Jul 6, 2009

After Action Reports

Battle of Monmouth Reenactment June 27th

The 1st Rhode Island Regiment participated only on Saturday. We had a good turn out at this event, fielding 10 reenactors, including 2 musicians. Upon arrival we setup camp and reported for morning drill. Because we were late we formed up with the militia instead of being assigned to a company of regular army. The commander deployed the militia by section to practice light infantry tactics and flanking maneuvers. Afterward, we returned to camp to greet visitors. There was a steady stream of visitors. Mostly, we interacted with individuals and small groups as they stopped by our camp, conversing and answering questions, telling the story of the 1st RI and blacks in the American Revolution. Sometimes our group would shift into 1st person, portraying fictional or historical characters from the period to debate each other on issues, or relay the characters experience in their terms. More formal presentations were given for larger groups.

For the afternoon battle reenactment there was large crowd of spectators. The Continental army marched across the field to form up in the woods. Our company while the other to to the field first. There was a brisk artillery exchange. Historically, this battle had the largest artillery engagement of the war, so it is great to have a lot of batteries to represent this aspect of the battle. When the time came are company deployed on the left flank to form up the whole battalion. The British and the American forces engaged according to the script as the crowd watched. After the battle the troops paraded off the field as narrator announced regimentnames in the order they marched.

We had one minor injury on the field when one reenactor received a flash burn from a musket that didn't have a flash guard attached. As with all reenactments an equipment safety inspection had been conducted. While a flash guard may not be required to pass inspection, the use of one is prudent. At future events it is recommended that a check for an attached flash guard be madepart of the inspection.

Lincoln Bicentennial Festival and Independence Day Parade 7/3-7/5

July 4th weekend the 6th USCT joined the 3rd USCT in Philadelphia for the Lincoln Bicentennial Festival and Independence Day Parade. A Civil War Union Army encampment was set up on the grounds of the Constitution Center. We fielded 4 troopers and 2 cadets. The 22nd USCT had 2 troopers. With the 3rd we were able to muster 12 to march in the parade. The 3rd regiment, based in Philadelphia, set up the exhibit fly tent. Inside there were tables displaying items such as uniform parts and various items a soldier would carry to the field, informational poster boards with photos.

The flow of visitors was continuous. Our tents were at the southeast corner of the grounds where tour buses often stopped to offload passengers, and directly across from Independence Mall. Other regiments and exhibits filled the grounds and visitors were treated to a number of ongoing activities and presentations - music, medicine, Navy exhibit, drill and troops on parade.

Security considerations restricted some things normally part of an encampment. We usually stack arms. Not long after we had stacked our rifles a National Park Service ranger informed us that we couldn't have any unsheathed bayonets at the event. For the same reason, soldiers at guard posts couldn't affix their bayonets. Normally there is a rifle firing demonstration at these events, but firing caps and powder cartridges were banned from the grounds.

The constant flow of vistors kept us very busy. At least two or three of us were usually engaged conversation with visitors. Many came to see the encampment, but most seemed to be out for the July 4th weekend and dropped by to see what was going on. We got to tell the story about US Colored Troops, which many appreciated. They often expressed awe and bewilderment that they never heard this information before, or that the movie Glory didn't tell all the story.

Many visitors wanted to have their photographs taken with us. We let them wear a uniform hat and coat and hold a rifle for the picture. This was very popular with the visitors who queued up for the chance.

Submitted by Cpl Leon Brooks
I would like to setup a Lincoln 2oo visitors memory photo album fromthe event. If you would like your photo included, please email a copy to 6thusct@gmail.com

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