? Anyways here's my two cents:

    Pros: Large Columns of infantry---my first national event, so it was cool to see that
    -Rolling terrain made for good views of the battle--had a great time watching one battle form a distant knoll
    -Close in proximity to the actual battlefield---was neat to tour the battlefield in my full uniform
    -Good turnout in terms of spectators, great to see many people genuinely interested in the event
    -Good group of reenactors for for the most part..interesting meeting folks from across the country
    -The wide awake films folks allowing us to watch August Light Saturday evening
    -The exceptional fort scott sutler---great set up.
    -Beautiful weather---we got lucky considering the temperatures in the region would have been over 100 degrees a week earlier.

    Cons:

    -The routinely mentioned 'civil war' money...which, IMO kept me away from those vendors, minus he $5 luke warm cheeseburger

    -I was a little frustrated with one of the colonels of the union infantry...while he did a good job controlling the troops, he dropped a number of f-bombs in front of spectators many of which were children. I understand that he may have been former military, but keep your R. Lee Ermey impression at home. At times he made it feel too much like work instead of a hobby. I understand drill is important, but there was a bit too much yelling...that kind of attitude drives me away from the hobby. And to those strict folks, if you're upset about talking in the ranks remember it is a hobby. There's no lack of hardcore units for you to join.

    -1am skirmishes...but that's just something you get used to at these large events.

    -As mentioned before: Just one bridge for the battlefield was quite a bottleneck for the spectators following the battle...unless you didn't mind fording the creek.

    -Bus rides for spectators...seems like some had to wait about an hour or so to get back on the bus following the battles. I'm not sure how far the walk was but I'm sure a brisk walk wouldn't be too bad...but again I'm not sure how far away they had to park. But this may have been an artifact of the land they lost...not sure what the original parking plan would have been.

    -I didn't see too many cars in camp, but I did see a union cavalryman telling one man with a car "get that goddamn thing out of here!" in front of spectators. Again there's a certain way to tell people things and that was not appropriate in front of spectators. Relax.

    -The 'Camping experience' from what I hear was a complete sham....you know how rumors go, but I understand that cost hundreds of dollars and absolutely nothing was prepared for the folks who wanted to participate.



    Those were the main things that came to my attention. We never had a big problem with water. And when the "thundermugs" ran out of tp I walked over to the parking lot 'thundermugs' which were away from spectators which saw less use. Apparently they weren't "number one in number 2".

    The foundation did a reasonable job considering they lost 160 acres a few weeks prior to the event. I think some folks learned some lessons (paperwork wise) on how to guarantee land will be available for an event. However that being said I enjoyed the fact (at least for my camp), everything was only a three minute walk away. I can't speak for the southern camps.

    The cleared ground wasn't a big deal. Drought was a problem in the area and I'm sure wildfires were a concern so I was happy to see the dry fuels were knocked down in proximity to the camps. This wasn't your mowed grassy lawn you'd see at pilot knob, MO for example or a living history.

    Overall I had an exceptional time. From my experience, which was from a private's point of view, the event gets 80/100 from me. If you think you can please everyone with events like these you are mistaken. But it sounds like the leadership for this event was a bit lacking, however it's beyond the control of some folks who have to work with poor leadership. Hopefully people will learn a few logistical lessons, as communication is the key. That's my two cents.

  10. #70
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    Excellent perspective Ron.

    The 'funny money' was, to my understanding, the Foundation's mechanism for controling a percentage of the take from modern vendors. Again, not from the horses mouth, but from a modern vendor--a 10% cut on gross to the Foundation. Now, as an accountant, I see this as a dandy control. And, goodness knows, all those generators required to keep the modern vendors up and running have a cost to them as well. Still, an annoyance to the participant.

    The one most glaring thing was the loss significant acreage in the weeks just prior to the event. Initial talks with the BGA included the requirment that all land be under contract for the event. Foundation personel did not complete this vital step, and the BGA took their word that this was done--the result was the need to move camps, rearrange parking, lost land for tacticals and significantly reduced field for public battles.

    My understanding--again, second hand, was that significant bus transport was necessary for spectators--otherwise reenactor parking would have been relocated outside of walking distance.

    We're fortunate that the bridges got done as well as they did--the Foundation did not move on that task in a timely manner and they remained uncompleted when the advance team from the BGA arrived on site.

    The "Camping Experience" in which a spectator could pay to be outfitted and spend the night in camps in a tent cost $250 per person. Some gear was received. http://www.wilsonscreek150.com/EventInformation.aspx There seemed to be no checkin location for these folks--as they showed up in the Civilian Town of Little York looking for their adventure with great regularity.


    The 1:00 am skirmishes: Sigh.
    Okay, I'm all for folks having a good time. Intermittantant gunfire is to be expected at these things. What is not to be expected is men acting against direct orders and choosing to ride **** bent through occupied camps at full dark, shooting up the place, not just one night, but discarding their order for the second night and doing it again. There were children underfoot, and terrified animals breaking pickett.

    Fight on the perimeter outside of camps when these sorts of ad hoc skirmishes are agreed upon, have at it, and have a good time. Get creative and put some doxies in the General's tent to distract him, then capture him. Go for it and have fun. Lets play.

    But running horses through a darkened camp at high speeds would be just as stupid as firing a cannon with a real load down a company street.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



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