2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002

Battle of Elizabeth City
Elizabeth City, NC
February 11, 2006
Participating unit: Ship's Company of the Roanoke

                                                                                    C. S. S. Seabird
Off Elizabeth City, N. C.
February 12, 2006

The Honorable S. R. Mallory
Secretary of the Navy


I have to report in obedience to your order that a party from the C. S. S. Seabird landed at approximately 8:30 a. m. on 11 February to ascertain the conditions of the local fortifications while also participating in the Museum of the Albemarle’s Civil War Naval Living History commemorating the Battle of Elizabeth City.  The landing party consisted of Gunner’s Mate A. Duppstadt, Fireman A. Mitchell, Fireman G. Oakley, Landsman W. Jarman, Ship’s Surgeon G. G. Riggs, Marine Private D. Hines and myself. On this cold, rainy day, we engaged approximately 150 local townspeople and correspondents discussing such topics as uniforms, ship-building, infernal machines, small arms, medicine and steam engineering.  The local hospitality was beyond reproach as local ladies prepared a wonderful selection of soups for our group.  After careful review of the fortifications, the party departed for the Seabird to prepare for the coming battle at approximately 4:00 P. M.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commander C. W. Grimes

Fort Anderson’s Civil War Living History Encampment
Fort Anderson, Craven County, NC
February 17-18, 2006
Participating unit: Ship's Company of the Roanoke

Wilmington, N. C.
February 20, 2006

Commander Hunter Davidson, commanding
Submarine Battery Service
Richmond, V. A.


I have to report in obedience to your order that the special services detachment arrived from Richmond at approximately 8:30 p.m. on 17 February to participate in Fort Anderson’s Civil War Living History Encampment.  My party, consisting of Master Carpenter J. Brigdon, Quartermaster J. Greathouse, Ship’s Cook K. Sewell, Seaman H. Draper and Marines A. Duppstadt and D. Hines, were so joined by a Marine detachment from Wilmington comprised of W. James, Sr., W. James. Jr., F. James and G. Willett and by our Ship’s Cook’s wife, Mrs. Pam Sewell, who recently arrived on a blockade runner from England.  Upon arrival, it was my pleasure to receive a telegraph from Richmond informing me of the promotion on Mr. Duppstadt to Corporal, and at which time, he took command of the marines attached to our party.

We engaged approximately 3000 local townspeople over two days discussing such topics as navigation, blockade running, ship building, torpedoes and small arms.  During attacks by Union forces, the party held its position as torpedo operators with the exception of the Marines and Quartermaster Greathouse who valiantly assisted the garrison force in defending the fort.  At approximately 4:00 p. m. on 19 February, the fort was evacuated as it was ascertained that the position could not be held any longer.  Our group departed for Wilmington and have joined with Commodore Pickney’s forces.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Acting Master’s Mate W. Grimes

The Battle of Ballast Point
Mullet Key, FL
February 24-26 & 22, 2006
Participating unit: USS Fort Henry

The reenactment of the Battle of Ballast Point was held on Mullet Key, at the mouth of Tampa Bay.  The original site of the battle (south side of Tampa) is completely developed.  Mullet Key was populated with Unionist citizens under the protection of the US Navy during the Civil War.

Friday, school day, saw about 1,000 children visit and attend various demonstrations and talks.  Three members of the USS Fort Henry participated, focusing on the role of the navy and the use of the Anaconda Plan.

Saturday, we (the USS Fort Henry) were supposed to visit nearby Egmont Key to hold a memorial service for the 19 Civil War dead (18 naval personnel), that were burred there during the war.  Unfortunately, this did not happen.  However, we had a wonderful day with well over 130 reenactors and perhaps over a 1,000 spectators.  Many visited our camp.  The Fort Henry had 8 members participate.

Sunday was a wash.  Anticipating heavy storms, we packed camp Saturday afternoon.  Last year, a lot of canvas went down and a number of people suffered damage from the storms.  As luck would have it, the storms were not as severe and cleared out early - but we had already pulled out.

Lessons learned:

The visit to Egmont Key required transportation by boat.  However, four groups were involved: The USS Fort Henry, 97th PA, Citizens Alliance (Egmont Key volunteers) and the Florida Parks Service.  Somewhere along the line there was a disconnect on providing the transportation.  The result was that we were not able to provide the memorial service, have a tour of the island, attend a social lunch prepared for us.  It was a shame as this would have been the first (known) visit of naval reenactors to do this at Egmont Key, a Federal supply station during the war.  Probably what added to the confusion was having two events going on over the same weekend.  Later this year, we are planning on a new event focusing on Egmont Key only. 

Never try to predict the weather in February.

I remain Your Most Obedient Servant,

Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Edward Yorke McCauley, Commanding,
U.S. Steamer Fort Henry

Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend LH Event
Mariner’s Museum, Newport News VA
10-12 March 2006
Participating unit: Tidewater Maritime Living History Association

The TMLHA portrayed the crew of the USS Monitor at the Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend LH Event. 

There were approximately 70 reenactors and living historians representing a half dozen groups participating this year. The weather was unseasonably warm throughout the weekend, with strong southerly breezes, unusual for this season.

Crewmembers present included Kurt and Jackie Eberly, Allen Mordica, Jim and Judy Brigdon, Fred Cook, Carl and Kathryn Fisher, Eric, Liz, Connor, Paige and Ashley Jeanneret, Brewer Eddy and Joe Adamson. We were joined in our encampment by Mike Butler, a member of LT Doren's Marine detachment.

The camp site was located near the back door (temporary front door) of the Museum, a location subject to heavy foot traffic. There was plenty of shade and was overall a comfortable site.

The advance party arrived Friday at approximately 4 bells in the morning to set up camp.  All canvas was in place by 5 bells in the afternoon. “Old Tom”, ISC Portsmouth’s Naval Boat Howitzer, was transported from its’ display location to the site and unloaded without incident at 7 bells. With camp set, the crew stood down for the evening. At the conclusion of the event on Sunday afternoon, camp was struck, the howitzer loaded, and the crew departed for quarters.  The howitzer was returned to its’ display without incident.

Meals/snacks/water, firewood, and head facilities were supplied by the Museum.  Coffee was provided by the unit.  

On both days, the Navigation, Constructor, Signaling, Marlinespike, Rope Making, Howitzer and Weapons displays were prepared and were manned throughout the day. Additionally, the Ladies and sailor’s kit displays were set up inside the Museum.  Due to a shortage of available crew, the howitzer was not fired; however, there was considerable interest shown by spectators and museum officials alike. On Sunday, the event organizer came to our site and requested an “Honor Guard” for “President Lincoln”, who was to give a “press conference” inside the Museum concerning issues of the historical record.  Afterwards, the “President” and members of the crew posed for photographs on deck of the “Monitor” mockup. 

The staff and coordinators went the extra mile to insure the event participants had all logistics needs taken care of for the weekend, were very pleasant to work with and wish to present the public with as accurate a scenario as they can. All the participants we met were outgoing and a pleasure to be around. This event is yet another success in our list.


Allen Mordica
Secretary/Senior Watch Officer

Military Through the Ages LH Event
Jamestown Festival Park, Jamestown, VA
17-19 March 2006
Participating unit: Tidewater Maritime Living History Association

Tidewater Maritime Living History Association portrayed the crew of the USS Aroostook/USS Galena in service on the James River , May 1862. 

There were approximately 250 reenactors and living historians representing over 20 groups participating this year. The weather was unseasonably cool throughout the weekend, with strong southerly breezes, unusual for this season.

This event is by invitation only; camp activities and demonstrations are judged for historic accuracy and educational value. Judging is strict; in-camp anachronisms, or a lack of detailed knowledge of historical activities of the unit impression are graded down severely.

Crewmembers present included Kurt Eberly, Allen Mordica, Fred Cook, Carl Fisher, Mike Johnson, Eric Jeanneret, Brewer Eddy, Ken Arkin and Joe Adamson. We were joined in our encampment by John and Kelly Callahan, Art Gibbs, Leo and Steve Flibotte and Mike Butler, members of the U. S. Marine detachment.

The camp site was located in the wooded area north of the reconstructed fort, a location subject to heavy foot traffic. There was plenty of shade but limited space, but was overall a comfortable site.

The advance party arrived Friday at approximately 2 bells in the evening to set up camp.  All canvas was in place by 5 bells in the night watch. “Old Tom”, ISC Portsmouth’s Naval Boat Howitzer, was transported from its display location to the site and unloaded without incident at 5 bells. With camp set, the crew stood down for the evening. At the conclusion of the event on Sunday afternoon, camp was struck, the howitzer loaded, and the crew departed for quarters by 4 bells, evening watch. The howitzer was returned to ISC Portsmouth at 8 bells Sunday evening.

Saturday evening meal, water, firewood, and head facilities were supplied by the Museum. Other meals and all berthing were provided by the TMLHA.  

On both days the Navigation, Signaling, Marlinespike, Rope Making, Cooking, Howitzer and Small Arms displays were prepared and manned throughout the day. Additionally, a prolonging/firing demonstration of the howitzer was performed at 2 bells, afternoon on Saturday.  Because our route to/from the demonstration field took us through the center of the display camp area, there was considerable interest shown by spectators, participants and museum officials alike. Throughout the weekend, we received overwhelming interest from ALCON in “Old Tom” regarding the background, history and operation of Boat Howitzers. On Sunday, the event organizers presented awards to groups participating in the Field Demonstration, Cooking and Camp Layout/Presentation competitions.

The TMLHA earned Second Place in Field Demonstration, and Third in Camp Layout/Presentation.

The staff and coordinators insured that participating units had all logistics needs taken care of for the weekend, were very pleasant to work with. All the participants we met were outgoing and a pleasure to be around. This event is yet another success in our list.


Allen Mordica
Secretary/Senior Watch Officer


Demoney-Grimes Funeral Home Living History
Columbia City, IN 
March 18-19, 2006

USNLP  Participants: L. R. Dispenza (Lt. Cmdr.), Russ Gilliom (as infantry)

This was an unusual event (organized by Russ), held at a funeral home.  Unofficially entitled “Putting the fun back in funeral,” it featured a replica of Lincoln ’s coffin, exhibits on Civil War mortuary practices, and general stations on CW history and camp life.  There were firing and dance demonstrations, all in the refined surroundings of a funeral home.  The Navy table was frequently visited, and some students got extra credit by discovering details about the war, including the USS Alligator.  Many Alligator and "How the Navy Won" brochures were distributed. 

Respectfully submitted,

L. R. Dispenza, USNLP

Blackwater Riverwalk Park LH Event
Milton, FL
25 March 2006
Participating unit: Gulf Coast Living History Association

The Gulf Coast Living History Assoc. hosted its first event in Milton, FL on March 25, 2006.
This was a living history with several activities going on throughout the day and was put on at the Blackwater Riverwalk Park.
Our unit portrayed the Union Navy along with members from the Port Columbus Naval Museum. The museum was gracious enough to bring the two ironclads down for a great demonstration. We also had a salt works raid involving the Navy and the Infantry.
The sailors did demonstrations with the cannon, pikes, and cutlasses. The infantry did demonstrations with muskets and marching.
The ladies provided a tea with information on health and beauty habits of the time period.
We also used this day to pass out many of the USS Alligator brochures.
We had a very good turn out and the people want us to do it again next year for two days instead of one. We plan to be there for them.


LeAnne R. Boswell
Gulf Coast Living History Association, Inc.

144th Shiloh
Shiloh National Military Park, Shiloh, TN
8-9 April 2006
Participating unit: USNLP (Lt Chuck Veit, Lt Bob Dispenza, Landsman Justin Dispenza)

Our usual luck with the weather in this part of south central Tennessee held again--just barely. On Friday the area from Memphis through Nashville was hit with high winds and tornadoes, and those sleeping overnight in the park were subjected to a good downpour and violent thunderstorm. Happily, things were calmer on the weekend, although there was a cool breeze on both days and only some sun on Saturday. Nonetheless, attendance was good for an "off" year (a non 5th or 10th anniversary)--the rangers estimated about 6,000 visitors. Our Navy camp was never swamped, but also never empty--we had a steady stream of people interested in hearing about the gunboats at both battles of Shiloh as well as Alligator. The story of the sub (and of Civil War underwater warfare in general) was so popular that we often had to remind people there had been a surface battle right where they were standing! Several hundred "How the Navy Won the Civil War" brochures and Alligator bookmarks were distributed. Now we're looking forward to the big 145th event!


Chuck Veit, Lt., USNLP

Fort Trumbull Work Party
New London, CT
15 April 2006
Participating unit: Topographical Engineers

Ladies and Gentlemen;

I beg your most kind indulgence to report the results of the first Fort Trumbull working party of 2006.  In attendance were:

Capt. James Duarte, Capt. Richard Meyer, and myself

As I mentioned earlier the two bench kits were waiting for us in the casemates as requested when we arrived.  We immediately set to work with Sgt. Proctor's plans to assemble the two bench kits.  About midmorning we were visited by the Fort Trumbull Maintenance Foreman who asked if we needed anything further.

I mentioned that it would be nice to have another furniture kit to finish as we had plenty of time and materials remaining.  The foreman immediately agreed and took me down to the Maintenance Shop where we measured out and cut the materials for the large table top.  These materials we took back to the casemates, and the working party finished the table top during the afternoon.

The two benches and tabletop were then taken to the bunkroom where they will be set up.  The extra lumber is stored in the bunkroom as well.  Once all the gear had been picked up and stored properly we sat down in the bunkroom and discussed the May 5th and June 3rd events coming up and each of the engineers present volunteered some furniture and other items to be begin "dressing up" the engineering staff office and billet room as well as the planned displays.  All three of the above engineers will be available for both events, in uniform and with projects in hand to work on, as well as providing the planned displays.

There are two more working parties scheduled before the June 3rd event.

These dates are:

--May 13
--May 17

I should like to have the maintenance crew cut two double "sawhorse kits" (four sawhorses for the table legs) and another "10 ft. table kit "for the display  room before the next working party (May 13).

Captain Meyer and myself will be donating two bunks temporarily for the bunkroom, a corner table for an issuing orderly, and some other misc/ items to enhance the bunk room.

I should like to have the remaining two bench kits cut, as well as an 8 foot table kit, and a double bunk kit cut before the third working party (May 17).

With this schedule all the basic elements for the Engineering Office, Bunkroom, and Display room will be available for the June 3rd event.  Then, we should have no trouble in the completion of the remainder of the furniture in the last two or three working parties as scheduled.

If the Maintenance Foreman can give me the days and times that he will engage in making the asked for kits, I will make myself available at the Maintenance Shop to help with the measuring of the wooden parts.  This was an agreement between us that until the furniture kits are finished that I would be present to insure that all the parts go together easily and well.

--Jim Mathews

Anclote River Raid
Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, New Port Richey, FL
22-23 April 2006
Participating unit: USS Fort Henry

We had a great weekend at the Anclote River Raid (Florida).  Hot, hot, hot, but with a nice breeze.  Saturday, we had eight men manning two mortars as well as triple duty as infantry and skirmishers.  Sunday, we had six men so we went as skirmishers and infantry.  The Federal brigade had about 150 men on the field, somewhat less than the Confederates' numbers.


With the heat, the standing order was canteen at all times.  The ice angels performed well.  No heat related injuries.  One Confederate had a knee "go out" and required ambulance transport.  The area had numerous hole (made by turtles), some infested with pygmy rattlers.

Lew Zerfas

Fort Wayne Civil War Days
Fort Wayne , IN
April 28-30, 2006
Participating unit: USNLP

Personnel present: Milton Foster (Adm. Farragut), L. R. Dispenza (Lt. Cmdr.), Gib Young (PO), Justin Dispenza (Landsman), Russ Gilliom (Coal heaver), USNLP

George Dailey participated as artillery , but we’ll get him in the Navy soon.

As co-coordinator for Friday’s Education Day, I was helping organize school and speakers.  There were 16 stations (including Navy) for about 2500 children, beginning about 8:15 AM and ending with pizza for presenters about 2:30 PM .  The weather was cooperative, though somewhat cool for those not wearing dark wool.  Fortunately, Admiral Farragut and I were able to split up our larger groups at the Navy camp -sometimes 200 arrived at a time.  Coal heaver Gilliom was guiding groups around all day in his Navy uniform.  We successfully dealt with the “What Navy?” perceptions, and handed out a number of Alligator posters to teachers.  The Admiral brought his cabin boy (grandson Michael) along to help out.  One group arrived at our camp saying they were told to come there by another group, who said we had the best station.

Saturday’s weather was even better than Friday’s, and clouded up later to keep it cool.  The Navy camp was down by the St. Joseph River , a little out of the way.  But we still got a number of visitors.  The Admiral and I traded off speaker duty, watching camp and demonstrating items.  As usual, the deck light got the most questions.  The infantry colonel assigned the Navy to protect the right flank of the Union Artillery (and keep spectators off the battlefield, as there were so many they started to set up on both sides of the field).  There were actually 4 of us – Justin, Gib, myself and an artilleryman (Navy veteran) named Mike dressed as a sailor (Mr. Gilliom was a private today).  We were armed with two Sharps rifles, a Smith carbine and a number of pistols.  We held off several determined cavalry charges by a company of 6 horsemen who tried to flank our artillery.  We even fired a few volleys as a group – very crisp!  By the time we finished, none had any cartridges left.  The Union victorious!  Huzzah!  A fine dinner followed, and then the dance.  Mr. Lincoln was present, and the Admiral was very light on his feet.  The cool weather was just right for dancing.  Cabin boy Michael got a ride in General Lee’s pony trap, and spent much of the evening playing farkle with the General and his men.

Sunday was the usual FW event weather – cold and rainy.  Many began packing in the morning and stayed for the battle.  The crowd was larger than expected considering the weather.  Lunch was provided (warmed leftovers from last night).  Our assignment was the same as yesterday, only we were reduced to two – the artillery sailor Mike and me.  We had much trouble with pistol caps, and had many misfires.  Mike used his old single shot and reloaded frequently.  The cavalry was relentless, and we were overwhelmed. The Union army was surrounded and eventually surrendered (no lying in the wet muddy grass for them, it seems).  Pack up and cleanup followed, and many area residents now know a little more about the late unpleasantness and the Navy’s role in it.  I was good to meet some new Navy reenactors, and it is amazing how many Navy veterans there are in our hobby.  They frequently comment on and are encouraged by our participation.  Now if we can just get them to join….

Respectfully submitted,

L. R. Dispenza, USNLP

Royal Navy School of the Sailor
Coggeshall Farm Museum, Bristol, RI
April 28-30, 2006
Participating unit: HMS Squirrel, HMS Somerset

Lads (and Lasses),

Just wanted to let everyone know what a great event we had at the Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island.

The site: The Coggeshall Farm Museum is a beautiful site overlooking a tidal embayment of the great Narragansett Bay. The farm is an 18C period farm (including rebel lambs who attacked my tent) with gloriously few modern intrusions. The Navy was very warmly received by the proprietors of the farm.

The event was attended by 23 individuals (that I counted at any rate) and well hosted by Frank and the rest of the crew of the Somerset. Other groups represented were - Squirrel, Speedwell, Glover's Regiment, and merchant sailors of the Billerica (I believe). Most everyone arrived on Friday evening and reacquainted themselves with an impromptu "Tavern Night" in the Farmhouse (as it was too bloody cold to be away from the warmth and comfort of the hearth).

Saturday dawned gloriously with crystal clear skies (but high winds) and comfortable temperatures. The crew was divided into two divisions and the training commenced. While one division trained on the great guns under the leadership of Vic Cantoni, the other trained in the use of small arms ashore, led by Lt. Clarke of the Somerset. About halfway through the morning, the divisions switched and my group even learned the proper methodology of throwing grenades (yeehaw!).

The afternoon was given over to small boat training under the direction of Steve Eftimiades who was gracious enough to bring his cutter all the way up from New York. At first the local seas were too rough to chance a launch with inexperienced crews, so we drilled at the oars with the boat upon the trailer. The crews then returned to the farm to learn the ways of marlinespike seamanship with a very well attended class on knot tying led by Frank. Disappointed in not being able to launch the boat a couple of the Somersets went scouting for another launch that was not so exposed to the winds...and lo...they found one and the small boat course then commenced upon the waters.

Later, an impromptu course kicked up late in the afternoon on "heaving the line" which we promptly put to use in the most dangerous part of the weekend where the good Bosun Ross used the line-heaving and knotting techniques taught earlier in the day to effect repairs to the chimney of the farmhouse. The picture of Frank standing upon the apex of the farmhouse roof with sledge hammer in hand is almost to precious for words. Repairs effect (with no injuries), cooking commenced and we were all treated to a course on Naval Food and Provisions given by Aaron Smith of the Somerset. A splendid dinner commenced of Roast Pork, Ham,  potatoes, assorted breads, fresh pineapple (fresh pineapple?) and chocolate chip biscuits. The meal blended into Tavern Night and well being the Navy...was a tavern night to remember (or forget as the case may be). It would appear the officers held off in issuance of our 1 gal. beer ration until the dinner began, but many of the lads wasted no time in insuring that they received their proper ration:7).

Sunday morning began with Divine Services officiated by Lt. Condrick that concluding with the traditional reading of the Articles of War. Services were followed by a spirited game of football (soccer to those not so versed) between the shirts and weskits with a "period" football sewn of heavy (and I mean heavy canvas) by Mr. Ross. The weskits defeated the shirts 4-3 on a goal by Lt. Condrick as everyone was about to expire as he went "five- hole" on Mr Pierce...the keeper for the shirts.

After lunch, the coursework resumed with my lecture on "Who was Jack Oakum" a social portrait of the British Georgian sailor, followed by Mr. Brenckle's fine course on "Sailor's clothing". The final class of the day was given by the Somerset's Surgeon, Dr. Lepage, on medical practice in the 18C and left more than a few chaps quite queasy. Following a final muster and thanks given to all, especially the site director Linda; we broke camp to return to our respective ships.

Thanks to the Coggeshall Farm Museum, the Somersets, and especially Frank for a well-done and extremely enjoyable Navy event.

Fair Winds,
Jim Pierce - Squirrel
260th Culloden (Scottish Rebellion of 1746)
Fort Loudon, Pennsylvania
May 20-21, 2006
Participating unit: HMS Squirrel 

Just a quick report on our participation this weekend past in the 260th commemoration of Culloden.

The event was held at Fort Loudon Pennsylvania, a 1756 frontier bastioned-stockade that formed the Line of Defense (with other similar forts) along the "pale of English settlement" in 1750's Pennsylvania. Modern intrusions are quite lacking (only a few silos can be seen in the distance).

As expected the Government side was heavily outnumbered by the kilt- clad barbarians, but we had one significant advantage not possessed by the Jacobites...a profusion of artillery. Indeed it was a great weekend to be ashore and practicing our gun crew techniques. The artillery list was a long one: 6 pounder, 3 pound brass gun, 2 pounder on galloper carriage, mortars, and even a wall gun.

The naval encampment was very sparse as we took up a position along the interior current wall of the fort near a pile of boards.  The first days battle was Prestonpans, where after cracking off 9-10 shots on the brass three pounder, we fell victim to a furious Highland charge. I was cut down reloading my pistol, while Lee attempted to escape (that is why he's the Doctor aye).

Lee was recalled to the ship for Sunday while we remained attached to the Royal Artillery. The Battle of Culloden that afternoon was an artillerists dream reenactment. We employed the three cannons across  the entire field, the 2 pounder on the left flank, the six pounder on the right, and the brass three in the center. It even had a bit of the feel of the highlands as in the hour before the battle, the skies clouded over, the wind picked up to a "roar" and the rain splattered down intermittently.

Littles was tasked to carry the British Colors that day and had a ball following around the Duke of Cumberland during the battle. Smalls hung at back of the field in support. We engaged the highlanders in a preparatory bombardment during which the brass gun got off 8 rounds. We secured and moved the gun back as the lobsters advanced onto the field. Thence, the gun crew of the Brass gun moved back to our second prepared position to man the mortar and wall gun. I had the honor of manning the wall gun. We kept up a continuous fire throughout the remainder of battle as the regulars broke the highland charge. I was treated to a "three cheers for the artillery" as I dragged the mortar back into the fort after the battle.

All in all, Culloden was great fun and a great opportunity to work on cannon crew skills.

Jim Pierce - HM Ship Squirrel

Under the Redcoat
Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia
June 25-26, 2006
Participating unit: HMS Guadalupe (reporting),  HMS Somerset

First and foremost I wish to acknowledge and applaud the work of Peter Condrick (HMS Somerset) who was UTR 2006 naval coordinator  He did a tremendous job ensuring that the naval forces put on a top notch performance; he also went to great lengths to make a bunch of new people no one had ever met feel very welcome. Thank you, Pete.

I would also like to acknowledge the other gentlemen I had the opportunity to meet and interact with, including Craig Hadley, Charles Duffy, James Burns and the rest of the officers and crew of the amalgamated "Achilles".

While the ship's crews were involved with the UTR "game" of attempting to capture the spy, the British deserter, and various supplies which the Opposition was attempting to smuggle through the town, Mr. Condrick decided that it would be safest if I was tucked away accompanying Lord Cornwallis, attending the Officers' Mess, and otherwise keeping myself amused (and out of the way).

Please don't throw me in that briar patch.

After seizing one of the local houses for my personal use on Friday night, I was able to track down Mr. Condrick and introduce myself. We discussed a few of the details for the following morning, and then my companions and I went off for dinner (Mr. Condrick and his companions being in process of consuming a liquid dinner...)

The Royal Navy officially arrived in town on Saturday morning, accompanying the army's paychest. After delivering the paychest to the army on the Green and presenting myself to the Camp Major, Mr. Grenier, I began my attendance upon Lord Cornwallis, who was doing "walkabouts". Almost immediately, the Navy came to the forefront; due to an apparent failure to acknowledge his Lordship, Cornwallis proceeded to interrogate Mr. Hadley about the supposed breach of discipline and courtesy.

Mr. Hadley delivered an admirable (if stammered) response, which caused Cornwallis to let him off with the lightest of reprimands. A similar incident later that morning with an army officer was greeted with a highly botched response, which brought a stinging rebuke. Mr. Hadley clearly demonstrated why the Royal Navy is the SENIOR service!

That afternoon was spent attending Ensign Prym's Mess, accompanied by my midshipman, Mr. Allie. All in all, a wonderful time, particularly the time spent interrogating ... uh, conversing a southern Loyalist officer about his attitude towards recruiting an  arming negro slaves! The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting with my crew and some of the other crews on their watches and further walkabouts with Cornwallis. Then evening came, and my crew and I repaired to the Kings Arms for a group dinner. Memory fades, but either Saturday or Sunday, I was able to play host to Mr. Condrick, Mr. Duffy, and Mr. Burns, where, along with my partner Mr. Barshinger (in a civilian role) we quickly killed 1 or 2 bottles of port. Thereafter, we joined up with the "tattoo" to drag the men out of the taverns.

I had been looking forward to the evening's revelry, but heavy wool, a wig, and a steamy Virginia summer were enough to exhaust this poor California lad. A brief visit to the back of Chownings (where bet  were being placed as whether Mr. Burns would fall off the table he was standing on while bellowing "Bell Bottom Trousers"), and then it was bedtime.

Sunday was more of the same. I was a bit miffed when, during the Sunday afternoon officer's mess, I tossed out a leading comment regarding the "rumors" of large land grants. This should have been easy; it was bad history from "The Patriot", potentially familiar to the spectators, and the army should have had a field day responding to it in a manner that would be both amusing and informative. Instead, I got nothing more than a few sideways glances and smirks. Oh well. Next time my spontaneity will be better planned.

The afternoon ended with the army marching out - a wonderful site. Then out of uniform and off to dinner. We stopped briefly in the  upper room of Chownings, which had been taken over by the Royal Navy. A great deal of fun was being had by all; I promised to return after dinner

Unfortunately, exhaustion began to tell, and after almost falling asleep over my plate, we decided that we really didn't want to put all that stinky, sweaty wool back on. So, after a bit of packing, it was off to bed.

The weekend was everything my crew and I hoped it would be. I only hope that our new friends and acquaintances were as pleased to have us there as we were pleased to be there. I can't wait until next year.

I remain,

David Lynch, Captain
His Britannic Majesty's Frigate Guadalupe

Hampton Roads Naval Museum (HRNM) LH
Norfolk, Virginia
July 17, 2006
Participating unit: TMLHA 

1. On the 17th Instant, a detail from the USS Monitor traveled to Norfolk, VA to participate in the above event.  Present were:

LT K. Eberly, PO A. Mordica, PO C.Fisher, PO E. Jeanneret

2. The party assembled at three bells, morning watch on the “portico” at the Nauticus facility, which encloses the HRNM, to unload and setup.  By four bells the Navigator’s, Armorer’s Mate and Seaman’s Personal Kit displays were set.  At the conclusion of the day equipment was struck and returned to stores.

3. From 4 bells, forenoon until 7 bells in the afternoon, approximately 200 visitors were engaged.  Feedback was consistently favorable to enthusiastic concerning the content and method of the presentation.

4. Logistics were streamlined considerably.  The movement of equipment from the outside to the exhibit area was eased by use of personally-owned hand trucks.  Free parking with validation at the museum was available directly across Harbor Drive/Boush St. at a city Parking Garage.


LT K. Eberly
By Direction

Old Coast Guard Station Museum LH
Virginia Beach, Virginia
July 29, 2006
Participating unit: TMLHA 


Members of the TMLHA, representing crewmen of the USRCS/USLSS, participated in the second of a series of LH presentations at the Old Coast Guard Station, Va. Beach.  In attendance were: LT Kurt Eberly, PO Carl Fisher , PO Dean Giangregorio, and PO Allen Mordica

  Additionally, USCG Station Little Creek displayed a trailered 25’ “Safe Boat” and set up navigation and boarding kit displays under our awning.


Awning was supplied by PO Fisher, tables by the venue, and displayed equipment by the TMLHA and Station Little Creek.  Gear was transported to/from the site via POV’s. Loading/unloading was made easier by allowing participants to use a portion of the Boardwalk immediately in front of the Museum. Ms. Kathryn Fisher, Education Coordinator, compensated participants for parking expenses in a nearby municipal lot, and provided vouchers for discounted lunch at a nearby restaurant.


Awnings and navigation, armaments and seaman's displays were set up at 0930 without incident and operated until 1600.  The location was excellent, with sufficient room and dry ground. The navigation and small arms displays were enhanced by cooperation with Station Little Creek, setting up “then and now” comparisons; response from spectators was very positive. The “lizard” (salute gun on naval carriage) was set out and firing demonstrations were performed.  Despite light participation, over 300 spectators were directly engaged. At the conclusion of the event, camp was struck and the party departed by 1630.

Lessons Learned

For future events at this venue, coordination with local USCG assets will greatly enhance the quality and effectiveness of our presentation.  Ms. Fisher has requested through us to determine whether ISC Portsmouth will allow “Old Tom” to be displayed at future events. This will be addressed in conference with the appropriate authority at a later date.


Overall, this event can be filed as another in our continuing series of successes, as regards to reliability and credibility.  We have been invited to make this venue a regular part of our activity schedule.

Officer in Charge

Civil War Days
Merrillville, Indiana
July 29-30, 2006
Participating unit: USNLP--Milton Foster (Adm. D. G. Farragut), L. R. Dispenza (Lt. Cmdr.), Geo "Fat Jack" Dailey, PO (and his wife Marcia)

Our PO arrived Friday evening and set up near the Western Gunboat Flotilla (Lt. Robb Thomas, commanding).  The heat and humidity were oppressive all weekend, greatly reducing the visitation to this event.  Fortunately the Navy was set up by the lake.  I arrived on Saturday morning and got to meet the crew of the ship's cutter from the USS Wabash.  They spent most of the morning applying new ribbons to their straw hats and eating a fine breakfast, which they kindly shared with all USNLP personnel (as they did all meals for the weekend).  Afterward there was a flag-raising ceremony, boat howitzer drill, and drill at the oars of the cutter.  A scouting party went out on the lake to find likely areas to go ashore in the afternoon battle.  The cutter's flag had to be respectfully lowered each time the cutter passed under the bridge to prevent another broken flagpole.

The dramatic heat continued as we prepared for the battle.  Few longarms were present in the boat, though I had a Sharps rifle.  Most of the crew contented themselves with pistols.  Additional passengers included a smattering of sharpshooters and engineers, along with a few infantry, totaling nearly 20 in the cutter.  We had been informed (erroneously, as it turned out) that the Union was to win on Saturday.  After crossing the lake, we put ashore behind a line of Confederate infantry, who turned their line to face us as we pulled for shore.  We were taken under fire immediately as we disembarked and looked for cover.  While we were pinned down we expected relief momentarily from a column of Federal infantry (they never arrived, having already left the field).  The Confederates cut us to pieces as Mr. Dailey led a few determined crew against the right flank of the infantry line.  They ultimately failed, and Lt. Thomas was forced to row away from shore to keep the cutter from being boarded.  The action ended with the wounding or capture of all the shore party.  Maybe tomorrow will be better?  We spent much of the hot afternoon soaking in the lake, which helped greatly in soothing our wounded pride and bodies.  Visitation was extremely thin all day.

Dinner was provided by the hosts, and quite a variety was to be had.  Some music was also provided at a nearby pavilion, though the heat kept participants from moving around much.

Sunday morning promised the same heat and humidity, so uniform coats were again relegated to strictly "as needed" usage.  We got an early start on "lake soaking", though the weather looked like a change was coming.  We abandoned the lake as heavy clouds rolled in from the north, and began to pack.  Mr Dailey had already packed, and left before the rain arrived (though he got plenty on the way home).  The Admiral had also mostly packed in the morning, and helped me pack up just before the squall arrived.  The remaining sailors got soaked bringing the cutter out of the water.  The afternoon battle was canceled just before the rain began falling in torrents.  Looked like no Union victory this year.

While working on an actual boat was a highlight, and the Western Gunboat Flotilla crew was definitely an interesting bunch, the nearly total lack of visitors meant that the Navy's story didn't get out to more people.  If the weather cooperates, this could be a big event, being in populous NW Indiana and near Chicago.  I hope to make it again next year.

L. R. Dispenza, USNLP

Redcoats to Rebels
Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
August 6-7, 2006
Participating unit: Topographic Engineers, USNLP 

Lt. General U.S. Grant
All Federal Armies

Most Esteemed Sir;

I ask your most gracious indulgence to lay before you my Engineering Report for the above event.

The Topog Staff Engineers arrived at around 3:00 P.M. on Friday Afternoon, August 5, 1863, at the small village of "Sturbridge."

Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant; Brig. Gen. Ian McKay; Capt. James Duarte; 2nd Lt. Paul Jicha; Civilian Historian Julie Marin.

Upon clearing the road to Freeman's Farm the Federal Camping area decided upon by the Commander of the New England Brigade; we proceeded to our camping area, which had been staked out by our advance units.

By Friday afternoon most of the camp had been set up, and the Engineer's Field Office was operational concentrating on three different area maps for the Mapping File, as well as the routine administration necessary for an army on the move.

On Saturday Morning I came back from my overnight stay in a nearby village home of a Federal supporter whose hospitality was very kindly offered and accepted.  After my initial greeting at the General's quarters, I looked in at the Naval Landing Party Camp, where I had invited them to be set up on Friday.   Finding them well settled in, I then concentrated for the remainder of the day, on the engineering factors at hand, as well as  the Engineer's engaged with their mapping endeavors, the discussion with the new member of the Topogs (2nd Lt. Paul Jicha) as to his duties with the Engineers.  He is also to do duty as a guard for Lt. Gen. Grant on the staff, so his duties will be divided between the two efforts.  There were also my duties to the Federal Brigade Commander to be considered as well.

I was pleased to be asked to narrate the Brigade's Morning Parade on Saturday in preparation for the parade through the Village of "Sturbridge" to show the flag, and to begin the restoration of Federal authority in this place. 

I was asked to stay on as a narrator for the British and Continental Forces as they performed marching and firing exercises on the exercise field for the spectators.  The British Commander asked if there was anything that I wished him to demonstrate, and we did a bayonet walk toward the spectators with me as the "Target!!!!"  An exciting moment for me, but as usual the British unit performed flawlessly and the spectators were most duly impressed.

A demonstration by the Lebanon Militia using a young man in training to command was also very interesting.  Colonel Eldridge's stern command to the youngster, "don't look at me. look to your men!!!!!" belied the gleam of pride in the good Col's Eye for the efforts of his young protégé.

I arrived back in camp just in time to hear the end of Lt. General Grant's discussion with spectators, but in time to bring to his attention some concerns of mine with regard to his next planned campaign.  After some rather hot words arguing in regard to his plans, an agreement was reached (with his views being dominant as usual (grin!!!), the affair was concluded.

On Saturday afternoon I was asked to narrate the Continental / British Skirmish at the farm, and I was most pleased to be able to do so.  The attack of the Continental Militia, and Continental Line Units with attached artillery, on he British Force, was most stirring.  The immediate British Response was forceful and momentarily stopped the rush of the Militia.  However, numbers of troops and artillery fire slowly drove the British to withdraw to the far tree line in order to make a last desperate stand.  The Commander  of both forces parleyed and ended the skirmish with honor on both sides.  The Colonial Militia under the command of Col. Eldrige demonstrated a full and excellent understanding of the tactic "Advancing a Defile" in their movements on the road against the pressure of British Regulars.  The famous "Red Lines" of the British Army held extraordinarily well against superior numbers of Continental forces and flanking artillery fire.

Saturday evening saw a carriage arriving for me to carry me off to my benefactor's stay for the evening and a sumptuous supper with a lovely young lady!!! 

Sunday morning we returned to the mapping exercises and completed two of the maps requested by the Brigade Commander and Lt. Gen. Grant; finished several reports which were due, and reviewed a requested plan idea.  A list of these is:

--Map of the OSV area (requested by Brigade Cdr.);
--Map of the Federal encampment (requested by Lt. Gen. Grant);
--Map of the OSV and Environs (for Lt. Gen. Grant's map portfolio);
--Map of proposed Attack on a Confederate strong point (requested by Lt. Gen. Grant);
--Quarterly Expenditure of Ammunition by Topog Engrs.;
--Transportation authorization for Brig. General Ian McKay and Staff;
--Topog Engrs. Weapon Inspection Report;
--Suggested design for a separate ammunition pier at George's Island (Fort Warren, -- Capt. Duarte -- requested by Brig. Gen. Ian McKay.

I was again asked to narrate the Federal Brigade's Morning Parade, and stayed to discuss with spectators some of their questions regarding period weapons, field tactics , and a variety of concerns which demonstrations alone cannot be expected to answer.  Again I arrived back in camp in time to again "discuss" with Lt. Gen. Grant some worrisome aspects of his planned future campaign against a Confederate strong point.  I pointed, out with some strength and heat, my views as the various perceived weaknesses of the planned situation as I had with previous Army Commanders.  I must say in conclusion that Gen. Grant has a much different view on the use and value of his troops than previous army commanders!!!!

In mid-afternoon, a Confederate Probing Detachment hit our pickets and drove them in, back almost to the Federal camp.  This furious infantry attack, was  reinforced by a mountain battery of howitzers.  Fearing an immediate Confederate reinforcement of this detachment from the wooded ridge just behind the camp, the federal brigade commander mustered his force in full sending out a reinforced skirmish party to deal with the Rebel Artillery, as well as, a strong infantry party to contain the probing Confederate attack.

When no rebel reinforcement appeared the Federal Infantry and Artillery Reserves were committed to overwhelm the Rebel Attacking Forces which was finally accomplished after some bitter fighting across the stream separating the Federal Encampment from the farm.  The Commanders of the remaining units parleyed on the field, and the skirmish was settled.  Some prisoners were taken and the Rebel Mountain Battery was recovered even though spiked into temporary uselessness!!!  

Late in the afternoon on Sunday the Brigade broke camp to move to our next objective, transport wagons were brought in, and the camp dissolved in a flurry of packing and departure.

As to my evaluation of the event, I thought the weekend was most enjoyable.  However, by comparison with other areas in the village, spectator visitation was light.  The often firing of both musket and cannon helped to some degree, of course, but it was after all a considerable distance to walk through the village.  My thought was that some sort of period conveyance should be afforded the visitors on a regular schedule to convey visitors through the village.  I do not know what the OSV standards and materials are, but it would seem to me that a horse drawn wagon, on a regular schedule through the village would do much to assist in the distribution of visitors throughout the village, particularly during a period of large expected crowds.  This type of conveyance has been used at other events to the same purpose at which I have had the honor to attend, with excellent results.

I would also suggest that a closer attention be devoted to access to the various fields in which skirmishes and demonstrations are to occur.  I would think that it would be much better for rails to be removed from the rail fences by OSV Staff for access to these fields rather than troops in the rush of battle -- Just a suggestion.

I must also comment that both my wife and myself found the Staff at OSV eager to assist in every way possible and were at all times attentive to our needs and requirements, being most courteous in carrying out their duties.  If invited to return to OSV, I should be pleased to make arrangements to do so.  Of particular mention would be the very courteous and timely assistance of Mr. O'Brian.

Your Most Humble and Obedient Servant;

Very Respectfully;

Ian McKay, Brig. General of Engineers (by Brevet -- Capt. T.E.);
Chief of Staff (acting);
Chief Engineer;
Senior Aide-de-Camp;
Lt. General U.S. Grant's


USNLP Report:
Attending members: LCDR McLean, Able Seaman Keough, Boy 3rd Class Walter, Boy 3rd class Gordon

To: Commander, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron
From:  USS Passaic

Forces of the Naval Landing party were deployed this past weekend to Old Sturbridge Village in order to reinforce General Grant's Headquarters.

The unit was firmly established on the beach by 1900 hours of Friday, the 4th instant. LCDR McLean, Able Seaman Keough, Boy 3rd Class Walter, Boy 3rd class Gordon at muster.

I paid our respects to the General on Saturday after he arrived and due to force size and structure it was decided that we would be his headquarters guard for the eventual battle and weekend.

Saturday and Sunday we had many visitors - not as many as we had hoped for, but a fairly steady stream none the less.  The newest Alligator poster was a big hit, and as soon as visitors saw the poster they were immediately drawn to the naval camp.  The Alligator story was recounted innumerable times to an enthusiastic crowd.  Indeed we may actually be able to increase our unit size by two.

One of the biggest surprises was the lack of children.  Normally at these sorts of family events there are a lot - Saturday we had only eight, Sunday I didn't even bother to count, though there were a few more.

Our dinner was light and quick as we had to eat, as usual, between visitors.  We were located opposite from where we were last year near the stream.  Behind the tents were the General's horses and poison ivy.  Boy 3rd class Walters developed a mild case of poison ivy, and Mrs. Grant's remedy seems to have helped his suffering.

Dinner was dessicated meat, vegetables, and pasta with special herbs and was well received.  Breakfasts were courtesy of Able Seaman Keough and consisted of fresh eggs, bacon, sausage, and French toast.  I always find it fascinating that the enlisted men can come up with such fresh fare.

My daughter Lydia joined us, interacting with the crowd and Saturday evening we visited the General and staff and had an amiable encounter.  The General, despite protestations, lived up to his reputation regarding wine.  His wife is a most remarkable woman, having the deepest southern accent I have ever heard.  One would swear she was straight from a Georgian plantation (and not Massachusetts).  Interestingly enough, Mrs. Grant wishes to establish a New England Civil War Museum, to which I responded whole heartedly in endorsing.  I suspect we will be corresponding with each other on this topic.  The General admonished her on this, stating that he was going to "remove the Headquarters sign, and instead put up one which will read 'Be careful what you wish for - you might just get it'".  We all had a good chortle over that.

Mosquitoes as usual, were plentiful.  But by the end of the evening visiting with the General, the little pests seemed not to be quite so bothersome.

The forthcoming battle on Sunday was almost anti-climatic.  Unlike last year the Southerners did not field but half their previous number.  Though the Rebels had two cannons, the Union infantry forces vastly outnumbered them.  The Rebels but up a most handsome fight, however, only surrendering when cut down to a tiny fraction of their original small size.  We escorted General Grant throughout the battle ensuring his safety.  At times the man can be vexing in his attempts to expose himself to enemy fire, but as much as possible our sailors did a fine job remaining between him and the enemy.  As the surrender was taking place, General Grant dismissed the Naval Landing Party, thanking us for our support.  I returned my command to encampment, and we proceeded to break camp and return to our ship.

Your Humble Servant,
Ezra G. Seals

Coast Guard Day 2006
Portsmouth, Virginia
August 7, 2006
Participating unit: TMLHA 


The TMLHA, representing crewmen of the USRC Harriet Lane, participated in the 2006 Coast Guard Day event at CG Integrated Support Command (ISC) Portsmouth on 05 August.  In attendance were:

Joe Adamson, Ken Arkin, Marty Burnham, Carl Fisher, Dean Giangregorio, Keith Halstead, Allen Mordica


Fortunately, the temperature was over 15 degrees cooler (mid-80’s) than earlier in the week. The location was excellent, with plentiful shade and breezes to partially offset the heat. This and the decision to relax frocks helped make the day tolerable for all hands. 


Canvas, tables and equipment were supplied by the TMLHA.  The unit trailer was used to convey all camp gear to/from the site. The event organizers provided a meal and beverages, and overall were very responsive to our requirements.  


Canvas awnings and navigation, armaments, and howitzer displays were set up at 1100 without incident and operated from 1200 until 1630.  During the event, over 100 visitors were engaged. The howitzer was fired for a total of eight round expended, no casualties. Both CDR Kimos (new ISC XO) and the RADM Rochon (Commander, MLC Atlantic) were afforded the opportunity to fire “Old Tom”.  Several USCG VIP’s observed the encampment and gave their personal endorsement to our activities. At the conclusion of the event, camp was struck and the party departed by 1700.

Lessons Learned-

The placement of the displays was with a fence line immediately to the rear, with a salt marsh just beyond; setting the howitzer facing over the fence ensured that the minimum safe distance downrange was guaranteed, without a need to police or cordon off the area. Unusually, there were no insects to contend with as in years past; this may have been due to the brutal heat earlier in the week.  While striking camp, it was agreed that if placed in the same area next year, the display line would be oriented as was this year's setup to facilitate easy access by the public and convenient use of the howitzer.


Overall, this event can be filed as yet another success as regards to both member participation and resulting credibility. We will of course be invited to return next year.  Many thanks to CAPT Cahill, who endorsed our involvement in this event and provided support to the use of "Old Tom."

CAPT Allen Mordica, USRCS
Officer in Charge

Dade City Raid
Dade City, Florida
September 2-3, 2006
Participating unit: USS Fort Henry 

September 3, do.  Rain showers cooled off this normally hot, Florida event.   The rain ceased about a half hour before the skirmish started, leaving the ground slightly damp and the air bearable for those wearing wool.

This ship supplied the Federal force with a landing party of six men, four marines and two sailors.  As reported to me by this ship's first sergeant, the Federals, although outnumbered about sixty to forty men, drove the Confederates from the field after about three-fourths of an hour of musket fire.  This ship's landing party served as a colors company as well as support of the Federal right flank.  The Federal and Confederate lines each had one artillery piece in support.

I regret to report the loss of one marine to fatal musket fire.  One sailor is being treated by the assistant surgeon, having a bullet pass through him.

EY McCauley, Commanding

1st Michigan Battery "D" Assembly
Flint, Michigan
October 7-8, 2006
Participating unit: USNLP 


   This weekend Battery D 1st Michigan light Artillery held our end of season get together at a member's farm near Flint, Michigan. This was a Civil war encampment and the public is always invited to attend (300 this year). This year we had the 12 pound bronze Napoleon, a 10 pound parrot and the mountain howitzer for demo's, firing 2 rounds from each piece every other hour with a small arms demo every off hour. We have a five gun battery with another (2) parrots available with limbers.

   A lone infantryman from the 22 Michigan Volunteer infantry had a living history exhibit complete with canned meat, hard tack, dried beans, and side pork (fat back) laid out from his haversack and the knapsack layout complete with diary, bible, combs and shaving gear and  a couple easels made from saplings held the regiments history and a large poster of the Chickamauga battle taken from Harper's Magazine.

 In addition our medical staff nurses were there to administer battle dressings to the youngsters and explain some of the implements used in field surgery. Our first sergeant's wife had a display of mourning jewelry made from locks of hair  and discussed that.

  Then there was a lonesome artilleryman who took every chance to bemoan the fact that he was being transferred to an ironclad riverine gunboat somewhere on the Mississippi. I would explain the differences between the light artillery tactics, (i.e., naval crews carried cutlasses and revolvers and were expected to fight for their gun). Also broached the subject of the Union navy's submarine the Alligator. Talked about the number of engagements in which we had participated stating numbers of sailors in the attack on Fort Fisher and the failed assault on  Fort Sumter. I probably had a dozen individuals converse with me about the Navy's involvement during the conflict and several asked for the USNLP's website. Two people were really interested in the Pook Turtle replica being built.

  I know I'm rambling a bit Lt. but I enjoyed bringing the Navy into the spotlight and impressed my battery mates with some of the knowledge I have so lately acquired. Next year I'll be allowed to dress in my Blues LOL.

 Jim Newkirk who is our CO also  is the president of the National Civil War Artillery Association and the battery has two of the regional inspectors/instructors and should be conducting a School of the Piece at the living history museum at Conner Prairie, Indiana next year. I'll advise you of the dates as soon as they get firmed up. A good chance to get some of our sailors checked out on the guns. Also the Civil War Muster held in August each year at Jackson, Michigan will be doing Vicksburg as the event next year. Batt. D is a host unit so as the event gets finalized I'll post details to you. This event usually has 2500 military/civilian re-enactors with attendance numbers running between 20,000-35,000 yearly. I think a Naval presence besides the USS Michigan marine guard next year would be beneficial in getting out the Navy's story. I'll talk with Bob Dispenza and see what we can put together.

Your Obediant Servant,

Geo "fatjack" Dailey
Seaman Gunner

Civil War Days
Hartford City, Indiana
October 14-15, 2006
Participating unit: USNLP-- L. R. Dispenza, Lt. Cmdr., USNLP, Kim Dispenza (10) ; Also present- Russ Gilliom (as a soldier), Gib Young (with the Company Singers), Milton Foster (Adm. Farragut) and his cabin boy Michael

We arrived in the cold early morning, just as troops were boarding the bus for the Civil War Memorial Statue dedication at the Blackford County Courthouse.  Proceeds from this event have been dedicated to this project for many years, and the memorial is now complete with granite base and bronze statue (soldier, not sailor).  Kim and I set up our tent and went to register, receiving our $3.00 bounty and program in the process.  There was actually a photo of yours truly taken last year in the program.  We spent the morning meeting and greeting members of the 30th Indiana and 44th Indiana Volunteer infantries (our 2 local organizations) and trying to keep warm.  The wind was strong all day, contributing to the cold.  The 44th provided us with great meals all weekend long (and a heated tent to warm up in).  Then we went exploring to find the sutler with the warmest, cheapest hat for Kim.  She was keeping warm wearing her brother's pea coat, which fit around her cast (she broke both bones in her forearm at our last event, Johnny Appleseed, in September).  We had very few visitors to our camp - most spectators did not cross the battlefield to get to the Union camp.

We took in a few presentations (President Lincoln, life in slavery, a period base ball game featuring some of the Company Singers, etc.) and Kim worked on keeping a fire going all weekend.  I met with the commanding Colonel, who was clueless (as usual for army) what to do with me.  I had no sailors or unattached soldiers to operate with.  At the afternoon's battle I took up a position behind a log fence at the extreme right of the artillery battery, where I faced down 5 Confederate sharpshooters.  Armed with a Sharps rifle and a pistol, my assignment was to hold off the sharpshooters and cavalry in that direction.  It was a losing effort, and the battery was eventually overrun.  The Confederates took the field.  I did get a cheer for the Navy from one Union artillery crew.

After the battle, we cleaned up and headed for the provided dinner, searching for a place out of the wind to eat.  We saw an address and question and answer presentation by President Lincoln (Fritz Klein) on the 1864 election.  Then into dress uniform in preparation for the ball.  We drove to the 4H Hall, where the President asked Kim to dance with him in the first dance, the Grand March.  We danced until 10, and headed back to camp to play farkle with Gen. Lee and Cpl. Mark in the Confederate camp.  After 2 games they had enough, and we retired to camp to try and sleep.  In spite of the tent, cots and warm bedclothes, the cold kept us from a good night's sleep.

Sunday morning saw heavy frost and troops getting ready for the morning tactical.  The Union camp got a late start.  Myself and 3 artillery soldiers (2 unarmed) ventured out to scout, but the Confederates were already in the area in force, and had captured all the flags.  We searched, harassed and distracted where we could, keeping their flanks off balance.  We found they had brought a field piece into the woods, and kept them distracted as the Union troops approached.  Several times they had to send a company to drive us off.  In the end, our troops were decimated, with nearly all out of action or captured.  Another defeat for the Union.

Kim and I went to church call, then back to keeping warm and preparing for the afternoon battle.  I consulted with the Colonel (a different one from yesterday), and his staff decided to use me as a Sergeant Major, and keep the left side of the line in order.  The line formed between a staff lieutenant and myself, and we took the field to force the rebels from behind a split rail fence.  We drove them off and began pushing them downhill, back toward their own artillery.  We would advance, line up, halt and fire, advancing slowly in the face of rebel fire.  I used up all the ammunition for the Smith, and most pistol cartridges.  Cavalry attempted to flank our line.  Eventually the Confederate commander stepped forward under a flag of truce and surrendered his remaining force.  The Union victorious!  A light drizzle was falling.  We reformed our line and paraded past the spectators on our way back to camp.

Kim and I packed up and turned our bow toward home, where hot food and warm beds awaited us.

Respectfully submitted,

L. R. Dispenza, USNLP

Egmont Key
Off Tampa Bay, Florida
November 11-12, 2006
Participating unit: USS Fort Henry 

Egmont Key was taken by the US Navy in the fall of 1861.  The lighthouse (still standing) was used as a sptting tower for blockade runners.  The island became a supply station as the back side of the island could accept deep draft ships.  The island also was a safe have for Unionists who fled the secessionists in Confederate Florida.  Briefly in the fall of 1864, it was the EGBS headquarters as Yellow Fever ran through Key West. 

Saturday, the weather was first rate.  Attendees: On Saturday, Ross, Vince Harold & wife, Vince & wife, Dale, Lew, and on Sunday, Mike, Dale & niece, Lew.  Most went out on the ferry and all returned a little early (3PM) via the park's launch, a much faster ride, both ways being smooth sailing.  Sunday, the weather was a little breezy, and the 1.3 mile ride out was a moderately rough with 2-4 foot swells.  The ride back a little rough but not quite as bad, and the weather was fairly clear. 

The small people ferry (capacity, about 45 people) had a gang plank to land people on the beach.  With the tide, conditions were wet.  Not since I did a few amphibious landings at Mobile (Thunder on the Bay) several years ago did I get my get my legs soaked.  Great!  We often get "land-locked" for events, so one like this is refreshing.  Dale (my XO) and I broke out with "Jolly Grog" over the ferry's PA system as we put our sea legs to good use.   The passengers had a great time.  As I write this, my head is still bobbing from the ferry ride.

We had a good amount of people on both days and provided weapon demonstrations and talks on the Civil War history of the island and the US Navy on blockade duty in general.  On Saturday (Veteran's Day) we did a memorial services dedicated to the 19 men (mostly Navy) buried there during the Civil War as well as to all veterans. 

Lew Zerfas


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