Large events have their place. It is always a thrill to go to an event where Yankee numbers match the Rebel numbers, and there are two full battalions on each side.
I am told that Zoar is the largest event in
Ohio, and it is the largest I had ever been to (although Jackson and are pretty close)—I
have not yet been to a national event.
But it was not an official 1st Hartford
City event, so only a handful from the
unit attended. Since we weren’t enough
to form our own unit, we fell in with the 5th Tennessee Kentucky—a
good unit, but not the 1st
where most of my friends are. Tennessee
It is good to sometimes fall in with different units and different battalions to be grateful for what we have. 5th
Anyway, I also learned to appreciate the Independent Guard, the battalion that both the 1st
are members of. The Independent Guard is
more west Kentucky Ohio and east , so was not part of the Zoar event. We therefore had to fall in with another
battalion. Since there were two
battalions, we could have ended up with either.
I do not know how we end up in one battalion or another, but somehow we
ended up with the Army of Northern Virginia. Indiana
Since I had heard of issues that exist between the 1st
I am a reenactor as a hobby. This is not my job, I am not a real soldier, nor do I have any desire to have the full experience of being a real soldier. I have never been in the real military. I know that even our modern soldiers have an experience in the real world that I am grateful I do not have to. I do not have to march 20 miles on a half-day ration and a bout of dysentery.
And as my hobby, I expect respect from superior officers. After all, these guys are not real soldiers, either. I will obey superior officers as a matter of course of the hobby, but if these superior officers do not show me respect, despite my being a private, then I will simply go find a new hobby.
And that was the problem—point blank—with the Army of Northern Virginia. Before all battles we always do inspection arms. I expect this, and this is for everyone’s safety. With the Independent Guard, the captain of each unit performs the inspection when we are standing in battalion formation. The inspection goes pretty quick. But with the Army of Northern Virginia, the battalion staff apparently does not trust their company captains, as we had to stand in formation while a single staff officer inspected each and every rifle. This probably quadrupled the amount of time we spent standing at attention in battalion formation. It meant that for a 1:30 battle, we were formed at 12:30 for inspection—basically marching to the battlefield almost as the battle began.
But there were other things—such as referring to each other in derogatory terms as if they were terms of endearment. Basically, there seemed to be a general lack of respect from the top down. Perhaps it was something you would expect to see in the real military. But this is my vacation time. Yes, I strive to give the best Civil War soldier impression (I am not a farb), but at the same time I have zero desire to live like a real Civil War soldier—and anyone who says they desire differently has no idea what the life of a soldier during the Civil War was really like. And if you are reenactor that thinks differently, I would recommend you read up on books like Company Aytch, Privations of a Private, Hard Tack and Coffee, and Recollections of a Soldier. Because if you think you would like have been a real Civil War soldier, then you do not know crap about the Civil War.
Anyway, I’ll get off my soap box and back to the Zoar event. Overall, it was a good event. I hope to return when they have it again in two years, only I hope we fall in with a different battalion.
There was a Saturday morning tactical that I had nearly forgotten--it was not memorable. Most of the time was spent waiting for something to happen, and when it finally did, there were judges who kept interrupting to say, "Captain, two of your men just took hits--take them out of action". Strange way to perform a tactical.
The battles for both Saturday and Sunday were to be 1st
the Yankees winning Saturday (try to explain that one). Unfortunately, Billy Yank was being Billy
Yank and didn’t push like they should have—pretty much leaving the field before
the end of the battle before we could pull back closer to where the public
would have a good view of us—we had to walk off the battlefield to give the
public some kind of idea that we lost (which felt pretty weird). Sunday battle, however went well as the
colonel pretty much had it in his mind that if the Yankees did play like they
should, we would simply run over them. But
the Yanks did their job and made us work for every inch of ground. Manassas
Sutlery was excellent. I think there were around ten or so sutlers, although most were smaller sutlers. There were one or two large ones there. The odd thing was that the place I found that had the best things was a local antique store across the street from the sutlers. They must have pulled out a few odds-and-ends of reenacting gear just for the event. They had a $45 civil war cot and a few other items at good prices. Zach bought a pretty good shelter half with an end for only $25. I would have bought it myself if he hadn’t of found it first.
And, like I said at the start, this wasn’t the 1st
am not much for sports, so I decided to stay in camp when the rest of the 5th
for the local tavern to watch the OSU game.
And without anyone to get a good Euchre game going, I turned in early. Kentucky
|My new palace|
Zoar is a town full of historic buildings, which helped a lot for providing a good time-trip. The battlefield looked like it had been left to grow, but was hit with a bush-hog a week or two before the event. There was not any grass on the field, but it also was not problematic to perform our formations.
I still missed not having enough of the 1st
to form our
own unit. Tennessee
Canton Rep news story
Canton Rep news story