Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Season Summary

The season is now over.  No more wool until April.  Well, there’s always that occasional winter event—but I would rather stay clear of frostbite.  This season is my personal record for number of events.

With the season begun with the regimental meeting in March and battalion drill in April, I’ve hit 16 events this year, not counting the Memorial Day ceremony in Athens Ohio, and the rescue of the Civil War ambulance.

The first event was in May at Sunbury, Ohio.   Most of the 1st Tennessee went to Sharon Woods, and I wish I had gone with them.  Sunbury was close to work, and Gary Shaw was going due to commitments he had there, so I made a choice.  There’s not much memorable from that event other than sleeping under a streetlight and putting my gum blanket and poncho over my tent to try to dissipate the sunlight.

Then we spent a weekend in June doing a living history for the Cub Scouts in Pickerington, Ohio.  Gary did all the talking, and I think he wore himself out.  The Blackhawk helicopter the National Guard brought in was kind of cool.

At Reynoldsburg, also in June, I was part of the Color Detail, and the Yankees did not like the idea of getting wet for the tactical.  I had a good time, but not much seems to stand out this year—perhaps next.  Years past have had some good memories (after all—this is the event that tipped the scales for me to commit to joining the 1st Tennessee), so I am sure there will be more in the future.

During the Independence Day holiday, we visited Lancaster, Ohio.  I had to bring my 11 year-old nephew to baby-sit, and he was a handful.  I had never been so glad to go to the airport than when I dropped him and his family off.  But it was an experience.  Now we’ve gained a new phrase whenever we win a hand at Euchre—“Sucker!”

July also took us to McConnelsville, Ohio, where Zach got himself into trouble stealing a top hat during the Saturday battle, er raid, er whatever you want to call that.  The Sunday battle at the farm was great, but the heat got the better of Gary Shaw.  I picked up my new shell jacket here from a member of the 5th Kentucky.  Not a perfect fit, but neither was my other shell jacket—the new one looks better on me, though.  Good bounty provided by the event—a half pound of powder.

Nelsonville, Ohio in August was different.  More memorable were the hours upon hours of playing Euchre interrupted by a moment of chaotic battle.  Kind of reminiscent of my father’s description of his job as a pilot.  It was a relaxing weekend, but it was in the sun—hopefully next year will find us some decent shade.  With my new palace, it will be more comfortable, and if the schedule is as relaxed next year as it was this, it will be a great weekend to change the regular pace.  Although having such a relaxed schedule is nice, the event may considering adding several train trips with additional raids to fill the schedule up more.  Only a suggestion, though.  It will not impact me on whether I go or not—I plan on being there next year.

Coshocton, Ohio, had a battlefield that was long and narrow and sloped significantly down a hill (though nothing like the hill at McConnelsville).  The public was located at one end at the top of the hill.  And two Henry’s did a pretty good job of ruining the Sunday battle for everyone.  But the artillery battle between Alabama and Steve and the Federal was spectacular.  I would like to see that return, even though it was rather impromptu.  This event also offered the best bounty of the year with a half-pound of powder, an event t-shirt, and a 3-foot by 5-foot 1st National flag.  The flag was made of polyester, but you never look a gift horse in the mouth.  It is useful for events where authenticity is not critical.

Then there was Jackson, Michigan in August where the miniature and dug-up battlefield made us feel like we were fighting inside a sardine can.  It was kind of a cluster—but that only means we can shine with how we can maneuver.  One Yankee commander needs a little work in the brain, though, as having his men handshake the Rebel forces in the midst of a battle is kind of silly.  Good sutler event, and good peaches that weekend.  I ate nearly a dozen.  Kletzli took home a bushel for some wine-making.

Labor Day weekend put us on the Dark side in Durbin with some beans.  Although the Bean Bake festival is only held on Monday, Andrew Mott turned it into a two-day event for us.  And I think I liked the first day the best, particularly since it was just us—and no public.  I missed Kletzli, though—he always looks funny in blue.  He doesn’t like wearing blue.

Fort Recovery brought the bombs bursting out of the ground.  I never had a battle where it rained dirt.  Bummer that the tactical got cancelled.  Didn’t get any real Euchre in—but that was okay.  It was a good time shooting the breeze. And the Sunday battle was marvelous, with the 1st Tennessee being the center of the show: two charges, one to take the bridge and one to take an artillery piece.

Zoar, Ohio, although a good event, left a bad taste in my mouth having to fall in with the Army of Northern Virginia.  Too much time in inspection.  Tactical was a bit strange.   I at least got to try out my new palace.  And I picked up a few new trinkets, though most were not from the terrific selection of sutlers, but from a local antique store.  It will be two years before the event is held again, and a lot can change in two years.

Caesar’s Creek gave us a sampling of campaigning.  Carrying my packed knapsack over several miles did not seem too bad.  Am I ready for a national?  Maybe.

The only timeline event of the year, Auckerman Creek gave me an opportunity to try out all my old reenacting gear, from Civil War (both sides, and as an officer) to Rev War (civilian and mountain man) to old west cowboy.

Hartford City, Indiana, saw a new captain take over the 1st Tennessee, and Gary Evens went out with a bang. 

Monroe, Ohio was a change with falling in with the 9th Kentucky for the first time.  It was different, but the 1st TN is always preferred.

Guyandotte, West Virginia the 150th year from the skirmish fought here.  It was a nice, warm weekend for so late in the year.  And Cpl Carte had his weiner-dog tent to sleep in.

Nelsonville, Coshocton, and Monroe were all first-year events.  Fort Recovery was its second year.  Coshocton and Fort Recovery both made strong impressions for such young events.  Nelsonville, being focused to and limited by the train, still has great potential for being a different kind of event—a change of pace from the regular type of events. 

2012 promises to be a big year again.  With it representing the 150th of the second year of the Civil War, there a many more nationals honoring their 150th.  We’ve already determined to visit Perryville, KY, but there look like there may be others. I can’t wait to get back into wool.