Sunday, November 11, 2007

Guyandotte Civil War Days, WV - 2 to 4 Nov. 2007

Here are some old-fashioned looking pics of us...I hope you like 'em!
Here Merle and I are as we first rode onto the scene that day. It took the Yank cavalry quite some time to catch up and engage us. So much for plans!
"Where in the devil are those Yank cavalry, Merle?"

More prancing in front of the crowd...
Here I am, Colt Sheriff drawn, with Bob waiting for the Yank cavalry to come around and engage us. Bob is riding his outstanding stead, Fred...who happens to be a large mule. Fred was quite the showman...and Bob did just fine too!

'Maybe if we rode over here, we could catch those Yanks by surprise...and maybe even put on a show for the spectators?!'

I love this pic...are those hobbits heading into town?! Nope, just our gang heading to breakfast! They have wool overcoats to ward off the chill.
Here is Jake, posing for a pic. He is taking a chug off of 'my' bottle, that only I get to drink out of (except my Sweetie Pie of course!). He is making it look like he is chugging some moonshine I guess?! Goofy kid!
Here is a great pic of Jimmy hanging out with Travers.
Here is Joe on Chic. Joe sat on Chic for quite some time while Chic was eating clover. Joe enjoys the horses a lot and seems to be a natural...just like his namesake I guess!

Here is Tom, sitting around camp, playing on his new bugle. He purchased it with birthday monies. Too bad he screwed around with it too much and lost the mouthpiece about an hour after this picture was taken. And if he would have only kept it in his tent for the rest of the day like I told him to...

Here my cute Eme and I are posing with Travis, Merle's lovely Tennessee Walker.

This was pretty cool...after lunch, the band of minstrels that was playing took up 'Dixie'. Everyone in the room (I don't recall seeing any Yanks there, but anyway...) all stood up and starting clapping and singing along. It was great! Even little Jimmy is clapping along! Well, it looks like Jake and Joe were too lazy to stand, but so it goes!

Here is me in my new spiffy civilian frock coat that Bethany recently made for me. Isn't is sharp looking?! I got several compliments. Not too bad considering it is made out of upholstery fabric! I does look line a rough silk blend, or even a jean cloth at a glance. You'd have to be a real anal 'stitch counter' to spot the wrong cloth! Besides, it was made on the home front...anything goes! Heck in this getup, I could be convalesceing, or fixing to spy on some Yanks, or even out campaigning with the 8th MO Cavalry!

And here is my Sweetie Pie! Doesn't she look super?!

Guyandote Civil War Days was the last of the season for us. The days were nice, the nights were frigid, but we survived. No rain or wind, so that is always a plus! The site we were at left a lot to be desired...
we were underneath an overpass coming off a bridge that beautifully spanned the Ohio (that is it in the midground underneathe that bridge of course). We were seculued, but got very little interaction with the public because of the seclusion. And that to us, in an important part of the event.

But what can you say? This was a real Civil War battlefield and the first one that I have participated in that was such. In early November 1861, Confederate forces retook the town. But the next day, Yanks reclaimed the town. The town was definitely a split town prior to the War and remained so throughout. Even today, the town seemed definitely more Southern Sympathetic! On Saturday, the crowd cheered when we 'won the day'. On Sunday, applause for the Union forces was very sparse, and half-hearted. Bethany tells me were even some 'boos' to be heard when announce that the Yankees re-claimed the town!

But the folks in town were real friendly. They fed us several times, had warm showers available, and some of the town folks, when they saw us pull out of town (we were, as usual, the last to leave!) all waved at us from a corner shop. Very cool!

Merle and friends under his set up.

Confederate Infantry pressing the Yanks in the street.

Here we are posing in front of an old cemetery there in Guyandotte. You can't tell from the pic, but the tree behind us, a sycamore, I believe, was the largest of its kind that I have ever seen. In fact, it was one of the largest trees period I've ever seen!Ok, I am at it again...trying to mount from a standing position without stirrups. You can see the problem. This time, I got my upper leg to clear, but I just can't get my left one to actually clear more than a few inches from the ground. I have surely, always had 'white man's disease'. White men can't least this one!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Living History - Chief Logan Res. - 29 Sept 2007

Here are some of the pics of the family at this recent Living History event. It would take too long to arrange them just like I like, so here they are in this order!

Jake on the move and looking very big!

And here is a common view of Jake...he sits on the ground and tends the fire.

And here is my Super Tom...he is getting big too!

Here is my cute Eme...isn't she the cutest girl you ever saw?!!

My little, blue-eye Joe! He is surely such a handsome fella!
(He takes after his Dad in both regards!)

And here is another great looking, blue-eyed boy, my Jimmy!

And here is Jimmy acting like his big brother and trying to start the fire...well, if he was near the fire that is!

And here is my Sweetie-pie, Bethany, in her new, just made dress. You unfortunately can't see her or the dress real well due to the lighting. This is about my only pic of her at the event.

Here is Jake riding Chic.

Here is Merle teaching Tom a bit how to ride Travers.

Here is a real nice pic of Merle and Eme on Travers.

Here is Joe on Chic with me leading.

And here is little Jimmy on his first horse. He got to ride on Chic a bit and did real good!

Here are some more of the pics of our recent living history event that Merle, Gary and I did for the Cub Scout event Howlin' at the Moon out at Chief Logan Reservation. We had a lot of fun, got to camp out, show the Cub Scouts and families the cavalry and infantry weapons and even share some basic Civil War history. Fun was had by all!

Here I am after another ride around camp. Lots of fun, and that is surely the way to tour a scout event!

Here I am arriving back at camp. Boy I can see what I get such a sore from that is way too small! I guess I should have captured a bigger one from those Yanks, eh?!

Here is me just pretending to fire my pistol. Chic didn't like it one bit! She started trying to run away and spin away. I scared some poor schmuck trying to come up the trail at the same time. He wasn't about to move! Merle said to hold the gun pointing between her ears...she can't see the pistol that way. If I was firing it, she could have time to adjust to the noise.

Chic in mid-spin with me trying to get her to cool it.

There is Merle and Travers, Me and Chic, and General Lee (Gary) and Nelly Gray

Here is a nice shot of General Lee with a rather hefty looking scout!

Another shot of the General and Nelly!

Here is a nice shot of our campsite and the tent and fly, as well as many of the boxes and chairs, that Bethany and I have made. And we did most of that in a two-month period earlier this year!

Here I am riding bareback on Chic. It wasn't too bad at all, but I'll have to learn how to ride like that better before doing it too much in a close area like that one was! Chic thought it would be fun to start trotting away...I didn't think it was a hot idea, so I got off fairly quick and tied her up.

Here I am trying to jump on Chic. That was the apex of my jump! Looking at the picture, I think I must jump with two legs, whereas, Merle, who did it quite easily (he tried to lure me into a bet that he could do it...well, if you're asking for a bet...duh, of course I know you can do! I offered to pay him in Confederate money, but he wasn't interested in that bet!) is able to jump off one leg. I also couldn't get my right foot to turn out and over. I may try again in the future.

To get on Chic, I had to jump chest to back and then pull myself up. Merle got a kick out of that. Easy for him - he can make the jump!! But I did get up on Chic's back and that is the main thing.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Caesar Creek, Ohio - 15 Sept 2007

Our most recent event was at Caesars Creek Pioneer Village between Dayton and Cincinatti just west of Interstate 71 via State Route 73. It is a great little set up there of restored cabins and such of early settlers. Merle and I were really the only ones representing the 5th Texas Cavalry. There were a couple of other fellas, but they were busy playing Generals Lee and Grant. This was our first event in Ohio...and we've only been here for about 3 weeks at this point! I got all our gear out of storage the day before we went, that is how fast we got into it in our new home area.

Here I am proudly standing next to the Battle Flag. I was heavily armed to defend it out there on the battlefield! I was carrying (2) borrowed '51 Colt Army pistols (.45 cal) and my '51 Colt Navy Sheriff (.36 cal).

This is myself with Merle Collins. He invited me into the 5th Texas Cavalry. His support has been invaluable. Without his knoweldge, and generous use of his horse, Chic, and the tack, extra revolvers, traps, etc....I wouldn't be able to do a cavalry impression at this time. Thanks for making a dream come true for me, Merle!

Here is Bethany and I in front of our Battle Flag. Look at all those pistols...phew! I'm sure our buddies in the 26th NC would be greatly impressed! (a little bit too mainstream for them...but it sure was fun to fire a ton of shots from horseback!) I like this pic of us a lot. Only the little .36 cal '51 Colt Navy Sheriff is mine. I plan to get a Remington with additional cylinders to change out while on the field in addition to my Sheriff. I might also get a Colt Walker too, just because they are so dang cool!

Dead Yanks in the ravine...that is always a good thing! But as Joe would say, 'the Yankees didn't win the War, they just win on Sunday!' Merle and I only observed from the top of ravine as we were on horseback in a dense and rugged forest area. This was one of two operations on Saturday afternoon.

What a beautiful day it was...perfect weather for anything, especially a reenactment. Here is our infantry behind the picket fence. There probably were another 100 Confederate foot soldiers and a few cannons around to the right of the fence. The Yanks charged across the field and were decimated by our artillery pieces and the fire of the men. They were a bit 'too' decimated as they all died...quite hokey! But the crowd had fun and seemed to enjoy themselves, and that is the main thing.

Here is Jimmy wandering around our campsite - our home away from home!

Here is Jimmy in typical form...He looks tired there, doesn't he?

Bethany soothing a poor, hurt Jimmy.

Here is Jake kickin it around camp and climbing an apple tree he was not supposed to climb. He just goofed off and had a good ol time!

Here is Tom vanquishing a foe...of some sort. I guess he is beating down the pioneers here or something! That looks a lot like Joe there getting the business end of that stick from Tom!
Here is Tom hanging out with his buddy who we liked to call 'Johnny Appleseed'.

This is classic Eme...she always manages to find friends!

Isn't my little Eme Pie so pretty?!!

Joe is always on the move and difficult to pin down for a good shot. He is often in the mix of kids, but always quietly. We like to call him the 'silent destroyer' at home, because he is stealthy when tearing up something that he shouldn't be touching. But he often has guns that he likes to carry around at events. And he likes to run with the older kids whenever he can.

And of course, Jim likes the pistols too!

Here are all the kids in typical action (except Eme...she is hanging somewhere with her girlfriends!). There is usually another kid or two to be on hand with our gang.

This is, as you may imagine, tough on Mom. You should she how tired she looks at the end of the day!

Here are some very poor quality pics of me on Chic, but that is all I have for now.
This is probably about the point where the Yanks said something to the effect (but more kindly) 'Y'all should retreat because you stink, Brent'. And they were of course right, but for my first time ever, I did pretty good really. I'll get better and whip 'em out right in time!

Merle is atop Travers, a beautiful, but honery gray Tennesse Walker. Merle is doing a field repair on the stirup I broke by not knowing what I was doing out there on Chic. You can kinda see Merle's wife Jeanne holding the horses still while he cuts leather with a big Bowie Knife. I was just waiting for Travers to jump and me to get a Bowie knife to the gut!

Here is the beautiful Chic. She is training me up to ride real nice! Chic is a quarterhorse, and obviously a 'sorrel' color as they say. I borrow Merle's "McClellan" style saddle. After the battle, Merle and I practiced a bit more and I finally got the 'holding on with your knees' part I think! I also got where I wasn't confusing Chic with commands. She is neck reigned, and will be great to ride as I get more practiced.