Gents and Ladies,
I thought I was excited about this event before, but after yesterday's walkthrough, I can't wait for the event.
First I would like to thank Dave Pridgeon and the PSL for all their hard work, and Jeremy Hilliard for his yeoman efforts to pull this off. It was a true pleasure yesterday to go over the site with Bill Watson (Federal CO), the Civilian Ladies (who have some great interaction plans) and the oganizing crew. Actually it is more like an organizing crowd- over 50 folks are on this team, to facilite the event. And this type of effort and dedication is just plain amazing, and what they have accomplished is even more so.
People talk about using orginal sites, these folks have bagged just about everyone of them in the area. A good chunk of the town of Port Republic, including the Kemper House where Ashby was lain after his death, Jackson's HQ, Federal HQ, the Widow Pence Farm, BOTH original battlefields, and the original march routes...and I am sure I am missing some. We will truly be walking/sleeping and fighting in their footsteps.
The civilian crew is hard at work, and for once I am not the "hated foe", so I hope that for once they actually speak to me. Skip Koontz is returning as " Stonewall" and those of you that were at Summer of '62 last year know he excellent job he does.
Dav and Jeremy have worked with the local landowners to secure good camping areas for both the campaign and fixed camps. And they have set up the fixed camp in a truly beautiful piece of land, and aranged the neccesary transportation in a manner that will not be intrusive to anyone not using it, but very convien fo those that do. This is a real accomplishment, and folks need to stand up and take note. We always talk of movin the hobby forward, and the have created a total event package that does just that.
For those that are asking, rations will be issued, so be prepared. Registration is easy reached off of Exit 245 on Interstate 81, you only drive about 5 miles and turn left on Battlefield Road, and the Church is on the left. Across from a Cemetary that houses dead of both sides from the battle.
It was great to meet the local folks involved, and to learn the fact that Dave and company have secured matching funds, so real preservation dollars can be raised.
The battles- these are the icing on the cake for me. Saturdays action will be the attack of the 8th NY, and will be on the actual ground. The scenario will be short but deadly, and then off to Port Republic we go. Saturday's CS March Route is mostly on hardtop. This is the only small, and Imean small "booger on the windshield" for the whole event. But it is the ORIGINAL route, and with the current road network, the only route we could use. And it is only 3 MILES. The Federal March route is, as I understand, mostly dirt and gravel, with some hard top, but again, on the ORIGINAL route. Sunday's fight, WOW, you guys are going to be worn out and amazed. We are fighting on the actual ground of Taylo's advance, and the CS side will replicate assualts by portions of 3 seperate brigades, accross the most awesome ravine I have seen. No modern intrusions, and this fight will be remembered for a long time to come. Bill Watson, Bob Denton and Myself are working hard to script a truly dynamic historical fight based on first person accounts and After Action Reports. This will be the capstone for the event, and you will leave you with no battery power left! We will be putting up units and background histories shortly, and CS General Orders will be coming out soon.
Logistics are now set, all is in place, we are just waiting on YOU.
Check the website at www.shenandoah1862.org for updates, and please get your registration in early.
This will be the most talked about event of the year, and if you miss this one, you might just need one of Bill Cross' A$$ kicking machines. I am honored to be working with these folks on this event.
Did I mention original sites???