2nd Vermont To Loose Cannon
- Anyone who feels this is wrong, please write to the Governor of
USNLP, 2nd NYVI Co. G,
2nd VT Light Artillery.
From: "James Dassatti" <lha@...>
Subject: [2ndVermont] Maybe Losing Cannon
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2007 17:29:08 -0500
January 6, 2007
Dear 2nd Battery Members:
WE MAY BE IN THE PROCESS OF LOSING USE OF THE NAPOLEON 12PDR CANNON.
About 8 weeks ago while I was still very engrossed in working on my
newly purchased house (trying to get the garage foundation fixed and
get it buttoned up for the winter with a door) I was contacted by Mr.
Ronald Crisman of the Vermont National Guard Museum demanding that I
immediately turn over the location of the Napoleon 12pdr cannon so
that the National Guard could come and pick it up. He informed me
that the owner of the gun Richard Fifield had determined that it was
time for the gun to go to the museum. I told him that our original
agreement was that the gun would go there when the Battery dissolved.
Mr. Crisman told me no, that the time had now arrived. He extended
his regrets but demanded the gun. He wants to put it with their new
Cedar Creek display even though the 2nd Battery was never at Cedar
Creek. He further expressed no interest in the Battery or its history
in the Civil War or as a reenacting unit for the last 50 plus years.
He did say that we serve only a membership of twenty people while he
and his museum represents the 750,000 people of the State of Vermont.
I told him that Dick Fifield had given the care of the 2nd Battery
and the cannon to me 30 years ago and that I felt the 2nd Battery had
either the care or ownership rights to the cannon. I also stated that
I felt that I had paper work that would support this claim, but since
he had surprised me early in the morning (waking me from a sound
sleep as I work late nights at my job) I told him that I needed time
to reflect on the matter and look through my records. He insisted
that this was not necessary and that Dick Fifield had provided him
with proper provenance and they were coming to get the gun. I told
him that it was at the Federal Arsenal at Waterveliet for repairs and
that the gun was under 24 hour guard and wasn't going anywhere
without my signature. He then seemed very upset.
We parted in our conversation.
We spoke on the phone twice more in the coming weeks during which
time Mr. Crisman went to see Mr. Fifield to gather more information.
During the last phone conversation on or about December 12th he
stated to me that he was sending the Guard to get the cannon as Mr.
Fifield said that it belonged to the State of Vermont. I said nothing
about this, but after researching the paper work I too came to the
same conclusion (which is what I have always thought). At this point
I have decided not to contact a lawyer but rather to put the
situation into the hands of the governor. Soon I hope to have this
correspondence posted on our web site so you can all see it. I have
sent some of this to a few close friends and historic sites that
might raise a voice of concern on this matter for us.
One major set back is our lack of membership currently from Vermont.
If you decide to write to the Governor's office please identify
yourself as having been pleased to portray a Vermonter. If you
previously lived in Vermont you may want to mention that. But
basically ask him to support allowing the 2nd Battery Vermont Light
Artillery to keep the Napoleon 12 pdr active and in the field
representing Vermont at historical events and activities. We cannot
claim ownership to the gun regardless of all the time, money and
effort we have put into it. But we do want to say that this is a
piece of state owned property that was given into our trust, and it
has not been a trust that we have taken lightly. We have improved the
cannon by rebuilding it, bringing it together with its documentable
history as a part of 2nd Battery. We have represented Vermont well
with it both in and out of state. We bore all of the responsibility
for 30 years and wish to continue to do so.
The Governor's address is:
The Honorable Governor James Douglas
Vermont State House
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
If you want to wait until we are able to post those letters I have
sent so far that state our position in this matter, then feel free to
do so. Pray for a "Just" outcome.
James A. Dassatti
2nd Battery Vermont