Saturday, December 08, 2007

Saturday Vids: Fight of russian vikings

These guys are going at each other pretty seriously! Looks and sounds pretty authentic.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Reenacting links of the week

Here are some reenacting links for this week:

Victorian:
Metro Parks capture life from the 1800s at Mill Hollow
Attendance up 12 at state historic sites
Parade reaches into the past

Civil War:
Wade House wins historic battle
Lincoln's Thanksgiving proclamation part of Civil War history event
Easley grants funding to local tourism initiatives

Frontier:
Lewis and Clark site holds 'Arrival' day

Early Colonial:
Authentic Thanksgiving

OY! What a work week

Occasionally, one has to handle a project spasm, which this week turned into for me. Fortunately, spasm well handled and back to posting wonderful things about reenacting, starting with "Reenacting links of the Week"!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Reburial of Napoleon's soldiers

Here's an interesting story about the reburial of more than 200 soldiers from the French army who died in the Napoleonic Wars. Reenactors helped with the honors and the burials.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

'Zine on the table this week

I'm not big on getting Civil War specific magazines, but this issue of North & South had an article on a subject near and dear to my heart - Southern unionism. The article actually covered a play about the Sheldon Laurel Massacre at Mars Hill College.

Another favorite TV show

I'm not a big TV watcher, but there a few channels and shows that do attract my attention. One show that's been on for a small while, but has eluded my time is Tank Overhaul. The show instills a bit of appreciation of what goes into getting a tank or any period vehicle in running shape to make an appearance on the reenacting field. Tank Overhaul is worth your time to watch if you have access to the Military Channel.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Using tactical nukes at reenactments

Typically a big crowd pleaser, but pretty hard on the participants.

You can see the real story here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just Arrived Today

Cry Havoc!: The Crooked Road to Civil War, 1861

ISBN: 0143112791

The premise of this book lends to the possibilities of an exciting read. The back cover blurb probably does this book more justice than I can write here:

When Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office, secessionists had created an independent republic in the deep South, but there was no war. Then, eight weeks later, came the explosion at Fort Sumter. The public reactions to that clash and to Lincoln's response sealed the nation's fate. But what if Lincoln had shown restraint over Fort Sumter and had delayed his proclamation calling for troops? Or what if Jefferson Davis had allowed Lincoln to resupply the garrison there?....

This should be a crackin' good read!

Interesting groups on the reenacting fringe, Pt 21

We jump from the history of good ole US of A and fully into the offerings of Europe. One of the periods I have a fascination with is the Crimean War. This war could be considered the precursor to the American Civil War, and employed much of the new technology that would used to devastating effect in the later conflict, particularly the rifled musket. This war is a valuable study for ACW buffs, and should make for a fertile ground in reenacting. But, finding info on the Crimean War reenacting scene tough to come by, so this post may be added to later.

To start, we'll go back to the good ole USA and to Her Britannic Majesty's Own site. This group isn't a military group per se, but interpreters who represent post-Crimean observers to the Civil War, or direct officer-level interpretations during the Crimean War. Another US-based unit is the 93rd Sutherland Highland Regiment of Foot, which does both a War of 1812 and a Crimean War impression.

Now, properly hopping over the pond, we come to the site of the 19th Regiment of Foot, otherwise known as the Green Howards. Even in the UK, the Crimean groups seem tied to ACW reenacting there also. The 15th Regiment of King's Light Dragoons is another group that has other impressions, but does a Crimean War impression when the opportunity presents itself. This site also has a great gallery of 150th Crimean War anniversary shots. They also reenacted the Charge of the Light Brigade, along with the 17th Lancers reenactment group. The last UK unit I could find is the Die Hards, who actually do a number of interesting impressions, and have a great section showcasing their Crimean War impression.

As for the other sides of the conflict, I'm still looking around!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Martini anybody?

The Royal Sussex Regiment (35th Regiment) pointed out a couple of great sources for firearms, and one of them is kind of out of the ordinary. This group actually does two impressions, one is based in the American War for Independence and the other is around the time of the Zulu Wars. This comes from the need to outfit the unit with Martini-Henry rifles for the Zulu War impressions.

One source of all places is Atlanta Cutlery Corporation. If you thought like I did, this company doesn't seem to be a vendor for antique rifles. But I was wrong. They have the Martini-Henry rifle in limited stock. They also have the Snider (Enfield percussion to trapdoor) conversion too.

The next vendor they recommend is International Military Antiques. This place caters to several time periods, sell some reproductions (insert my usual disclaimer here), and is an interesting surfing spot. They also sport the Martini-Henry at about the same price as ACC.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My favorite Sutler of the week

I've known about G. Gedney Godwin for about as long as I've been in the hobby. Although he's also known as The Sutler of Mount Misery, I better know the business by the name. GGG serves mostly F&I and Rev War reenactors, and has a large selection of goods from these periods. A Civil War reenactor could probably find some decent knick-knacks like the period pocket knife, but it takes some careful looking and research to see what fits.

The G. Gedney Godwin site has plenty to see, it's easy to surf, and a nice bookmark if you're into the 18th century scene.

Saturday Vids: Stony Creek, War in the Wilderness - 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

A nice Traveler's Guide

America's Living History is a great online listing of living history events, as well as being a well-received book. Granted most of spotlighted events are non-military in nature, they would be a nice change of pace for any reenactor. This listing only covers the early American timeline, but it highlights some intersting events.

You can order it on Amazon, and it'd be a nice gift for anyone you feel that would love attending living history events.

French and Indian War Commemoration

To go along with the Group Spotlight, it looks like 2008 is going to be a big year for French and Indian War reenactors with the 250th F&I War Commemoration.

Although this isn't totally a reenactor driven series commemoration, apparently there will be several reenactments, and events that reenactors will be part of. Looks like a fine time to head up to Pennsylvania, New York and the New England states.

Group Spotlight

Captain Thomas Terry's Company is the first French and Indian War group I've spotlighted. I found this in Sarah/Chauncey's Reenacting Blog which is wholly devoted to the F&I scene in the upper Northeastern US, and is a great read and a worthy bookmark.

Although the site is a little short on content, what's in there is well written and conveys the spirit of the period rather well. It's a quick, but worthy surf.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

'Zine on the table this week

I simply love to pick up and read a copy of Strategy & Tactics. The articles are top notch and it never fails fuels my desire to start wargaming again. But nowadays, I've become very partial to the computer games, especially John Tiller's titles. But one day, I just might order a game out of S&T and give a few good plays.

Nice place for wargaming stuff

I've been receiving the WarWeb newsletter for a couple years, and if you like historical miniatures gaming, this is the place to order from. They have a lot of stuff to buy, or just look at. Either way, you'll be surfing this site for awhile.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Something for a WW2 collection

Not every day you see a P-38 Lightning wash up on your local beach! Read the article, it's pretty interesting.

Remembering Forgotten Wars

It seems everywhere you look, the US has played host to a number of conflicts. The sad part is that most everyone doesn't know about them - they're forgotten to general public knowledge. The sadder part is that we gloss over some of the most colorful parts of American history to reenact. The Pig War is a prime example. It wasn't a big conflict, it was bloodless, but it's interesting nevertheless.

The Fenian Raids are an almost forgotten piece of history. Ever watch the movie Canadian Bacon? Not so inconceivable, at least in 1866 and in 1870. After the American Civil War, Irish veterans from the Union army conducted a series of raids into Canada. These are reenacted events, and have interesting pages detailing the history.

The Toledo War of 1835-36 is another very forgotten piece of history. I only found out about it last night watching a show about the Michigan and Ohio football rivalry. But if you look at the historical conflict, it would make a great fun reenactment. I think it has been reenacted in the past, and I think there is a push to do so again.

Shay's Rebellion in 1787 would also fit into this category, although it probably gets more educational play than most of the other small forgotten conflicts. John Fries Rebellion of 1798, though lesser known, would be nice reenactment material along the same lines as Shay's Rebellion.

So, if you're having the blues reenacting the big wars, do some research and see what you come up with close to home as far a small forgotten conflict. You might be surprised at what you find.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pig War?

As I was scanning the 'Net for some news articles, I come across a Veteran's Day article, which mentioned that one of the veterans in attendance was a "Pig War" reenactor. I thought I knew alot, but that one was a stumper. Could the writer meant Bay of Pigs? Nope. Pig War. It was a little known stand-off border dispute between the US and Canada just before the American Civil War broke out.

The Pig War happened on San Juan Island, Washington State, and a reenactment group actually covers this historical dispute for the National Park Service. Interesting read.

Reenacting links of the week

Here are some reenacting links for this week:

World War 2:
WW2 Veterans honored in reenactment
WWII re-enactment Saturday afternoon
Reenacting a World War II battle

Civil War:
Civil War event marches into town
Economists Try A Different Kind Of Civil War Reenactment
Pastor shares soldier stories
Photo Essay: "The Blue & the Gray" Civil War Reenactment
Battle for the Armory - Civil War reenactment in Tallassee
Civil War Reenactment planned
Civil War reenactor speaks at JCGHO meeting
Ceremony honors US veterans
A battle without blood

Early Colonial:
Plymouth gears up for Thanksgiving parade

Medieval:
Time Team joust re-enactor dies

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

The guns became quiet, and soon the War to End all wars came to an end.

Unfortunately, that did not turn out to be a true statement and we're still fighting wars, blood being spilled in the name of freedom.

Our vets have well earned a named day of recognition for that they have done, but every day should be Veteran's Day. We all have benefited from their sacrifices, and a forgotten vet is a shame on us all.

But for today, remember.

One for the Wish List

I would love to play Combat Mission: Shock Force. It's a refinement of the earlier Combat Mission series, but placed in the present day. The reviews on it are great so far, so I'd like to make the dive and get a copy too. Nice addition to my growing wargame collection.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

WW1 Germans at Old Sarum

Nice bit of reenactor narrative about German trench life in the Great War. It's pretty funny to hear a German with a Cockney accent. :-) Right-O!

My favorite Sutler of the week

Schipperfabrik is one of those rare WW1-(almost)only vendors that a great selection for every side of the conflict. When you see a considerable Belgian and Hungarian selection, then it's a vendor to check out. Schipperfabrik has them. They also have a site that is easy to navigate, and the prices seem pretty reasonable.

As with any sutler I haven't personally bought from in the past, I can't personally vouch for the quality of the items that Schipperfabrik sells. So, as with any sutler, I would collect some recommendations before ordering. Many group sites do recommend Schipperfabrik as a primary sutler.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Group Spotlight

Germany is another reenactor-friendly country that hosts some great groups and interesting time periods. They reenact most of the conflicts close to home soil (barring WW2 for obvious reasons) like the Franco-Prussian War, or far away conflicts like the American Civil War. Les Zouaves cuts across many time lines from the 1840's to WW1 - with the same type of impression.

It's a very interesting site, especially if you're a Zouave fanatic, or would like a window into European reenacting, which is always a nice treat. The site has plenty of pictures of all the group's covered time periods. Incidently, the fellow to the left is a Franco-Prussian War Zouave.

Digging up the military past

Not exactly a reenacting subject, but something that should impact our hobby profoundly is military archaeology. This blog has touched on it a couple times with Isaac Mason and Elena Filitova's great site on WW2 Eastern Front photos. With my article on forensic reenacting, this should be a field that reenactors need to keep an eye on very closely.

There are an abundance of good Russian and Ukrainian sites devoted to excavating WW2 remains. Military Archaeology is a good site to check out what the amatuers are doing, and how they're doing it. Personally I don't recommend this kind of digging, I'd prefer to have a university come in and do it, but it is still interesting. The Russians dig up some great things, though.

The National Museum of Military History in Luxembourg has a great site that covers WW2 Western front efforts. There is also a great online forum devoted to military archaeology.

On the American Civil War side of things, the Center for Heritage Resource Studies has a great site on excavating some Civil War sites and updates on those efforts. The CSS Neuse is another site to keep tabs on, it's still an on-going project.

As reenactors, it behooves us to keep up with the latest and greatest finds. Such finds may not be as dramatic as items from the ancient and medieval periods, but they do represent new pieces of information we need to consider for our personal and prop impressions.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's almost like owning the real thing

Lately, I've been a proponent of using realistic replicas in modern-day period reenacting. They may cost more to operate, but not that much more, and benefits outweigh the problems.

WWII Guns has a nice MP-40 replica worth consideration. If anything just go to the site and look around. You can spend hours dreaming of full-auto, without the BATF hassle!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

'Zine on the table this week

OK, not every issue can be stellar, but I'll give Civil War Historian a break this time around. Even as weak as the content seemed to be, it had a couple items of interest. One was the use of sky blue trowsers in the Confederate army and the event review of Vicksburg 2007. The interesting shot of the mag was the reenactor cooking a rat.

Still, CWH is the best CW reenacting magazine out there.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Reenacting links of the week

Here are some reenacting links for this week:

Old West:
After shooting, prosecutor targets mock gunfights
Gun laws in New Jersey require more clarity for shows and reenactments

Civil War:
Civil War Reenactors Bring History Alive at DeGray Lake
Mrs. Lincoln reenactor gives stellar performance
The New Ulm Battery displays artillery
Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park receives award
Civil War In Washington, Arkansas
Civil War re-enactors enjoy stepping back in history
The blue and gray in modern day
Civil War Reenactment Preserves History
Civil War recreation teaches youths about soldier's life
Civil War Reenactment
Civil war comes to life
Fictitious Battle Created To Enlighten Locals
Civil War breaks out in Sunset Hills

Early Frontier:
Red River Meeting House revives history
History, in person
Annual rendezvous held

Preparing for relaunch

Hello! I'm back!

I'm hitting a slow down in work, so I'm taking advantage of not feeling so allergic of my computer when I get home. Anyway, I'm back and posting again - hopefully for a long while. I'll start up all the familiar things, like the Tuesday links and the letters of GR Stancil, and maybe a few other consistent items of interest to reenactors.

If you would like me to write on something, or have an interesting link for me to look at and comment on, please pass to me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Putting it into PARK for awhile

My most sincere apologies for not blogging for some time, but when work calls, I must respond. That is, if I wish to continue with my gainful employment.

Unfortunately, work has called big time, and even seen it fit to put me into a leadership position. The bad side is that my time has dried up, and any time I have left over is spent recovering to do more work. The good news is that this is a temporary thing.

Note: I said "leadership position" - not a promotion and more $$$. Oh well.

Anyway, with my newly bestowed, though albeit temporary, role, I'll need to put Seeing the Elephant(recreated) into PARK, at least for a month or so. Hopefully by then, my time will loosen up, and I'll hopefully have some interesting things to write about.

But let me reassure you, my faithful readers, I will be back and StE(r) will pick back up where it left off. I've put too much love and time into this blog to let it go.

Until November -- Mntineer slogs off to fight the campaign called "work project".

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

'Zine on the table this week

Another great issue of Civil War Historian has graced my mailbox! This time, I make a cameo in a photo in the article about split rail fences. Hey, I gotta get my fame wherever I can find it. This time it's a nice photo of my back!

Besides that photo and this issue in general, CWH has been spot-on with the great articles, and to me, it's worth more than the subscription price.

You mean I have to work?

If it isn't one thing, it's another! Come back from Gettysburg and I'm putting out fires at work. Oh well, I've gotta earn my keep. Also, I seem to remember some posts that seem to have mysteriously disappeared from StE(r). OK, I've been working too hard, and away too long. The posts are coming, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gettysburg Living History - Review and Critique

Maybe it's me, but the older I get, the more I appreciate living history-type events. Of any event I've been to, a simple living history at Gettysburg has given me a certain perspective of the battle that I wouldn't appreciated otherwise. I've visited Gettysburg once before, and took the cassette guided tour of the battlefield. That helped place events, but it really didn't grant a connection. This time, I was really able to walk the battlefield and look at it from dawn to dusk.

As an event, it was a great experience that I appreciate the NPS allowing us to participate in. We camped in Pitzer's Woods, one of the three areas in the park they allot for living history programs. The weekend was a three-day event for us, with Friday used as a ceremonial day, and Saturday and Sunday as demonstration days.

I actually arrived in Gettysburg on Thursday night, car pooling up with my pards out of Fayetteville. If you don't car pool, I recommend it. It makes life easier, safer, it brings down the travelling bill a tad, and you get hash over happenings with your friends.

Come Friday, it was time to do some walking around and sight-seeing before jumping into reenactor mode. We walked out from the hotel downtown, and on to Cemetery Hill and the surrounding area. From there it was onto the Visitor's Center and a nice walk to Pitzer's Woods. Unfortunately, this walk would become my undoing later on.

Later that day, most of the North Carolina troops for the weekend arrived for the wreath-laying ceremony at the North Carolina Monument. The day also grew hotter and hotter. We then had the great treat of walking the path of Pickett and Pettigrew's charge with a NPS guide giving us narrative all the way to the High-Water Mark. This was a great experience, especially for anyone with relatives who made the charge, like myself. Not only that, we were representing the unit my relatives were part of when they made the charge, the 37th NCT.

I'm glad I made it the High-Water Mark, because my body decided between the walk earlier, the heat and the antibiotics I was taking for Lyme Disease, it wasn't going to move any faster than a slow walk back to camp. I made it back to the monument, and after that, a reenactor-friendly couple drove me back to camp. I admit I did my damnedest to walk all the way, but at that moment my Captain had more common-sense than me, so I took the ride on his "advice".

Wonderful thing the human body, after an hour cooling off and hydrating up, I was feeling very good again. For the rest of the weekend, everything went swimmingly.

Both Saturday and Sunday were mirror images of each other, with structured demos in front of appreciative crowds. As a group, us North Carolinians didn't do too bad. Our impressions were great, and the drill, although not flawless, looked and functioned well. It was great, and something we should continually work for.

This event was almost a watershed moment in my reenacting career, too. Although I like burning the powder, I'm becoming more interested in telling the story rather than getting into line and duking it out. I'll be moving more toward the living history side of things.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Reenacting as a national obsession

Here's a great article about the UK's obsession with historical reenacting in the Daily Mail. It interviews several reenactors about the way they see the hobby. Very nice read with very positive spin about the European reenacting scene.

Reenacting links of the week

Here are some reenacting links for this week:

Late 19th Century/Victorian:
It’s mourning again in Fall River

American Civil War:
It's a Civil (War) affair
Civil War comes to Juniata: Local reenactors to stage famous battles
Civil War and Iron Ore
Funeral held for Confederate soldier's tooth
History lesson comes to Hanover

Early Frontier:
Plover Rendezvous offers experience of the past

F&IW and Revolutionary War:
Battle of Blue Licks
Reenactors to bring historic clash to life at Bushy Run
White Hawks Primitive Riflemen ready for big reenactment
Reenactors battle in Crown Point

Medieval:
Medieval group arms for battle

The Vikings are coming!

Here's an interesting story about a reconstructed Viking ship sailing from Demark to Ireland. It's an exact copy of a ship that sank in a Danish fjord about the year 1072 - after being built in Ireland. The scientists that built it wanted to study Viking ship building technique.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wartime Letters of George R. Stancil 1861-1864 Pt4

Jackson River Depot VA August the 25 1861

Dear Miss


I received your kind and consoling letter last night with which I was highly pleased that you were well you will learn from this that I am tolerable well at present but have had a hard time with the measles. I have traveled a great deal since I wrote you last. We left Weldon the 12th of this month and got to Peters Burg the same night and they was as kind to me as they could be for which I was very thankful to them They wanted us to stay there but we could not stay so we left Peters Burg the next day for Richmond and got there the same day we left Peters Burg. We stayed at Richmond for a day or two and have been traveling on for this place ever since till yesterday. We will leave here some time this week and go to Lewis Burg.

I must tell you my dear that I think of you every day that comes over my head. When I think of you it causes my heart to hurt within me when I think of the happy days that we have spent together and now I am where I cannot see thy Beautiful face but I hope to return home if it the will of Providence and I will with ____and pleasure tell you, you will release my burdened heart by sending me another kind Letter with some braid of your beautiful hair and I will with pleasure send you my Dugareotype as soon as I can have it taken and I am truly sorry that you did not get the other one. Be certain to send me some braid of your hair and I will bring it back to you or carry it to my grave. I have nothing more to write that would interest you. So I must close by saying I remain your sincere friend until Death

- Write soon Direct to Lewis Burg

When this you see remember me
Though many miles apart we be
Round is the ring that has no end

So is my love to you my friend

George R. Stancel to Miss Winnferd E. Dupree

Notes:

The regimental history says this of George Stancil's stay around August 25th:

After one day in camp west of Richmond the regiment was ordered to Staunton to join General John B. Floyd's Army of the Kanawha. The regiment encamped at Bunger's Mill, four miles west of Lewisburg, where it remained until September 9...

The letter places George at Jackson River Depot (present day Clifton Forge, VA) after a two week train ride from Richmond. More than likely, he was on the Virginia Central Railroad, as described here from an NPS site discussing the importance of the Shenandoah Valley area:

Serving the Upper Valley, the Virginia Central Railroad ran more than 195 miles from Jackson's River Depot near Covington to Richmond--via Buffalo Gap to Staunton and via Rockfish Gap Tunnel to Charlottesville and beyond. Between Charlottesville and Gordonsville, the Virginia Central used the same tracks as the O&A, enabling connections to Lynchburg and points south, or Culpeper, Manassas, and Alexandria to the north. From Gordonsville, the Virginia Central continued east via Hanover Junction to Richmond. This railroad carried vital supplies from the Valley to the Confederate capital (with disruptions) well into 1864.

Soon after arriving at Jackson River Depot, the 14th NCSV marched to Lewisburg, VA (now WV) and encamped at Bunger's Mill. The regiment was to join the newly formed Army of the Kanawha a few days after it reached Lewisburg.

George is also very lucky, he managed to beat a case of the measles just before the time he wrote this letter. Til this time, the 14th NCSV regiment is still untried in battle.

Its REALLY been one of those summers...

Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good when you feel under the weather. But then again, when it's treatable, it's not such a bad thing, especially when it could turn much worse.

When I made my last post, little did I know that a couple days later I'd find a strange rash above my ankle caused by a tick bite. The doc took one look and said it could be a sign of early stage Lyme Disease. The general symptoms included fatigue and flu-like bouts, which I had plenty of.

The good news is that I caught it early got some treatment, and hopefully will see the last of it soon. At this stage of the disease, the cure is worse than the sickness. But I do count myself as lucky and I do advise all reenacting bros to keep a close eye on any tick bites.

Although the symptoms have taken me away from the computer, I'm beginning to feel like myself again. I even went to Gettysburg for a living history last weekend, and I'm primed to start writing again.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Its been one of those summers...

I've been out a week on the sick rolls. When you feel crappy, then it's hard to write about anything fun - like reenacting. Now, I'm back and ready for service!

Monday, July 30, 2007

My favorite Sutler of the week

Lost Battalions is one of the first vendors I knew that dealt mainly with WW2 reproductions for Allies, initially reproducing buckle boots and then on to HBTs and other pieces of uniform that were difficult to fit taller guys. Nowadays, they cater to both Allies and Axis but seem to specialize in German reproductions. It's a great site to do some surfing in, and the prices are very good for quality you get.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Improvements of Stone's River battlefield

A friend sent me this link on an editorial about the Stones River National Park. Looks like some great things are happening here. It's always good news when a park is given the funds to help draw people to location.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Impressions - German Army (Heer) - 1942

This was another impression taken at the Military Through the Ages event in Fayetteville.

This soldier is typical of the regular German Heer in Europe throughout the war, although is fellow's attire is probably more suited to the early portion of the war - he's still looking dapper. Although German Heer, this fellow is actually one of many Austrians "invited" to join the Heer. Too bad he didn't have the luck of the Von Trapp family - now he's in the stinkin' German army. :-)

As a rifleman, he's armed with the Mauser Karabiner 98k, a five-shot bolt-action weapon. Tucked into this belt is a Model 24 Stielhandgranate or "Stick" grenade for offensive action. He also would have had access to the Model 39 Eihandgranate, which was a defensive egg-shaped grenade. His kit is standard for a rifleman, consisting of a leather set of accoutrements. The components consist of the distinctive "Y" strap that holds up the equipment belt. The belt has four ammo pouches, bread bag, canteen, and an entrenching tool attached to it.

His uniform did not change much during the course of the war, except for minor modifications. He wears the M1939 tunic or "Feldbluse" of the common field gray (feldgrau) color. In the summer months he may have been issues the M1940 HBT uniform coat. His trousers (langhosen) are M1940 type of the same color. Prior to the war, Germany stockpiled great quanities of uniforms and some of the trouser stockpiles were of the M1936 type made from a stone gray (steingrau) colored wool. He also wears the M1934 Field Cap (feldmutze) and ankle boots and gaitors (gemaschen). Hanging from his belt is his M1935 helmet (stalhelm).

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Web site after my heart

I like the concept of Let's Play History - it appeals to reenacting as a whole. Unlike Reenactor.net, which is pretty much military oriented, LPH seems to take a broader look at reenacting in all its forms. The goal of the site's creator seems to be central hub for reenacting information in all its forms -- very ambitious.

Since this site does take paid memberships, I'd like to see what direction it takes in the long run before throwing my hat into the ring.

What I'm Reading Now

I'm about to dive into Battle Tactics of the Civil War. Hopefully, he'll have some new things to bring to light, but I'm going to keep a close eye on his references. As I thumbed through it, it seemed to have some great tid-bits, but a book is judged as a whole, so I'll see what Griffith brings to the table.

Gettin' back on the horse

OK, this week wasn't a great posting week, but I'm getting back on the horse to start again!

Just Arrived Today

Jack Absolute

ISBN: 0312374844

Another novel to plunge into so I can satisfy my military fiction guilty pleasure! I've thumbed through this book once, and it has some good promise. I've been a great fan of the Sharpe's, Hornblower and Aubrey-Maturin series of historical fiction, and this one seem to be a great addition. The only downside is that I'm a rather blue-blooded American, so reading from the "other side" might be somewhat disconcerting. But then again, if it's a crackin' good tale, I can make some allowances.

This book will be released in the States August 21.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My first reenactment protester... of sorts

I was up in my old stomping ground doing a drill weekend. It was a great weekend, but not without some excitement.

It seems that some fellow had a beef with what we were doing. But then again, no one really knew what the beef was about to begin with. I guess when one is drunk, then things simply don't come out of your mouth like you want them to. He bandied about some racist names, black and white. At least he embraced diversity, and was possibly being PC about the whole situation.

Then Mr Drunk Protester of Who-Knows-What kicks the situation up a notch. He decides the confused message isn't quite getting through to our Captain, and resorts to threats. (To this point, the Captain had been good about not feeding this guy's confused rage, and asked him to leave a few times) First, Mr Protester is going to call the cops on us, then he starts alluding to something more physical. At this point, it's easy enough to say this guy could have been easily bludgeoned like Beetle Bailey when he gets on Sarge's nerves.

We had a much better tactic in mind. Captain quit talking, and ordered us to 'shoulder arms'. Then quietly, we marched by him and began drilling. A bucket of cold water.

Mr Drunk Protester, without audience and IDed via "wireless telegraph" to the police while he was 'a spewing , muttered more pointless garbage and quickly fled the scene, not to be heard from again.

This was my first reenactment protester. What a disappointment.

Work and Vacation

Hello everybody! I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, but a heavy workload, vacation planning, and a weekend drill with my group maxed out my writing time last week. This week should be much better to get some posts into the queue.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What I Last Read

The Thirty-Seventh North Carolina Troops

ISBN: 0786415436

This is one of the best regimental histories written recently. And not because I'm biased on this regiment - I'll say up front that I have a few of descendants who served in the 37th NCT. If anything, I have a more critical eye for any writings that concern my kin-folk.

The research is solid, and plenty is taken from soldier's letters, from the 37th and with the units in the same brigade. Also, author Michael Hardy takes writing from the Federal soldiers that fought against the 37th giving some well-rounded details to make this a very compelling read.

The only weaknesses this book really has is the author's propensity to fill in some detail gaps with speculation of the details. These assumptions don't harm the regiment history as a whole, which I feel is very solid, but it flavors the book's narrative with some minor misconceptions. One example is that of the first issue uniforms for the regiment. The photo of Luther Penley in the book gives a better picture of what the 37th was issued, rather than the regulation NC uniforms mentioned in the book.

But, if this is the book's greatest sin, then its greatest virtue is to keep interest and the knowledge of the 37th NCT alive and well, which is something that all regimental histories should aspire to.. No book is going to be 100% on the mark, but this one comes close. Hey, gotta throw the reenactors a bone every so often.

What I'm currently listening to

Got this yesterday at Old Salem, and it's a very polished production by the American Brass Quintet Brass Band called Cheer, Boys, Cheer! Music of the 26th N.C. Regimental Band, CSA. I gave it a listen on my way back home, and I was very pleased with my newest purchase.

This is period music played in a period way, so it's a great addition to any Civil War music collection.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Group Spotlight

From the Civil War, we jump into WW2 with the Green Devils of Carentan, a group from the UK. This is a great site -- very nice and clean; uncomplicated. The photos are consistent and really illustrate the pages that they are part of. A site to check out if you're a WW2 para fan.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Headed for some more history

Seems that this summer has been full of going to some nice historical sights.

This weekend will be Old Salem, and I'm really looking forward to this trip. I've always felt that Old Salem has underutilized potential for living history, and since I haven't seen the revamped version, I'm curious to see if they have beefed up their programs.