View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 01:17 am
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Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352

Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065

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Cleburne; a lot of what we do, my unit anyway, is practical Living History. Some of it is seeing how the gear actually wears on a 5 mile or greater cross country hike, how well the equipment actually holds up, how long it takes two men to dig a rifle pit etc.

It's a whole different experiance to actually dig a rifle pit or set of sinks and stand pickett for a 24 hour period than just driving to a "battle" setting up tents and playing war a couple times a day w/ a bit of drill in between.

I like to be able to possitively say that a man can hit a man sized target at 400 yards w/ the M1841 or M1861 I'm holding and say yes you can do a 12 mile march w/ everything you see in that tent behind me on your back. Then sleep w/ nothing more than a gum blanket and a blanket fairly comfortably. I can say those things w/ a straight face when I'm teaching kids because I've done them.

I think I have a marginally better understanding of the men of 61-65 than a book has given me because I've done some of the same style marches w/ the same kind of gear and weapons on the same rations. I can tell you it's an experiance waking up in the morning w/ a light coat of snow over you and the water in your canteen more than half frozen or going three days w/out ever really getting dry living in mud so sticky your shoes come off.

One of the most memorable experiances in my re-enacting career has been a 2-3 mile patrol where we moved in full skirmish order through relatively unknown territory and for that morning the only reminder of the 21st Century whatsoever was the single barbwire property fence. About half way through the patrol our 2nd Sgt threw up his hand for us to halt and we all did, in absolute silence, he motioned for us to close on him and there not 3' in front of him using a log for cover was a fawn and it simply laid there perfectly still just like it's mama taught it. I had passed w/in 5-6' of it and hadn't seen it, and me the hunter of the group. We saw three more does that morning. Fun... well my wife does say I'm crazy on occasion.

But I just smile and remember her fry bread or period donuts and bread... yummmm.

All that said... I know I'm going to go back to work Monday morn after a hot shower and a good supper and sleep Sunday night. And most importantly dysentery isn't gonna kill me and that smoke being tossed my way by some enthusiastic rebs isn't pushing lead death before it.

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