February 2004 Sic Semper Tyrranus Richmond, VA
This being my last column as the Commander of F Company, I will keep it short. I have appreciated all the education and many experiences I have gained over my years with F Company, the new acquaintances, the new friends, the really good friends. The many times I wanted to quit the hobby all together and Mr. Alexander talked me out of it (in my early days). The many times Mr. Vice and I had very educational talks on a wide variety of subjects. I enjoyed seeing new members to the company with the enthusiasm of my youth for this hobby. Just think of all the experiences they get to behold for the first time. I enjoyed the Sunday services if not for the period manner they are held but the true means and heart felt devotion that is in each of them. There are so many good times being with other like-minded individuals. It is like I have always said that people will do this hobby if they are having fun at it. Well gentlemen, I have had plenty of fun and on top of that we have strived to do it safely. Do not think that this is the last you will see of me. I will be falling into the ranks here and there after the COI, depending on my schedule and how much Mr. Pearson wants me to come back. He may want to get me back for all that boot boy stuff all these years, being a Corporal and all. We will just have to see. So much for keeping it short. See you all at the Annual meeting.
1st Lieutenants Report
I hope everyone had a good Christmas and that the New Year will be happy, safe, and successful. Along with the New Year, we have a new reenactment season upon us. It will bring many changes and adjustments for most of which is the Captains retirement. Im sure that everyone will do their part to make this year of transition as smooth as possible. By now, everyone has heard or read of the recommendation by the Executive Committee for Mr. Ramsey to be the next Captain of F-Company. I would personally like to endorse that recommendation. After talking with Mr. Ramsey, I feel that he will make a fine Captain. He has the organizational skills and persona that will serve him well as commander of F-Company. With some training and his willingness to learn, and the support of the Executive Committee and the membership at large, Mr. Ramsey will do well. On a personal note, I hope that no one thinks that I would not be honored to be Captain. Because of family and work obligations, and technological reasons, I felt it would be best for someone else to take the position. The family obligations concern my parents. They are elderly and while they are not invalids, they do require a lot of watchful care. For some time now, and for the foreseeable future, I have been and will be working almost two full-time jobs. I do have weekends off, but during the week, I have very little time for any extra curricular activities. For this reason, I dont feel that I would have the necessary time to devote to F-Company affairs.The technological reasons include the fact that I am computer illiterate, but maybe not as much as I was thanks to Mr. Lawrence. A few months ago, Mr. Lawrence gave me a computer out of the goodness of his heart for which I am most grateful. But becoming familiar with it is going to be a very slow learning process. All of these reasons or concerns, and some others that I have not mentioned, led me to conclude that F-Company would be best served with someone else as its Captain. With this being said, I do plan to do my part as 1st Lieutenant (if re-elected) to support F-Company and the new Captain. Now as for Captain Jones: He and I joined F-Company at about the same time during the winter of 1989-90. We have seen a lot of members come and go during that time. I have seen Mr. Jones rise from a lowly Private, to Corporal, to Lieutenant, and finally, to Captain. If you take a look at the unit now and compare it to what it was back then, the difference is astounding. We have gone through a complete metamorphosis from being somewhat of a rag-tag group of guys to one of the premier reenactment units in the field today. Im not talking about being farbie. F-Company has never really been farbie. We have become more refined and efficient in the manner in which we conduct ourselves. We are better drilled; more disciplined, and pay more attention to detail in all aspects of the hobby. We are a professional civil war reenactment unit and we owe it by and large to the efforts of Mr. Jones. Although he has not done it all by himself, the transformation has taken place under his watchful guidance and direction. F-Company will forever be indebted to him for all that he has done for the unit. We owe it to him to at least maintain the standards that we have established for ourselves and try to build upon them. Speaking for myself and the rest of the unit, Captain Jones, I thank you for all that you have done, for the many hours of hard work, toil, and preparation, and sometimes, even anguish that you have put in on behalf of the unit. It is a job well done and though someone else may be filling the of Captain of the unit, no one will ever replace you. Best regards for the future. I will always remain your humble servant.
***Respectfully- 1stLt. Turley
1st Sergeants Report
I would like to recognize Mr. Ramsey and congratulate him on offering to take on the position of Captain for F Company. He has my total support and admiration for standing up for the unit.
Now is the time to pull out all your gear and thoroughly clean and inspect every item. You have time to make any necessary repairs before the Camp of Instruction. I strongly suggest that you put a patch down the bore of your weapon and make sure that it is dry and clean. To get your shoes to last forever, I suggest you put a thick coat of shoe polish on them and use some shoe grease to seal the water out. Just a suggestion, but you will be inspected at the Camp of Instruction.
The new and improved uniform wool should be available around the Annual Meeting to be sent to Ms. Cronce. If you are one of the ones who got a uniform made of the bad batch or if you want to purchase a new uniform then you need to contact me and let me know what you need and send me your measurements!!! When Ms. Cronce gets the material we will put in one large order that she can work on at once. I will place this order, personally and if you want something then pick up the phone and let me know!!!
The company has a toll free phone number for this purpose and for recruiting. The phone number rings at my home. Dial 800-319-3110, please use pin # 77.
All active members need to be at the Annual Meeting and the Camp of Instruction. See you there.
***1st Sgt. Wilson
One Day, Many Decisions
Information is the key to any successful endeavor. What you will be witnessing on February 28th at the Ashcreek Club House will surpass your wildest dreams. And, if were lucky, therell be plenty of pork barbeque, beans (look out), and other accessories to prepare you for F Companys New Commander. The cost to you for the meal will be ten dollars a head. Do not bring a turkey platter to eat from, as there will be plates provided. Please be as prompt as physically possible for the Annual Meeting and all that comes with the start of our 2004 season. As always, you will be left breathless with the literature and inventory that is at your fingertips for the taking as long as you have greenbacks to cover your desires. I will personally be bringing my haversack filled with ones to help my purchasing power. Id bring 10s & 20s, but I dont wish to intimidate anyone with my ample lack of wealth. On a serious note, as I had stated in the previous newsletter, attendance at this Annual Meeting is imperative. Cpl. Perry will be bringing his handmade tent pegs and frying pans for sale to the membership. If you have been sharing a frying pan in the past or have never owned one, they are just as important as your musket. There will be a multitude of decisions and events to be addressed. Your participation and your vote on these matters could help determine the future of the company and events that we will attend together. So please mark it down on your calendar to attend the 2004 Annual Meeting on February 28th.
Please be at the clubhouse no later than 9:00 a.m. We will have plenty of time before the meeting and during the lunch break to browse for new items or replacement items to buy.
F Company, 21st
Annual Membership Meeting Agenda
28 February 2004
0900 - 1430 hours
0930 Call to order- Jones
0935 Invocation- Turley
0940 Pledge of Allegiance- Jones
Executive Committee and NCOs- Jones
New Members- Jones
0950 Review and Approval of 2003
Annual Membership Minutes- Wilson
0955 -1015 Business and Committee Reports
Treasury report/review of 2003 budget- Alexander
Uniform Committee report and review of 2003- Vice
Membership status/review of 2003- Pearson
Recruiting report and review of 2003- Turley
Jacksons Division status- Jones
1015-1030 Old Business
Floor open to any Old Business- Jones
1030-1130 2004 Schedule of Events
Sign Up Sheet Clarification and Explanation- Wilson
Camp of Instruction - Schedule and Map- Jones
Wartime and Militia Events- Wilson
Open to Floor for Additional Events- Wilson
1130-1300 Lunch and Sale of goods- Ward
1300-1330 New Business
Fund Raising Initiatives- Alexander
Floor open to New Business- Turley
Open Discussion- Pearson
2004 Proposed Budget- Alexander
Dues Proposal and Vote- Alexander
1330-1345 Election of Officers- Jones
1345 Benediction- Turley
1400 Adjournment- Jones
1400 -1430 Room Cleanup- Membership
Directions to Ash Creek Club House:
From I-95 North & South: Take exit 86 (Atlee/Elmont). At the top of the ramp, go East on Sliding Hill Road. From the North turn left, from the South, go right onto Sliding Hill Road. Go approximately 2 miles and bear to the right turning right at New Ashcake Road. Go approximately 9/10ths of a mile and turn right onto Linderwood Road. The clubhouse is ½ mile on the left.
In Search Of
It appears that Tom Scott Park has turned into a bust. Because of a legal situation, we will not be holding our Camp of Instruction at this wonderful location. We have had a good response for other possibilities, not only for this year, but also for seasons to come. With the assistance and coordination of our members, an alternate site is now in the works. If any of you remember the Seven Days Campaign in Hanover County, then you may recognize the location of our first choice. It was the brush fire on the battlefield that attempted to engulf our advance at Sundays battle. Ahh! Now I remember. Mr. Ramsey is a friend of the landowner who also happens to run an artillery unit. From phone calls and personal contact, it appears that we will have permission to use their entire area for the C.O.I. weekend to call our own. There are plenty of woods, areas to march and drill, and if memory serves me correctly, one outstanding hill that could be an excellent backdrop for live firing. I will keep everyone advised to the finalization of these plans. If, however, this falls through, Mr. Powell, Mr. Lawrence, and Mr. Gammon have also volunteered excellent sites that could fill the void. As I said, even if the Seven Days location works out for us this year, the other sites could be ideal for the future or if we would need a great location for a Living History event.
Wet or Dry Season
Does it really matter? The events and show will still go on. Naturally, we would all love to be out there with 70° nights and 60° days, but this is not a fantasy world and we are out there before spring and after fall. So, regardless of what lies ahead, we shall weather the storms together no matter what our forecasters predict. Im not going to try and jinx us, but after last year... it just has to be drier.
It definitely cannot be any wetter. Can it?
Load in ten times.
One time and two motions.
106. First Motion. Drop the piece by a smart extension of the left arm, seize it with the right hand above and near the lower band; at the same time carry the right foot forward, the heel against the hollow of the left foot.
Second Motion. Drop the piece with the right hand along the left thigh, seize it with the left hand above the right, and with the left hand let it descend to the ground, without shock, the piece touching the left thigh, and the muzzle opposite the center of the body; carry the right hand quickly to the cartridge box and open it.
2. Handle - Cartridge
One time and one motion.
107. Seize a cartridge with the thumb and the next two fingers, and place it between the teeth.
3. Tear - Cartridge
One time and one motion.
108. Tear the paper down to the powder, hold the cartridge upright between the thumb and two next fingers, near the top; in this position place it in front of and near the muzzle, the back of the hand to the front.
4. Charge Cartridge.
109. Fix the eye on the muzzle, turn quickly the back of the right hand towards the body, in order to discharge the powder into the barrel, raise the elbow to the height of the wrist, shake the cartridge, force it into the muzzle, and leave the hand reversed, the fingers closed, but not clenched.
5. Draw Rammer.
One time and three motions.
110. First motion. Drop the right elbow smartly, and seize the rammer between the thumb and fore-finger bent, the other fingers shut; draw it smartly, extending the arm, seize the rammer again at the middle between the thumb and fore-finger, the hand reversed, the palm to the front, the nails up, the eyes following the movement of the hand, clear the rammer from the pipes by again extending the arm.
Second motion. Turn rapidly the rammer between the bayonet and the face, closing the fingers, the rammers of the rear rank grazing the right shoulders of the men of the same file in front, the rammer parallel to the bayonet, the arm extended, the butt of the rammer opposite to the muzzle but not yet inserted, the eyes fixed on the muzzle.
Third motion. Insert the butt of the rammer, and force it down as low as the hand.
6. Ram Cartridge.
One time and one motion.
111. Extend the arm to its full length to seize the rammer between the right thumb extended and the fore-finger bent, the other fingers closed; with force ram home twice and seize the rammer at the small end between the thumb and fore-finger bent, the other fingers closed, the right elbow touching the body.
7. Return Rammer.
One time and three motions.
112. First motion. Draw the rammer briskly; re-seize it at the middle between the thumb and fore-finger, the hand reversed, the palm to the front, the nails up, the eyes following the hand, clear the rammer from the barrel by extending the arm.
Second motion. Turn the rammer rapidly between the bayonet and the face, closing the fingers, the rammers of the rear rank grazing the right shoulders of the men in the same file in front, the rammer parallel to the bayonet, the arm extended, the little end of the rammer opposite to the first pipe, but not yet inserted, the eyes fixed on that pipe.
Third motion. Insert the small end, and with the thumb, which will follow the movement, force it as low as the middle band; raise the hand quickly, a little bent, place the little finger on the butt of the rammer, and force it down; lower the left hand on the barrel to the extent of the arm without depressing the shoulder.
8. Cast About.
One time and two motions.
113. First motion. With the left hand bring up the piece vertically against the left shoulder, seize it smartly with the right hand at the small of the stock, and slide the left hand down as low as the chin.
Second motion. Make a half face to the right on the left heel, bring the left toe to the front, place the right foot at the same time close behind, and at right angles with the left, the hollow of the right foot against the left heel; carry the piece opposite to the right shoulder; bring down the piece with the right hand into the left, which will seize it at the tail band, the thumb extended on the stock, the butt under the right fore-arm, the small of the stock against the body, and about two inches under the right breast, the muzzle at the height of the eye, the left elbow supported against the side, the right hand grasping the small of the stock.
One time and one motion.
114. Place the thumb of the right hand on the hammer (the fingers remaining under and against the guard), and half-cock the piece; brush off the old cap, and with the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand take a cap from the pouch, place it firmly on the cone by pushing it down with the thumb, and seize the piece by the small of the stock.
10. Shoulder - Arms.
One time and two motions.
115. First motion. Face to the front by turning on the left heel; at the same time bring the piece briskly with the right hand to the left shoulder, and place the left hand under the butt.
Second motion. Let the right hand fall smartly into its position at shoulder arms.
Please note: At this point in your training, the musket is loaded, primed, and half-cocked; multiple commands could follow. No matter what those commands could be, remember that the weapon is now loaded and ready to be fired. Safety is the main priority.
From the Secret Diaries Of Private Gregory
Unlike their Puritan neighbors to the North, Southerners could find Biblical justification for gambling.
Then they prayed, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles. Lets us say Fie and Hence to this antediluvian history lesson and get to the real meat and potatoes of gambling among Confederates.
Gambling was so prevalent in the Army of Northern Virginia that in November 1862, General Lee issued a General Order in which he was pained to learn the vice of gambling exists, and is becoming common in the army. Games of chance have evolved over the years. Some fading in and out of popularity. In Ante-bellum America, games such as euchre, faro, and poker were commonly played. These games required a deck of cards. Decks of cards were in such high demand by Confederates that they were imported from England. An example of this type of deck can be found in Lords Collector Encyclopedia.
In the winter of 1862-1863, a gamblers den known as Hells Half Acre sprung up close to the armys encampment near Fredericksburg. Despite repeated efforts by officers to break up the gambling den, it was soon back in business.
Figure 1: A typical Faro layout
Monte- was another popular card game. Known as Spanish Monte it was brought back to the states by veterans of the Mexican American war. So here are the rules for Monte.
Monte is a very fast game. Those of you who have wandered the streets of New York can attest to. There are two versions. One a two card and the other a four card version. The game is played with a deck of 40 cards. The 10s, the 9s and the 8s are left out. Any number can play against the bank. For two card Monte, the bank draws one card from the bottom and places it face up. This is known as the bottom layout card. One card is drawn from the top of the pack and is placed face up and it is known as the top layout.
The bettors can then bet on either layout. The pack is turned face up and the card showing on the bottom (the gate) is shown. If the suit of the gate matches one of the layouts the banker pays the bet.
In four card Monte the bank draws two cards for each layout. Of course the bettors odds are much better in four card as opposed to two card.
Sledge- was another popular game. Today it is known as Seven Up or Mexican Sweat, or No Peek Poker. The rules are as follows. Each player is dealt seven cards face down. The dealer turns one card over. The player to the dealers left starts turning over cards until he can beat the card showing. The person with the high card may then bet. The player to his left may either bet, or fold. If he bets, he starts through his cards one at a time until he can either beat the high card showing or he uses up his seven cards. Standard poker rules apply in determining who holds the high hand.
Rolling Them Bones
Dice games were very popular with the boys in gray. Craps seems to be more of a WWI and II phenomena
One game was known as High and low is a fast game that requires very little thinking on the part of the players. The rules are simple. Players bet that the total of two dice will add up to six or less; exactly seven, or eight or more. The bank pays odds of 1 to 1 for 6 and under and 8 and over. Seven pays 4 to 1. The dealer shakes the dice in a cup, turning the cup upside down on the table. After this, the players place their bets and the cup is lifted to show the winning number.
Chuck-a-luck was a sure fire money winner. For the bank that is. On a layout, usually your poncho liner or gum blanket, a series of squares numbered from 1-6. Three dice are placed in cup, shaken not stirred, and then the cup is placed upside down on the layout square. You then bet.
You can bet on a single number. If all three dice are the same the dealer pays 3:1. You can bet that all three dice are the same, if so the dealer pays 30:1. If you bet on the total from the three dice from 3 to 17 You can bet high or low 11 to 17(high) or 4 to 10(low). Or Odd or Even-odd or even totals from the 3 dice.
A Friendly Reminder
Attention all members, remember all past due monies should be paid by annual meeting to remain in "good standing" and not lose your right to vote. You will also be able to pay your 2004 dues after they are approved, so come prepared. Lastly, this is tax time; dont forget much of your expenses for this hobby can be a tax deduction. If you have any questions or need receipts, just see the treasurer.
From the Parlor of Mr.Ramsey
Announcement: Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey are pleased, proud, and extremely excited to announce a new member of their household. After three long years of emptiness, they finally have given birth to a real, live LAND LINE! No more with the all cell phone all the time routine, they now have an actual telephone in their house. The new number will be added to the updated roster. All F'ers are encouraged to call anytime. The sound of a new phone ringing in their new house is sweet, sweet music.
Gentlemen, I would like to
recommend what is in my opinion the best new book out in recent months, by my
favorite modern author and expert on the Overland Campaign of 1864, Gordon
Rhea. It is entitled: "Carrying the Flag- The Story of Private Charles Whilden,
the Confederacy's Most UnlikelyHero".
This work combines the story of a remarkable forty-year-old South
Carolina soldier with the larger narrative of the terrible fighting at the Wilderness and especially the Bloody Angle at Spotsylvania in May of 1864. This thoroughly engaging book is really hard to put down, and readers will come away with a greater appreciation for the hardships and sacrifices of the Confederate soldier of the line. Charles Whilden did not enlist until
late in the war, and was subsequently plunged into the very regiment destined to see the worst of Grant's brutal spring 1864 campaign. Through a remarkable chain of events, he would go on to discover a courage within him
that would change the course of one of the War Between the State's most
Family Heirloom Weavers Update
To be or not to be
the question in regards to the wool update. In my last correspondence with Mr.
Vice, here is the latest word from his keyboard to your eyes: This week F Co.
uniform cloth is being woven by Family Heirloom Weavers. Next week it will go
out to the finisher w/an estimate that it will be back in our hands (FHW) by
mid-Feb and ready to ship 50 yards to NC. FHW will be issuing a check in
mid-Feb for $1,125.00 as replacement cost for 5 uniform jackets and trousers.
FHW goal is to have all this done by the time of the annual F Co. meeting on 28
Feb w/a sample of cloth to show membership.
I will be out of the country from 24 Feb-10 Mar in the UK working on a book.
It is my wildest hopes for an excellent season and for the new and old members to meet and share knowledge. Well see what this year brings forth in events and memories for fresh fish and veterans alike. Come on men, rally on the flag.
On an important note, Jacksons Division is planning to form a small sized Brigade for the 140th Cedar Creek. I would love to have a maximum effort for this event. But then, I would love to have a maximum effort season. Lets pick and choose carefully on February 28th. I cant wait to hear those endless taller than life tales around the campfire each night, plus all of the Bull- - -ony during the daylight hours. Just have a clean musket.
 Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1, verses 23-26 New American Bible