The Moorpark Rotary Club Presents...

A Civil War Alliance event




 

 

November 13-14, 2010
Tierra Rejada Ranch
Moorpark, California

Unit hosts
The Richmond Howitzer Battalion

The Largest and Grandest Civil War Event
in Southern California and the Largest Civil War Battle Reenactment West of the Mississippi!

Three Battles on Saturday (times to be announced)
& Two on Sunday (times to be announced)

Public Admitted at 10:00 AM Both Days

All Reenactors Welcomed
Authenticity Standards Apply

All Proceeds Go to Worthy Causes
Firewood, Straw and the Usual Amenities Provided

Rain Date: November 14-15, 2009

 

Disclaimer: The Fort Tejon Historical Association, which provides this web page, is not affiliated with this event
in any other capacity, but still encourages its members to attend
.

 

 Directions to the Site

Moorpark is at the west end of Simi Valley and the north end of Thousand Oaks.

FROM THE CENTRAL L. A. AREA : Take the 101 Freeway to Thousand Oaks. Go north on the 23 Freeway to Moorpark (perhaps 5 miles) to the Tierra Rejada exit. At the end of the ramp, turn left (west). Go about 400 hundred yards and turn left (south) onto Sunset Valley Road and proceed approximately 3/4 mile to the site which will be on the left, Tierra Rejada Ranch, 3370 Sunset Valley Road.

FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, BAKERSFIELD, VALENCIA AND NORTHERN SAN FERNANDO VALLEY: Once you get to the I-5 continue to the 405 Freeway (south) at the northern side of the Los Angeles. Take the 118 Freeway (west) to Simi Valley. At the west end of Simi Valley, the 118 Freeway will seamlessly turn into the 23 Freeway as it passes through Moorpark as you head toward Thousand Oaks. Exit at Tierra Rejada Road. At the end of the ramp, turn right. About four hundred yards, turn left onto Sunset Valley Road and proceed approximately 3/4 mile to the site, Tierra Rejada Ranch, 3370 Sunset Valley Road.

FROM SANTA BARBARA: Take the 101 Freeway to Thousand Oaks. Go north on the 23 Freeway to Moorpark (perhaps 5 miles) to the Tierra Rejada exit. At the end of the ramp, turn left. About four hundred yards, turn left onto Sunset Valley Road and proceed approximately 3/4 mile to the site, Tierra Rejada Ranch, 3370 Sunset Valley Road.

Follow the signs to reenactor parking.

 

PHOTOS OF THE 2009 EVENT

PHOTOS OF THE 2008 EVENT

PHOTOS OF THE 2007 EVENT

PHOTOS OF THE 2006 EVENT

PHOTOS OF THE 2005 EVENT

 

2009 Flyer For the Event

 

Reenactors Release of Liability
(PDF format - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

  Safety Rules and Event Regulations

 

For more information, contact:

Reenactors:
Col. Ed Mann
Howitzers1@aol.com

Spectators:
Moorpark Rotary Club

 


The Richmond Howitzers, the unit hosts for the event, in action.

 

2009 Event Schedule

Saturday, November 7th

10:00 Event officially begins.
10:00 Cooking Demonstration ––(Civilian Camp)
10:30 Gatling Gun Demonstration---"The North's Neglected Technology" (Reviewing Stand)
11:00 Evans & Rogers Perform Songs of the Civil War (Reviewing Stand)
11:00 Abolitionist Rally--American Anti-Slavery Society (Civilian Camp)
11:30 Presidential Press Conference -- Presidents Lincoln and Davis (Reviewing Stand)
12:00 FIRST ENGAGEMENT: "Wilderness, Day 1" (Battlefield) (Followed by the Gettysburg Address andThe Grand Review.)
1:30 Infantry Demonstration (Reviewing Stand)
1:30 2nd U.S. Cavalry Brass Band (Stage and Dance Floor)
2:00 Victorian Ballroom Dance Class ( Public participation encouraged) (Dance Floor)
2:00 Soldier School for Kids (Civilian Camp)
2:00 Cavalry Demonstration (Reviewing Stand)
2:30 Artillery Gun and Team Demonstration, 3rd U. S. Artillery (Reviewing Stand)
3:00 SECOND ENGAGEMENT: Wilderness, Day 2 (Battlefield)
(Preceded by "Cavalry Clash!" and immediately followed by the Gettysburg Address)
4:00 Medical Demonstration (Reviewing Stand)
4:00 "Surrender at Appomattox" (Reviewing Stand)
4:00 Cooking Demonstration (Civilian Camp)
4:30 Mountain Fife and Drum Corps (Stage)
4:30 A Conversation with the Presidents and the Generals (Reviewing Stand)
5:15 THIRD ENGAGEMENT:"Cold Harbor" (Battlefield)
6:15 Spectators Depart

 

Sunday, November 8th

10:00 Event officially begins.
10:30 Gatling Gun Demonstration---"The North's Neglected Technology" (Reviewing Stand)
10:45 Cavalry Demonstration (Reviewing Stand)
11:00 Evans & Rogers Perform Songs of the Civil War (Reviewing Stand)
11:00 Abolitionist Rally--American Anti-Slavery Society (Civilian Camp)
11:30 Presidential Press Conference -- Presidents Lincoln and Davis (Reviewing Stand)
12:00 FIRST ENGAGEMENT: "Spotsylvania"(Battlefield) (Followed by Gettysburg Address and Veterans Day Ceremony.)
1:00 Medical Demonstration (Reviewing Stand)
1:00 Mountain Fife and Drum Corps (Stage and Dance Floor)
1:30 Infantry Demonstration (Reviewing Stand)
1:30 2nd U.S. Cavalry Brass Band (Stage and Dance Floor)
2:00 Soldier School for Kids (Civilian Camp)
2:00 Victorian Ballroom Dance Class (Public participation encouraged) (Dance Floor)
2:00 Artillery Gun and Team Demonstration, 3rd U. S. Artillery (Reviewing Stand)
2:30 SECOND ENGAGEMENT: "Sayler's Creek” (Followed by The Gettysburg Address) (Battlefield.)
3:15 Appomattox Surrender Ceremony.
4:00 Event ends

 

2009 Schedule for Combatant Reenactors
(Military and civilian Living History presentations/demonstrations will be listed on the Spectators’ Schedule.)

Saturday, November 7th
8:45 Reenactor swap meet begins (Stage and Dance Floor Area)
9:00 Officers Call: Federal and Confederate Staff and all unit commanders (Confederate Division HQ).
9:30 Officers Call (At each Division HQ).
10:00 Event officially begins. All vehicles out of camp!
11:00 Scenario Officers Call - Division, Brigade and Battalion Commanders only (Battlefield)
11:25 Assembly, Safety Briefing, Weapons Inspection. Safety briefing at each Division's formation.
12:00 First Engagement -- “Wilderness Day 1"
Followed by The Grand Review and Scenario Officers Call (Battlefield)
12:45 Living History throughout camps.
2:30 Assembly and weapons inspection.
3:00 Second Engagement -- “Wilderness Day 2”
Preceded by "Cavalry Clash" and immediately followed by the Gettysburg Address
Scenario Officers Call (Battlefield)
5:00 Assembly and weapons inspection.
5:30 Third Engagement, “Cold Harbor”
7:00 Dance.
10:00 Taps -- Quiet in camp.

 

Sunday, November 8th
7:00 Reveille.
8:30 Church call (Stage and Dance Floor Area)
9:00 Federal and Confederate Division, Brigade and Battalion Commanders Meeting (Federal Division HQ).
10:00 Living History throughout camps.
11:00 Scenario Officers Call--Division, Brigade and Battalion Commanders only (Battlefield)
11:15 Assembly, Safety Briefing and Weapons Inspection.
12:00 Fourth Engagement - “Spotsylvania”
Followed by Veterans Ceremony and Scenario Officers Call--Division, Brigade, and Battalion Commanders only (Battlefield)
1:00 Living History throughout camps.
2:00 Assembly, Safety Briefing and Weapons Inspection.
2:30 Fifth Engagement - “Sayler's Creek."
Preceded by Cavalry Clash
3:15 Raffle-Must be present at the drawing to win! Loading in camp is not an exception.

 

UNION ORDER OF BATTLE (pending)

CONFEDERATE ORDER OF BATTLE

MAP OF THE CAMPS (1.1MB PDF)

 


2009 Event Information


20 August 2009 Update

My fellow reenactors,

We are within the 90 day window!

The 2009 Moorpark Rotary Club reenactment is on the horizon. I certainly hope that you plan to be there on November 7-8 at Southern California's premier Civil War show battle event!

This year, the theme is "Grant Takes Command!" Grant has come east and he and Marse Robert will slug it out in the fields and woods of Ol' Virginia. I am happy to report that both will ride on the field this year. At the time of this writing, the battles will be Wilderness Day 1 and 2, Spotsylvania, and Saylor's Creek. The night battle on Saturday, the "signature feature" of the Moorpark event, an exhilarating experience that is, frankly, unmatched in reenacting anywhere, will be Cold Harbor.

As usual at Moorpark, no matter how good it was, the past year was never good enough when planning for the next one. We are striving to make the event rise to an even better level this year!

I am very happy to report that I have been advised that Confederate numbers will swell this year with even more participants from Northern California, thanks to the fine efforts of Chris Bowman and Tony Fuzie. I will go as far as to say that present projections by both Northern and Southern California Confederate commanders are that Confederate combatant strength will be at least 400. How much more than 400 remains to be seen. Frankly, the Confederate line may stretch completely across the field. This situation wouldn't be happening if the word-of-mouth among reenactors from past events was anything but outstanding.

Let's put the 400 Confederate combatants in perspective. Take the Long Beach event this year, the second largest event by far in Southern California until now. Combatant strength for both sides was just over 400. Take all of the combatants (both blue and gray) on the field and put them in a gray uniform and you will then get the idea of what to expect on the Confederate side at Moorpark in November.

We are seriously hoping that the Federal brethren are successful with a similar effort and that this event surpasses by a very dramatic margin any previous number of actual combatants in Southern California. (Federal reenactors: Think of Moorpark as providing you with a "target rich" environment!) So c'mon you boys in blue, "Rally 'round the flag!"

At this point, 15 full-scale cannons and 2 mountain howitzers are committed. And about the ground charges we will have, last year they were spectacular. Has anyone seen any pyrotechnics that were better at any Civil War reenactment--period? We're going to make them even better this year. Again, what we're aiming for is the (safe) Civil War reenacting equivalent of "Saving Private Ryan."

If you haven't seen it, check out an event video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqkN5oXt9VA. I just found another nice video of the event, albeit with a much different tone, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRS2vVkN4MQ.

Living History is always a very important feature of the Moorpark event, both in the camp and on the reviewing stand. We intend to continue with the very important educational and historical aspect of the event as we have always done. Civilian reeanactors make a fine contribution to this effort.

We're looking for participants for the Moorpark Country Days Parade on October 3 in order to promote the event. Yank, Reb, and civilians are heartily welcomed. Ladies, you are especially invited to ride in the parade and do the "Miss America wave." Please contact me if you want to participate. For now, plan on a starting time of 10:00.

At present, the Rotary plans to continue with the Friday school program. There could be budget issues, given the current funding crisis in the schools that affects transportation issues. For now, however, plan on the program happening.

For those wishing to participate in the Friday school program, Thursday arrival after 12:00 noon is permitted. Otherwise, arrival on Friday is permitted. Especially for those of you with a long way to travel back home, you will be happy to hear that you may remain overnight until Monday.

Based on contacts so far, sutler attendance should break a record this year, something that should be music to the ears of those with money to burn.

The Rotary will offer its usual low cost Saturday night dinner that precedes the free dance. You will be quite surprised to find the very extensive renovation that has take place in the area where the dance is held.

This year. a separate food line for reenactors will be in place. This should substantially reduce the time that reenactors consume in purchasing food.

We'll be working on the Hollywood celebrities again. Several of our old friends can be expected back. How many of you noticed Jodie Foster there with children last year?

Some people are under the mistaken impression that they are not covered by insurance at an independent event. You are protected by the Rotary's very substantial policy.You are acting in the capacity of a Rotary Club volunteer. If you need a form for tax purposes concerning your participation, as with the Visions in Time events, all you need to do is to send me a request after the event.

The "ever popular" reenactor swap meet will take place on Saturday morning in the sutler area.

A schedule for the event will be posted on the web site in the next month. Disregard the 2008 schedule that is presently there.

Hay and firewood, as usual, will be provided.

I shudder to think about it but, given the time of year our event takes place, we will be rained out sooner or later. If that happens this year, the rain dates will be November 14-15.

The Moorpark Rotary Club has made this event the "reenactment jewel" of the West Coast. The event has become the benchmark against which all other reenactments in Southern California are judged, and the reenactor community is much the better for it.

Keep in mind that all profits from this event will go to charity. I hope that you plan now to join with the Moorpark Rotary Club and participate on November 7-8 in this great effort. If so, you will "do good while having fun!"

Ed Mann

 

17 September 2009 Update

My fellow reenactors,

This event is coming along splendidly!

For those of you old enough to remember the 1980s, as George Peppard used to say on the "A Team" series, "I love it when a plan comes together!"

First, if you haven't seen the prior message concerning the event, please go to www.forttejon.org/moorpark and read it first. There is much information there that you might need to know.

I have had even more contacts from our reenactor brethren in Northern California concerning possible attendance at the event. My last message referred to the event as being a "steamroller." Now, I am happy to report that the event is "snowballing" as we seem to gather more interest with each passing week. For example, 18 full-scale cannons are presently committed.

Moorpark always seems to be the end of the reenacting season for the great bulk of Southern California reenactors. This year, Fresno event comes quite early, October 3. We are hoping that even more Northern California reenactors decide that the first week of October is much too early to end their 2009 reenacting season and that they decide to join us.

As it currently stands, Robert McCrary's efforts among Northern California Confederates, with the extraordinary help of Chris Bowman and Tony Fuzie, will greatly increase our Confederate attendance. The Confederate infantry will form its own division and will be divided into two brigades, one from Southern California and one from Northern California. Northern Califronia numbers are currently projected as approaching the expected numbers of Southern California infantry at the event.

As a result of this "embarassment of riches," we are looking for every Federal we can get. So, Federals, please use your contacts in Northern California and send out a "call to arms" to deal with the Confederate ranks. After all, the event theme is "Grant Takes Command!" As I have said to some, we want to do the battles in which George Custer was involved in 1864-65--not the one in 1876! "Rally 'round the flag, boys!"

Federals, you can contact Col. Scott Harrington (who is looking for every new face possible) regarding your attendance at the event at zouave@roadrunner.com.

We will push out from the grassy lawn and the walnut orchard this year. Sheer numbers will compel us to provide additional bivouac space for reenactors. Dry RV and modern camp space will be available, as usual.

The decision isn't final, but expect more bleachers to be added this year to handle the crowds of spectators. The fact that is considering adding more banks of bleachers at this event speaks volumes about the quality of the event and the way the public has responded.

The school program is now confirmed for Friday, November 6th. Those wishing to take part in the program that day can arrive after 12:00 noon on Thursday. Plan on the program starting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday. Expect about a thousand kids.

We need participants in the Moorpark Country Days Parade on October 3. (Yes, it conflicts with the Fresno event but this is unavoidable.) Contact me and I will give you more details concerning where to meet, etc. Plan on arriving around 9:30. You will be able to fire muskets and pistols in the parade and "skirmish" down the street. We want to make a good showing so as to promote the event as much as possible.

The Rotary plans to offer its low cost Saturday night dinner once again, probably catered by Chuy's Restaurant, as usual.This dinner before the dance begins is always a big hit with reenactors, and the inexpensive price makes it even more so. The usual low cost breakfast will be available on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Last year, the dinner was $7.00 and the breakfast was $5.00. I will report this year's prices in my next message after I get them.

Returning to the event this year will be Bruce Boxleitner, "Gods and Generals" (Gen. Longstreet), "Babylon 5," "Tron," and now "Tron:Legacy" Disney's mega-budget sequel that recently finished filming. Also attending will be David Carpenter, "Gods and Generals" (Chaplain Tucker Lacey), "Gettysburg" (Col. Devin), "Lonesome Dove," and "Crimes of the Heart." Patrick Gorman, "Gettysburg," "Gods and Generals" (Gen. Hood in both), and "Rough Riders" will be there. Peter Sherayko, "Tombstone," and "Wild West Tech" will also be with us, as will Phil Spangenberger, "Wild West Tech." Others may be announced as we get closer. Alas, Melissa Gilbert will be on a national tour with the musical based on "Little House on the Prairie" and will not be there.

Here is a tentative schedule for combatants:
Saturday, November 7th
8:45 Reenactor swap meet begins (Stage and Dance Floor Area)
9:00 Officers Call: Federal and Confederate Staff and all unit commanders (Confederate Division HQ).
9:30 Officers Call (At each Division HQ).
10:00 Event officially begins. All vehicles out of camp!
11:00 Scenario Officers Call - Division, Brigade and Battalion Commanders only (Battlefield)
11:25 Assembly, Safety Briefing, Weapons Inspection. Safety briefing at each Division's formation.
12:00 First Engagement -- “Wilderness Day 1"
Followed by The Grand Review and Scenario Officers Call (Battlefield)
12:45 Living History throughout camps.
2:30 Assembly and weapons inspection.
3:00 Second Engagement -- “Wilderness Day 2”
Preceded by "Cavalry Clash" and immediately followed by the Gettysburg Address
Scenario Officers Call (Battlefield)
5:00 Assembly and weapons inspection.
5:30 Third Engagement, “Cold Harbor”
7:00 Dance.
10:00 Taps -- Quiet in camp.

Sunday, November 8th
7:00 Reveille.
8:30 Church call (Stage and Dance Floor Area)
9:00 Federal and Confederate Division, Brigade and Battalion Commanders Meeting (Federal Division HQ).
10:00 Living History throughout camps.
11:00 Scenario Officers Call--Division, Brigade and Battalion Commanders only (Battlefield)
11:15 Assembly, Safety Briefing and Weapons Inspection.
12:00 Fourth Engagement - “Spotsylvania”
Followed by Veterans Ceremony and Scenario Officers Call--Division, Brigade, and Battalion Commanders only (Battlefield)

1:00 Living History throughout camps.
2:00 Assembly, Safety Briefing and Weapons Inspection.
2:30 Fifth Engagement - “Sayler's Creek."
Preceded by Cavalry Clash
3:15 Raffle-Must be present at the drawing to win! Loading in camp is not an exception.

Note that the time for formations before battles has been pared down this year.

Minors who will be attending the event without a parent present must have a release signed by a parent or guardian before leaving home. Download the release form on the web site. No other release will do. Commanders, please pass this information on to the minors in your unit so as not to have young reenactors who are disappointed.

Last year's schedule for the public is still posted on the web site with the Living History presentations/demonstratons listed there. It will be updated soon. If you were involved last year and you want to be part of the program again this year, please confirm now that you want to return. You will have preference. If you are new and want to be added, also let me know now and I will try to plug your presentation/demonstration in somewhere.

The registration fee will be "a whole $2.00."

Hay and firewood will be provided. Above ground fires only, as usual, will be required. Remember that staying at the event site on Sunday night will be permitted this year for the first time.

Here is the latest event video posted on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn47Q1HPxpo.

So now, it is "On to Moorpark!" on November 7-8 for the finest event of the year. I hope that you are making plans to attend!

Ed Mann

 

21 September 2009 Union Commander's Message:

Fellow Union Reenactors,

We have an overwhelmingly positive response about Moorpark 2009!

I am pleased to report the following:

--An extraordinarily numerous adversary will face us, but this enemy will, of course, be crushed.

--Unprecedented numbers of Union infantry from across California and nearby states will be

rushing to join the fight.

--Two musical bands will be participating on the field.

--Two teams of mounted artillery will be on the field.

--Mounted cavalry will be on the field in abundance.

--General Grant with his mounted staff will be on the field.

--Hospital stewards will be active on the field for moving wounded.

Battle plans are being drawn up to highlight the "Grant Takes Command!" theme. As the tactical genius Lee’s brilliant maneuvers are slowly suppressed, Grant must learn (unfortunately at a high body count) how to handle Lee's tough defensive policy as he grinds down the Army of Northern Virginia. The fight is still in the rebels (the victory at Saylor’s Creek will be a tough one), so we will see some great battle reenactments here.

Plans for the expanded Union camp have been made, with more than adequate room this year as a result of prior attention. The Confederate bivouac site and the civilian camp site will be expanding, too. To ease the "Setting up Flurry," Union unit commanders, please contact me regarding your unit's space requirements, and I will mark off your unit's space ahead of time. As attendance with both Union and Confederate forces, along with civilian impressions, is expected to be quite high this year, the easier we can make it for you to get vehicles in and out of camp, the better the event will be for us all.

If you have any questions, please contact me at Zouave@roadrunner.com or (714) 572-2513.

Please be safe driving to and from the event, unload as quickly as possible, be safe on the field, portray authenticity and respect to our Civil War forefathers, and have fun at the Moorpark Reenactment.

And remember, all proceeds go directly to the Rotary Club to support their many community activities. So this is an event no one can have conflict with.

Scott Harrington
Colonel, USA

 

16 October 2009 Update

My fellow reenactors,

Three weeks away from the largest annual battle reenactment west of the Rockies!

First, if you haven’t read prior event messages, you should do so. Much of what has been previously reported will not be repeated here. For more event details, go to www.forttejon.org/moorpark and you will find just about everything you need to know.

When I mentioned in August the prospects of well over 400 Confederates at Moorpark, one individual at Fort Tejon that month was heard to say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Absent the threat of rain (which is always a killer for attendance at any event) you can count on it. In fact, current Confederate commanders’ projections exceed 500 at this time. I can only take the numbers I have been given by them and say that these commanders deserve to be taken at their word.

Therefore, as the reenactor coordinator for the event, I ask you “Men of the North” to rise to the occasion!
Is “We’re Coming Father Abraham” simply a nice little ditty for the march? It seems that we’re getting just about every good Union man in Southern California, but we need more men from Northern California for the reenactors in blue here to beat back the unrelenting “Southern Tide!”

Will you proud Union men let Col. Scott Harrington and his men sacrifice themselves on the field of honor at Moorpark like Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at Thermopylae? Will you merely dawdle away at home that weekend? Rally, boys! Rally!

As an indication of the way this event is shaping up, the artillery now boasts 18 big guns and 2 mountain howitzers, as follows:

Union Artillery:

2 guns--Battery B, 1st Penn Artillery
3 guns--Battery L & M, 3rd U. S. Artillery
2 guns--Battery F, 3rd U. S. Artillery (Washington Artillery)
1 gun—Battery D, 5th U. S. Artillery
2 guns--Battery B, 4th U. S. Artillery
1-gun--2nd U. S. Cavalry

Confederate Artillery:
8 guns—Richmond Howitzer Battalion
1 gun-Hardaway’s Alabama Battery

The entire Confederate Order of Battle will be posted on the web site shortly, as will the Union Order of Battle. Both are impressive, and their like has not be seen at any other event in Southern California.

If you have not responded to me and let me know that you will participate in the Friday school program, please let me know if you will be there. Try to be set up by 9:00 a.m. Arrive after noon on Thursday if you like.

Remember that you will be able to stay on site until Monday, but try to be on your way by noon. This should make it much easier for those of you coming a great distance. (FYI, we have reenactors coming from the Deep South and New England, as well as six Western States that I know of for this event.)

The Rotary Club has made arrangements for discounted hotel rooms for those of you who do not wish to camp onsite. The Best Western Posada Royale (805 584-6300, www.posadaroyale.com) in Simi Valley has rooms for $94.00 a night. This includes a full buffet breakfast (with an omelet bar!). Tell them that you are booking under “Civil War Reenactment.” The Grand Vista Hotel (805 583-2000, www.grandvistasimi.com) in Simi Valley has rooms for $50.00 a night. The hotel has a 14 passenger shuttle van to the event. Book your room under “Moorpark Chamber of Commerce.”

Buy your ticket for the Saturday night dinner that morning.

As usual, sutlers have registered in numbers unseen at other West Coast reenactments.

The public schedule has been updated above.


Again, commanders, make sure that your minors without parents download the release from the web site and have it signed by a parent before coming to the event.

Here is some news. Musicians 12 years of age and over who can demonstrate sufficient proficiency with a drum, flute, or bugle, and who have their parents and commanders’ consent, may participate on the field. Couriers and color bearers are required to be 14 or older. All such minors who wish to participate must produce a student ID card, if it is requested. And, as always, the right of anyone to participate in the event can be revoked at anytime.

As everyone knows, weather can always ruin any event at this time of year. Our rain dates are November 14-15. Don Worth, our gracious web master, has agreed to update the event web site as late as Friday night if late breaking weather developments cause us to change anything. (Last year, there were unexpected high winds on Friday that almost caused us to require charcoal fires but, fortunately, the winds died down.) Therefore, if you are concerned about the event and weather issues (or anything else), visit the web site to see any announcements that may be posted there on Friday, November 6. Obviously, if there is nothing there, it means that we are proceeding “full steam ahead” with the event.

On behalf of the sponsor, the Moorpark Rotary Club, and your host unit, the Richmond Howitzer Battalion, I look forward to seeing you all on November 7-8!

Ed Mann

 

1 November 2009 Update

My fellow reenactors,

The weather this weekend appears to be terrific! Highs will be in the 70s and there will be plenty of sunshine. Once again, the “weather gods” have smiled on us!

Moorpark has become the success it is because reenactors have come together to make it so. All of the prior planning (considerable), all of the money spent on the battles (unmatched elsewhere else in California), and all of the advertising (in a class of its own) would be ineffective without the participation of reenactors of every type who come from all over Southern California and, increasingly, Northern California and several other states.

At the end of the day, it is YOU who make this event the “Gem of West Coast reenactments” and the largest annual battle reenactment west of the Mississippi!

Take a look below at the work in progress on the battlefield. I think that it is not hyperbole to say that when the work is finished, California spectators will never have attended an event whose battlefield is as elaborate as this one. The fake logs I mentioned in a prior message are in the foreground, and the pyro barn is on the far left. Finishing touches will take place on Friday as the far right side takes on the appearance of earthworks and a “sunken road” is added across the field with split rail fencing. My thanks to the men and women of the Richmond Howitzers for making this all come to pass.



Great news! More bivouac space than ever will be available this year. No one should feel squeezed or cramped at this event.

Some people have expressed alarm that the Confederates will outnumber the Federals to an inordinate degree. I find this concern to be odd, since at many other reenactments in Southern California, Confederates regularly outnumber Federals 3-1.

If Confederates appear in projected numbers, the ratio with Federals should be about 5-3. I am happy to report that Col. Harrington has been making good headway in finding reenactors to swell the ranks from Northern California. Even Northern California Confederates are encouraging their brethren in blue to attend.

The bottom line, however, is that in the Civil War, even badly outnumbered Confederates often obtained local battlefield superiority in places, so I hardly see an overwhelming historical issue here. With more full-scale artillery pieces than ever, "a touch of grape" can always be used to explain the decimation of infantry.

Every unit that has been in existence for a few years has the deadwood members who turn out less frequently as they lose the “fever.” The longer a unit has been around, the greater the number of those who participate rarely. I am hoping that all unit commanders from both sides do their best to lure back members for an event that will be, to say the least, well worth dusting off an unused musket—even if the primary reason for coming is to sell that musket at the reenactor swap meet!

Remember to buy your tickets early on Saturday morning for the evening dinner. The price is $7.00 and the food will be provided once again by Chuy’s Restaurants.

You will be shocked to see how the dance floor and stage have changed. In the past year the area has definitely moved “upscale.” The reenactor swap meet will begin there at 8:00 on Saturday. Please remove your items by 10:00.

When I heard last, we had 22 sutlers. You ought to be able to find just about anything you need on Sutler Row.

A serious effort will be made to recruit reenactors at the event. Both sides will set up formal recruiting stations. Unit commanders, please see that you bring recruiting brochures if you have them. Obviously, those units that actually man the stations will be most likely to garner the recruits. With that in mind, please bring all of your loaner gear and muskets for potential recruits. Of course, it will be necessary to conduct drill and safety tests for all new recruits before they can take the field, but this happens every time a new recruit joins the hobby despite how they may have been recruited.

Please keep the dogs at home! Two years ago, we had a dogfight at the event. The dogs only create issues that we don’t need.

All reenactors with medical training of any sort are asked to check in with their respective division headquarters. Those of you who have field kits, please bring them.

Regarding the annual Marine Corps Birthday celebration at the event, Lt. Col. Bill Schurmann sent the following message:

Please send out a blurb on the Marine Corps Birthday Celebration, the celebrating Marines to be assisted by all of their veteran friends from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Bring a libation or snack to share. There will be birthday cake to be served to all hands as usual, all taking place at the mess area of the 2nd US Cavalry at 8PM Saturday night. We will start promptly, and I would ask that the participants bring a chair and their own cup for libations. We will conclude when proper, but probably around 9:15 PM. All veterans are invited. If you are coming, please email me at billschurmann@sbcglobal.net so I can have enough cake and drink. Gifts of port wine and other medicinal spirits would be gladly imbibed by the participants.

See you then,

Lt. Col. Bill Schurmann
2nd US Cavalry, Former USMC

As mentioned in my last message, be sure to check the web site before you leave home in order to make sure that no major, unexpected issues have arisen that will affect the event.

Now, everything is in place. It is up to you to decide where you spend next weekend. On behalf of the sponsor, the Moorpark Rotary Club, and your host unit, the Richmond Howitzers, I hope that you choose to spend the weekend in Moorpark. We are going to have a grand weekend.!

Ed Mann

 

After Action Report 2009

My fellow reenactors,

I apologize, but numerous issues have prevented me from sending out my routine post-event report as quickly as I usually do.

I don't think that many reenactors will take issue with the statement that this was the "best Moorpark event yet." The reenactor numbers were the best ever, and the event raised more money than ever by a substantial margin for the Rotary's many charities. Clearly, a "grand time was had by all."

Combatants numbers approached 750. The anticipated Confederate numbers came up a little short of commanders' projections. Flu and other illness affected some units, and some units inexplicably showed up with less than their commander's pre-event estimate for other reasons. One galvanized Confederate unit, for example, without notice, did not show up at all. Yet, Confederate numbers exceeded the numbers of all combatants, both Blue and Gray, at every other Southern California event this year. To Col. Scott Harrington's credit, Federal numbers certainly exceeded Federal attendance at Moorpark for the previous two years, and that was very satisfying. Total combatant attendance was less than a 5-3 in favor of Confederates, despite anything you may have heard. Nevertheless, everyone is hopeful that Northern California Federals next year will come to understand what Northern California Confederates already know about the event, and that they plan their end of the year reenacting plans accordingly.

A special thanks goes to Chris Bowman and Tony Fuzie for their labors in the Northern California "vineyard." Northern Californians, Nevadans, and Oregonians, in particular, helped to swell the ranks in even greater numbers this year, and all seem to be motivated to bring back more of their pards next year to what "people in the know" tell me has become the largest annual battle reenactment west of the Mississippi--bar none. A review of event listings in the Camp Chase Gazette certainly seems to confirm that.

Thanks to Col. Scott Harrington who made the event a pleasure for me, in particular. I never reached the "I'm-ready-to-quit-reenacting" moment by noon Sunday, something that was routine in previous years.

Thanks to Jennifer Christy for taking a hands on approach with the civilians this year and making matters run as smoothly as they did. The Living History aspect of the event never ran so smoothly.

As a personal note, thanks to the principal Confederate staff and commanders, Reed Settle, Robert McCrary, Scott Peca, Landis Potter and Jim Mitchum, for their fine help on the gray side of the field. Thanks to Bill Behrens for helping keep horse issues to a minimum.

I am sure that Col. Harrington is appreciative of the help from his staff that caused the Federal matters to run so smoothly. Clearly, something was working right.

Thanks to the men (and women) of the Richmond Howitzers, your host unit, for producing the most elaborate battlefield ever seen, certainly in Southern California and probably in all of California.

As usual, several hundred (or thousands) of images from the event are online at: http://www.48ovvi.org/moorpark2009/

Thanks most of all to the Rotary Club, and, in particular, to Dale Parvin, Lyle Pennington, Randy Wheeler, and, the property owners, Rick and Linnae Brecunier. As usual, the support for this event is the best at any event throughout the year.

And now, on to 2010. Many details are still pending, but I invite you all to Fort Knott's "Grand Military Encampment" on February 13-14, the largest military encampment in California. We will have a wonderful time.

Ed Mann

 


Confederate infantry emerges from the cornfield


The thunder of hooves...


...and the crash of musketry


...hundreds of reenactors


Dramatic battle after dark


Ground charges add realism to the battles
(Photo by Nikolai Sklobovsky)

 

Those who have not been to a previous year's event may find it interesting to view the UCLA film student's video project that was done at the first year's event. This five minute video, plus a minute or so of "bonus footage," can be downloaded at:

Movie: http://homepage.mac.com/lechner/.Movies/gettysburg.mov
Bonus: http://homepage.mac.com/lechner/.Movies/bonus.mov

 

5,000 spectators in 2003, even with poor weather!
 
Hundreds of authentically uniformed and equipped reenactors
 
Tours of the soldiers' camps
 
Many sutlers selling Civil War era reproductions
 
Period dances and music
 
Civil War hospital and surgery demonstrations
 
Historical personages
 
Authentic terrain
 
Mounted dragoons...
 
...and officers.
 

 

Bruce Boxleitner and Melissa Gilbert joined the event again in 2006
.
Bruce's many TV and film credits include "Babylon 5," "How the West Was Won," and "Gods and Generals," in which he played General James "Pete" Longstreet.
 
In addition to serving as President of the Screen Actors Guild, Melissa Gilbert's many TV and film credits include one of TV's most successful series, of course, "Little House on the Prairie."

 

"Reenactors and Generals"
Actors from "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals" in the
Richmond Howitzers' camp at the end of the day, November, 2003.


Front row, left to right: Landis Potter, Ed Mann, Chris Desamito, Mike Foxworth. Second row: David Carpenter,"Col. Devin" and "Chaplain Lacy", Kathy Felter, Matt Lindquist, "Major von Borcke," Bruce Boxleitner, "General Longstreet," Stephen Spacek, "Capt. Smith," Fred Griffith, "General Rodes." Third row: Willy Hoult, John Hayes, Simon Dalseme, and Chuck Schulthies (pyrotechnician).

(Carpenter, Lindquist, Boxleitner, and Spacek all took part in the battles. Also attending the event and visiting with reenactors were Patrick Gorman, "General Hood," C. Thomas Howell, "Captain Thomas Chamberlain," and Joseph Fuqua, "General Stuart." Peter Sherayko of "Tombstone" also attended the event. )

 

Bruce Boxleitner, "Gods and Generals,"  and Martin Kove, "The Karate Kid," share a moment with Scott Peca and Andy Webb of the 2nd Ky. Cavalry.

 

Many thanks to Bob Duncan of Santa Barbara for his wonderful photographs of the 2002 and 2003 events!


JEFF WATKINS


PHOTOS OF THE 2009 EVENT

PHOTOS OF THE 2008 EVENT

PHOTOS OF THE 2007 EVENT

PHOTOS OF THE 2006 EVENT

PHOTOS OF THE 2005 EVENT


Photo courtesy of Chuck Mayper, 2002 Event


Photo courtesy of Carol Patterson, 2006 event

 

12/23/2009 - DDW