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Virginia Military Institute
Newsletters for 2003

After-action Letters for 2003

Steilacoom Event, Virginia Military Institute

Captain Stephen Pierce of Virginia Assigned

 

The event took place near the lake in Steilacoom Washington, 24, 25 and 26 May 2003. We had a number of old Cadets as well as some new faces. Saturday and Sunday we had 5 Cadets at morning formation, and 7 Cadets on Monday (we also had 5 new members join). Each day we practiced military drill and ceremony prior to Parade.

 

Saturday we met with Ann Heisler, a Union Laundress. She talked about her work, how she stayed with the Army and how she was paid. Next we talked to Captain Roy Houston of the CSA Marines. He showed us their cannon and talked to the kids about safety. Our last lesson for the day was with Dennis Lawler who described his position as an Army musician. He also showed his drum to the kids.

 

Sunday, we only had two lessons because of church. The kids really enjoyed going to the US medical where they took turns getting on the surgeons table. Surgeon Mike Inman and Steward Kim Davis were very busy pulling out bullets and cutting off arms and bandaging every thing the kids could think off. They also had quite a collection of original surgeon implements that the kids were able to see. The kids found an extra arm lying around. That was a big hit. The last lesson of the day was with the Parson, Major T.L. Moore. He talked to the kids about behaving and how reenacting was a lot like real life.

 

Monday was a short day for the kids. We spent the last lesson with Ken Morris of the 10th New York Cavalry. He talked a little about soldiering and then introduced the kids to Stone Wall. This was a great looking gray horse with dark spots. Nothing the kids did bothered Stonewall. I think he liked the attention.

 

Please thank these people for spending the time with the Cadets. They were very patient and the talks were at the Cadets level.

 

Each day the Cadets ought to assemble at my tent at 8 so I can get them ready for Parade and get them on my morning report. We typically have lessons scheduled for 9, 1 and 2 oclock. Kids go back to parents for lunch at noon. I just cant do lunch, not with cost and sanitation, etc. I give the kids water every hour. None of my kids have had any dehydration problems that I know of. For Sunday service, the kids can either go back to their folks or go to church with me. Between lessons and during the battles, the kids usually fight (play) the Union kids. I monitor this a little, both to watch my younger charges and to be able to round every one up for the next lesson. I also assign older kids to watch out for the younger ones.

 

I would like to keep moving towards a standard uniform. The uniform should be a gray shell jacket and a gray forager cap or kepi. These are offered at a discount to Cadets by Timeless Stitches, Mrs. Lynne Harriman of Everson WA, 360-966-5132. Pants can be gray or they can be boys white Levis. Shoes should be black or brown and be broken in before the weekend.

 

Feel free to contact me by mail, telephone, 425-640-8808, or Email horseless1@juno.com (thats horseless numeric ONE) If you ask me a question, Im sure others would like to hear the question and answer as well.

 

Stephen Pierce

8008 190 street SW

Edmonds WA 98026

Spokane Event 03, Virginia Military Institute

Captain Stephen Pierce of Virginia Assigned

 

The event took place near the river in Spoken Washington, 14 and 15 June 2003. We had a number of old Cadets as well as some new faces. Saturday and Sunday we had about 7 Cadets at morning formation. Each day we practiced military drill and ceremony prior to Parade.

 

Saturday we met with 1Lt Court Fraley, of Cobbs Battery. They showed us the gun positions and talked a little about the guns at VMI. They also talked to the kids about safety around the big guns. Next we talked to Elizabeth and Lt Doug West of the 1st Louisiana Zouaves. They talked about the unusual uniform worn by the Zouaves and Doug played the banjo so we could have a sing along. Mrs. West said that the banjo was a uniquely American instrument. Our last lesson for the day was with Sergeant Luther Palmer of the USS Tahoma. He described training and a typical enlistment aboard ship during the Union blockade.

 

Sunday, we only had one lesson because of church. It was a short day for the kids because the battle was at 1:00. We spent the last lesson with Tim Shaw and Angus of the 14th Virginia Cavalry Regiment. He talked a little about soldiering and then introduced the kids to their horse. This was the first time kids were allowed on the horse. Everyone really enjoyed that.

 

Please thank these people for spending the time with the Cadets. They were very patient and the talks were at the Cadets level.

 

Each day the Cadets ought to assemble at my tent at 8 so I can get them ready for Parade and get them on my morning report. We typically have lessons scheduled for 9, 1 and 2 oclock. Kids go back to parents for lunch at noon. I just cant do lunch, not with cost and sanitation, etc. I give the kids water every hour. None of my kids have had any dehydration problems. For Sunday service, the kids can either go back to their folks or go to church with me. Between lessons and during the battles, the kids usually fight (play) the Union kids. I monitor this a little, both to watch my younger charges and to be able to round every one up for the next lesson. I also assign older kids to watch out for the younger ones.

 

I would like to keep moving towards a standard uniform. The uniform should be a gray shell jacket and a gray forager cap or kepi. These are offered at a discount to Cadets by Timeless Stitches, Mrs. Lynne Harriman of Everson WA, 360-966-5132. Pants can be gray or they can be boys white Levis. Shoes should be black or brown and be broken in before the weekend.

 

Feel free to contact me by mail, telephone, 425-640-8808, or Email horseless1@juno.com (thats horseless numeric ONE) If you ask me a question, Ill share it because Im sure others would like to hear the and answer as well.

 

Stephen Pierce

8008 190 street SW

Edmonds WA 98026

Orting Event, Virginia Military Institute

Captain Stephen Pierce of Virginia Assigned

 

 

The event took place near the River in Orting Washington, 19 and 20 July 2003. We had mostly regular Cadets. We had about 8 Cadets at each morning formation. Each morning we practiced military drill and ceremony for about 20 minutes.

 

Saturdays first lesson about 26th North Carolina from Skruffy and Dirty Water. Our next lesson was with the Polks Tennessee Battery. Mike Childers had the big gun fired and then all the Cadets took turns manning the different gun positions. The Cadets really enjoyed this lesson. We spent the last lesson with Tim Shaw and Angus of the 14th Virginia Cavalry Regiment. We were allowed to pet and get on the horse called Whisper. Everyone really enjoyed getting on the horses.

 

Sunday, we only had one lesson but it was great. We spent our time in 15th Alabama with Byron Kent, Jacobs Dad. He told us about their Infantry Company and then introduced TC. Ted Carter showed us the Banjo hes making and then played several tunes for the Cadets on his sqeeze box. Because of Church and the noon battle, Sunday was a   short day for the Cadets.

 

Please thank these people for spending the time with the Cadets. They were very patient and the talks were at the Cadets level.

 

The standard Cadet uniform should include a gray shell jacket and a gray forager cap or kepi. These are offered at a discount to Cadets by Timeless Stitches, Mrs. Lynne Harriman of Everson WA, 360-966-5132. The pants can be gray or white. A nice reasonable substitute is white Levis.

 

Feel free to contact me by mail, telephone or Email. If you ask me a question, Im sure others would like to hear the question and answer as well.

 

Stephen Pierce

8008 190 street SW

Edmonds WA 98026

 

425-640-8808

horseless1@juno.com (thats horseless numeric ONE

Ferndale Event, Virginia Military Institute

Captain Stephen Pierce of Virginia Assigned

 

 

The event took place near the River in Ferndale Washington, 9 and 10 August 2003. We had a number of past Cadets as well as some new faces. We had about 5 Cadets at each morning formation. Each morning we practiced military drill and ceremony for about 20 minutes.

 

Saturday morning it rained. Kind of daja vu from last year. In the afternoon, we had a lesson about 7th South Carolina from Leroy Kruse. When he was done, he took the Cadets over to General Adams and introduced them. The Cadets spent time grilling the General. Our next lesson was with the Confederate Engineer. Lt John Fowler and Captain Bob Landon talked to the Cadets about surveying and explosives. They showed us what Engineers do on the battlefield to support the troops and some of their equipment, including a period compass and a chain for measuring ground distances. At the conclusion of the demonstration, they fired a ground charge for the Cadets. This is always a hit for the Cadets.

 

Please thank these people for spending the time with the Cadets. They were very patient and the talks were at the Cadets level.

 

Sunday was lazy day. We witnessed the British Unit coming to the formation. Its funny how much they looked like Cobbs Battery. The kids did some Indian fighting, but we had no organized activities.

 

The standard Cadet uniform should include a gray shell jacket and a gray forager cap or kepi. These are offered at a discount to Cadets by Timeless Stitches, Mrs. Lynne Harriman of Everson WA, 360-966-5132. The pants can be gray or white. A nice cheap substitute is white Levis.

 

Feel free to contact me by mail, telephone or Email. If you ask me a question, Im sure others would like to hear the question and answer as well.

 

Stephen Pierce

8008 190 street SW

Edmonds WA 98026

 

425-640-8808

horseless1@juno.com (thats horseless numeric ONE)