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Thread: Antietam 150th - Artillery

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    255

    Default Artillery Problems

    Gents,
    The hobby has changed quite a lot between the 135ths and now.
    For starters, the hobby is half the size it was, even during the 140ths. Infantry battalions that could field 400 men are now struggling to get 200. However, artillery does not disappear. In the struggle to keep pieces on the field, I've noticed that some units have taken to dressing up more and more women-just to fill all the positions.
    In the East, there are eight Federal battalions, roughly two brigades of shot-up troops. This accounts for less than 1,500 troops on our best day. If a division's actions are being portrayed this leaves room for, say, two batteries of guns? We almost always push the limit to well beyond that. Try to write a historical scenario for that!

    Then are are the two events. I think that these are good things. They give reenactors more choice. But it always seems to come down to the fact that some have greater demands from themselves and the events they attend. This reduces the number at each event.

    Events also tend to inflate their numbers of "participants." Last year, the 150th Bull Run had approximately 8,000 reenactors. 2,000 of these were civilians. Another 500 or more were Artillery and Cavalry. That leaves 6,000 infantry. Maybe 3,000 Infantry per side. If, for example, Maryland My Maryland reaches its limit of 4,000 participants, it doesn't leave much for the other. In short, the days of the 15,000 soldier events are over for a while. I'm OK with that.

    Scot Buffington

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,308

    Default

    Scot,

    I agree. 3-4K participant event are MANAGABLE...

    That being said, we are almost at 1K for MmM as I type....

    BTW- can you shoot me the requested impressions for the 3rd? Stating to work on unit assignments this week.

    Pards,
    S. Chris Anders
    Southern Division
    www.southerndivision.org
    www.rearrank.com
    www.marylandmymaryland.org

    There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    2,388

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reddiamond View Post
    Gents,
    For starters, the hobby is half the size it was, even during the 140ths. Infantry battalions that could field 400 men are now struggling to get 200. However, artillery does not disappear. In the struggle to keep pieces on the field, I've noticed that some units have taken to dressing up more and more women-just to fill all the positions.

    Scot Buffington
    We just ran into this issue at BGA Shiloh. While the scale of regiments and squadrons has downsized in the last 15 years, the artillery pieces are still there. Tongue in cheek I mentioned to the BGA Federal leadership that all artillery guns had to have a minimum 1 horse per gun and 4-6 guns per CAPTAIN to drive on site. The rest of them can stay home.

    There's your differentiator for MmM.
    A Battery is 4-6 guns, 1 Captain, 110 horses, 150 artillerists. We don't need 100 guns manned by 8 'man' crews. We do need battery wagons, caissons, mounted artillery battery Captains and Buglers. We don't need 100+ duallies + trailers churning the less than ideal road surfaces into quagmires (which just happened at Shiloh) which KO'd water distribution and portalet servicing. Why does artillery camp so heavy? because we let them. What's wrong with a tarp over the gun \ limber \ caisson for a tent? Does it have to be cots coolers and wall tents and lack of non-striped or officer artillerists? Used to be that a Corporal was important in the artillery....now it seems like everyone and their SISTER (or Mom) are running around with stripes.

    And horses? Yea I know we can't afford 6 horses per gun and the trailer and trained outriders, etc. I'm tired of seeing dozens of artillery captains, majors, colonels WALKING around ACW reenacting battlefields at National Events. Twas a stirring sight to see Craddock, Woodburn, Owens of the WIG MOUNTED as the Field Grade Officer's for the 15th Iowa MARCHING Infantry at BGA Shiloh. Simply Stupendous! If I never saw a horseless artillery captain again (or a Light Field Artillery DRUMMER) it would make my day. All light field artillerists need to be fully acquainted with horses....possibly giving them something to do at reenactments besides the 64qt cooler and their wall tents?

    4 guns per 500 rifles would be a nice minimum ratio...... with 4 artillery horses ( Captain, Lt. or two, bugler or two mounted?).
    RJ Samp
    Horniste! Blas das Signal zum Angriffe!
    "But in the end, it's the history, stupid. If you can't document it, forget about it. And no amount of 'tomfoolery' can explain away conduct that in the end makes history (and living historians) look stupid and wrong. "

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,308

    Default

    RJ,

    Due to the scenarios, and historical context, and the scale we are representing, we are limiting the guns to 6 per side...one full Federal Battery and one and 1/2 CS batteries...

    Just would be dumb to have more, no room to manuever if so, and the fights we are working on are to SCALE, thus artillery will be too.

    Looking like we will end up about 3500 or so participants, with 12 guns total...

    Figure that is about right...

    Pards,
    S. Chris Anders
    Southern Division
    www.southerndivision.org
    www.rearrank.com
    www.marylandmymaryland.org

    There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Lancaster, Pa.
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Ya btch and complain about to much artillery.
    Ya btch and complain about Fed. Art. Reg. closing early.
    Ya btch and complain about artillery eating, sleeping, shtng, just being their.

    Ya never hear artillery btch and complain about infantry, so why
    not worry about your own ranks, and fixing them, filling the numbers...

    It gets old .....
    Rick Dennis

    3rd. US "Smithgall's Boys" N-SSA
    U.S. Artillery Reserve Assoc.

    \"Infantry is merely a buffer between two warring armies know as Field Artillery\"

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,308

    Default

    Rick,

    Not sure who are you mad at, but it seems there is a bit of angst....I think artillery when deployed and used properly truly live up to being the " Queen of Battle" and the rest of us are just targets.

    I think the bigger problem might be the incorret use of artillery just to make the big booms the public has grown to see...like parking them hub to hub in lines all the way across the battlefield....never would they have been deployed as such. ( of course there are rare exceptions)

    If you read the manual, and post guns correctly with the correct spacing between guns, and the correct distance to the limbers, that is a good chunk of soil my friend.

    And back in the east we often do not have 1500 acres to play with, to get artillery into action 800-1000 yards in distance.

    Just is what it is....I haven't whined about artillery in a while....

    Pards,
    S. Chris Anders
    Southern Division
    www.southerndivision.org
    www.rearrank.com
    www.marylandmymaryland.org

    There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders View Post
    Rick,

    Not sure who are you mad at, but it seems there is a bit of angst....I think artillery when deployed and used properly truly live up to being the " Queen of Battle" and the rest of us are just targets.

    I think the bigger problem might be the incorret use of artillery just to make the big booms the public has grown to see...like parking them hub to hub in lines all the way across the battlefield....never would they have been deployed as such. ( of course there are rare exceptions)

    If you read the manual, and post guns correctly with the correct spacing between guns, and the correct distance to the limbers, that is a good chunk of soil my friend.

    And back in the east we often do not have 1500 acres to play with, to get artillery into action 800-1000 yards in distance.

    Just is what it is....I haven't whined about artillery in a while....

    Pards,
    Without putting words in Mr. Dennis' mouth as I do not know him, I would opine that it is frustrating sometimes to hear members of other branches making blanket complaints directed at the artillery when their own branch suffers from many of the same failings that can be improved. No we don't have forges, caissons, etc (including horses) - while everyone would love to have these items, they are expensive and this is a hobby - the infantry is likewise devoid of many supporting items their counterparts used in the war as well. Yes the guns are often closer then one would prefer given the constraints of the battlefield - likewise infantry blasts away at each other much too close at every event because of these same constraints. Too many officers in the artillery - last time I checked this was a problem across all branches. I also have not noticed any greater amount of 'camping heavily' from one branch to the next when strolling through other camps.
    Too many artillerists is actually a compliment - perhaps the infantry groups should do better at recruiting and retaining participants so force ratios would look better.

    Is there room for improvement within the artillery? Yes, absolutely and lots of improvement at that. But guess what, there is just as much room for improvement among all the other services as well thus the finger pointing can get old quickly - fix your own house, then you can start throwing accusations others' way.
    '
    For the record, I don't think the comments were directed at you Mr Anders.

    Anyways, sorry for starting this thread - I was just glad to see September ramping up to be a success and glad to see units registering early as a change from the norm.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    932

    Default Agree

    [QUOTE=3rdUSRedleg;199927]Ya btch and complain about to much artillery.
    Ya btch and complain about Fed. Art. Reg. closing early.
    Ya btch and complain about artillery eating, sleeping, shtng, just being their.

    Ya never hear artillery btch and complain about infantry, so why
    not worry about your own ranks, and fixing them, filling the numbers...

    It gets old .....



    Agree---------------got old a long time ago.

    Artillery the True Drum Beat of War.

    Always

    Doug Thomas
    Lyons Battery
    Kentucky CS
    Holding on the High ground

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    599

    Default

    I think this fellow secretly wishes he were in the artillery. You will notice he does not hold any other branch to such strict standards. I suppose if it were up to him I'd have to leave my Napoleon at home when I went to Manassas, because it was cast in 1863 Maybe he hates us because almost every time you see a poster of a civil war event, there is a cannon on it, and not a bugler. As for me, when I bring both my cannon I don the rank of a lieutenant, when I bring one it's corporal stripes.
    Regards,
    Jeffrey Cohen

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    932

    Thumbs up Artillery

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Cohen View Post
    I think this fellow secretly wishes he were in the artillery. You will notice he does not hold any other branch to such strict standards. I suppose if it were up to him I'd have to leave my Napoleon at home when I went to Manassas, because it was cast in 1863 Maybe he hates us because almost every time you see a poster of a civil war event, there is a cannon on it, and not a bugler. As for me, when I bring both my cannon I don the rank of a lieutenant, when I bring one it's corporal stripes.


    Jeff

    What's a little Cast Iron hurt, given what we all haul weight wise. My F350 hardly notices, that or my cooler. Not blowing our horn, I'll leave that for others to do. Anybody have a Horse to rent I'm trying to meet standards.

    Always

    Doug Thomas
    Lyons Battery CS
    Kentucky
    Holding on the High ground

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