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Let's Call it Humor

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Washington's Crossing Garrison Weekend
March 2007 

Click on images to see a larger view.

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Captain Vilardi Means to Sweep the Rebels Away

Hello All

I would like to thank everyone for making it to Washington’s Crossing this year, it was our biggest turnout yet.  It was very busy on both days so I will only cover the things that stick out in my mind.  Of course the Rebels outnumbered us so it was difficult to shut them down.  I’m sorry that I can’t remember his name but one of the Helm’s guys did a deserter impression that was just great.  Recruiting men into the NJV was nice.  Our own troops added to our own troubles with Private Brucia doing his best to catch the French disease with a wench IN THE GUARD ROOM!  Men left their posts to go to THE TAVERN, Private Santucci fell asleep AT HIS POST.  Private Andrews had HIS MUSKET STOLEN.  Guess what rolls down hill?  Both the Sergeant and the Captain made their displeasure felt ON THE CORPORAL.    Chris Stress came down with Gary Laube and brought 14 or so chickens and two Drummers.  The chickens were supposed to be eaten but you will be happy to know that they were all adopted and went home to new families.  The drummers show great promise. 

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The Happy Corporal

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New Loyalist Recruits (need some work)

As usual, the food was fantastic.  Eric spent all day cooking for us and made a huge feast.  Thanks again man.  Colonel Braisted and Sergeant Krentler ran the tavern.  Many thanks to all the ladies who ran the cook house, especially Sue Braisted who took everyone under her wing, (including Wanda Joswick).  Pack up and clean up went swiftly this year.  Thanks to all the Helm’s guys who carried the chavaux and most of the Officers stuff out at the end of the day.  We also were dealing with a new Park staff and we made a good impression on them.  Not only were they happy with our interpretation, but also we left the house in good order and left them some of the leftover food from Eric’s meal to share during the week.  Please feel free to share any of your observations and don’t forget to send any pics for the website. 

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The Tavern

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Borden town After Action Report

 

Sir

The Company began arriving at the encampment on Friday afternoon.  We set up camp in 94 degrees of heat which was most fatiguing. Even though we had victuals for the evening the heat was so oppressive that we decided to go into town to a tavern for supper rather than build a fire to cook our meat.  We found the Hobb Tavern, which was happy to serve soldiers and had a fine meal.  We returned to camp in good spirits and went to bed.  There was no need for blankets.

Most of us were up before the morning gun.  We dug a camp kitchen and made breakfast.  The rest of the Company arrived during this time.  With the help of the Light Company we had seven men and myself in ranks.  Fife Major Vorwald was with us as well.  Sergeant Major Krentler was the S.M. of the 2nd Brigade and Captain Vilardi had a company of the 1st Division of the 2nd Brigade. 

The Sergeant Major formed us up then marched us, in close order, to the parade where we fell into line and went to open order.  We were then inspected and the Colours were marched on.  After the ceremonial we had battalion drill.  We worked in open order advancing through ranks and advancing by files.  We also practiced retiring using the same methods.  Finally we practiced the bayonet charge in open order and were dismissed. 

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There was plenty of time between formations for lunch, visiting with friends and a trip to the sutlers.  We ate a cold lunch under the shade of an apple tree convenient to our company street.   A soldier’s life isn’t all idleness and we next formed up for battle. 

We marched toward Bordentown while the First Brigade stayed near camp.  The battle was to be on at least two fronts.  While the 2nd Brigade and the Light division attacked their redoubt from the front and flanks the 1st Brigade was to attack through the open field to the rear of the Rebel encampment.  Major O’Shaunassey moved us in the second division through some woods.  We followed the edge of a steep ravine with the 22nd in the lead.  One would think it would be cooler in the shade of the trees but as we moved through the close woods it seemed hot and humid.  It would soon get hotter. 

We finally saw a open field through the trees.  The Rebel redoubt was on our right and we started to move through the woods to flank.  There were Continental Dragoons patrolling the edge of the woods and they spotted us and gave the alarm.  One of them was foolish enough to come into the woods after us and Sergeant Major Krentler quickly killed him and ate him.  We were soon fighting a confusing battle with the Pennsylvania Lights and the dismounted 4th Dragoons in the very close, smoky woods.  Across the field, in the opposite woods, the Light Division was tangled up with the French and the Carolinians.  The pressure eased off us as the 1st Division of 2nd Brigade pushed into the field from the far end and came right at the redoubt.  I died in some of the fighting on the redoubts flank so I was able to watch the Rebels leave and our division take the works.  I got better then and joined the lads in a push into the main field in front of the public.  Here the whole British Army combined for some powder burning and artillery exchanges.  There were at least eight guns on each side.  The Rebels fell back on their guns and we fixed bayonets and charged them.  The Rebels gave us a devastating fire of combined musketry and artillery and killed most of us, stopping the charge and ending the battle for that day.     

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Lunch in the shade

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We had another cold meal under the apple tree, which was perfect for the temperature.  After a cool down period we got our kits together and headed off to find some trouble.  We spent some time with our friends in Helm’s Company and most of us went to bed early.

Sunday was much of the same except we defended the large field and won.  For some reason most of the 22nd ended up dead anyway.  We lost one man but gained another so the numbers were the same.  I would like to thank all who showed up.  Thanks to Lou who knows how to swing a shovel.  Thanks to JT for keeping us all gay (you know, happy).  Thanks to Ben for being gay all weekend, (you know, happy).  Ben did all the cooking.  Ben is the Egg Man koo koo ka choo.  My son Gavin made his first encampment.  He set himself up in business and earned over a pound polishing shoes and brass.  He should be at Williamsburg and Fort Ti ready to serve you marks, I mean you generous customers.

Your Servant

Corporal Joswick

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Sergeant Krentler posts the Guard Photo by Kit Cusick

Williamsburg AAR

So once again we went to Williamsburg for UTR.  Our numbers were small but are hearts were large.  It was a grueling trip back home but none of us regret it.  Sergeant Krentler, Cpl. Joswick, Private Tintle, Private Brucia, Fife Major Vorwald and young Gavin Joswick were the representatives of the 22nd this year.  Steve, Chris, Gavin and I drove down together on Friday in our small clothes and arrived around 3:30 PM for the straggle in.  Once in town we hooked up with the 55th who had around 16 men under arms and Gary who arrived the day before.  It turned out that we weren’t needed for the reading of martial law so we headed to Chownings to start hydrating.  The 55th had a billet across from Chownings and we met them there for a get to know each other session and some pre guard planning.  It was next off to supper at Mr. Shields’ Tavern where we had a great meal and were educated by Mr. Shields himself.  For instance, did you know that scientists have discovered that whales propel themselves through the ocean by their flatulence and that the gas also keeps them buoyant?  Also did you know the old saying that a happy child is a child with contented bowels?  These things and more we learned from that learned old gentleman. 

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Chris and Harry

Saturday started with hooking up with Ben and heading to town where Ben and I escorted the music for reveille.  There was first formation where we took the roll then not much else until third guard mount.  We did receive our pay, which was nice.  The stoppages were entertaining.  When our guard came the 55th/22nd had the first shift.  Chris and I had a slow post on Nicholson Street but, with Sergeant Major McWilliams help, we did find a box with a false bottom and I also found a secret compartment on the wheelbarrow they used to transport it.  The box had 11 bayonets and the barrow had two pistols concealed.  Once relieved there was not much action at the guardhouse.  The opposition was very successful this year and gave us quite a challenge.  After we pulled in the guard we went to eat outside the town then came back for Tap too.  Ben and I provided the escort and we collected quite a riotous bunch as we cleared the taverns along Duke of Glouster street.  We then stowed our arms and headed to Chownings for some hydration and song.  It was good to see many new and old friends including Rich Moncrief who paid us a visit and is in good health and voice. 

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Cooling off in the Gaurd Room

The sins of Saturday night must be atoned for on Sunday morning.  We were all present for church parade though some of us might have felt the wind a little more than others.  We drilled a little more for the firing competition then drifted over to the shade to rest till our guard mount.  From where I was the guard went off without much excitement.  Back at the guardhouse the lads from the 55th ran some sort of game of chance and covered their activities by singing religious songs whenever an officer came by.  There was more down time after the relief, which we spent in the shade.  Sometime in this period the Rebels stirred up a riot and some of the rioters may have tasted a little dirt.  The first time I actually ever saw blood drawn at UTR when a sailor, (Pete Condrick), tackled a shovel-wielding rioter and got scraped up by the shovel for his trouble.  I believe that around this time Sergeant Krentler and Sergeant Tatum almost came to blows but it was all worked out with a friendly handshake later.  During the firing competition our 18 men fired four rounds in 58 seconds.  The winners, the 64th did the same in 54 but with only ten men and the Welsh did it in 56 seconds but with only eight men.  That was fun and the spectators got a kick out of it.  After that we just waited in the shade for the final formation and march out after a speech by his lordship.  Changed in the parking lot and sailed for home. 

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55th gives some young lads "religious instruction"

And The Fife Major Checks In...
 
This was one of the best times I have had in Williamsburg. My only two regrets are that we didn't have more of our comrades in the regiment there to enjoy it with us, and the music was very limited.
 
However, we made the most of it, the weather was the most reasonable it has ever been, and the atmosphere and activities were great.  The 55th foot are kindred spirits, and it was great to work with them.  There new drummer is a great kid, and will learn quickly.  I served as Fife Major, and we had our 55th drummer, an excellent fifer from the New York Volunteers, a drummer from one of the Hessian regiments, and a "guest" drummer from the 42nd.  The drummers were new or new to revolutionary war period music, but we made it work and everyone made a great effort and were able to perform all the camp duties (reveille - retreat), guard mounts, etc.  I was a bit concerned about the tattoo, since that is often where we play the most variety of tunes.  However,  experienced musicians, who were involved in other duties during the day, appeared miraculously and we had a group of around 10 marching down Duke of Gloucestor Street, stopping at each tavern.  I appreciate the support of the 22nd and 55th who joined us as an escort. It made for a great show.
 
Gary Vorwald
Fife Major

After Action Report

Brandywine, September 8-9 2007

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Combined Company Delivers a Volley

Sir

Arrived at the site and set up tents in oppressive heat on Friday afternoon.  Rendezvoused with elements of the 55th Foot and had dinner at a local tavern.  Private Torkos arrived later that evening.  Saturday morning Sergeant Krentler arrived and we set up the fly, camp kitchens and supply tent.  Private Lustenberger and the rest of the 55th arrived throughout the morning.  At 10:00 we had musket inspection and in the process Sergeant Krentler drafted two likely lads from the Isle of Jersey Militia.  That is the real Isle of Jersey in the UK.  Sergeant Baule then drilled the combined company so that we were all familiar with the way that the 55th did things.  We had a short free period then formed up for lunch and Sergeant Krentler generously issued one raisin per man and camp follower for a reasonable stoppage.    We formed for battle around 13:30 and marched, uphill, to the battle site.  We then rested in the shade for some time as the Light Infantry and Artillery skirmished with each other.  Finally we formed and advanced, uphill, and began engaging the enemy at long range.  A small stream temporarily halted our advance.  We crossed the stream on a bridge in files, re-formed the company on the opposite side and advanced, uphill, to push the enemy again.  The climax of the battle came when we were ordered to fix imaginary bayonets and charge, uphill, and capture a rebel field piece.  This we accomplished and the honor of actually securing the gun fell on the combined 55th/22nd with Mark Tully bayoneting hapless men pretending to be wounded with his imaginary bayonet.  We rested for a short period, then formed up and marched, uphill to a nice open space in the sun where Colonel Loane could address us and express his thanks for a job well done.  We were then dismissed and Sergeant Baule marched us back to camp, which was up a wee bit of a hill. 

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At 17:00 we formed up to participate in an unscripted tactical exercise.  We were disheartened to see that only about six or seven of the rebels had heart enough to join us so the 43rd Foot changed into the 2nd PA to make the sides more even.  The officers then conferred on what the scenario would be.  Sir, Imagine the joy felt by the Common Soldier when he learns that he must attack and capture a defended enemy cannon.  “Born to follow and scorn to fly” that’s our motto sir!  My friend, Sergeant Krentler, gave me a detachment of six men from different regiments and told me to distract the gun while he and Sergeant Baule took their two sections to try and get on the gun’s flank.  I wasted no time in accomplishing this assignment by moving my detachment five paces forward.  The gun immediately took us under fire so I moved back five paces to some dead ground.  Here things get a little confused.  A detachment of the enemy worked behind us but I refused to engage them and was able to keep away from them by running faster than they could (my hill was less steep than theirs).  I tried to continue my original task by keeping to the front of the gun but had to move into some woods and brush to protect the men.  I then noticed that both Sergeants Krentler and Baule were engaged with the enemy to my front so I moved my men to assist them.  Sergeant Krentler charged a unit on the left while Sergeant Baule traded volleys with men to the front.  Sergeant Baule ordered me to move my men briskly against the enemy after their next volley.  They fired, we advanced, they broke and retreated.  When we stopped we were on the flank of the gun so I faced to the left and gave the gun a volley.  That ended the scenario.  No one was more surprised than I.  It turns out that the enemy infantry did a lot of the work for us by masking us from the worst effects of the gun.

Prime and Load!
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Present! Fire!

We had our dinner and began to set up for the Tavern.  This was to be my moment of truth for the day.  I would be making my first bowl of rum punch and the burden of this responsibility weighed heavily on me.  Imagine Mrs. Cratchet as she waited for Bob to taste the Christmas pudding!  I’m happy to say there were no complaints.  The Punch Bowl went round and round and Sergeant Krentler’s Summer Ale was well accepted in our increasingly jovial company.  The only mishap occurred when Private Lustenberger knocked over half of the tavern, (he will try and blame this on a hapless visitor from the other camp), but nothing was broken and we only lost one depleted bowl of punch.  The singing and jollification went on well into the night.

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The Tavern at Brandywine

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Making Punch

The morning came all too early but everyone made first formation at 10:00.  During the rest of the morning we added two stragglers, Privates Brucia and Andrews.  I was in the suttlery some time after this when a breathless Private Lewis of the 55th cam to me and said there would be additional drill in five minutes.  Oh joy!  This was going to set a dangerous precedent and I fully intended to voice a complaint to Sergeant Baule but it turns out that we were combining with the 43rd foot to form a full sized 30 man company with four sergeants.  (It was probably not a great idea to complain to Sergeant Baule anyway.)  We formed in two ranks and practiced wheeling, advancing by files and re-forming, retiring by files and re-forming, going from line into column and back again.  The Sergeant Major came out to watch, as did several Officers and their ladies.  It was soon apparent that we all worked well together so it was decided that we would fight the afternoon battle as a single unit.  

The timing and terrain for the battle on Sunday was the same as on Saturday but the field was reversed so we fought much of the battle uphill.  Once again we got to spend some quality time in the shade while the Lights and the Artillery got to burn some powder.  When our turn came to take the field we advanced in column with a four-man front in four sections.  Once clear of some trees we formed line, wheeled to the right, halted and gave the enemy a thirty-man volley, KA-BLAM!  I’m pretty sure there were thirty four erections at that point.  Fighting in a big, cohesive unit ROCKS, Sir!  We advanced slowly and pushed the enemy across the bridge then crossed after them by files, re-forming on the other side.  We then pushed them further until they were re-enforced.  We then retired by files back across the bridge and re-formed again on the other side.  The enemy refused to follow us so we traded volleys at a stand off until the end of the scenario.  It was then back to camp for breakdown and farewells.  I am happy to report that we suffered no heat or other causalities on either day in spite of the hot and humid weather and the challenging terrain.  Our working and social relationship with the 55th grows stronger every year and there is a mutual desire to try and combine at one event a year.     

     

 Your Humble Servant Sir

 Corporal Joswick

 

FORT LEE AAR

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In the Footsteps of Cornwallace

A brief AAR from my perspective starts with members of the H.M. 22nd and 2nd NJ Helms Company holding a little tavern night at the Blackledge-Kearney house at the upper Closter Docks on Friday night.  The public joined us from 7:00 in the evening till 9:00.  After the public left we continued to interpret a tavern for the rest of the night.

Saturday morning the 2nd NJ boys headed to the New York Historical Society for a daylong presentation and three of my lads and I started our hike to Fort Lee.  Park historian Eric Nelsen and about 12-15 of the public joined us.

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Private Mutter

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Private Lustenburger

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Corporal Lackluster

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Private Torkos

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At the Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After reaching the Fort we were treated to a hot stew lunch.  The Crown Forces occupied the new blockhouse while Continental Forces were positioned around the soldiers hut and the new officers hut.  Bread and desserts were also being prepared in the fort’s beehive oven.   There was a brief opposed force TWD in the afternoon and that was about it.  Some of my comrades and I had the honor of “breaking in” the new officers hut and four of us spent the night there.

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View Across the Hudson

Sunday morning started with snow flurries but they quickly passed and the rest of the day was dry. 

Sunday’s program consisted mostly of vignettes of camp life with the Crown in the hut area this time and the Continentals at the blockhouse.  I mostly interpreted keeping the fire going in the officer’s hut and drinking tea with Mrs. Braisted.   There was a brief unopposed musket and drill demo for both sides then we all went to the battery for the artillery demo.  The day ended with a really big bang from the 32 pounder!  We were in constant contact with the public throughout the weekend and they are able to do things like help run in and run out the big gun.

 Many thanks go out to Todd Braisted, John Muller and Eric Nelsen.  My comrades and I had a great time.

Harry Joswick

22nd Regiment of Foot

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