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2006 AAR and Pics
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Let's Call it Humor

Meanee Day Dinner 

The season started for us with Meeanee Day celebrations on Feb. 17th with a small but spirited band of brothers meeting at the usual place.  New member, Mike Cilia joined us for his first Meeanee Day.  Good job Mike!

NJN Filming  Feb 26

Click on images to see a larger view.

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The next event was the Ten Crucial Days filming at the Howel Living History Farm near Lambertville, NJ. This is for a film about the battles of Trenton and Princeton filmed by New Jersey Public Television.  We had 13 men and NCO’s, an officer and a Fifer

Getting Ready
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.  All the men were in full marching order with packs and winter leggings.  Not too shabby for an early season event.  This was a great opportunity for the new guys to work on drill as we stayed in character all day and practiced the basics over and over again.  We also did the firing sequences ramming our blank cartridges, which added another touch of realism for me.  We started early in the morning and were still filming some firings at dusk which should look cool in the finished film.  I believe that the film is destined for the visitor center at Washington’s Crossing State Park in New Jersey but may make to NJN at some time. 

Henry and Bill
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John, Harry and Chris
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Bill and Steve at Rest
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Garrison Weekend March 10-12

We did our annual garrison Weekend at Washington’s Crossing State Historic Park in PA on March 11th and 12th.  Once again we were assisted by the 4th Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers and were opposed by the 2nd New Jersey, Helm’s Company.  The weather was great on Saturday with a steady flow of the public and constant pressure from the spies, thieves, vagrants, deserters, assassins and pirates from Helm’s Company.  With that and two public weapons and drill demonstrations, we had a full day.  That evening we had a Regimental Dinner with our guests, the 2nd NJ, the NJV and  park staff.  Eric Alsager had spent all day in the kitchen of the Oliver Taylor House and Liz Tintle and the ladies had spent all day at the hearth of the Hibbs house.  I don’t think I ever had a better dinner while at a reenactment.  After Dinner the singing and jocularity started and continued until around midnight.  We were even visited by a Continental Light Infantry unit that was having their annual dinner at the restaurant across the street and came over to share some fun with us.  

Sunday it raind.  We didn’t post guard or run the tactical.  The Public didn’t seem to care that it was raining so we continued with signing passes and loyalty oaths and gave several weapons demos. Liz continued to cook and was very busy with her demonstration.  Private Torkos gave a running lecture that lasted most of the day.

Fort Lee Blockhouse Action, April 20-21 Fort Lee NJ

The scenario had New Jersey and New York Loyalists gathering at the ruins of Fort Lee and building a blockhouse while the advance guard of Washington’s and Rochambeau’s Army moved down to probe the defenses of New York.  Our lads donned their civilian kit on Saturday so they would fit in with the Loyalist and Refugee look.  They helped work on the blockhouse, drilled with the loyalists and spied on the Congressional Forces.  I was not there but I understand that Captain Vilardi wore a looked so disheveled and un-military that members of his own regiment didn’t recognize him.  Chris Stress even brought along some of his farm animals all the way from the wilds of Long Island to add even more authenticity to the event.  There were three separate skirmishes during the day and there was much burning of powder. 

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In front of the Soldier's Hut at Fort Lee

Sunday had our men back in their regimentals portraying a relief force of regulars sent to relieve the Loyalists.  We were just able to get one battle in before it started to rain.  Sunday was my first visit to Fort Lee in over ten years of reenacting in New Jersey and I was sad that it took me that long to get there. 

The Braisted Wedding, June 4th Old Barracks in Trenton NJ

Todd and Sue tied the knot in 18th Century style at the Old Barracks.  All had a great time.

W3R weekend at Platt Farm, June 17-18 Southbury CT

I arrived Friday afternoon and only had to set up two tents, as we would not be cooking over the weekend.  It was already getting hot and looked to be hotter for Saturday and Sunday.  I was able to do some sewing and other maintenance while sitting in the shade near a nice stream.  The site was beautiful with plenty of room for two camps and a huge battlefield.  Other members started arriving that night and into the next morning. 

Saturday saw us with nine men and an Officer.  It was good to be part of the British Brigade organizational structure.  First formation went very smooth and the County Brigade seemed to be in place with the least amount of confusion.  It rained most of the morning so we took shelter in the woods and ate lunch in there.  We were kitted up a little too early for the battle but once the time came we formed up again quite quickly and were out in the field in no time.  The Brits outnumbered the Congressional Forces for a change including all the artillery but the Rebels had a good-sized Cavalry unit that hit us when we were trying to get on their flank.   Everyone made it back to camp safely where we rested then went to a roast beef dinner supplied by the site and later to a party which we had to walk to about two miles down the road. 

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Sunday dawned even hotter than Saturday so the morning formation was cancelled.  We eventually ended up with nine men only loosing one after all was said and done.  Matt’s fiancé, Carli brought us a fried chicken lunch which we ate while sitting in the shade.   The battle went pretty much the same as Saturday except hotter.  We didn’t give the Horse any chance at us this time.  The Rebels had a good-sized French unit with them but they formed up in front of the Union Brigade.  The heat was tough for en early event but that seems to be the norm for us in June no matter where we go.  (So if we go to Williamsburg next year I don’t want to hear a bunch of whining.  If you don’t like wearing wool in the heat you may have picked the wrong hobby.) 

This was a great practice session for White Plains.  I want to thank everyone for attending.  This proves that even if you can only make one day please try and come out.  The day-trippers allowed us to keep our number above the Magic Eight that we strive for.    Also a big thank you to Carli for cooking that chicken for us all and lugging it aver to our camp on a very hot day. 

Ward Pound Ridge Tactical Exercise  July 22-23

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A prime example of  “what does not kill you makes you stronger”.  There is nothing like suffering through an event like this one to help build unit solidarity.   A new low point for the leadership of the BAR who billed this event as an unscripted war game while it was actually a series of scripted battles.  This was not explained to us until our frustration reached its peak on Sunday.  What a joke.  Add to this frustration rain, high temps and high humidity and  you have a great opportunity for members to bond together in adversity.

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As usual, it is the 22nd’s spirit that carried us through and the time spent with friends off the battlefield made up for most of the troubling antics on the field.  The high point for me of the weekend was when, after successfully capturing the low ground, a ragged volley of six Rebels holding the high ground wiped out the entire 22nd.  Napier wept.

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225th Anniversary of the Yorktown October 19-23

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This was a logistical challenge but all the things we worried about before the event went smoothly.  Musket inspection and registration was not a problem and ammunition distribution worked well for us also.  Many of us arrived Thursday evening so we could get an early start setting up camp on Friday.  We stayed at Endview Plantation and got a look at the field fortifications that had been dug for us.  We also dropped our ammo at the collection point.  It rained Thursday night but cleared up for Friday morning. 

Friday brought our biggest challenge.  When we arrived at the Crown camp the street marked out for the 22nd  was occupied by a large EMS decontamination trailer.  The camp was also dotted with several generator-operated floodlights.  We were able to turn a bad situation into a good one by locating an unused overflow camp which had it’s own running water and restrooms.  We were also able to set up a more authentic camp on the town rather than lined up on company streets.  About the time we started to get set up, our friends in the 55th started to show up.  They said hello, set up a couple of tents then made their way over to Endview for the Battle of the Hook scenario.   “No use in driving all the way from Illinois and not burning powder!”   The 22nd continued to arrive and set up everything including the kitchen and the tavern.  Although a little heavy on canvas we have ditched all our iron and cooked out of the squad pots.  The tavern was mostly barn doors on sawhorses.  After set up some of us got into uniform and went to check out the town.  Surprise, we found a pub down by the water.  We made it back in time for some dinner and closed the night with some songs and caught up with friends. 

Friday brought our biggest challenge.  When we arrived at the Crown camp the street marked out for the 22nd  was occupied by a large EMS decontamination trailer.  The camp was also dotted with several generator-operated floodlights.  We were able to turn a bad situation into a good one by locating an unused overflow camp which had it’s own running water and restrooms.  We were also able to set up a more authentic camp on the town rather than lined up on company streets.  About the time we started to get set up, our friends in the 55th started to show up.  They said hello, set up a couple of tents then made their way over to Endview for the Battle of the Hook scenario.   “No use in driving all the way from Illinois and not burning powder!”   The 22nd continued to arrive and set up everything including the kitchen and the tavern.  Although a little heavy on canvas we have ditched all our iron and cooked out of the squad pots.  The tavern was mostly barn doors on sawhorses.  After set up some of us got into uniform and went to check out the town.  Surprise, we found a pub down by the water.  We made it back in time for some dinner and closed the night with some songs and caught up with friends. 

Saturday started with the 22nd and 55th going about the business of combining the two companies.  Sgt. Baule of the 55th was in charge as Sgt. Krentler was picked for County Brigade SM.  After this Captain Vilardi took command and led us to the parade for the NPS musket inspection.  There were no problems at inspection and since we were all formed up, Sgt. Baule got the combined companies used to working together.   It was then off to Endview for the battles for redoubts 9 and 10.  The first battle kind of deteriorated into one of those things where we just blasted away at each other without much movement.  I think there was too much artillery and that limited the Rebel movement.  After lunch we did the second battle and that went much faster.  The Rebel light infantry took the redoubt in front of us at a run.  We then fought against increasingly heavy odds till there were very few of us left standing.  After it was all over we returned the leftover ammo and went back on the busses to camp.  It wasn’t long before we were formed up again for a Colour ceremony and a review by the British Military Attaché to the U.S.  Then we marched off to support Abercrombie’s Sortie.   It was nice to see the Guards and assorted Light Infantry move between the two lines on the actual battlefield, especially since we got to just stand and watch.  It was just getting dark when they hit the Rebel and French earthworks and it wasn’t long before the evening was lit up with the flash of muskets.  We covered the sortie as they came running back and then Crown and Congressional forces gave the public a nighttime fireworks display with our muskets and cannon.   We headed back to camp.  It had been a long day and the fun was about to really begin. 

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To say that this tavern was one for the books would be an understatement.  2nd New Jersey, Helm’s Company actually used their bus to shuttle people too and from our camp.  The singing was so good that the Park Superintendent came over to listen.  The bowls moved freely about and the taps never closed.  There was a spirited spoon fighting challenge with our own Sean Mannion defeating all comers.  Best of all, no one died.  I don’t remember what time we shut it down but it was early Sunday morning.

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Sergeant Major of the Army MacWilliams has an evil sense of humor and he decided to have the Church Service in our camp on Sunday morning.  Of course the Fife Major needed an escort for Church Call and it fell to us to provide it.  After Devine Worship it was time to form up for the Dark Day.  The army formed in a long open square and when the music was finished with the assembly it became deathly quiet.  About then it began to rain adding to the general gloom of the day.  How strange it was to see a detachment of Continental Dragoons ride into our square unmolested.  You could hear a pin drop as every man strained to hear what was being said.  Next the order came to case the Colours and although expected it was still upsetting.  We marched to the surrender field in the rain in starts and stops.  Finally we could see the enemy army formed on both sides of the road to receive us.  Word had passed through the ranks to ignore the Rebels but to show respect to the French but the French had orders of their own and paid us no mind.  We marched out onto the field, grounded our arms and went into captivity.  Then we recovered our arms and formed up facing our foes and honored the veterans who had been present at the Bi-Centennial 25 years earlier.  Sergeant Krentler was among those few.  The 225th cycle was over.  Back at camp we said our goodbyes to those who had to leave on Sunday.  Those of us who planned to take Monday to drive home broke down much of the camp then went to Williamsburg to the Green Leaf tavern for a modern sit down dinner.  It was a fitting end to a great event with wonderful friends.                    

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