January 2003 Sic Semper Tyrranus Richmond, VACommanders Column
First things first, I have spoken with Robert Serio and now is the best time to get a new pair of shoes or even get a pair refurbished. He told me that he is turning around shoes faster than ever. Get those orders in so that you can break those new shoes in at the COI.
The annual meeting will be held at the Ashcreek Club house. I got a deal and our last years place was not available. The Ashcreek club house was under construction last year and we were able to go to Trigon's Cafeteria at no cost. Well that has changed because now you have to have a signature from a senior executive. Well since I do not know any of them personally, our chances were close to nill. So we have gone back to the old homestead, new and improved. Another benefit is that we do not have to slug it out with the Aerobics ladies to get into the place. There is a new room located at the back of the old room. It is a little more intimate, however, we do not have to rent tables and chairs, they are already there. Lunch will be the usual, Buzz and Ned's BBQ. More details and maps will come in the next month's newsletter.
Uniforms are in motion and the company should have 4 to sell to the members by the Annual meeting or the COI. Shoes may be the next item, just like buying from the store, we will purchase a few pairs that are of common size. We will see how that goes.
This is Mr. Pearson's first whack at the newsletter, like it or lump it. I appreciate all the help and support he has shown to the company which I consider to have been his home all along.
From some of the other members, I hear I missed the pig pickin of all time at the Perry's home prepared by the loving hands of Mr. Pierce and his kin. I was able to get a few of the pecan, lemon and chocolate tarts after the fact thanks to Mr. Turley.
Gentlemen, we are gearing up for another year of comradery and fun. New recruits have been a little thin this year, however we have a great core to continue to build on. Also, the way members are having children, we will have another company in a few short years.
1st Lt.’s Report
I want to thank everyone for their support of F-Company during the 2002 reenactment season. I know the schedule was somewhat down from previous years, but for the most part attendance was excellent. Thanks for a great season. You all have a blessed Holiday season and I look forward to seeing each and everyone of you at the Annual Meeting and throughout the upcoming season.
***editor’s note: The Lt.’s report was via my answering machine, so not all of his comments were clear.
1st Sergeant’s Report
I hope everyone is having a great holiday and enjoying their time off. Just a few thoughts and reminders. I would like to thank Mr. Gregory for the interesting and insightful article on the use of the bayonet in the last newsletter. We need more input and articles like that from others in the unit, and Mr. Gregory, keep it coming!
Earlier this year the company ordered four new uniforms for inventory from Ms. Jodi. They have been completed and we should take delivery in the next week. They will be on display and for sale at the annual meeting. So, if you are in need of a uniform bring your money. The cost will be set by the Treasurer, so see him at the annual meeting. I would like to thank Mr. Alexander and Mr. Vice for their help in coordinating this endeavor. Mr. Vice wanted to let all of you know that Ms. Jodi now has the material and the pattern to make more battleshirts, so if you missed the boat the first time, it is not too late. Also, don’t forget that Ms. Jodi also has jean cloth to make pants. You will have to call Ms. Jodi and coordinate the payment and delivery. You might want to do it quickly because see will soon be booked up by the spring with orders.
I would also like to suggest that members subscribe to The Civil War News. It is relatively inexpensive and a good way to inform yourself of news in the reenacting community, info on preservation efforts, and info on other events that we might or might no be interested in attending. If you subscribe to another publication such as the Camp Chase Gazette that is fine, but I would like to know if you do.
I have been busy this winter, as many of you are, in perfecting recipes for my “Kale Surprise” and “Butternut Squash Squish” probably for Camp of Instruction or I might save them to surprise you later. Also, we are expecting a new baby in late May 2003, and if you ask my wife, it is all my fault.
See you all at annual meeting, and remember to bring a friend.
***First Sgt. Wilson
No information released in time for this newsletter, however, there will be a list in the next issue of those delinquent in payment for events not attended and food that was provided
Annual Meeting Info
See Commander’s Column for an unabridged explanation. Tenative date is set for February 22nd.
Camp of Instruction
The MAIN EVENT to kick off the year will be, of course, the World Famous Camp of Instruction. As of now, the tentative date for the C.O.I. will be March 28th-30th. This is the highlight of the year. It’s the one thing that remains constant, always well prepared and highly organized. It’s an unbelievable learning tool as well as, for safety, and for the continued success and future of the company. I must request that the earlier you get there, the less duties you’ll have at the end of the weekend. We will have a fantastic new location this year. The information and directions will come to you as soon as all the pertinent details reach my desk. Should we have some new candidates or new members joining us, we need the veterans to bring any of your extra equipment to lend. The cost to non F Company members is still $25.00, payable by March 15, 2003. Mail to F Company, PO Box 6583, Richmond, VA 23230. This fee covers their hot meals, straw, and wood for the camp.
Slate of Officers
The Executive Committee has put together a recommended slate of officers for the 2003 election. The slate is as follows:
Vice President/1st Lt. – Tony Turley,
Secretary/1st Sgt. – Scott Wilson,
Treasurer/Pvt – Jack Alexander,
Member at Large/Cpl – Joe Pearson.
Please remember any F Company member, in good standing, can be nominated for any position. If the membership approves this slate of officers, the appointed corporal positions may need some realignment due to the number of members that re-up. The military leadership of the company will make that decision after the meeting.
Don’t Forget the
Article VII-Membership and Dues Section 3. Annual dues shall be set by a majority vote of the active members present and voting at the annual company business meeting. Annual dues shall be paid to the Treasurer by March 15 of the new fiscal year.
New Editor discovered
The vicious rumor is true. I have been persuaded with whiskey and weekend camp followers to take up the duties of the new editor of the Daily Planet. But, don’t call me Chief. This is uncharted water for me, but with the help and input from others, we’ll get through this just like we got through McDowell four years ago. Any complaints can be forwarded to the ex-fighting company clerk.
As in the past, there will be a worksheet provided for review of the upcoming events for the 2003 season. Everyone’s vote counts, so make sure you are present at the Annual Meeting so your voice and vote can be heard. Throughout the years we have been over-taxed with events and last year we scaled back in an attempt to encourage better attendance. Last year’s turnout was greatly improved. I hope that was a positive sign for the future. You all know you can count on me. I just want to be sure that I can count on you, too.
Possible Events for 2003:
Feb 22- Annual Meeting, VA
March 28-30- C.O.I., Amelia, VA
April- possible Tredegar L.H.
May 3 & 4- McDowell, VA
May 17 & 18- Fort Pocahontas, VA
June- Cold Harbor L.H., VA
July 4-6- 140th Gettysburg, PA
October 18 & 19- Cedar Creek, VA
November- Fort Branch, NC
Son of Kong Returns
It is my sincere pleasure to inform the members of F-Company of the impending return of our own Mr. Ward. I have been in contact with him off and on throughout the 2002 season. He has requested to put on F Company duds as of 2003. His knowledge of our Command structure and his 120 grain rounds will make his return a big bang. We should be seeing his smiling face at the Annual Meeting, Camp of Instruction, and we’ll go from there. But…Mr. Ward, speaking on behalf of myself and the many members of the unit, “Welcome home son”. I told you I’d leave a light on for you.
Recruits Still Needed
Gentlemen, as you are well aware of how this hobby gains and loses members, such is the fact of life. We have had a nice addition to our unit in the names of Wooddy, Gammon, Powell, Talbert, Schirmer, and Decker. But any or all efforts need to be continued by all of us to search for new recruits. Taking on the added responsibility of the Newsletter may slow me down some, but I will continue to venture out there, talk to people, hand out our flyers, and “YES” even put up a poster here and there. All I ask in return is for all members to do what you can to keep History alive and to keep F-Company as strong as we can make it to be. I have three prospects, but the cost factor has always been a deterrent for any new recruits. Through time and with the assistance of our membership, perhaps our extra gear can ease some of the burdens on prospects that are tuned off due to not being able to afford this hobby. We were all there once, so we all understand.
A Pearson Moment
As I sat in my room downstairs, looking at my gear and wondering if it’ll be rusted out by COI. I said to myself…”self”…it just seemed like yesterday when I never thought I’d be wearing gray. I saved and saved, and just couldn’t wait for the first time I’d see the elephant. Or the first time I’d go down with the heat exhaustion. Or stay up all night shivering to the bone. But you know what? I sure have a bundle of wonderful memories and a ton of tall tales that I’ll be able to tell my grandkids when they spend the night. I see it this way, I wanted to do this so badly that I could hardly wait until that day came. Now, a new season is just around the bend, and I can’t wait to do it all over again. Luckily, with the support of my wife and family, and the uncanny friendships that I’ve found in the most undesirable situations, this hobby has given me such wonders to behold and bonds that have been forged like that of iron.
F Company Recruiter
At the time of preparation for this Newsletter, I had not received an updated inventory list. The inventory below is from December.
Updates from Stafford’s Sutlery
Item Price/ each
(12) Cartridge Boxes……...$90.00
(13) Bayonet Scabbards40.00
(3) Cap Pouches24.00
(3) Tin Plates15.00
(6) Tin Cups15.00
(5) Tin Canteens45.00
(21) Cotton Socks8.00
(6) Wool Blanke25.00
(16) Sm. Va. Buttons75
(22) Lg. Va. Buttons
(59) Script I Buttons1.00
(50) Caps (cans of 200)7.00
Hemp Rope1.00 per ft.
(30) Hemp Twine5.00
(6) Frying Pans30.00
(1) Wall Tent400.00
(4) Sets of Utensils10.00
(1) Wooden Box5.00
Possible New Events?
Any member having information on any possible events for the upcoming season should get as much information or details before we can vote on and commit to. There are a lot of good causes out there and there’s a lot of good we can do for our own unit by participating in certain events. BUT, we need information and an overall concensus from the unit in regards to how many muskets we could field at these events. The main thing: we do not wish to take away from any Unit Events by adding one that could takes away from attendance. I know it sounds like I’m beating a dead horse, but attendance is the priority at all of our events. Our desire is to continue putting a Company in the field with our own Officers in charge. R.I.P. Traveler
From the Secret Journals of Private Gregory
Fort Branch is over. The monkey’s dead and the season is now officially over. You can let out a big sigh of relief. With winter approaching and the cabin fever season coming what are you going do to pass the time? Well this winter you can take advantage of the down time to upgrade your impression. What specific steps can you take to make your impression a little better? To make some significant changes requires a plan.
The plan for change requires some thought about what you want to accomplish. Your goals can be broken down into three categories. These categories are:
What we will do is look at each individual category and I will explain what I am going to do and then give you some suggestions for what you can do to improve your impression in the appropriate category.
The first thing I am going to do is my end of season cleaning for my gear. This involves a lot more than my usual post event cleanup routine. For example I am putting “Ol Betsy” up for the winter. At this time I get my musket ready for the upcoming season. What do I do?
At the end of the season I do a real deep cleaning of my musket. I completely disassemble the musket and scrub and polish and do some preventative maintenance. I dismount the lock and take it apart for cleaning and inspection. Once the barrel has been cleaned; an application of “Kroil” is used to protect the bore during storage. I polish all the brass parts and rub some linseed oil into the stock.
*I take this opportunity to clean and polish and oil my leather gear.
*I clean my brogans and apply shoe grease to the leather. When I store them I put shoe stretchers inside to help them keep their shape.
*I wash my shirts and drawers; iron them and put them in their box.
*I clean and polish my flatware, and clean any tin ware taking care to put a light coating of mineral oil on the surfaces prior to storage. I drain my canteen and inspect the cork and replace it if necessary.
*I brush off my uniform and do any maintenance. I sew up little rips, and check for loose buttons. If necessary I take it to the dry cleaners. I had better take care of my old uniform as I expect my new one to arrive about the time I am buried.
*As part of the material side; I take inventory of my basic kit and other gear. What do I need that would upgrade my impression? If I need to replace some item; can I get it before the season starts?
*This winter as part of my upgrade plan; I am going to turn out some different sized poke sacks; some handkerchiefs and a new ground cloth. These are easy projects.
*I have several simple woodworking projects in mind: for example; a frame for my British knapsack, and a shaving kit similar to one featured in Echoes of Glory (Union).
*I plan on modifying my G.I. ammo can; so it is lockable. That way when I travel my black powder ammo is safely locked away; something that might not be a bad idea is this new age of paranoia
*I use the winter months to get a head start on cartridge production.
I know you are going to say I’m mental anyway; however, the winter months are a perfect time to really get a leg up on your knowledge base. In your 21st book is a fairly complete bibliography. I can hear it now. “But all knowing Bob; wherefore can I find these hoary tomes as the book rack at the CVS drug store does not have any of them and I am on a most limited budget.”
Okay; item one on your agenda is to march bravely down to the library and get yourself a library card. As an example; the Jamestown County Library system must have about 250 feet of bookshelves dedicated to the Civil War. You say that you have checked your local library and they don’t have any of them. Well there is a thing called inter library loan. This means that you can ask your librarian to see if another library has that book. If they do, they can mail for free to your library and you can use it depending on the library for up to 90 days. There is no excuse for anyone to say that they can’t get a book.
Now I will put in a free commercial. One of our unit members, Mr. Ramsey has a bookstore. In this bookstore you will find many titles appropriate for study.
All right what else can you do under the mental part? Listen to a book on tape. That’s right. That same library system probably has a plethora of audio books. I have a long drive to work and to keep from shooting the radio I have found that listening to audio books is very relaxing and it’s a great way to pass the time. In the past year I have listened to such civil war audio books as Rebel Private Front and Rear, Stars In Their Courses, and Grant, A Biography along with sundry others. So instead of passing the time in your car listening to nattering nabobs of mindless drivel, (one of the audio books was a vocabulary builder) you could be listening Lee’s Lieutenant’s.
One of the thing’s I have noticed at reenactments besides Joe’s gas attacks; is the increasing use of a bugler to signal troop movements. Now not only would it behoove me to know what that infernal tooting means to me; it might help us figure out what them feller’s in blue is up to. I intend to learn what bugle calls mean. A good website that has loads of information about field music is at: www.acwbugler.org.
Wow! I didn’t’ realize that dry-cleaning wool caused it to shrink so much. I can’t believe how tight the pants have gotten. So I guess the time has come to get on a diet and do a little physical exercise. Maybe it’s just me or has anyone noticed that most of the stuff we do is in the summer. Well a program of physical fitness along with losing some weight can help a lot when dealing with the heat.
We are not talking Ranger PT here. Just a gradual get back into shape program that will pay benefits down the road.
As part of the physical side you could pack your knapsack with what is your usual load and take it for a hike. It may open your eyes to the amount of gear you are carrying. We have several events coming up where we are going to be hoofing it down the road with our gear so it might be a good idea to check and see if you can carry that load for several miles.
You could pay some attention to the hydration article and get a real good head start on getting hydrated. You will be surprised at how much better you feel.
Pvt Gregory - M.A., B.A., U.S.D.A., C.S.