July 2005Sic Semper Tyrranus Richmond, VA
Gents, I've just got to say, any
member of the unit who is sitting on his hands and missing out on this season is really
letting a good one slip by. We've had exceptionally fine weather, very good
turnouts, large numbers of spectators, and just as pleasant of events as could have been
hoped for. Only a few left now, so you slackers had better get on the stick and join
us, or you need to ask yourselves what in the world you are waiting for!
Gettysburg: 15 soldiers present for duty, and our
unit serving as the second company of the first battalion, in the thick of the fighting.
I would especially like to mention the brave survivors that followed me over
the wall in Pickett's Charge, and rallied to defend the Virginia Colors; Lt.Turley, Cpl. Stafford, Pvt. Baird, Pvt. Harris, and Pvt Parzych. And to those others that were separated from us in the mass of confusion, blue uniforms and gun smoke, my hat is off to you as well, for being true Confederate soldiers to the end. Every man of F Company served his unit and his country with pride and honor that day, and I will always be very proud of you all. One other note on this one; can anyone remember a Fourth of July weekend in Gettysburg with low temperatures and very low humidity?? It was a pleasure to experience it, and it made dancing the night away with my own Mrs. Captain Ramsey (Miss Jill) all that more delightful on Saturday evening.
Cold Harbor: 16 members present.
The only event of the season where we
get to do a first person impression, as per the request of the National
Park Service. This was a very good opportunity to exercise our living history skills, and to honor the soldiers from the original F Company that we have all adopted, and who actually fought in this battle. Ranger Ed Sanders checked in a few days ago to thank us once again for a job well done. They thought the firing programs went very well, but the real crowd pleasers, he said, were the torch-lit tours through the dark, spooky woods, and the sudden encounters with the F Company pickets, and then narley old
Captain Ramsey and his band of dirt diggers and shoe thieves. Not only instructional, but lots of fun for the folks as well. We have made solid friends with the NPS, much to my great satisfaction.
On a uniform note, I am now holding the remainder of the uniform wool, which, it turns out, is of an exceptionally superior quality, that according to Scott Haines from Richmond Depot, who ran some tests on it. If anyone has need of a jacket or trousers, better jump on this limited supply while it lasts. Just let me know, and I will get the necessary yards to Scott and Fenny. If by chance you happen to be in their neighborhood over on Hull Street Road at some point, please stop in and say "Hi." You will also now see our Company recruiting flyers prominently displayed in their shop, as per their request. Now, on to Maryland. I'm already counting the days until we will form the Company once again.
Commander F Co/ 21st Virginia1st Lieutenants Report
Please note: This column was submitted to the editor prior to the Gettysburg event. The Lieutenants July column will be entered in the August Newsletter. I think that everyone had a good time at the Cold Harbor event. It was an excellent turnout by guys, plus several members of the 4th North Carolina joined us. The meal on Saturday afternoon was exceptional, among the best I have had in my time with F-Company. Many thanks go to all who had a part in preparing and bringing us the meal.
I also heard that the torchlight tour on Saturday night went very well. I am sorry that I could not be there for that.
The weather was very warm, even hot and may have caught us a little off guard, especially by being out in the sun doing extended programs, but we made it through.I want to thank everyone who came ouy yo support the unit, expecially 2nd Sgt. Firth, even though he was not feeling that great. Also, Mr. Parks who was there on Saturday to take pictures in keeping our web-site up-to-date and his fellowship. To Ms. Dottie and her sticky buns. To Macalah with her wonderful cole slaw, and the wonderful "just the way I like them" green beans provided by Mrs. Catlett, and especially everyone in the ranks. We had enough numbers to make a good-looking competent company. Thanks again for your support. When we have enough numbers, it keeps us from having to be thrown in with other units. Lets try to keep up attendance. Reminder: Please let your corporals know whether or not you will be attending the Harpers Ferry event on September 10-11th weekend.
Now, I would like to address some matters or concerns that have come up recently and let me say at the outset that this is not intended to hurt anyones feelings or step on anyones toes. It is just to serve as a reminder and review of some of F-Companys rules and procedures. The first matter is that of alcohol in camp. Some of the newer members may not even know or be aware that F-Company has a policy of NO alcohol in camp. I dont think that we actually have it written down, but it really doesnt need to be. All of the events that we attend, whether it is a reenactment or living history, have rules against alcohol. In fact, it is against the law to have it at a National Park. If caught with alcohol, a unit can be thrown out or asked to leave an event. So please, no drinking in camp, especially now that we have younger members in the unit.
The second concern is that of "farbism". We are always talking about how "farbie" some of the other units or events may be. Sometimes we need to stop and take a look at ourselves. You hear the phrase, "If they had it, they would have used it" quite often. I despise that phrase. Its just a catch-all excuse for anything goes. Please, lets try to be more conscious of the modern day anachronisms that we have in public view in our camp. Now, I like a cold drink and a good meal, like we had on Saturday as much as anyone, but we must keep in mind the impression we are suppose to be portraying. Please refer to the "Consumables Impression Policy" in our F-Company handbook. Our impression is only as good as its members and how the conduct themselves. One obvious point that all can improve is the intrusion of modern day consumables (food, drink, cigarettes). Over the years, we have been improving our impression as a company. This minor change will grant us all a great benefit toward our impression. I know there are exceptions, but lets try to keep them to a minimum, even when friends and family are around. They know the impression we are trying to maintain. It may take more effort, but its worth it.
Along the same vein, lets try also to watch how we conduct ourselves, including what we say when the public is around. I know guys will be guys and a certain amount of "gutter talk" will go on, but try to be aware of who is around, the public in general, and especially now that we have younger members in the unit. A lot of the public has a negative image of reenactors. Lets not do anything to reinforce that opinion. Your cooperation in these matters is appreciated.
Now, its on to Gettysburg. See you there.
1st Lt. Turley
COLD HARBOR"the Re-cap"
After fighting another rain driven journey to Cold Harbor National Park, the weekend provided us with many surprises, one most notably, the extraordinary dinner on Saturday afternoon. It was a feast to behold. It had been billed as such, and it definitely did not let the men down whatsoever. For those who had not paid their monies to Private Powell, you have an opportunity to redeem yourselves at any of the remaining events of the season.
There were high praises that came from the NPS about our efforts and performance for the torchlight tour on Saturday night. Men, I do believe we have reached a milestone on how we worked the visitors and it was apparent by their extremely favorable comments to the park service. It was a job well done.
Sundays firing program proved to be the first test of our endurance to the early spring heat. Thanks to the ever-caring readiness of Private Alexander, we had a wonderful taste of the 3-day iced root beer that satisfied our additional need for liquid. The 2-day iced version was handed out abundantly after the torchlight tour. Who wouldve thought? A red cedar canteen had been lost during the departure on Sunday. If anyone noticed it, and picked it up, please let me know and I will pass that news on to the member who lost this valuable item.
GETTYSBURG July 1-3
142nd Anniversary"the Re-cap" Mother nature smiled on us this year at this normally very hot event. Mrs. Schirmer was not so lucky, having arrived on Thursday, in the midst of the hot & very humid weather with her husband, Private Schirmer. Even Friday proved to be taxing on the body. For those fortunate enough to arrive on Saturday, the heat and humidity was reduced to a tolerable level. Also, amongst the joys of living in the woods, came the poison ivy. I believe that the majority of us escaped the itches, but Private Schirmer was afflicted pretty badly and had to leave on Sunday morning. On another unfortunate note, Mr. Talbert, who had arrived on Friday also had to leave late Friday night due to either a flu or virus. His ground cloth and dog tent were left behind, but has since been returned to him.
Although this event did not have the earmarks of a full-blown huge event, it was adequate for the size of the battlefield. What did surprise me, though, was the unbelievable turnout by the public in viewing this event. I had the fortune to talk with folks from Missouri, Arizona, and even Canada. We were delighted by the very nice couple that came by on Sunday morning, who gladly chatted with us and took the photograph that is at the head of this re-cap. There are a lot of good people.
Sundays "Picket Charge" did prove to be a little warmer than expected and the humidity did start to rise, but there was ample ice and water being handed out by the "Angels" who were very helpful.
This event was a great opportunity for those new members who have never experienced Gettysburg. I cant wait to see the expressions on their faces in 2008 when the 145th Anniversary blows them away with the participation that they can only imagine, but need to see to believe.
Great thanks goes out to all in attendance: Ramsey, Turley, Pearson, Firth, Gammon D., Stafford, Baird, Lawrence, Schirmer, Talbert, Harris, Catlett, Gammon M., Parzych, & Dachos. It will always be the men and their participation that keeps this unit alive.From Within the Ranks
by Private Parzych
As most of you know, I took my family with me to Gettysburg for a vacation that spanned a few days before and after the re-enactment. I have been taking my kids there for years, flying them in from Colorado to re-enactments and sightseeing tours. Heck, I even took my honeymoon there. I dragged a new bride along for a glimpse at my obsessions. This however, proved to be a moving experience.
Things began well enough, as I found the field and two of our men. I called PVT. Harris and gave him direction, and 1st SGT to ensure they were dialed in. I could have easily fallen in for battle on Friday, but chose to observe and wait for my brothers in arms. My family being there broke the moment for me as I was unable to enjoy the camp life in the field. As they were not re-enacting, I was not sleeping among the sumac and ivy crop. I felt somehow detached from the group. Further separating me was the farb like feeling that I got from going to the KOA after battles.
All that somehow got lost on day three. Longstreets Assault found us lined up for battle impersonating the 19th VA. We stepped off, and then after a spell hit the "Emmitsburg Road" fence. Confusion, gunfire, and disorganization followed. Men dropped flags, and standard bearers were replaced. Ranks became intertwined. Orders became dull. Soon, "hits" were simulated but without the usual knowledge of the unit. It was too muttled to know who died for Dixie.
When the wall was breached, soon all I looked for was our unit. All I remember until the end was wondering where PVT Harris was, and where the Captain was. I was no longer a part of a show. I was depending on my father and brother. Bedlam ensued, loading was fierce and hurried. Soon, orders were no longer audible, and the Captain and I communicated through screams that were almost silent from a foot away. Later, he commented that when the applause of the crowd interrupted the event as it ended, he did not remember the audience. I felt roughly the same feeling. When it was all over, I recognized PVT Baird out of the pile of humanity coming to life around me. Where was he? Was he hit or a part of our disheveled defense?
The next day, I took the kids to the same old spots that they had been to for years. Seminary Ridge, Barlow Knoll, Round Top, Wheatfield, Cemetery Ridge, and the Angle were all visited. I had been to the angle Friday night. Tonight, I felt an urge to escape. I pulled over and looked over my left shoulder at Cushings Battery. I left the truck, and walked around. Tears welled, and I actually started to sob. The thought of thousands of Southern and Northern men meeting in the angle with confusion, smoke, noise, and death overtake me. It was strange, like I could almost see it happening.
I started to feel more of the same feelings as Sunday, and then suddenly a man started yelling at someone and wrestling near the Armistead wounding site. A confederate battle flag was at stake. When the fight was over, the flag was returned and the protestor was gone. I wandered closer with interest, to determine what had truly happened. I was offended, and still in a state of wonderment about what happened 142 years ago, and within the last minute.
When my kids and wife emerged to share my discussion of the historical significance of the site, I broke down while discussing the chaos and horror that the soldiers must have felt. How many times had I stood here? I have walked from Seminary Ridge to Cemetery Ridge in the past and never felt this strongly before.
The feeling was truly a glimpse of history. I shared the event over the next half hour with my kids. They asked questions and listened to stories of mine and from others on the spot. I attribute this moment in my day to the 21st Virginia, F. Co. and what it did to highlight my experience. I would not trade the moments that we share and our love of history for any other unit. I applaud the Officers and NCOs for making this all happen. Through all of our participation we ensure that no one ever forgets the struggle that happened on these hallowed grounds that we campaign across. Keep attending and supporting your unit, and ensure that future generations do not get lost like the soul I encountered at The Angle.
Summer of 62
August 27-28(Registration is now closed for this event) Important Note: Make all efforts to be at registration prior to 11 am on Saturday, as it will be closed after that time. Schedule of Events
August 27, 2005
Horse Drawn Wagons commence ferrying late arrivals to camp
Event Open to Public
"The Common Soldier of 1862"
Registration closes for the Weekend
Horse drawn Wagons cease ferry service to camp
"School of the Campaigner" - Activities Area
Battle Scenario Walk through - All Battalion and Brigade Officers and Senior NCO's of both sides - Battlefield
Civilian Program- "Life in 1860 America" - Activities Tent
"The Battle of Cedar Mountain"
"One of Lee's Forgotten Lieutenants: Isaac Trimble" - Activities Tent
Event Closed to Spectators
Commanders Walkthrough for "Battle of Brawner's Farm"
"The Battle of Brawner's Farm" for participants only
Period Theatrical Production of Our American Cousin, by the New Old Theater Company
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Church Service - Battlefield
Event Open to Public
Battle Scenario Walk through - All Battalion and Brigade Officers and Senior NCO's of both sides - Battlefield
"Life on the Home front" Civilian Seminar at the Activities Tent
"Unfinished Rail Road Cut"
Cars allowed in camp - event ends
Directions to Summer of 62
FROM BALTIMORE OR WASHINGTON
Take I-70 West to Exit 35, turn left onto Maryland Rt. 66 (south)
Proceed approximately 3 miles and turn right onto Millpoint Road
You are now entering the "Boonsboro Beltway." If it looks like the long way around it is. But it avoids the congestion of the large craft fair in town and will get you to the site quicker. Enjoy the view of the mountains on your left. Your efforts (as well as many others) have saved from development a substantial portion or what you see.
Cross Rt. 68 and Manor Church Road, then bear left onto Wheeler Road and end up on Rt. 34. (Do NOT enter Monroe Road from this direction, it will be One Way for the weekend, going against you.)
Turn Left on Rt. 34 towards Boonsboro.
Proceed about 1 mile and turn left on Monroe Road. The reenactment site will be half a mile ahead on your right.
FROM HARRISBURG, PA
Head south on I-81 until you turn east on I-70.
Take exit 35 and turn right onto Rt. 66 (south).
Follow directions above.
FROM MARTINSBURG OR WINCHESTER
Head north on I-81, cross the Potomac and take Exit 1.
Turn right at the stop sign and proceed straight ahead on Rt. 68/Lappans Road.
Go straight across the Downsville Pike and the Sharpsburg Pike (Rt. 65) pass Devil's Backbone State Park.
About two miles past the park, make a right turn onto Millpoint Road. Then bear left onto Wheeler Road and end up on Rt. 34. (Do NOT enter Monroe Road from this direction, it will be one way for the weekend, going against you.)
Turn left on Rt. 34, toward Boonsboro.
Proceed about 1 mile and turn left on Monroe Road. The reenactment site will be a half-mile ahead on your right.
FROM HARPER'S FERRY
Cross the Potomac on Rt. 340 toward Frederick.
Turn north Rt. 67.
Just past Reno Monument Road on your right, turn left on King Road.
Stay on this until you reach Rt. 34.
Turn left on Rt. 34, toward Keedysville.
After a mile, look on your right for Monroe Road, turn right.
The reenactment site will be a half-mile ahead on your right.
Take Rt. 34 towards Boonsboro.
Follow signs to Monroe Road on left (4-5 miles
Balance of Events for 2005
Summer of 62- August 27th-28th
(Registration has been completed)
Harpers Ferry- September 10th-11th
WE NEED AN ACCURATE COUNT
FOR THOSE INTERESTED TO GO
141st Cedar Creek- October 15th-16thI need to get registration information to the Treasurer A.S.A.P.
(CHECK YOUR NAME IF NOT LISTED, ADVISE YOUR CORPORAL. IF LISTED AND YOU CAN NOT ATTEND, NOTIFY YOUR CORPORAL)
Ramsey, Turley, Pearson, Firth, Stafford, Gammon D., Perry Sr., Pate, Gammon M., Price, Dachos, Harris, Powell, Schirmer, Lawrence, Parzych
Fort Branch- November 4th-6th
(Registration information to come)
Ramsey, Turley, Pearson, Firth, Stafford, Gammon D., Perry Sr., Perry Jr., Pate, Gammon M., Catlett, Alexander, Talbert?, Harris, Powell, Schirmer?, Dachos, Sanders, and Parzych
Remembrance Parade- November 19th
(No Registration needed to attend)
Those expressing interest: Alexander, Turley, Pearson, Firth?, Stafford?, Gammon D., Perry Sr.?, Gammon M., Price, Schirmer?, Talbert?, Harris
If your name is not listed at any of the listed events and you wish to attend, contact your Corporal A.S.A.P. We need to assure registration for those who truly intend on participating these events.Private Garnetts Journal
It has been a few days since my duty
with the sharpshooter (Sgt.Pitt) and at best I could figure somebody higher in the order
thought I had been in repose long enough . At morning roll the Second Sgt. was acting for
the first. The First Sgt. was a wound victim of the Yankee sharpshooter and is doing well
now I might add. Figure all that fresh bread and beer at Chimbarazo agreed with him, it
would with anyone specially myself. Well the Second shirt called my name and no sooner had
I eased myself into proper position I was nailed between the eyes sure enough .I answered
back as supposed, "Here First Sgt.". His reply was, "Picket duty tonight
". After being dismissed I took a short time to mull on my new situation.
"Nick", I mumbled to myself, "You would rather sort cats in a caucus bag
". I started in the direction of that acting First Sgt. Second Sgt. Fulton was a
quiet person and was always mindful of his actions and his words. Kind, benevolent, the
guardian angel type and he was about to rue the day for his "charge" to me at
morning formation Sgt. Fulton", I grumbled in a tone only I could hear. I drew closer
to him and growled again, "You make a man want to back up to a pine tree and chew
I was about to "clear the temple" with Sgt. Fulton when I took an inventory of those around me. Worn to a frazzle, sleepless, and just plain whipped and those that won't well were just too new. "My Lord", I quizzed myself, "was I ever that young". With that change of heart I ceased in my reckoning with Second Sgt. Fulton and turned away. It was then that I was beckoned with, "Mr. Garnett ". I turned and was being approached by Fulton. .
He was older than most but never complained. Always there for the company but more so for the men. I peered into those tight spectacles of his and could feel concern but also authority. "Nick what we have here is spent, worn out or just too young . I need--- We need veterans out there. You have had a few days to rest up so---- ", as his voice drifted off. I could not cipher if I was being ordered to picket duty or being pleaded to. "Yes First Sgt.", I snapped out and with a change of heart. " Good Nick --be here to go out there at dark. You'll be right there ", as he pointed with a stick to the tree line half way to the "Billies". Hope the wind changes as did my mind . Even though both sides showed the white flag and cleaned the dead and what few wounded was left there was still that heavy scent of war.
Things had indeed settled down and we
started to gaze at each other as if to amuse ourselves as at a carnival or county fair.
Yes things had gotten fairly tolerable now. Both sides had grown tired of killing and
wanted to get on with living. There was the occasional shot but it came with fair warning
so one could duck. The dueling mostly now was singing during the evening hours or a gib
about the upcoming election to break the boredom of the day. "Hey Reb, who is you-ins
going to vote for?" It would be answered by, "Don't rightly know and don't have
a need to, got one president too many now." Later on one of us would holler something
like, "Hey Billie who you voting for ---Lincoln?'" And with a stuttered chatter
from our front would come," When you gonna get that ugly out of the White
House?" "Who----Abe?", came sharply back. "No not Abe, we was
talking bout Mary ". That was met with a few snickers and a spattering of laughs.
Then the chant "Lil Mac----Lil Mac" was heard from both sides. "How bout
Lil Mac, Reb? How bout Lil Mac?" "Nope!" one of us would answer back.
"Lincoln then it is Lincoln ", echoed from our blue brethen. "No - him
neither", was replied by some of ours down the line. " You hard to please
Reb--what do you want?" was the asking made by heavy Yankee accent.
It was then that I caught a quick glimpse in my mind's eye of that special someone and without hesitation blurted out, "Home". It was then that I thought of home and that special someone and would she still be there after all this. Would I or could I figure into her life? I don't know. I can only hope.
After some time as if almost out of courtesy that same heavy voice came back. This time much softer, "That would be good Johnnie--Home--that would be nice indeed. Lets hope we all make it." "May we all make it ", I spoke to myself in almost a whisper. I closed my eyes and rolled my head back and again said, "May we all make it."
Pass it on,
Pvt . Nick Garnett
Harpers Ferry 1862September 10-11
This has been advertised as a Wartime event, but also a Living History weekend.
This is a Battle weekend with all the formalities that come with our last campaign style event for the year. That means, bring plenty of rounds and caps. Bring your own vittles and means to cook. Bring your shelter halves or she-bang essentials, and be prepared for cooler temperatures, especially during the nighttime hours. Rain or shine, be prepared for "Mama Nature".
This is a Battle and Tactical style weekend. Last years battle was conducted on Saturday, which seemed to please not only the event coordinators, but also the participants. Having the tactical on Sunday favored two items: Locals wishing to observe the battle did not have their church activities interrupted, and this also allowed the participants an earlier departure from the event for their long drives homeward. As I understand it, the plans are to be the same for this year. In the many years we, as a unit, have been doing this, the Perrys household has been offered with open arms to the members of the unit. Their graciousness and southern hospitality has given us lasting memories and comfort that is unequalled to any events, and what a way to end the season. Of course, theres always the "ever-favorite" Nixons Buffet. This event offers everything. North Carolinas warmer temperatures, vast cotton and peanut fields, fighting on the actual land that encompasses the Earthen Fort itself, short n sweet battle on Saturday, and a very challenging tactical on Sunday. Sum that all up and then add one more topping our last firing event of the season as a Company what you get is the best of the best. Dont let this event go by without being part of our grand finale for the 2005 season. If youve never been there, just ask any member who has and itll take a team of wild horses to keep you from attending this one. And thats a guarantee.
Remembrance Day Parade
This Annual event is put on to honor and commemorate the brave men who gave their life up to and including the Battle of Gettysburg. If youre lucky, you may see two Abe Lincolns and one or two George Armstrong Custers. Beyond that reality check, you will surely see a magnificent turnout of about 5,000 reenactors that are present to march through the streets of Gettysburg. This is a short march and is the final chance to salute our Roll of Honor men of F-Company without having to fire a single shot, without having to camp out one last time, and without the need of any additional equipment, other than what you might normally wear for any dress parade. Haversacks and heavies are optional, but not recommended for this parade.
Further timetables and directions will be forthcoming in later newsletters. If you think you might be interested, please ask some of our Richmond membership of their analysis of the last few years. With it being later in November, we have had good luck with the weather. You can guarantee that it will be cooler and we can only hope for clear skies. Last year, the rains held out until we were done and our wagons loaded up. If arriving by 10 a.m., we will share breakfast.Please take a moment to say a prayer for guard for "Freedom" in the Middle East.
Somehow, it always seems as though that as soon as the season begins, it starts to slowly come to another end. I can only ask that for the remaining three events after the Summer of 62, that those who have not been able to attend much or wish to be out there a couple times this year, take another look at your calendars and get your names down for anything you can make. The 2005 season will be over before you know it, and then the off-season. Youll wonder where the time has gone and that youve missed out on another year of fighting. I will need confirmations for the balance of the year for paid registrations if you want to attend. Remember, Harpers Ferry is not a paid event, so you can come regardless of whether its last minute notice or not. The Gettysburg Remembrance Day Parade is the same. You can just attend, but wed like to know who is coming to both, so make sure you contact your corporal. If you dont know who your corporal is by now, then you have definitely been completely out of the loop. Contact me and I can give you whatever information you need in that regard.
On one other important note, there are a few members who have never sent in their dues for 2005. If you wish to remain a member in good standing, please contact the Treasurer and let him know of your intentions for being a part of this unit. Should you decide not to contact Mr. Alexander, I will take that as your final answer and remove your name from our roster and my e-mail address book.