2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002
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
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
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.
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,
U.S. Steamer Fort Henry
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.
Secretary/Senior Watch Officer
Through the Ages LH Event
Jamestown Festival Park, Jamestown,
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
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
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.
Secretary/Senior Watch Officer
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
L. R. Dispenza, USNLP
Riverwalk Park LH Event
25 March 2006
Participating unit: Gulf Coast Living History Association
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:
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.
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.
Civil War Days
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 and ending with pizza for presenters about . 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
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….
L. R. Dispenza, USNLP
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
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.
David Lynch, Captain
His Britannic Majesty's Frigate Guadalupe
Roads Naval Museum (HRNM) LH
On the 17th Instant, a detail from the USS Monitor traveled to Norfolk, VA
to participate in the above event.
K. Eberly, PO A. Mordica, PO C.Fisher, PO E. Jeanneret
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
K. Eberly, USRCS/USLSS
Officer in Charge
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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!!!
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.
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
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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;
Ian McKay, Brig. General of Engineers (by Brevet -- Capt. T.E.);
Chief of Staff (acting);
Lt. General U.S. Grant's
Attending members: LCDR McLean, Able Seaman Keough, Boy 3rd Class Walter, Boy 3rd class Gordon
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Allen Mordica, USRCS
Officer in Charge
Dade City, Florida
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
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
EY McCauley, Commanding
Michigan Battery "D" Assembly
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.
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
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.
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
Hartford City, Indiana
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
and I packed up and turned our bow toward home, where hot food and warm
beds awaited us.
L. R. Dispenza, USNLP
Off Tampa Bay, Florida
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.