CivilWarTalk Throwback Thursday, 11-19-2020

James N.

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Only a couple of weeks ago Throwback Thursday featured scenes from a railroad event held at Scott, Arkansas; at that time, I mentioned that the rolling stock had been soon afterwards moved to Eureka Springs, where the locomotives were featured in the TV miniseries The Blue & The Gray as well as a reenactment held there. Unfortunately, the photo above showing myself serving as adjutant for the event is the only one I have, despite the wonderful setting of trains and the turn-of-the-century station where the tent was located. I have previously described this realistic event in which I actually copied out orders-of-the-day for the several company commanders issued by our commanding officer, Glen Smith. One company was on duty "guarding"' the station; another was in our camp at the end of the two-mile line; a third was actually riding the train as guards against the (scheduled) attack by Rebel guerilla raiders; while still another was "on leave" in town. At the end of the day there was a major assault on the Federal position at the station and skirmish around the locomotives and cars!

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However, I did manage to locate three photos taken at the site on a later visit in June, 2001 - above is the wonderful "cabbage stack" wood-burning Engine No. 1; below, oil-burning Engine No. 201, which I saw again last month cab-less and rusting in pieces; and at bottom, the turntable, which the owners were very proud of and which still exists though is in bad need of rehabilitation!

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Anyone else having (preferably) old Civil War-related photos, mementoes, or memorabilia from reenactments, living history or other events or vacation or other travel they would like to share is welcome and encouraged to post them here in this weekly thread!

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Rusk County Avengers

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Apr 8, 2018
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Coffeeville, TX
Well a phone call this morning from an old friend and movie director has me returning to a mid-to-late 1800's town set for a couple, maybe even few weeks in South Texas in the very near future. I get to provide boom sticks for a new western, teach the actors and so forth. The work comes at a VERY welcome time....

Because I'm so worked up and ready to go to the point of doing the inadvisable, here's a couple Throwback pictures to I think it was 2017 or 2018 on the movie set I'll be going back to.

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The place is the Buggy Barn Museum/Pine Moore Studios. Awesome place, I'd highly recommend anyone who likes history to go simply for the museum. Hands down the BEST assortment of wagons, buggies, carriages, and a stagecoach or two I've ever seen. I remember in one room rails lined with 1870's US McClellan saddles everywhere.

Who knows maybe one day I can dethrone CWT's own "King of Film work" James N. :D
 

Lubliner

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James N. being never at a reenactment (unfortunately) I was curious with the scenario you spelled out above, and at other similar events also, were scripted so the outcome is known, or is it left for participating sides competitively to decide with a 'judgement'.
Thanks,
Lubliner.
 

James N.

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James N. being never at a reenactment (unfortunately) I was curious with the scenario you spelled out above, and at other similar events also, were scripted so the outcome is known, or is it left for participating sides competitively to decide with a 'judgement'.
Thanks,
Lubliner.
And I've just got inspiration for company doings at events....
A little more about this particular event, somewhere between a carnival ride, reenactment, and living history, and which was somewhat controversial at the time it occurred.

The sponsor was once again the railroad, a commercial venture whose main purpose was to attract attention to itself and make money. (Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.) They did so by advertising it and selling rides to the tourists. The scenario, such as it was, had been devised by long-time reenactor Cal Kinzer who was also an employee of the Arkansas State Parks Department and ranger/historian at Prairie Grove State Park who talked it up among regional reenactors and promoted it in Camp Chase Gazette. Cal offered command of the Federal force to Glen Smith and the Confederates to a Missouri reenactor whose name escapes me at the moment. Glen, a former U.S. Navy aviation officer and pilot for American Airlines, came up with the schedule for the four companies of Union troops in attendance who were supposed to "guard" the station and the train from the Rebel guerillas.

Unfortunately, some members of our own and other groups found fault with this whole business, notable among them our own Bruce Winders, later curator of the Alamo in San Antonio, who felt it was "beneath" us to serve as the railroad's front men. Another who didn't like it was Dick Stauffer, commander of the Missouri Federal company who resented the scheduled event. Glen's original idea called for rotation of the four companies deployed as they were described in my OP above - that is, every hour or two the group in camp would become the train guard; the old guard would go on leave in town; the station guard would go to camp, etc., etc. As you might expect this schedule proved unworkable as the day went on and eventually broke down altogether, mainly due to a lack of time to execute it properly. Still, I think it was a remarkably fine attempt and one that introduced a little proper military routine into too-often lifeless and dull events apart from the sham battles like the one that brought our event to an end.
 
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