Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Firing up the season at Longwoods

The reenacting season in southwestern Ontario begins yearly with the reenactment of the battle of Longwoods of the War of 1812 at the Longwoods Conservation Area. This was my first event a number of years ago and it was the event that hooked me on the hobby.

This year, my son had to work both days, but Beth, Katie, and I came out and joined other members of Croghan's Company, 17th United States Infantry for the event. Of course, the battles are scripted, more or less. and on Saturday, we lose. (Photos are courtesy of Laughing Devil Photography, Jeff Brown, and a number of other sources. Let me know if I missed you and I'll happily give credit.)

Our camp. None of us slept there, but there were other hearty souls who did.

Henry, the Brigade surgeon, explains the working of contemporary medicine.

Saturday morning drill. Learning to properly dismiss the companies.
I'm facing Major Fitzgerald who was our company officer for this exercise.

Dismissing the company as first sergeant. John and Kevin await the order.

Katie in her Lenni-Lenape impression - Yellow Jacket of the Delaware Nation.


Kidd and kid - Dale and Charlie, who was four days old.
The lamb, not the ship's master at arms.

Joe, in the uniform of the Royal Artillery, reading from the Book of Armaments.

Katie and Livey.
Livey in her new bonnet stole everyone's hearts.
She never stopped moving OR smiling all day Saturday.
Caldwell's Western Rangers skirmish to the left of the Crown line.

The Canadian Volunteers oppose them on the right of the US line.
Historically, these were Canadians who sided with the US and served as guides and raiders.

Major Edwards of the Volunteers takes a shot.

The British line lets go with a volley.
Cushing's Company, 2nd Artillery (serving as infantry) and Croghan's Company,
17th Infantry reload. To the right of the photo are the Tennessee Rangers, aka the
British Indian Department serving on the US side.
The Crown forces always outnumber the US, so one or two units change sides for the battle.
Croghan's Company - from left to right - myself (first sergeant), Lyle, John (usually British,
but he has more fun in the US side), Kevin, Corporal Jared, and Mark of the 16th Infantry.
Behind us is Captain James of the 16th - "the Pickle Pants" who were actually issued
green trousers during the War of 1812.
The British march out - a mixed parade - 1st and 41st Foot, Newfoundland Fencibles and others.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, I've taken a hit since I was out of ammo anyway.

His Magesty's Woodland Allies - Mohawk, Metis, and Delaware

US troops at "mourn arms" during the remembrance of the dead at the end of the battle.

Captain Mark of the Royal Scots salutes the reviewing area on the way out.

Many Strings and his warriors do the same.
On Sunday, the US forces "win" since it is a restaging of the Battle of Longwoods.

The newly minted 14th US Infantry joins the 17th in the firing line.

The 14th are fellows from the 41st Foot reenacting group who have US uniforms as well.

The US line - the green coated troops are the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles, a Canadian
unit that represented the US Rifles on Sunday.

Skirmishers from the Royal Scots

The combined line gives fire. (I think this is a Saturday photo.)

Retrograde action
At the climax of the battle, the Royal Scots advance toward the US line.
We give a battalion volley... and you see the result.

At the end of the battle, terms were asked and given. The colonels discuss while the sergeant-majors witness.
For the US, SM of the Canadian Volunteers; for the Crown, SM of the 60th, the "Royal Americans"

One of the warriors moving quickly in the brush.
More Royal Scots skirmishers. Most of the unit reenact the light company.
One of the best parts of the whole weekend was the story of Matthew, Lyle's youngest son. Lyle's other boy, Josh, served in the line. This was to be Matthew's first outing with a musket.(No powder yet; he's too young.) However, he sprained his ankle during the week before. He couldn't march and he was very disappointed. Beth spoke to Major Marty of the 2nd Artillery to see if he needed a "powder monkey." Marty needed another man for the new King howitzer Colonel Rob aquired. So... Matthew became artillery. He was the linstock man, so he wouldn't touch powder. He fired the howitzer forthe afternoon battle. Because of this, he received a coin from Cushing's Company, 2nd Artillery and is now a member of that outfit as well as ours!

Matthew receives his coin from Major Marty.

Here he receives the "Blessing of St. Barbara", the patron saint of artillerymen. Marty
traced a cross on Matthew's forehead with the gun's sponge. I wonder if Matthew
washed if off to go to school on Monday.

Private Matthew, Cushing's Company, 2nd US Artillery AND
Croghan's Company, 17th US Infantry.
The top of his head would fall off if he grinned any wider.

A few extra photos:

Welcoming the 14th US Infantry - sharp dressed, well drilled, A welcome addition!

Yellow Jacket - warpaint and all.
I have trouble marching with the parade. so Colonel Rob named me Quartermaster Sergeant.
That means if I don't feel up to it, I stay in camp, guard the place, and get him coffee.
I hate coffee.

1 comment:

  1. It is so great seeing all these Re-enacting activities! What a wonderful way to revisit and taste history! And to couple that with tabletop revisitations too! Fantastic!