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Virginia Military Institute
Newsletters for 2002

News Letter and after-action Letters for 2002

VMI letter number 1

 

This letter will be mailed out also to everyone. I need feed back. I've edited the letter for this posting.

 

Some of the things I discovered last weekend.

1. Timeless Stitches is going to do a deal for us on hats and shell jackets. I'll get that out to each of you. I would like to get the kids to look more uniform. At least less cowboy hats. Please think about donations of uniform items that your youngster can no longer wear. We need gray hats (kepis and forager caps) and shell jackets.

2. The kids have a very short attention span. They all (most of them anyway) watched each of the battles and I didn't stay with them. In the future, I may try to keep them together and stay with them or just keep the young ones with me. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you expect adult supervision all day? What do you expect me to do about lunch. Can I just release the child or do I need to keep the child with me till a parent shows up to get them? You need to tell me specifics for your younger kids.

3. I decided not to sell new muskets anymore. It's just too easy to go over to the suttler and purchase one. Less stuff for me to haul around. I will keep old muskets for kids to borrow. Please donate used muskets and parts to VMI so other kids can use them. If I get too many, I'll have a fire sale and put the money into VMI.

4. I decided to sell the VMI A-tent. It's too much for me to haul around. The important piece of tentage is my fly. Maybe you saw your child using it during the weekend to get out of the sun. I'm interested in your comments about this. I'll store the VMI things in my tent. If anything, another fly may be a good idea. I could look for a donation.

5. I've purchased books to read the kids and they are all over their heads. That's a bust. I'm interested in some craft ideas. What about period funny or scarry stories for 10 year olds. Can any of you loan me something like that? I've heard of kids rolling cartridges to sell. It wouldn't interest everyone, but a few might want to make some money.

6. I have Dixie cups and fresh water to give the kids. I give it to them every time we turn around. For sanitation, I toss each cup after one use. If the kid wants another drink, I give him another cup. I don't want anyone getting sick. To go to the rest room, I just tell the child to go and come right back. It reminds me of that time Saturday when I tried to get into one of those things (a gotta go) but the woman inside wouldn't let me open the door.

7. Doug has graciously made cap pouches and belts for the kids. We should use those at the next event. Mark in 7th NC and Brett in 1st LA made our boxes. My hobby of trying to paint a flag has flagged. I may not ever get the dumb thing done.

 

I'm challenged to work with Norwich Cadets. Don would like to do a lunch (guys preparing lunch?). Also, by the cadets being so far from each other (separation between Union and Confederate camps), it's impossible to keep coordinated. We talked about being at one end of the Union refugee camp so both cadet camps would be together. That way we could support each other and not have coordination problems. I did like the location the Brigade Commander gave me. People could find my camp very easy. I'm open to having combined camp but I think we need a woman (an adult) to pull off a decent lunch.

 

So, what do you think? I could keep the kids under 10 with me during battles. Would one of you adults be interested in doing a meal if I provided some money. One meal a year would help. It would only be for 4 to 6 kids. Also, I need donations. I'll advertise in the Dispatch and I'm interested in crafts and your suggestions.

 

Thank you, Stephen Pierce, VMI

SPOKANE 02, AFTER ACTION REPORT

Spokane Event, Virginia Military Institute

Captain Stephen Pierce of Virginia Assigned

 

 

The event took place near the River in Spokane Washington, 25, 26 and 27 May 2002. We had a number of past Cadets as well as some new faces. Saturday we had 7 Cadets at morning formation, 8 on Sunday, but no formation on Monday (we had 6 at role call and a new member joined). Each day we practiced military dill and ceremony.

 

Saturdays highlight was the lesson and demonstration by Brendon Gerrer of the Confederate Medical Corps. Besides the body parts, the Cadets got to handle the surgical tools that were common to the Civil War period. We were surprised that we couldnt tell the difference between modern and old Doctors tools. They look very similar.

 

Sunday highlights were the Cavalry and Artillery lessons and demonstrations. Our host for the Cavalrys was Steve Boudreaux of the 43rd Bn Virginia Cavalry (Mosbys Rangers). The Cadets really like the horses. They also thought the weapons were very heavy. Our time with the artillery was hosted by Lynn Bridges of Stanfords Mississippi Battery. At the conclusion of the demonstration, they fired their big gun 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.

 

Monday was a lazy day. About 4 of the Cadets stayed under my fly, talked and looked at some of the magazines that I brought. The sun was out and the kids were tired. Im hoping to have some crafts or something for them to do next time.

 

I would like to move the Cadets towards a more standard uniform. I know not everyone will be able to. 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.

 

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 02, AFTER ACTION REPORT

Ferndale Event, Virginia Military Institute

Captain Stephen Pierce of Virginia Assigned

 

 

The event took place near the River in Ferndale Washington, 31 August, 1 and 2 September 2002. 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 we witnessed the flag ceremony on the USS Hartford with the Norwich Cadets. Then we had a Cavalry lesson with Burke of the 43rd Bn Virginia Cavalry (Mosbys Rangers). Then we watched the artillery demonstration after the battle. And lastly, we spent some time in 26th North Carolina where Josh told us what it was like to be on Campaign.

 

Sunday highlights after church were the Artillery lessons. Our time with the artillery was hosted by Captain Tom of Stanfords Mississippi Battery. Then we went to Louisiana Camp finding out about Zouaves from big Mike. Captain West with the banjo and Elizabeth sang some Civil War era songs for the Cadets. Our last lesson and demonstration for the day were with the Engineers and Captain Landon. They showed us what Engineers do on the battlefield to support the troops and some of their equipment, including a period transit made in England. Very much like a telescope but specially made for making maps. At the conclusion of the demonstration, they fired a ground charge 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.

 

Monday was another lazy day. About 4 of the Cadets stayed under my fly and talked. It drizzled much of the morning and the Cadets powder was wet. I was hoping to have some crafts for the Cadets but I didnt get off my duff this summer and find anything.

 

I would like to move the Cadets towards a more standard uniform. I know not everyone will be able to. The 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)