BATTLE OF SACREMENTO
Trooper Bob Vance
The Battle of Sacramento ended up being a
success. We all have been
to horse events that received a heavy rain requiring tractors to
get some folks out. This
was the first time we had seen tractors with hay wagons hauling
reenactors in! But after
four inches of rain in six hours Friday Mother Nature’s best efforts
to the contrary, the 2002 morning, it was necessary. As the tractors and 4-wheelers hauled reenactors
in and out, the ground turned into a virtual sea of soupy mud. In the main traffic areas it was 6 inches deep
and 50 yards across. As the
rain subsided for good the temperature began dropping into the thirties
and the wind picked up. Through
all of these terrible conditions, the hosts/towns people continued
to smile and help in any way possible, hauling hay, firewood, etc.
to anyone in need. Saturday morning arrived very cold but the sun
broke through the clouds by mid-morning.
The temperatures began to rise along with everyone’s spirits. The rest of Saturday and Sunday was sunny and
warmer. But the mud stayed
evening the town folks opened the school gym and fed approximately
1100 reenactors, civilian and military alike.
Not your normal stew. No,
a full buffet of home cooked foods of all kinds.
Four serving lines 65 feet long each!
Thanksgiving in May! A
large ball held in the middle of town followed the meal.
The dancing went on for three hours.
When Sunday morning came, the town
folk were equally helpful in hauling our equipment out to our trailers. We were loaded before church service began.
This allowed us to be on the road home within minutes following
Sunday’s battle and a military pass-in-review.
the weather was bad but got better, the amenities were very good,
what about the military part? Well,
it was good too!
The 6th Ohio was courageously represented by Garry Noble, Bob and
Esther Vance, and Jim and Diane Garner.
We joined up with the 12th Kentucky, led by Lt. Bill Nordan. Our cavalry commander was Terry Crouder (sp)
of the 10th Missouri,
and the overall Federal Commander was Ron Orange, also of the 12th
Kentucky. Terry will
be the cavalry commander and Ron a wing commander at this year’s
National battle at Perryville, Kentucky, in October. We
practiced for Perryville during our drills on both days. The 6th Ohio, scheduled to attend Perryville, should fit in well
at this major event. All
of our cavalry commanders showed great experience this weekend both
in the drills and the actual battles.
Dividing the brigade into three companies of 12-15 troopers
each, we attacked the Rebs in waves, one after another.
Even though out numbered we were able to wear them down with
9 consecutive waves (three by each company) coming so fast they
did not have an opportunity to regroup once! Even though we lost the battle due to the scripted
scenario, there was no question we controlled 45 minutes of the
A great battle
for all of us, but especially for Jim Garner and his mare Jessie. This was their first time on the battlefield.
They did themselves and the 6th Ohio proud! Jessie
took the cannon and pistol fire in stride and mixed it up in the
saber fights. She even drew
special recognition from the Cav. commander following Sunday’s drill
attesting to the quality of her first time performance.
A few more battles and she will be a seasoned veteran.
The participants at the 2002 Battle
of Sacramento experienced how our forefathers dealt with the elements
and proved they were not just fair weather hobbyists, but reenactors
in the truest sense of the word!
Historians report that new information has
been unearthed regarding John Hunt Morgan and his famous raid through
southern Ohio, which culminated in the capture and eventual escape
of the wily raider. It has
been found that about fourteen months before his raid, Morgan sent
a small scouting party to assess the terrain and contact the local
citizens, seeking those sympathetic to the Confederacy and willing
to allow the use of their property by the Southern Army.
This earlier undocumented trip may account for some of the
success of Morgan’s later raid.
The scouting party, two ranks under the command
of Lieutenant T. Hopes and Sergeant D. Markijohn, had orders to
explore the back roads of Meigs
County, Ohio. They were to
assess possible routes of travel, including roads passable by wagon
and artillery, available water supplies, and even favorable sites
for confrontation. Sympathetic
citizens were consulted regarding safe bypasses of the more heavily
traveled roads. Creek crossings and railroad cuts were explored
for their tactical advantage. Even
the more impassable routes were noted, once they had been thoroughly
tested by the lieutenant and his trusty steed.
The small party was most graciously hosted
and guided by several local citizens, especially by the Sheetz family,
who thereby ensured that any livestock hidden in their barn during
the raid would be carefully overlooked.
Trooper Bob Vance
Gettysburg, the Mecca of Civil War Reenacting, once again drew
large crowds to see twenty-first century reenactors pay homage to
their nineteenth century counterparts.
As usual, it was hot - 101 degrees
when we arrived on Thursday, July 4th. Fortunately the temperature moderated to the
low nineties on Friday and peaked in the mid-eighties on Saturday
and Sunday. There was the
usual large selection of suttlers displaying their wares and the
many shops in Gettysburg itself were beckoning to those in search of new or
better impressions. Of course
the traffic was difficult in town due to the holiday and the reenactment.
The camping facilities were pretty
good with shade, wood, water, and hay all available although it
would have helped if some of the weeds had been mowed a bit shorter.
Attending were Diane Foley, the Greens, the Garners, Darrell Markijohn, the Nobles, Mike Oakley, the Posties, and the Vances.
Chris Green displayed his ability to stay in the saddle during
his first mounted battle. During the weekend several friends and family
members from Ohio traveled to Gettysburg to see the reenactment
and to support the 6th.
We enjoyed sharing our camp and visiting with them.
The 6th Ohio Regiment was
engaged in four separate battles during the three days. Colonel Craig Beachler, Commander of the 2nd
US Cavalry and overall Cavalry Commander of the Union forces, placed
us in the thick of the action in all four.
The two scenarios I found most interesting were Bufford’s
first day battle and Custer vs. Hampton’s third day encounter.
The latter took place on Sunday morning directly in front
of the extensive spectator area filled with excited crowds. The
onlookers began cheering as we spun round and round, fiercely engaged
in saber fights with the Confederate troopers. USA Today printed
a great picture of Sgt. Markijohn heavily engaged in the saber melee.
The picture was also picked up from the wire service by other
papers across the country.
Speaking of Darrell, he did an outstanding
job as Line Commander for the USV in Tom Hopes absence, commanding
both the 6th Ohio and the 17th Pa. It was
a fine performance for his first battlefield command.
Darrell gave full credit to “the training from Tom Hopes
at last spring’s training meeting at Zoar.”
It is always exciting for any Civil
War reenactor, military or civilian, to go to Gettysburg. This year was no exception. Next year’s 140th Gettysburg is expected
to be four or five times bigger than this year. I can hardly imagine. What a year 2003 is shaping up to be for the
6th Ohio! Gettysburg
and our own Morgan’s Raid and Zoar all come within three months
time! Truly a cornucopia of reenacting!
Aug. 3 Canton, Ohio
Pro Football Hall
of Fame Parade—Camping at the Fairgrounds the night before to ensure
an early start
Aug. 3-4 Zoar, Ohio
Aug. 8-11 Wilkesville, OH
Trial ride of the
entire 42 mile route intended for the Morgan’s Raid event planned
in 2003—campaign style w/ CSA gear
Sept. 12-15 Hagerstown, MD
Featuring the Battle
of the Cornfield, Bloody Lane, and A.P. Hill’s Assault
IN PREPARATION FOR MORGAN’S RAID…
We are a band of brothers, and native
to the soil,
Fighting for the property we gained
by honest toil:
when our rights were threatened, the cry rose near and far:
“Hurray for the Bonnie Blue Flag
that bears a single star!”
Hurrah! Hurrah! For Southern rights,
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that
bears a single star.
As long as the Union was faithful
to her trust,
Like friends and brethren, kind were
we, and just:
But now, when Northern treachery
attempts our rights to mar,
We hoist on high the Bonnie Blue
Flag that bears a single star. (Chorus)
Silber, Irwin. Songs
of the Civil War. New
York, NY: Dover Publications, Inc. 1995
The Overheated Horse
The arctic beauty of our spring training
weekend not withstanding, most reenactments seem to be scheduled
on the hottest, most humid weekends of the summer.
Add to this the all-day workload we ask of our equine weekend
warriors, and the likelihood of encountering a heat-stressed horse
on an event is not remote.
A horse that seems depressed after exercise,
is uninterested in food or water, or continues to sweat at rest
may have heat exhaustion. When
checked, his temperature is elevated (overtaxed at 103’, emergency
at 106’), and his pulse and respiration remain elevated even after
resting for 15-20 minutes. First
aid for this condition is to cool him down—get him out of the sun,
sponge him with lukewarm to cool water, and provide him with plain
and electrolyte water (1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon Lite Salt
or potassium chloride per gallon of water). Alcohol to his legs, standing in a stream, or
other cooling treatments may be helpful.
Once he is cooled out, make sure he has free access to water
(and salt, if possible). If
he fails to respond, he may require IV fluids for recovery.
A “skin pinch” test can be performed to test
your horse’s hydration. Pinch
the skin on the side of the neck between your thumb and forefinger,
and then release it. Count
how many seconds it takes to return to normal.
On a horse with adequate hydration, skin should return to
normal immediately. A healthy horse should also have pink, moist
This article is not intended to cover treatment
in true veterinary emergencies, but only to assist in recognizing
and addressing problems until the horse’s condition improves or
the veterinarian arrives.
Kellon, Eleanor, VMD. Dr.
Kellon’s Guide to First Aid for Horses. Ossining, NY:
Breakthrough Publications, Inc.,1990
Liddell, Yvonne, DVM. Emergency
Treatment. Apollo, PA.
Dressing a Persona:
Could I, Would I, Should I?
The “average” woman of the 1860s is well
documented. The middle and
upper class wives and families who remained at home, who lived in
town, who visited the camps and the hospitals and kept the home
fires burning, took advantage of the fact that photographs were
now inexpensive and fashionable. Thousands of pictures attest to the fact that
the “average’ woman wore a corset and crinoline, a jewel neckline
with a broach and possibly a narrow white collar on her colorful
dress with full sleeves. She
might wear a snood, although this became less likely if she was
past her mid-twenties, but she probably wore her hair parted in
the center and confined at the neckline. Her head was covered with a bonnet or fashionable
hat bedecked with lace and silk flowers.
The workingwoman or farm wife of the period
is not so well documented. She
would need a practical dress, and might own only one. The fabric would be sturdy, and would not show
stains. She would protect
it as much as possible with aprons and underclothes, and possibly
detachable collars and cuffs, which could be more easily laundered. She would probably not fool with hoops or full
sleeves, which would be a nuisance on the farm or a hazard around
a fire, but she would wear several petticoats to provide some fullness
to her skirt. Her hem might
well be raised to show her feet and ankles, protecting the fabric
from wear and filth. She would possibly wear a wide-brimmed hat or
sunbonnet to protect her face from the sun, and the bonnet might
have very long curtains, to help keep her bodice from fading.
On the other hand, even she might dress up for an outing
to camp to pedal her wares or visit a friend.
One rule of thumb used in the reenacting
hobby is essentially "Could I, Would I, Should I". Could I have used it—was it invented by the
1860s, was it readily available, was it fashionable at that time
or shortly before. Would
I have used it—would a woman of my age, profession, or social status
have been seen with it. For example, although true red fabric was available
at the time, only a “scarlet
woman” would be seen in it.
Should I—would my persona have been able to afford it, and
would she have chosen to spend her funds on it, rather than something
Literature available for beginning reenactors
often recommends starting out with the “average look” as a good
way to maintain fair historical accuracy while you are developing
and researching a persona. A
word to the wise, though—if you plan to wear hoops, get your horses
accustomed to them at home, before you try to approach them on the
Hadden, R. Lee. Reliving
the Civil War: A Reenactor’s Handbook. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1996
Leisch, Juanita. Who
Wore What: Women’s Wear 1861-1865. Gettysburg, PA: Thomas Publications, 1995
I promised in the last newsletter to pass
on any discoveries I made regarding boxes, bags, and barrels to
improve the period look of our camp.
I did find a few items which, while they may not be 19th
Century, are a vast improvement over plastic and nylon!
The local Agway farm and feed store was an inexpensive source
of bushel baskets and burlap sacks.
Another lucky find was at Joanne Fabrics—I grabbed a small,
sturdy crate (approx. 1’ x 1’ x 2’), which will be fine once it’s
been abused a bit.
Send me any ideas or suggestions you come
across—someone else may be looking for the same thing. My e-mail’s always on duty!!
P. S. Remember
to visit the new web page at http://home.neo.rr.com/ohiocav/index.html. The photo album’s growing!!