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The 2017 Reenactment Season has come to a close, maybe somewhat of a dubious close due to the recent goings-on, but nevertheless it has ended. In November we had two company events. The first was the Civil War Show at Richmond Raceway. We were there both Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to all who helped man the tables especially new recruit Kendall Chapman. We did get a few prospects. Now let's see if any of them pan out. The second event was the Remembrance Day Parade in Gettysburg. I think the saying "Don't you have sense enough to.come in out of the rain" applies here. This event too had been threatened in the same way as Cedar Creek but no incidents or pipe bombs here. Despite the rain it was well attended and there was a very high degree of security and police presence at the event. I want to thank everyone who attended. F Company had ten members present making it one of the better attended events of the year. Now that the season is done there are a few things I would like to say.and we will touch on this more at the upcoming annual meeting in February. I hope everyone realizes that we have something special in this entity we call "F Company". We are not your average, run of the mill reenactment unit. We have been around for a long time (30 plus years) and we want to be around even longer. This is not a "good old boy" unit not that there is anything wrong with that kind of unit if that is what you are looking for. But that is not what F Company is looking for. F Company is a cut above and we take pride in what we do and how we do it and even though this is just a hobby we take it seriously. Evidence of that is reflected in the reactions we get at places like Gettysburg when we march in their parade. We hear complimentary and positive comments from the crowd as we pass by and the cameras come out in force. This year has been a very good year for us in recruiting. We got several good quality recruits. You made an excellent choice when you joined F Company and that bodes well for our future. OK. I said all that to say this. In regard to our future, and this is something to begin thinking about, the leadership of F Company is aging. We, the leadership, are eventually going to have to step down from our positions. This is not something that is eminent but will probably begin to happen in the next few years. So, the unit will be around for the next 30 years I think we need to be a little proactive in preparing for this eventual changeover in leadership. As I said we have some time before this will happen, but the membership needs to start considering F Company's future and the part you are willing to play in that.
I never expected when I joined the unit that I would someday be captain, but you do what needs to be done as the need arises. So be thinking about this and we will talk more about it at the annual meeting. Speaking of the Annual Meeting, it will be 17 February 2018. Put that date on your calendar for next year plus the other dates the 1st Sergeant will be giving you in his article. Also, please note that this is a Dec/ Jan Newsletter. The next newsletter will not come out until February 2018. Now I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season. Thanks for a great reenacting year and I will see everyone in February.
With kindest regards
Richmond Civil War Show (11-12 Nov 2017)-Once again F Co returned to the Richmond Raceway venue to recruit for the company, and educate the public at the oldest Civil War collectors show in America. I arrived on Fri afternoon after a reasonable road trip to get our two display tables set-up w/ original and reproduction rifle-muskets, field and mess gear along w/F Co’s business cards and flyers for recruiting distribution. I then spent a restful night at Tony Turley’s in Chesterfield, and was up the next morning ready to go when the show opened at 0900 at the Richmond Raceway w/additional militia display uniform items added including the F Co militia colors. Tony and I were both manning the booth w/the assistance of Jack Alexander, and came up w/some potential recruits including a father/son duo, as well as fielding a number of comments by visitors about “Confederate issues” facing America today.
We interestingly enough encountered several former F Co members attending the show as well as current members including Bob Baird, Steve Adams and his wife plus Travis Clements and his wife Courtney. Always good to see folks you know at the show including several long-time dealer friends of mine. Sunday saw myself along w/Tony back at the show plus we were assisted by our newest recruit Kendall Chapman in his new uniform as well as by that old soldier 2nd SGT Eldridge Firth. As the show closed out at 3:00PM, then we took down display and loaded up for the return trip home. All in all, a successful weekend for F Company!
Remembrance Day Parade (18 Nov 2017)- The two key images of this year’s Remembrance Day Parade was security and rain! Given the “threatening letter” sent about a potential attack on the parade by “unidentified persons” then law enforcement security became a key component of the parade along w/a shortened parade route. Probably the most interesting aspect of all this were the streets blocked off along the revised parade route by Gettysburg borough dump trucks to prevent any attacks by vehicle on the parade marchers, but most especially the heavy presence of local law enforcement from all over Adams and York counties, plus the PA State Police including horse mounted troopers. I was personally glad to see members of your unit thanking law enforcement for their security work at the parade. There were no known incidents reported by either the news media or law enforcement from the parade.
Participation in the parade was very good despite known threats, w/both Federal and Confederate units turning out in force even in the face of what was a very severe rain storm! Everyone in F Co in the parade would have to say they truly got “drowned” as the rain came down in sheets, and it was a cold rain at that w/temperatures in the upper 30’s! Parade participants included the Alexander’s, Adams, Chapman, Clements, Gorgone, Ray Hanson, Riemer, and Turley plus myself for a total of 10 F Co soldiers. Marching w/our regimental colors carried by Travis Clements plus wearing our new very period white gloves we presented an excellent military bearing and appearance despite being thoroughly wet! I certainly appreciated the fact that everyone stayed in a good humor recognizing that all of us were just as wet and miserable as the next guy! It was most heartening and a morale boost as we approached the National Cemetery to be greeted by Federal bands playing Dixie!
After getting home, drying off and changing into 21st century clothes, my house guests (Mark and Janice Riemer along w/Bob Gorgone) plus myself were off to check out the various sutler’s set-up throughout Gettysburg for the Remembrance Day weekend. We visited several old dealer friends including S&S Sutlery (a long time authentic Gettysburg business) w/Mac’s Sutlery in a tent nearby on Buford Avenue, plus other sutlers such as the Sullivan Press in the Gettysburg Hotel; Merrick’s Custom Leather in the ole Holiday Inn whose famed for his great CW suspenders, Bob Zaharias (the Button Man) on Steinwehr Ave, and a whole lot of sutlers scattered throughout town. Socializing went on during the evening as we dined at the Garryowen Irish Pub, and encountered a whole host of reenactor friends and acquaintances.
Of course, getting your uniform and equipment dried proved to be a drawn-out affair, and most especially having to clean the musket and bayonet to prevent serious rusting! My poor kepi absorbed a lot of water and took a good 36 hours to dry out!
Upcoming Dates and Events-While we are about to enter the
“off season” for reenacting, nevertheless, you need to be aware that
there are some upcoming key dates that you need to put on your F
Co planning calendar for the first part of 2018.
17 Feb (Sat) - Annual Membership Meeting, Richmond area
3 Mar (Sat)- Fort Clean-up Day, Fort Harvie (Amelia Co., VA)
23-25 Mar (Fri-Sun) - Camp of Instruction, Fort Harvie (Amelia Co., VA)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
With Kindest Regards,
Michael L. Vice
1st SGT, F Co,
21st VA Infantry
Check out the pictures below!
F Company at Gettysburg Remembrance Day Parade...just a little wet
F Company at Richmond Civil War show with potential recruit
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