Friday, September 24, 2010

Back from Pioneer Village

This past weekend at Pioneer Village proved an interesting experience.  With a complete leadership turnover with the hosts of the event and a severe lack of funds (due to reasons those of us on the inside know about), it was quite small.

But it worked out great.  On Saturday, the coordinators had only planned an Ice Cream Social, being they did not have the funds to hire a band and dance master for a ball.  Fortunately, I am a dance master and Cpl Moore and Sgt Mott of the 1st Tennessee are good musicians.  We volunteered our time to put on a barn dance for the event to help them out.  Cpl Moore claimed the barn dance listed in his top 10 re-enacting experiences.  We've become a shoe-in for putting on next year's barn dance.  We hadn't ever done anything like this together before, but it worked out great.

We've also decided that we do BARN dances, not BALLS.  I've called balls in the past--I'm even the regular dance master at Hartford City--but after Pioneer Village we've figured out that barn dances are more fun.  Much more laid-back ambiance.  None of the formal complex dances that only the best-dressed can do.  And lots of down-home southern music to dance to.  After this, I'm committed to doing barn dances over balls--with the exception of Hartford City, since I've already committed to doing that as a ball.

What's with all the Yankee Day Lilies, anyhow?  On Saturday, the Yank's turnout was a little weak, but acceptable for a decent battle.  But on Sunday, those blue guys seemed to have waddled off.  Sgt Shaw and I had to help them out a bit by putting some blue on.  We found some of those Yankee units to be a bit strange, though.  One of the companies, which was a combination of something like 5 Yankee units, went pretty farb on us (which--fortunately--Sgt Shaw and I did not fall in with).  I almost puked when I heard their sergeant (a woman) call "Count twos", followed by "Ein, swine, ein, swine".  What was with that, anyhow?

Well, I guess it can't be helped--it was a good weekend, anyhow.  Fortunately, the 76th Ohio was there--and they're pretty good.  We're a bit envious of their bugler--Sgt Shaw and I have been trying to recruit him for the 1st Tennessee for awhile now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jackson 2010 After-Action Report

Yeah, it would have been nice to start this blog at the beginning of the season, with all that's been going on. 
Cpt. Evens and Lt. Sharp have had it in for me ever since Jackson, Michigan at the end of August, 2010.  Sgt Enyart and I challenged these two to several rounds of Euchre.  The captain and lieutenant are normally quite undefeatable, but now they have gained a new humility.  I submitted an "After-Action Report" for the company's newsletter concerning this minor skirmish, but since the captain is responsible for the newletter and there haven't been enough articles submitted to produce a newsletter, I'm not certain if it'll get published.  So, I'm publishing it here:
Jackson, MI After Action Report
Pvt Russ Judge, 1st Tennessee Co. B

A series of minor skirmishes occurred between the two major battles of the weekend, that involved Capt. Gary Evens and Lt. J.R. Sharp squaring up against Sgt. Andrew Enyart and Pvt. Russ Judge.

The first of the battles began as a challenge to Euchre was introduced during the late afternoon hours Saturday after the success of the 1st Tennessee's battle against Federal forces near Jackson, Michigan.  Evens and Sharp, well known for the extremely superior tactical capabilities in card-play began the first skirmish with a quick advance, scoring two points early against Enyart and Judge.  However, this advantage was soon lost as the environment changed towards the lower-ranking soldiers' favor, soon ending this first skirmish in a clear a decisive victory for Enyart and Judge, lifting moral to new heights with the defeat of a normally undefeatable foe.

But the war was not over.  Evens and Sharp refused to allow the day to end with a victory for the enemy and proceeded into a second challenge.  The first strike came from Judge, who had become overconfident with the previous victory. Evens and Sharp quickly brought humility back to Judge by easily deflecting that first strike, again scoring two for themselves early in the fight.  However, for the remainder of the fight, Enyart and Judge were able to keep their composure and very decisively declare victory again.

For the third challenge, Evens and Sharp attempted a change in tactic by switching places at the table.  Lt. Sharp also placed blame on the light, claiming that he has a much better tactical advantage at night, when the cards cannot be seen.  By this time dusk was encroaching upon the opposing sides, so his hope was that the light would drop enough to turn the tide of the war.  But such hopes were fleeting to Evens and Sharp as again the battle was decisively won by Enyart and Judge.  For none of these first three battles Evens and Sharp could not score more than four points.

Lt. Sharp searched for ways to gain the advantage.  With the night upon the foursome and candle lit, he forced Pvt Judge, to begin the fourth and final skirmish with his right hand behind his back.  When this handicap had no effect, he had Pvt Judge draw a card from the unused portion of the deck to burn his mojo in the campfire.  This seemed to have the opposite effect, as Lt. Sharp soon proceeded to deal Pvt Judge a lay-down loner hand, revealing the absolute desperation of Evens and Sharp.

With the small series of minor skirmishes now over, Sgt Enyart and Pvt. Judge left the table in high spirits, fearful only of what they could expect for drill the next morning.  A lesson was learned that evening—no matter how insurmountable the challenge, even the greatest must fall at times.