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Posted By: S. Chris Anders on: 09/15/2005 10:55:11 EDT
Subject: RE: Chris Anders' Engineer Communicators Have Come Of Age

Message Detail:

You just don't get it do you? It seems it would take a 2x4 to wake you up from 1987. First posting folks private emails is just plain wrong and with out class.

Second, unless you have a 6-8 portable telegraphs that can ride beside officers on a horse there is no use for telegraph/signals in scenario control. The hobby has passed you by, and you are angry and absurd about it. The days of just passing out first person crapola orders for historical scenarios is over by those who seet he light. We manage the stage, troops have a great time, and the public sees a historical battle, not just the battle of something local.

Just the signal folks have less to do. Sorry, that is how it is. Now if you would set up for General Communications off the field, to relay basic information between 2-3 stationary points, there is a use there.

In case you doubt what I say, see these quotes-

Charles Heath commented on Sunday’s battle by saying: "The Sunday Cobb Crushing worked like clockwork. It was the best-scripted fight since Case’s flank attack at Averasboro in 1998. It was on the money. For those who say the battle scenarios always get flummoxed, well, this weekend was a bit different." - FOTM 2000

"Today's battle was among the most realistic I have ever witnessed."...."I've had mixed experiences with participants adhering to scenarios and taking hits, but the Confederates performed magnificently. I believe that they wanted us to wipe them out to a man . . . some even appeared upset when we ceased our attack".- John Cox, FOTM 2000.

"It was a complicated and ambitious plan, but everyone tried to keep to it. The Confederates could have broken the scenario on several occasions, taking advantage of our left flank when we fell back from the rail fence, or charging up the center where we left an inviting gap. They could have advanced to close range on our front at any time. But they didn’t, and I salute their discipline and restraint. But above all I attribute the fundamental success of the re-enactment to the organizers and the top command. The “all hands” walk-through before the battle not only informed the participants, it seemed to make them partners. As a result the “battle” felt much less like a playground recreation of the Civil War than a joint effort to bring off a demonstration of some historical and civic value. "...."Still, a generally celebratory mood seemed to cover the field at battle’s end. Because of the cooperation and discipline of both sides the battle went off almost entirely as planned, despite the complexity of the scenario, the amount of movement, and the technical challenges involved in such actions as deploying and firing horse-drawn artillery. I overheard soldiers on both sides talk about how good the event was even while they were still on the field, and there seemed to be an unusual amount of mutual congratulations and hand shaking between blue and gray."- M. Schaffner- TGW 2004


Just wanted to say thanks to Chris Anders and the rest of the fine folks that put together this event. I had the privilege of falling in with the Liberty Rifles over the weekend and I say thanks to Jeff Hayes and the rest of the bunch as well. The battle on Saturday night (Brawner's Farm) is one that I will not soon forget. The combination of heavy smoke and growing darkness, in addition to seeing the black hats roll out of the woods really gave me a feeling like I was right there. Thanks again.
Joel Busenitz
48va CO D
High Stakes Mess

Thanks Chris and others for your hard work. Saturday nights Brawners Farm battle was the best battle that I have been in. I was on the Federal right. It really brought to life the accounts of not being able to see who you were shooting at. Just a lot of things fell into place for me on that one. I experienced in a small amount the confusion, noise, etc. that my ancestors felt . At times I couldn't see 10 yards in front of me. The play "Our American Cousin" was first rate. Thanks to the "Rebs" for being great opponents . This was one of the best I've been to.

John Feagin

Great event! The best I've been to this year. I agree that the "Brawner's Brawl" battle Saturday evening was a Very Hot Topic, despite the misty showers. Hard to criticize it.
However, Sunday's afternoon battle (2nd Manassas' "Unfinished RR cut") was, to me, the best. I was a part of the first wave of Confederate reinforcements (IIRC, we represented the 3rd NC?), and the conrfusion & mayhem that prevailed as we counter-attacked through the trees and over boulders & rotting logs (& fallen soldiers) was really Bully. We then emerged from the rough, rock-strewn finger of woods and chased the yanks towards the worm fenceline (representing the RR cut, I believe). I took a right shoulder hit and went down heavily, extracted my filthy rag & clutched it to my "wound." It really looked good later when the surgeon came by and (secretly) applied some "blood" to my ragged' wound. I was helped off the field and sat under a tree, not far from the 'taters. I could be wrong, but it all seemed pretty compelling.

Regardless, the event overall was really good. As I said, the most enjoyable overall that I've attended in '05.

However, we still have Burkittsville & PF to go. Looks like it's going to continue to be a great year,
Charles Kibler

I agree with all the comments here and add my thanks to the organizers of this event. Although not a totally true campaign event, it was one of the best I have been to in years. There was alot of hard work that went into putting this event on, and it really paid off. The Brawners Farm battle developed into a spectacular fight as nightfall was coming and you just couldn't see 15 feet in front of you. Sunday's battle of 2nd Manassas was very intense. I took a hit at the rebel breastworks and was content to watch the fighting. After around 20 minutes the Yanks started to retreat over me and back into the field. The counter attack that followed by the Rebs was one of the best I have seen in a long time. So real, it got me scared as I was lying right in the middle of it. Thanks to the Reb who came up to me and said " Do you wanna git outta here?" I nodded and was pulled out of the chaos. Great job everyone, I wish they were all this good!!!
John Barr
2nd Delaware Co A

I have to agree with all above. Brawner's Farm....WOW! Getting to portray the 27th VA was a real thrill, I have never seen the guys in the company whipped into such a frenzy. There were more period moments experienced during that weekend on and off the field, for me to remember them all. It was nice to see the scenerios play out like they were intended. I also thought the number of combatants was just right, both sides worked together and made the weekend.

Great Job!
Shawn Stern
27th VA CO G.

Greetings all,

I want to thank everyone on the event staff for putting together an overall superb event. I'm very grateful for all of your time and headaches that into making this a quality and certainly memorable event. I was also glad to see everyone stick it out through all of the rain. It's ironic how being wet and lacking sleep makes some of the most memorable experiences.

The Brawner's Farm fight was superb. Being a part of the 56th PA, it was a grand spectacle to advance across that field and see three regiments of the Iron Brigade slugging it out while silhoutted against the increasingly thick smoke. One of the best parts about this fight was looking around and not seeing anything modern.

I thought Brawner's Farm would be hard to top, but the Railroad Cut on Sunday came very close if not surpass it. As one of the many casualties of the 63rd PA, I was able to see the advance and then the breakthrough of the Federals on the Confedrate left. The Confederate counterattack was one of the most intense fights I've seen in years.

It was an honor to represent the 56th and 63rd PA at this event. My hat also goes off to the wonderful talent that made "Our American Counsin" a joy to watch. Aside from the military aspects, that was perhaps my favorite part of the weekend.

Aaron Hooks

"Ownership". Until I spent two days helping prep the site and then saw the involvement of reenactors in the management and execution (instead of a corporation), I knew it as a theory only. Now I know what it means and how it works. So62 has been a giant step toward where I think we ought to be going. This event will be my standard until something better comes along, and I expect the next one put on by Anders & Co. to be it.
Yours, &c.,

Guy "Frenchie" LaFrance

I have to second the good things that folks are saying about Summer '62. The event delivered exactly what it promised, which given the way things often go, is saying a lot. Was it a "campaigner" event? No. Were there some units there with privates in A tents? Yes.

For all that folks seemed really committed to doing things right. The pre-battle walk through was an excellent idea and seems to have delivered just what folks were looking for. Logistics were seemlessly handled, and unobtrusive. The only flaw there was the infantry trying to take our hay to make nests out of!

From a cavalry perspective (Federal Cavalry) this event was something of a breakthrough. Working with Chris, and Kevin, and Mike Schaffner (a capital fellow and a 1st rate adjutant) before the event we were able to install all the little things that the cavalry needs: hay, a shady picket site for the horses, and most importantly WATER. All too often at events the cavalry is the bastard step child that gets a crusty camp that is farther from water than Death Valley.

Another huge step was the scripting in of cavalry action into the scenarios. In the case of Saturday afternoon (Cedar Mountain) the Federal Cavalry actually had two different impressions. We opened the battle as the 1st RI Cav, as mounted skirmishers. We then closed the battle with our charge as the 1st PA. While both parts were relatively minor in time the fact that they were well thought out and scripted into the action was a huge step ahead. At almost every event that I've ever been to (even the "better" events) the plan calls for cavalry to "Go do your thing over there." Being a part of the script was most excellent!

The Highs:
-Our Saturday charge as the 1st PA
-Organized and scripted battles
-A nice site (although the battlefields were a little cramped)
-excellent logistics
-Correct and frequent communication between HQ and the cavalry etc

The Lows:
-The weather
-Getting on site! I 100% endorse the policy in place to keep cars out of camp at the event. However I got on the wrong side of this despite my best efforts to arrive before the cut off time, and spent some very exasperating time trying to get my wife and her friend to their camp with their gear. Such is life.

Take care,
Tom Craig
Formerly Capt. 1st PA Cavalry

As a reenactor whose main portrayal is that of Co. B of the 2nd Wisconsin, it was a thrill to be able to take part in the Brawner Farm senario. Especially since it was company B that was the skirmish company. Wheeling to the left in a long line, cresting the hill and seening the rebs lined up will be something I never forget.

We endured a long bus ride to come out for this moment and it was very satisfying to see how gratful and appreciative the event planners and other reenactors were that we would make such a long trip from Wisconsin to Maryland for this event. It was well worth it and would not hesitate to make the trip again for any event put on by this crew.

Thanks again.
Dave Casey
Co. B, 2nd Wisc. Vol. Inf. "La Crosse Light Guard"

I had an absolute great time! Chris and Bobbie and co., you guys did a great job!! Also, thank you on behalf of my boys.

Kevin, Mike L., Mike S., Scot B. and the other Federal officers did a great job as a whole this past weekend. The scripted battle plans (not to scale, lol), were a great tool. Thanks goes to the Federal HQ for keeping me from starving and dehydrating, lol.

Brawner's Farm... what can I add that everyone that has posted so far hasn't already expressed? I think I can add this... I almost wet my drawers and cried when the Rebel Yell sang across the field and you feller's in gray emerged from the smokey woods. It was a moment that I will truly never forget and for all of you who were there... thank you because this wouldn't have happened if YOU weren't there.

I can't complain about the rain seeing as how it has rained at every event this year (so far) from Bentonville to the present. As QM for the 2nd Wisconsin, I can honestly say that I didn't request it.

Another 'moment' that I experienced was when Col. Mike Lavis read a poem from a CW vet called "Who Will Remember The Boys In Blue?" and the clouds parted and the sun began to shine for the first time.

Fella's, we weren't the only one's on the field... and you ALL know what I mean. I believe they would be proud of this event.
Guy W. Gane III


I thought the Summer of '62 was amazing and it was probably the best civil war event I have done to date. Thanks to Chris and all the other people who were involved in putting on the event. The battle for Brawner's Farm was the closest I have ever felt to actual Civil War combat. My unit sang Minstrel Boy as the cannonade was going on just prior to us taking the field, and it was eerie listen too. When Dave Pridgeon read the account of the 21st Georgia before we went out, I know that at least I almost let a tear out. I also thought a great part of the weekend was the Indian raid that was done by the PSL on Andrew Dangel's camp for our whiskey ration, but that's just from one savage.
David A. Naples
Co. G
6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry

On behalf of the Shenandoah Legion a hearty thank you to Chris and Laura Anders, the event staff, and all the members of the Western Maryland Heritage Foundation for creating such a worthwhile event. You created an environment where those in attendance were able to experience several "magic moments", when it was feasible to be transported momentarily back in time. The fact the effort was non-profit, with all proceeds going to preservation was icing on the cake. Everyone in our organization, infantry, artillery, and civilian participants all had a most memorable experience.

This event represented reenactors in our region continuing down the path of gaining event organizing experience. This experience will prove invaluable when we reach the 150th anniversary series of events, when we hope to have the capability of controlling our own destiny. Those in leadership positions will have an awesome responsibility of providing to the rank and file the most memorable event experiences possible. Chris, our organization heralds your vision, and hard work toward this future. We are proud to be working on a parallel course with you, and so many others, and look forward to our ever increasing cooperation together.

-Dave Pridgeon

To add some more,
Thank you summer of 62 for putting on one of the best events that I have ever attended. I thought all the battles were exciting, especially, you guessed it, Brawner's Farm. The smoke, the noise, the intensity, it was all amazing, and its something that I'll not soon forget. Thank you Liberty Rifles for taking us in. It really made the drive from Alabama worth it.

Ryan Alcaino


If it takes using hidden radios to have scenarios come off like this, then that is what it takes. I am not willing to sacrifice this.

Period communications have a place, battle control IS NOT IT.

Things have moved, the hobby is changing.

S. Chris Anders

CS Commander

To the Gates of Washington
Summer of '62
Fire on the Mountain, 2000
Advanced Camp of Instruction
Burkittsville 2001

US Commander

Morton's Ford
War on the James

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