Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Event: Snoqualmie 2016

The weekend of August 13-14 saw another large WCWA reenactment, this time at Meadowbrook Farm between Snoqualmie and North Bend.  The weather was more accommodating this year, in that the event did not have to cancelled after one day.  The Field Hospital and USAS Relief Station were particularly busy countering the discomfort of the hot day, but  no micro-bursts tore through the camp.

WCWA Snoqualmie Reenactment 2016 4th US USAS
Mesdames Smith and Dories work diligently to supply the soldiers
with refreshing lemonade and pickles.

WCWA Snoqualmie Reenactment 2016 4th US Field Hospital
Steward and Nurse Keyes tended many soldiers
affected by the afternoon heat.

WCWA Snoqualmie Reenactment 2016 4th US Fly
Messers Talbot and Hicks relax after battle.

WCWA Snoqualmie Reenactment 2016 4th US Soldiers
Reliable sources indicate that Private Walker is looking forward
to taking up arms against the rebellion.

WCWA Snoqualmie Reenactment 2016 4th US Command Fly
Captain Jones and Mr. Ostrander at the Company Command

Monday, August 1, 2016

Conduct in Public Places

Crinolines (1865) by Eugene-Louis Boudin
Crinolines (1865) by Eugene-Louis Boudin
"Any lover-like airs or attitudes, although you may have the right to assume them, are in excessively bad taste in public." (295)
--The Gentlmen's Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness,1860

Monday, July 18, 2016

Event: Port Townshend

Members of the 4th put on a living history demonstration at Old Fort Townshend over the weekend. While the author was unable to attend, Mr. Strand's pictures indicate that a lively (and delicious) time was had by all.  Thanks to Mr. Mosby for organizing the company mess.

4th US Camp at Fort Townshend 2016 photo by J. Strand
In Camp

4th US Companyd Street Fort Townshend 2016 photo by J. Strand
The Company Street

4th US Firing Demo Fort Townshend 2016 photo by J. Strand
A Firing Demonstration

Monday, July 4, 2016

Event: Color Guard Ceremony and 4th of July Parade

The 4th had a rather busy Indepedence Day, with a color guard ceremony in Puyallup, two parades (DuPont and Steilacoom), and a potluck lunch at Fort Steilacoom.

4th US Reenactors at 4th of July Flag Ceremony
Members serve as a color guard during a
4th of July flag ceremony in Puyallup.
4th US Reenactors Dupont 4th of July Parade 2016
Waiting for the Dupont parade to start.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Dress in Warm Weather, 1856

Crinolines in a gale, Punch 1863
Disorder of a lady's toilet can be excused when it occurs rarely, or for a short time, as in such cases it seems evidently owing to a temporary embarrassment; but if it occur daily or constantly, if it seem the result of negligence or slovenliness, it is unpardonable. 
To suppose that great heat of weather will authorize the disorder of the toilet, and will permit us to go in slippers, or with our legs and arms bare, or to take nonchalant and improper attitudes, is an error of persons of a low class, or destitute of education. Even the weather of dog-days would not excuse this; and if we would remain thus dressed, we should excuse ourselves from seeing company... 
--The Lady's Guide to Perfect Gentility (1856), p. 119-120

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Prisoner's Hope, or Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!

As the war goes on, popular songs begin to reflect some of it's less-pleasant realities. Following 1862's courageous rallying songs, those from 1863-5 directly address homesickness, conscription, imprisonment, and death.

Illustration from "Libby Life: Experiences of a Prisoner of War in Richmond, Va. 1863-1864"

One of the more uplifting numbers, in my opinion, is George F. Root's 1864 "The Prisoner's Hope", also known by the first line of its refrain as "Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!". Here's sheet music, a lyric sheet, and an 1865 sequel "On, On, On The Boys Came Marching!". The following lyrics are taken from Beadle's Dime Song Book, vol. 16 (1864):

In the prison cell I sit,
Thinking, mother dear, of you,
And our bright and happy home so far away:
And the tears they fill my eyes,
Spite of all that I can do,
Though I try to cheer my comrades and be gay.

Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching,
Cheer up, comrades, they will come
And beneath the starry flag
We shall breathe the air again
Of the free land in our own beloved home.

In the battle front we stood
When their fiercest charge they made,
And they swept us oil a hundred men or more;
But before we reached their lines,
They were beaten back dismayed,
And we heard the cry of victory o'er and o'er.


So within the prison cell,
We are waiting for the day
That shall come to open wide the iron door;
And the hollow eye grows bright,
And the poor heart almost gay,
As we think of seeing home and friends once more.


Here are some of the recordings available on-line (and alternate verses).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Event: Battle of Fullbright Park (Union Gap, WA)

The second WCWA reenactment of the season took place last weekend at Union Gap's Fullbright Park.  Captain Jones reports that the 4th "made numbers", ie, had a least 8 pre-registered soldiers participate in the event.  We were also fortunate to be joined by Mr. Spellman of the 12th US, and by a new recruit. The Union Soldiers' Aid Society was on-hand to provide refreshments.

Under the leadership of Captain Jones, Sergeants Strand & Hicks, and Corporal Franks, the 4th acquitted themselves with courage valor, most notably holding off the entire rebel line to permit a flank maneuver by the volunteers.  Unfortunately, this was not enough to prevent a rebel raid on the union camp. [Note to the War Department: consider recruiting Miss D. and her frying pan for special defense objectives.]

Special thanks to Messrs. Strand and Mosby for transporting the company trailor, Mr. Strand for providing the mess, and Mr. & Mrs. Talbott for securing USAS supplies.  The young men of the 4th, notably Messrs. Franks, Franks, and Walker, worked very hard to set up and strike camp, and were in regular attendance on the ladies, as best their duties would permit.

The event was documented here (including aerial shots of the battles).  As the blogmistress's camera malfunctioned, pictures are from Sgt. Hicks.

2016 Union Gap 4th US USAS
USAS Sewing Circle

2016 Union Gap 4th US
Pre-Event Cartridge-Making Party
4th US 2016 Union Gap Reenactment
Company Drill