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Drill Bits: Inspection of Arms

By Brad Ireland, 4th Virginia, Co. A During the war it was necessary for officers to inspect the weapons of the troops under their command to insure that they are clean and in proper functional order. It is even more important for the inspection of arms at reenactments to ensure that the weapons are functioning, …

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The 27th Virginia at the Battle of Port Republic

By Austin Williams, 5th Virginia At 3:45 on the morning of 9 June 1862, the 27th Virginia Volunteer Infantry slowly crossed a makeshift footbridge over the South Branch of the Shenandoah and marched through the quiet village of Port Republic. Under the command of Colonel Andrew J. Grigsby, the 27th formed part of the Stonewall …

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Drill Bits: Ready… High or Low?

By Brad Ireland. 4th VA, Co. A There has been much debate at our drill sessions on the use of the “High Ready” verses the “Low Ready”. Much of the discussion has centered around the statement “depends on if this is your first fire”. This statement is incorrect per Gilhams Manual. There are two ready …

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Military Etiquette and Deportment

Reenacting has gone from a pastime where participants were only expected to “act” like soldiers for a few hours over the course of a weekend to one where living history opportunities are encouraged and fostered throughout the course of the event. In this atmosphere it is essential that each “soldier” is aware of and practicing …

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Usage of Gilham’s Manual

By Erik Mink, 4th Virginia Many articles have appeared in The Camp Chase Gazette concerning the usage of “correct” drill manuals by reenactment groups. These articles have down-played the importance, and even the utilization, of William Gilham’s Manual of Instruction for the Volunteers and Militia of the United States [Confederate States]. I remember being asked …

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Gilham vs Hardee: In Defense of Gilham 

By Eric Mink Over the past few days there has been a very active thread concerning Gilham’s manual, its usage and comparison with Hardee. The constant concern seems to be how heavily Gilham may have been used and where its usage compares with Hardee. For the past six years, I have been chasing Gilham’s “ghost” with …

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William Gilham: Soldier, Educator

The following write-up is of a talk delivered to the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table by Eric J. Mink on January 10, 2000. The January meeting began with the audience being asked how many have heard of William Gilham. Only about 10% of the long time students of the war raised their hand. Yet …

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Christmas with the Men of the Stonewall Brigade

By Austin Williams, 5th Virginia Few holidays have the emotional resonance in American society as Christmas—it is a cherished time to be among friends and family. For four long years, the men of the Stonewall Brigade’s 2nd, 4th, 5th, 27th, and 33rd Virginia regiments celebrated Christmas apart from their families. Their letters and diaries covering …

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