An Old Friend Has Passed On...

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
UB,

I just got back from vacation and just now saw your post. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. It's always hard to lose someone but I do hope he led a good life and you can remember him well. That's about all we can hope for I think.

My sympathies and my best to you.
 

tmh10

Major
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Pipestem,WV
Sad news indeed. I didn't know him as well Unionblue, but it seems like for the people that have been on here a while, you become almost like a family. oldreb will be missed.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Reenactors don't die...nor fade away they just keep loading rounds to ambush their friends when they cross the river to the other side to join them.

Not sure if that was appropriate or not but it was meant to put a smile on your face UB. I hope it was taken that way Pard!

Cumpston1862,

Your comments have been very appropriate and Ron would have loved them.

And I am smiling. :wink:

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
UB,

I just got back from vacation and just now saw your post. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. It's always hard to lose someone but I do hope he led a good life and you can remember him well. That's about all we can hope for I think.

My sympathies and my best to you.

John Winn,

Thank you for your kind words above and be assured, Ron led a good life and I will always remember him well.

I remember when Ron and I, along with the whole gang of the 17th Mississippi, went to the 135th Gettysburg reenactment. It was the absolute highlight of our reenacting lives. 25,000+ reenactors from all over the world and the US came to this one.

What was funny was that my wife also came along as the regimental cook in her period dress AND all of her tentage, cooking gear, and her great food she was to prepare for the whole company. When we registered on Friday, we began looking for a good place for the 'Widow Bloomfield' to set up her 3-tent encampment (a small wall tent she kept her supplies and foodstuffs in, a large wall tent where she kept her rope bed, dresser, washstand and 'private' things, and a large A-frame she kept a 'necessary' in, with all three tents connected by a large, canvas awning).

We went past sutler's row along a fence line that separated the battlefield from thieves row, and found an empty space that was perfect. We set up the widow's encampment when an event organizer came by and asked us who we were since the space we were setting up in was for specialty impressions only! For example, Robert E. Lee has his tent and headquarter set up to the right of us, while the visiting English Colonel Freemantle was to the left of us! Not wanting to give up such a prime campsite, we quickly gave the story that this was Confederate General Barksdale's headquarters. The event organizer bought our quickly made specialty impression story and we worked with a vengence to make it so. One of our fellow reenactors, Harry Keenan, procured a piece of old board, heated a wrought iron tent peg, and proceeded to burn "Gen. Barksdale" into the wood, found some rough twine, and hung the sign on the large wall tent and then posted himself as a guard so the "general would not be disturbed."

After the first day of the reenactment, the widow and her companion ladyfriend, Ron's wife Ruth, told everyone that the General had been gone for a long time and they feared he had been lost or captured in the battle of the Peach Orchard. (Whew! No worries on being asked to leave after that!)

But the funny thing happened at the end of the first day's battle reenactment. All of the 17th Mississippi had been ordered to make camp with the Army of Northern Virginia, a far piece away from the 'widow's' good cooking. Well, the men did as they were told and set up their blanket and dog tents in the Confederate camp, Captain Ron right there with them. As they bedded down for the night, all of the company snuck out of camp and proceeded to sleep in and around the 'widow's' encampment, to ensure they would be fed for breakfast. Ron woke up the next day in a deserted company street with the Battlaion Commander and Sergeant Major asking him where his company was. Baffled, Ron proceeded to the widow's tent to ask for breakfast (after much ribbing and chastising by his superior officers) only to find his entire company (to include his trusted first sergeant) enjoying a very fine breakfast of eggs, bacon, bread, jam, and butter!

Now for the rest of the reenactment, anytime the 17th Mississippi would come marching off the battlefield with the Army of Northern Virginia, the battalion would march through the fence and turn left to go back to military camp, but the 17th would peel off to the right and desert to the widow's camp for fine eatting! And by this time, Captain Ron was sending a runner with his reports on number of soldiers present, etc., and peeling off with the rest of us.

We had a good laugh over this and it is one of the more memorable times we shared.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
A girl?!
Now that I had a closer look: is she the one standing next to your friend Rob, the one with that dark slouch hat?
If so, she is disguised very well!

FarawayFriend,

You guessed it! The 'soldier' holding the Confederate Battle Flag beside Captain Ron is none other than Jenn Canary, who wanted to portray a woman pretending to be a man in a Civil War regiment. She had trouble doing so at first, as no Union reenacting unit would let her join them.

But Ron Goodwin, my captain, my captain, welcomed her into the 17th Mississippi and she did not disappoint him, always maintaining a military bearing, always performing her duties, cutting her hair short and keeping as quiet as possible when around other male reenactors of other units. She became so good at her soldier impression, men who did not know she was a woman, would often unbutton their trousers and 'relieve' themselves in front of her.

She was even at one time chosen by the battalion commander of the Army of Northern Virginia to be the right guide for the regiment and to carry the regimental colors into battle, the commander never guessing that she was a girl.

Jenn no longer reenacts, as she has many children to look after now, but she and her husband were a sight when they reenacted with us in the 17th Mississippi as 'brothers' (Jenn's husband is the soldier on the extreme left of the picture, Richard Canary, but we all just called him "birdsy.")

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Location
Hannover, Germany
UB, another great story! And I must say, I can understand why only few discovered that she is a woman. She is in no way homely at all, but she has such a soldierly bearing ... absolutely convincing.
From what you tell here, these must have been great times and you must have been a real "band of brothers" ( ... and a sister...). What great memories to live on!
 

Grey Sailor

Cadet
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
John Winn,

Thank you for your kind words above and be assured, Ron led a good life and I will always remember him well.

I remember when Ron and I, along with the whole gang of the 17th Mississippi, went to the 135th Gettysburg reenactment. It was the absolute highlight of our reenacting lives. 25,000+ reenactors from all over the world and the US came to this one.

What was funny was that my wife also came along as the regimental cook in her period dress AND all of her tentage, cooking gear, and her great food she was to prepare for the whole company. When we registered on Friday, we began looking for a good place for the 'Widow Bloomfield' to set up her 3-tent encampment (a small wall tent she kept her supplies and foodstuffs in, a large wall tent where she kept her rope bed, dresser, washstand and 'private' things, and a large A-frame she kept a 'necessary' in, with all three tents connected by a large, canvas awning).

We went past sutler's row along a fence line that separated the battlefield from thieves row, and found an empty space that was perfect. We set up the widow's encampment when an event organizer came by and asked us who we were since the space we were setting up in was for specialty impressions only! For example, Robert E. Lee has his tent and headquarter set up to the right of us, while the visiting English Colonel Freemantle was to the left of us! Not wanting to give up such a prime campsite, we quickly gave the story that this was Confederate General Barksdale's headquarters. The event organizer bought our quickly made specialty impression story and we worked with a vengence to make it so. One of our fellow reenactors, Harry Keenan, procured a piece of old board, heated a wrought iron tent peg, and proceeded to burn "Gen. Barksdale" into the wood, found some rough twine, and hung the sign on the large wall tent and then posted himself as a guard so the "general would not be disturbed."

After the first day of the reenactment, the widow and her companion ladyfriend, Ron's wife Ruth, told everyone that the General had been gone for a long time and they feared he had been lost or captured in the battle of the Peach Orchard. (Whew! No worries on being asked to leave after that!)

But the funny thing happened at the end of the first day's battle reenactment. All of the 17th Mississippi had been ordered to make camp with the Army of Northern Virginia, a far piece away from the 'widow's' good cooking. Well, the men did as they were told and set up their blanket and dog tents in the Confederate camp, Captain Ron right there with them. As they bedded down for the night, all of the company snuck out of camp and proceeded to sleep in and around the 'widow's' encampment, to ensure they would be fed for breakfast. Ron woke up the next day in a deserted company street with the Battlaion Commander and Sergeant Major asking him where his company was. Baffled, Ron proceeded to the widow's tent to ask for breakfast (after much ribbing and chastising by his superior officers) only to find his entire company (to include his trusted first sergeant) enjoying a very fine breakfast of eggs, bacon, bread, jam, and butter!

Now for the rest of the reenactment, anytime the 17th Mississippi would come marching off the battlefield with the Army of Northern Virginia, the battalion would march through the fence and turn left to go back to military camp, but the 17th would peel off to the right and desert to the widow's camp for fine eatting! And by this time, Captain Ron was sending a runner with his reports on number of soldiers present, etc., and peeling off with the rest of us.

We had a good laugh over this and it is one of the more memorable times we shared.

Sincerely,
Unionblue




Neil,
Dad never told me that story. And it couldn't have come at a better time - I have been trying to explain to my kids what kind of a man their Grandfather was. What a perfect example you have left them.
Thank you Sir,
Pvt. Ray Goodwin
17th Ms. (Barksdale's Brigade) co. D
 

Grey Sailor

Cadet
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Sgt. Hamilton,
It is with the intention of writing an obituary for my father that I came to be on this site. I was stumbling for words to explain how great a man he was; and to inform his friends of his passing. Your kind words and amazingly accurate "Captain Ron" stories have both written a wonderful obit for him and lifted my spirits.
I thank you for you thoughts and words, and I welcome any more stories of my favorite Captain.

All,
Thank you for your condolences and well wishes. I have passed them on to the family.

17th,
My computer was stolen in Germany. I have lost all of your contact info. Please email me: [email protected] or call (808) 286-2251. If it takes a while to get back in touch with you - I am on deployment in the Pacific. I'll write you as soon as I return to homeport.
Missing you guys.

Keeping the Faith,
Pvt. Ray Goodwin
17th Mississippi Company D
and Chief Goodwin
USS Columbia SSN 771

"**** the destroyers! Sink those bastards!" -Cdr Morton Fluckey, Commanding Officer USS Barb
 
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