A few thoughts.......
1. Artillery is the King of Battle.
2. I actually did horse drawn artillery for Shiloh. We fielded 9 horses. Pulled a 10 Pdr Parrott and a 12Pdr Field howitzer. We had (4) 3/4 or 1 ton trucks pulling guns or horses, spent about $1500 to go. I received the same bounty as every other gun there. (about $200) We had a great deal of trouble getting hay and water for our horses. (yes we ran our concerns up the chain of command 6/7 times never got either fixed). Then no one has a clue how to use you, which normally is ok, but sometimes the idiots in charge micromange you to death. At Shiloh I talked to everyone I could and no one knew what was going on at all. You have to be flexible!
3. Bugler: I tried for months to get a bugler, apparently none available. I called, recruited begged etc. Could get no one. I would have loved to have one.
4. Excess rank: The artillery rank complaint is placed by a bugler wearing Captains bars. (show some documentaion on that one) In fact how many infantry companies of 20 men have captains commanding them? Every other branch is just as guilty as artillery. A 500 man "Brigade" is still an actual regiment commanded by a Major or LTC.
5. Back to cost: It cost me $3000 to attend 1st Manassas last year. It was $1500 to go to Shiloh. I spent an estimated $3500 to maintain 9 horses over the winter. I am all with you, we need more harness and battery wagons etc. A short list of costs: 1 horse worth of harness from Doug Kidd $5000 (yes $5000 each, 4 horses $20,000) Battery wagon $20,000, forge $20,000 plus limber $7000 to pull each. So the BGA can't even pay me the $500 per gun they promised me because they do not have the money! (Manassas also complained a lot but did come through with the $750 they promised me) All of this is plus trailers trucks etc etc etc. I make Cannons for a living I would love to sell you all a Battery wagon and a traveling forge, cannons etc, plus guns and limbers too. (RJ rents a horses from someone else who brings it to the event for him). I feed 9 every day (I call them to eat by playing stable call on the bugle)
6. What we have done: I have 5 drivers we have practiced almost once a week for the last year. I get the drivers out but the cannoneers won't come out for practice. Our horses have finally come around and did really great at Shiloh. Otherwise we would have killed someone on the running the spectator gauntlet on and off the field both days. We have done road marches up to 9 miles as well as drilling and practicing hills, turns etc.
I have been trying to do this but I am not sure how much I can continue to hemmorage money to go to events that don't reimburse me even the money that they promise me, or have any idea of the scale of the difficulty or expense of what you are doing.
Volunteers, and donations are greatly appreciated.