AFTER ACTION REPORT
PERRYOPOLIS PIONEER DAYS
OCT. 2, 3, 4, 2009
Having finally gotten all the canvas dry from the Living History Program at DelGrosso’s Park, it was time to head for Perryopolis Pioneer Days…with yet more rain in the forecast! The weather forecast was for steady rain on Friday, with showers ending early Saturday morning, and good weather for the remainder of the weekend.
We arrived at the park around noon Friday and it was, indeed, raining. With the help of our early arriving crew, we were able to get tents put up between showers. We also fought a battle with wet, muddy, rutted ground but fortunately hay was available to help keep things from getting too messy. Soon, with the arrival of the rest of the unit, we were gathered around the fire or under the fly as off and on rain continued.
Saturday morning was cloudy…but dry! After a hearty breakfast it was time to get ready for the parade through town. We were joined by Confederate Infantry and by Union Artillery and Infantry. We were all greeted by cheers from the thousands of spectators and many expressed their appreciation for our support.
We made our way back to camp and positioned the cannon and limber for the afternoon battle. Additionally, we had a Pre-Civil War 3 pounder cannon and a Coehorn Mortar as well as a Mountain Howitzer on the Confederate side.
With an opening shot fired to announce the upcoming battle, troops began moving into position. At 2:00, the battle opened with a spirited exchange of Artillery fire. This demonstration of firepower was made even more spectacular by the amazing display of pyrotechnics provided by Levi and Sara of Old Glory Powder…what an experience! Soon the armies were fully engaged on the battlefield, and this day the South emerged victorious.
Back to camp, with the remainder of the day to take in festival activities including a program by The Acoustic Shadows of the Blue and Gray and a Civil War Ball Saturday evening. For dinner we attempted to do a ham on the spit, which turned out delicious, parsley potatoes, and green beans with salt pork. Many remarked it was the best dinner ever. Some from both sides engaged in an evening tactical, which gave all who wanted to a chance to burn a little extra powder.
After a late night around the fires for some, camp was soon marked only by glowing embers and the flickering flames of lanterns…not an electric light in sight.
We awoke Sunday morning to cloudy skies, and an important part of every reenactment possible, a visit to local flea markets and garage sales. After snatching up lots of “bargains,” it was back to camp to prepare for the day’s activities.
With the battle scenario reversed for Sunday’s battle and the mortar on loan to the Yankees to help balance numbers, all was in place for the final engagement of the weekend. Once again, lots of action…cannons, ground charges, Infantry attacks, and counter attacks, ending with hand to hand combat at the breastworks ending with a Union victory.
As the smoke lifted from the field, it was time to start the job of packing things away for the trip home. With lots of help from crew members, and no big rush to load up, breaking camp moved smoothly, as usual.
Our hats are off to Dan Coldren, Chairman of the Perryopolis Heritage Society, Harry and Russell Fisher, and everyone involved with organizing this annual event. We are all amazed at what a small group of people have accomplished and how they continue to move forward.
Thanks to Gen. Ed Kelley and Col. Keith Vangura for their dedicated service as field commanders. Thanks to our fellow artillerymen and to the officers and soldiers of both armies for your dedication to our hobby and to keeping the History of the Civil War alive!
And last, thanks to the members of Carpenter’s Battery for all their support in our Living History reenactments.
I shall remain at every hazard,
Lt Sam Vaughan, Commanding
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