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.