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Re: an answer for Betsy

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  • mmathews@xxxx.xxxxxx.xxxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    ... (snip) ... Exactly! I ve read countless versions of column assaults, but until I marched in the 7th rank of an 8 rank deep column and felt *genuine
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 29, 1999
      >From: Sean <shirst@...>
      >
      (snip)
      >But more seriously I do the hobby because it's a good education for myself
      >and for my wife and someday, I hope, for my son. I enjoy military history
      >but there is only so much that you can get out of a history book.

      Exactly! I've read countless versions of column assaults, but until I
      marched in the 7th rank of an 8 rank deep column and felt *genuine anxiety*
      because I couldn't see anything, I didn't really have a clue what it was
      about. Granted no one was trying to kill me (the ramrod launching Walloons
      were on *our* side), but it gave me a small taste. Not to mention the mud
      sucking at your shoes...

      Michael

      (big snip)

      Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
      Voice: (507) 285-7585 Fax: (507) 280-5568
      ------------------------------
      "Wit is educated insolence." -- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
    • Bateman, Andrew
      Michael Matthews wrote: Exactly! I ve read countless versions of column assaults, but until I marched in the 7th rank of an 8 rank deep column and felt
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 29, 1999
        Michael Matthews wrote:

        Exactly! I've read countless versions of column assaults, but until I
        marched in the 7th rank of an 8 rank deep column and felt *genuine anxiety*
        because I couldn't see anything, I didn't really have a clue what it was
        about. <Snip>

        Andrew writes:

        I think you've touched on something profound that is an important part of
        many people's reenacting experiences: the "period rush"! This may be
        defined as a moment, usually only fleeting, where you actually feel that you
        are *in* the period you are portraying. For those who have experienced it,
        no explanation is necessary. For those who have not, perhaps no explanation
        is possible.

        Usually, when I reenact it is a chance to relax and forget about the modern
        world, camp out, wear a nifty uniform, "bond" with my buddies, experience
        wearing and using the equipment, etc. and it is an enjoyable experience.
        Once in a great while, however, I get touched by history in a more profound
        way. It hasn't happened in 1812 yet - though one can only hope - but it has
        in ACW.

        Once was on the second day of a campaign style tactical where you took to
        the field for the weekend with only the blanket roll on your back and a
        haversack full of food. We were all bone tired and had just completed
        another pointless flank march, arriving too late for the fight. As soon as
        we halted we began taking advantage of the few moments' respite, just like
        veteran soldiers. Some men flopped to the ground and went straight to
        sleep, while others gathered sticks for a fire and started boiling coffee
        right there! When we were suddenly ordered to move again the coffee boilers
        kicked out their fire and we all fell back in, cursing the $#@!*!! officers.
        For the moment I actually felt like I was on campaign!

        Another was at a dusk battle at Gettysburg in '92 where the sunset was red
        and the field was so filled with powder smoke that you couldn't see more
        then 30 feet and the only sound was thousands of muskets and dozens of
        cannon and I was shouting at the top of my lungs to keep our disintegrating
        line dressed and then there was the orange flash of a volley through the
        smoke in front of us and then there was the dark shape of a Rebel line
        looming up in front of us and OHMIGOOOOOD!!!!!! WHOOOOAAA!!!! I'M IN 1863!

        These "period rushes" are what keep me coming back to reenacting. People
        can snicker at the "hardcore" types who "aren't having fun" and say what
        they like about bringing modern comforts along but the truth is that unless
        you have experienced *some* discomfort you are not getting close to the life
        of the soldier and the period rush remains as elusive as the Unicorn. Would
        stealing a few moments on a march to boil coffee have felt so sweet if
        coffee was as close as the nearest vendor and my only concern was whether to
        wander to sutler row or sit in the shade? I think not.

        My 2 cents worth,

        Pte. Andrew Bateman, 41st Reg't
      • zorniak
        Why do I do this? WHY? WHY? WHY? I cut my teeth in 1968 at Lower Fort Garry NH Site as a gunner on vintage 1830 s 3 pounder. We were badly trained, equipped
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 29, 1999
          Why do I do this? WHY? WHY? WHY?

          I cut my teeth in 1968 at Lower Fort Garry NH Site as a "gunner" on vintage 1830's 3 pounder. We were badly trained, equipped and attired (6th of Foot Royal
          Warwickshire) by today's standards. Somehow stuffing 12 oz of F grade powder (in a salt peter impregnated bag) down a bronze tube and watching the gun roll back 12
          inches gave me a sense of what it may have been about to serve in the British army of the time.

          We (as a family) have made numerous trips to the Niagara Region (since 1980). The forts were always a feature of the trips. Marie (my better half) and I were always
          dragging the kids through historic sites and "educating" them on our history.

          Being from Manitoba (a virtual hot bed of 1812 re-enacting) and under the guidance of Barry MacPherson and Frederick Carsted I took the leap in '94. I bought a musket
          and kit. '95 saw Fort Erie. As the lonely de Watteville I took the blame. (Drummond still lives).

          Mississinewa '95 saw a US border guard reach for her 9 mm when a buddy said we were going to the US to shoot Americans.

          Fort George '96 saw my 13 year old carry and fire a musket in battle. What a thrill that was! Especially when I know he was there in another time zone. HG Wells, you
          don't have patent on time travel.

          '97, '98, '99...Ft George, Mississinewa, Mackinac, Penetang, Fort York, Fort George...

          Being from Manitoba (as well as a good number of other fellow re-enactors) we think nothing of driving for 24+ hours (or flying for 3 hours) to do an event.

          WHY?

          One simple reason. We have always been welcomed by fellow re-enactors to play in their back yard.

          WHY?

          One simple reason. The War of 1812 is not recognized as monumentous historical event. Yet the camaraderie of US and Canadian units on the field and off tell us it was
          important. We have grown as two nations because of it and will continue to do so.

          WHY?

          One simple reason. Does insanity count? To stand, march (and of course take a hit when the damn musket craps out) in wool, 90 deg+ weather, sleeping under canvas. No
          showers for 3 days. If insanity does not play a part...then what does?

          Betsy, in a "nut" shell you have reasons why we do this.

          We love it!

          Don Zorniak
        • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
          ... Huzzah! At last! A man after my own heart!!!!! Cheers! B (now transplanted way off in So. CA, which is a heck of a lot farther than TX was...and no, I am
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 30, 1999
            In a message dated 29/7/1999 3:58:08 PM, zorniak@... writes:

            >Being from Manitoba (as well as a good number of other fellow re-enactors)
            >we think nothing of driving for 24+ hours (or flying for 3 hours) to do
            >an event.


            Huzzah! At last! A man after my own heart!!!!!

            Cheers!
            B
            (now transplanted way off in So. CA, which is a heck of a lot farther than TX
            was...and no, I am NOT rich...)
            http://hometown.aol.com/ninety3rd
            THE Thin Red Line
          • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
            In a message dated 7/30/99 8:43:30 AM Central Daylight Time, NINETY3RD@aol.com writes:
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 3, 1999
              In a message dated 7/30/99 8:43:30 AM Central Daylight Time,
              NINETY3RD@... writes:

              << Being from Manitoba (as well as a good number of other fellow re-enactors)
              we think nothing of driving for 24+ hours (or flying for 3 hours) to do
              an event.


              Huzzah! At last! A man after my own heart!!!!!
              >>


              And just for the record I just returned from the event at Mackinaw, 4 hours
              flying (including a 50 min layover in Atlanta) and a 4 1/2 hour drive. And
              that's each way.

              And worth every second.

              Cheers

              Tim
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