We are undertaking another treatment of an important Civil War campaign. This time it is the 7 Days campaign of 1862. We have lots of material and history to work with, and have chosen some battles that offer very exciting possibilities for reenacting. As we have always done, our first priority is to provide the men in the ranks with the best possible experience of this time frame that we possibly can. Other event organizers also make that claim, but our record is unmatched, and honestly we are quite proud of what we have been able to accomplish over the years.
My partner and dear friend in this series of events, Chris Anders, has mentioned many of the past efforts, so there is no need to repeat them all again. Be sure to look at his comments on the CSA page. I believe this marks our 13th year of working together, which must also be some sort of record, especially in a hobby that has been known for its splits, and infighting. From the very start we decided that we were going to have enforced, yet reasonable standards, that most anyone could attain, with a bit of effort and care.
And we set a goal to take each event, and build on it for the next one, always improving and keeping things that work, while dropping things that do not. The amount of preparation, study, and discussion that we put into each event runs into the hundreds of hours, miles and dollars before we even get to the event itself. There is no great secret to it, just dedication, sticking to our vision, and doing all the work necessary. And unlike others, we do all of it without any financial gain at all.
This is when the mutual respect and trust that Chris and I have grown into bears fruit. We each have ideas, and priorities that we want to see. And we are able to merge them pretty much all together, with some give and take and compromise. In all of this, the real history always takes precedence in any decision we make. This, of course, leads to some interesting discussions, and we usually have an amused audience to our deliberations on the field. But we never fail to reach a solution or agreement.
Nothing of all our work would be realized at the event without the unselfish, and sacrificial efforts of the people that comprise our separate staffs. I cannot possibly express fully my gratitude to each one of them, for all they have done. To a man, each one of them has never asked for a position or a rank. All they ever do is tell me they are available, and ask how they may serve, and help me. And they faithfully discharge their duties and responsibilities without hesitation, or jealousy. With acknowledgments to the excellent people on Chris' staff, I firmly believe that I have the honor to command the very best staff of reenactors: in the world, for any time period. They deserve to be mentioned but to list all their contributions, would take hours. So I will just name them. But they are not just names, they are dearest friends to whom I owe so much more than can ever be repaid. This is in no particular order, and some have been with me for longer than 13 years.
Dan Schoun, Gus Gallagher, Lew Laning, Thad Gallagher, Mike Rush, Sam and Julie Grant, Andy Findley, Steve Pratt, Kacey Crager, R J Samp, Bob Winter, Chuck Warnick, Kyle Yoho, Doug Dobbs, Trevor Steinbauch. Tom Craig, and Mike Martorelli the commanders of our cavalry and artillery. And the two that have earned the trust to be my brigade / wing/ senior field commanders; Bob Minton and Ted Brennan.
I have omitted one name. At "On To Richmond" I will be taking the field, for the first time, without my right arm. Circumstances have required Mark Holbrook to step aside. If there has been one man who deserves the lion's share of credit, it is Mark. His involvement at these events always began the day after Chris and I decided what project to tackle next. With the exception of my working directly with Chris, everything else that has happened on the Federal side went through Mark. It is rare for a man of his talents who did so much for others, to not seek or ask for any public recognition at any time. Travelling at his own expense (as do all the others) he came to the walk-throughs, and meetings. He arrived at the event at least one day early, and began to organize our HQ area, and detail the entire staff, while keeping up communications with the CSA HQ. Most of the time, the staff did not need to consult with me, Mark had everything under control. He would then report to me, and let me know what was going on. He was also in charge of making sure I remembered to eat occasionally during an event.
For all the years of unselfish service, dedication, and friendship, Mark, I humbly thank you. We will think of you often in camp and on the field, and leave a vacant chair.
Now, On To Richmond....
Commander, US forces