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Re: [NewEnglandCampaigners] 150th Series

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  • bgbrother@aol.com
    Tom, From off the top of my head: If you’re talking about strictly New England events I have never encountered a concerted effort to portray particular units
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 1 1:26 AM
      From off the top of my head: If you’re talking about strictly New England events I have never encountered a concerted effort to portray particular units at different battles, I have seen attempted thematic reconstructions on the part of organizers, but I have never seen unit participation that attempted to recreate units that were at these engagements. Is this a case of no one else is doing it why should we? Not really, if we look at the thematic possibilities and incorporate real events from the regiments we can make the event what we want it to be. Borderlands is Borderlands whatever they want to call it for the majority of the units that attend. Since there is ample time before hand and organizers are more concerned about putting on a quality event then being tied to a specific moment in time we have the ability to influence the events and scenarios that they do. This is one of the reasons why I thought it was important to pick a unit that no one else currently depicts in the region, state our aims up front, and there is no attachment to it. We may even see a similar response from other units. We have time to organize specific events on our own and by managing what it is we would like to do can probably get buy in from the NEB , if they are running the event.
           When it comes to wider events across the country there will be a certain amount of give and take, however I think we are some what hobbling ourselves by trying to remain so generic to meet the various needs of different events as individuals and event organizers are becoming more specific in what they want to see.  How many guys bought state jackets for McDowell and then tried to unload those six months latter? The shadow of the idea of trying to track one regiment was seen in the Columbia Rifles trying to tie a couple events together doing the same regiment (the 151st NY I believe). But to sell ourselves to these events as a group I think there will be a certain amount of buy in as we are still four years out from the first events. If it’s a question of the mega events, if they are anything like the 140th series, they are more about the spectacle of large groups of men than trying to match unit to location. When we did the 135th Gettysburg (at least I think that was the one) we were supposed to be three different units throughout the event, but no one was ever other than the unit they portrayed at home. How many of us here today are products of the 130th - 140th series of events? I don’t think we should underestimate this as a potential recruiting bonanza and being squared away for it will attract individuals to our efforts.
          I think the benefits of picking one regiment and focusing our efforts on it, for the majority of events (I’m not necessarily saying unilaterally) will produce a better understanding of the material culture as it changes through the war, a better sense of unit development and issues and concerns as refracted through war time events, and mark out the 150th as something different than reenacting as we have understood it so far.  Not to mention the potential for research and analysis a group effort would produce. Even if we strung together some events on our own to advance this cause I think the end result would be worth it.

      T. Gingras

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Tom Craig <tom-craig@...>
      To: NewEnglandCampaigners@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, 1 Oct 2007 2:40 am
      Subject: Re: [NewEnglandCampaigners] 150th Series

         Your is certainly an interesting concept.  I think there are some great points, like recreating vignettes from regimental histories, and developing a better understanding of a particular group of men through the war.
         I do wonder what you would say about portraying that unit at all events.  We are striving to be accurate in our portrayals, and not all regiments were at all battles in any given theater of the war.  For sake of discussion, say we chose to portray the 2nd MA as you suggested.  What happens when we get to an event that is seeking to portray the Wilderness, when the 2nd wasn't there?  New England events often bear no real resembleance to the history they are supposed to portray, but if we recreate a unit that wasn't at the battle being depicted are we any better than anyone else in terms of history?
         I think we can recreate the vignettes and interesting history while still picking a different unit that is germain to the scenario being depicted, but I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject!
      Take care,
      Tom Craig

      bgbrother@aol. com wrote:
      I have a proposal that those here on the forum may be interested in. As the 150th year anniversary of the Civil War approaches I have been thinking of way in which we can make a marked difference from our usual seasons, try and get some recruits, and improve our knowledge about the war. There seems to be a drift in the campaigner end of the hobby from the messes back towards having a company. I think that here in New England this has happened because of our desire to see better quality events and the fact that frustrated individuals and small groups are reaching out together. The formation of this yahoo group was one of those by products.
           With that being said I think a great way for us to experience the 150th years as well as broaden our collective understanding and get some better events in our region is to collective decide on one New England Regiment and then track it throughout the whole war. The majority of our home units present very little evolution over the years and tend to stick with one period of the units history if they even strive for that. We have some time now to start doing the research and prepare kits and events. With the collective drive of all of us we would be able to portray one regiment and get a sense of the changes it went through and a top notch first person impression that would build on events over four years and not be isolated to single points in time or one event only. Potentially selecting one individual and following him through the whole war. Using regimental histories we could also organize some small vignette events for ourselves or incorporate them into other events, such as muster in, pay day, clothing issue, reenlistment debate in late ’63, etc. But instead of basing these events on abstract generic events we could tie them directly to a regiment. Establishing a unit for a limited and set time would also hopefully allow us to avoid the pitfalls of politics and the usual unit in fighting. In fact joining an organization would not necessarily be required at all, but just a collective change and focus on our efforts. By starting to organize now we have the potential for growth from the mainstream community as well as picking up recruits from the projected interest the 150th anniversary will bring.
          There are a lot of great units in New England that we could pick from in order to maintain our regional character, I only suggest that if we do this we select a unit no one currently portrays in their home unit and has no personal attachment to. My candidate would be the 2nd Mass. They were from all over the eastern part of the state, were the first regiment that was recruited from outside of existing militia units, and served in both theaters of the war. Just a thought though.
      Tom Gingras

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Tom Craig <tom-craig@sbcglobal .net>
      To: NewEnglandCampaigne rs@yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 3:28 am
      Subject: [NewEnglandCampaign ers] Next season

          The current season is winding to a close, which means it is an excellent time to start looking forward to next season.  We have added several new members to this list in the last month, which I see as encouraging news that the "authentic" community here in New England is growing.
         To that end I think it is high time that we get better organized and coordinated in our activities, and part of that is getting a solid schedule together for next year.  Up to this point we have focused on adjunct efforts at mainstream events, with the exception of Rob Tarbox's efforts at Marlboro.
         I think it is time that we look at doing some more of our own events.  I am not sure if Rob is going to put on Marlboro again this year, but either way we need to support that event when it happens, and we need to start posting more of our own activities.
         For the adjunct efforts I think we need to coordinate those efforts better between the US and CS, and I definitely think we need to break out of the mold that we have already created for ourselves by changing up some of our activities and trying some new things like some different impressions beyond the picket post.
         If there are any of you out there with event ideas, or good locations for events (but no idea what to do with the land), or if you have an event where an adjunct would work, let's hear from you.  We have a lot of potential with the folks on this list if we can pull together and make something happen!
        Take care,
         Tom Craig

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