July 25-26, 2015
The Gathering at Garst in Greenville looked to be a rather relaxed event. Capt Sharp couldn't attend due to a business conflict, and Sgt Kletzli had medical issues that kept him away. Since this event was not part of the max-effort list of the 1st Tennessee and I had been part of getting the 1st TN at this event every year for the past 4, Capt Sharp brevetted me to Lieutenant for the weekend.
Friday evening we set up camp and I dug the fire pit, while Jeff and Trish Carte and Jon and Kiesha Farrelly set up their tents.
The night was clear and cool, and in the morning I cooked some bacon and eggs. Hank, the blacksmith and one of the event coordinators, brought in some donuts for us and supplied us with ice.
Chris Silvers arrived and set up his shelter.
Public came into the park in a slow trickle. After awhile, Gary Evens, former captain of the 1st Tennessee, showed up in a period civilian outfit and helped us with our living history demonstrations.
The 19th Indiana Light Artillery was there along with the Rev War group the Mad River Light Artillery, and they fired their cannons every hour.
I led the four rifles in short skirmish drills three times, ending with a series of manual of arms, and stepping Cpl Silvers in loading in nine times per the Hardee's School of the Soldier.
We flew our Polk-pattern flag, and I was surprised at how it opened many conversations. I was also surprised at how Rebel-friendly the people of Greenville seemed to be. Many expressed their gratitude for our appearance.
It was a warm night, but I slept well. Chris Silvers complained of being assaulted by a brigade of mosquitoes, though.
In the morning I had more bacon and eggs, and donuts were provided, but the day held only the Farrellys, Carte's, Chris Silvers, and I. Spectator turnout seemed low, so we were able to keep up. Having only three rifles, I joined the ranks as a private with my musket during the one skirmish drill we held, but again narrated Chris Silvers performing load in nine times.
With the low numbers of spectators we had a lot of time for Euchre, so Chris determined that we try to break the record for number of games in a single day. We only reached eight games.
It was a relaxed weekend, but we provided good education to the public, and possibly gained a recruit or two.