Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In General Rosecrans stomping grounds

When you go to an event in the hometown of a Federal general, you’d expect to see a decent showing of Yankees.

The first and biggest mistake of the event held at Sunbury, Ohio--hometown of General William Rosecrans--was to schedule the event opposite two larger events (Conner Prairie, Indiana, and Sharon Woods in Sharonville, Ohio).  For the Saturday battle, we kept worrying that there’d only be three Yankees to shoot.  We figured we’d have to shoot them about 40 times each to make a decent battle.  There were a few more than that, at least, but the Rebels still outnumbered the Yankees.

As a warning to the event coordinators—do not schedule the event on this same date next year.  The 5th Kentucky was the only Confederate unit there—there were three of us from the 1st Tennessee (the official 1st Tennessee event was Sharon Woods), and we fell in with the 5th KY.  If this event is on the same date next year, the 5th KY has a prior commitment, and won’t be there.  The 1st Tennessee will be going to Sharon Woods, and I can assure you that the three of us at Sunbury this year will be going to Sharon Woods next year.  If you choose a different date, not only will you have the 5th KY, but probably a signficant number from the 1st Tennessee, as well.  So, unless you want nothing more than a 10 Yankee living history, a different date is highly recommended.

But besides that—it was a decent event, although the previous year was better.  The organization that was to supply the food bailed on them at the last minute, so the Saturday meals left something to be desired—a bagel for breakfast and a hot dog for dinner.  At least they had some time to prepare for a good Sunday breakfast of eggs and sausage.

I don’t really like to complain about inefficiencies of an event, because I always enjoy myself and want to see the event return for the next year.  It will take a lot to turn me against an event, and Sunbury is no different.  I enjoyed the event, and I want to see it return.  I say that so that a few criticisms can be taken seriously.  Although I was rather disappointed with the food, I can understand since your promised help failed to live to their promise.  It wasn’t the worst food I had at an event, anyhow (it’ll be tough to get worse than Granville’s last year in the mid-2000s—Ohio re-enactors are still talking about that).  But the event should have some kind of security during the Saturday battle.  This battle is fought on the streets around the town square, and not much was roped off, cars were parked in the battlefield area (nothing like firing a sniper shot through the window of a Honda Civic), and the public often did not know where they needed to be to stay out of the way of the infantry and cavalry.  It worked out, but there was the potential for something to go seriously wrong.  Sunday’s battle, held offsite at a local park, was at least clearly roped off, so the public had no question where they needed to be, but it would have been nice for those of us (like me) that are from out of town to have a nice sign at the park entrance for the battle.  A little public Frisbee golf course sign, with no park name, kind of threw me—I drove for 10 minutes out the highway before I realized that I must have missed it.

Even though this is an in-town event and small, these kinds of events are idea for finding new recruits.  Being a more laid-back environment, you can take the time to drill them sufficiently for the battle so that they can truly feel like they are a part of the company.

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