¨The news letter for the Fifth Missouri ¨ January & February 2002 ¨
Fifth Missouri Annual
January Meeting held
On January 6th 2002 at 1:00 pm at the California Masonic hall located in California Mo the annual company meeting was called to order. President Steve Fink presided over the meeting.
The first order of the agenda was board elections. The President and Vice President terms were expired. The nominations were Steve Fink for President and Mike White for Vice President, both positions were filled by acclamation. The treasurer’s report was given by Secretary / Treasurer Larry Dietzel And Approved by vote.
The Company Field Officer elections were as follows:
Captain- Nominations Larry Dietzel, Steve Fink. Dietzel was elected
Lieutenant- Nominations Steve Fink, (Mike White Declined nomination) . Fink Was elected
1st Sergeant- Nominations Sam Hafley, Mike White. Hafley was elected
2nd Sergeant- Nominations Clint Crane, Dave Plowman, Mike White. Crane was elected
1st & 2nd Corporals- Nominations Dave Plowman, Mike White
Positions filled by acclamation.
Fifth Missouri Events for 2002
March 16th & 17th Company Spring Drill, California Mo at the White farm.
April 13th & 14thBattalion Muster, Civil War Ranch Arena, Carthage, MO
April 27th & 28th Boggs Mill AR Near Fort Smith north west AR
May 4th & 5th Arrowrock MO 1850 mounted rifles
May 18th & 19th Shoal Creek MO Kansas City Area early war.
June 1st& 2nd Newtonia, MO
June 8th & 9th Wentzville MO two battles, dance, candle light tour.
August 3rd & 4th Athens MO State event Listed until next meeting
September 7th & 8th St Charles MO , Missouri state guard early war
September 21st & 22nd Columbia MO, Living History. Listed until next meeting
September 28th & 29th Mexico MO Muldrow’s Raid, two battles .Listed until next meeting
October 11th & 13th
Perryville KY, National Event on original site.
October 19th & 20th Leasburg MO, General Ewing’s retreat Listed until next meeting
October 19th & 20th Warsaw MO, Annual Warsaw Heritage days. Listed until next meeting
Some dates have changed and new events listed after the January meeting. These changes need to be discussed and approved during the spring drill company meeting.
Sam Hafley is still working on the City of Bland living history.
No date has been set at this time.
Pricing for company T-shirt and Hats will be looked in to by Larry Dietzel, And will be presented at the spring drill meeting.
All military members need to provide a timely response to emails regarding event attendance, As so the requesting officer may send a timely reply to HQ.
The Company Web page will be revamped by Larry Dietzel as soon as possible.
The Messenger will be taken over by Larry Dietzel Effective this date.
The Membership suggested that the donation of $200 be given to the Vicksburg national park. Members of the Fifth noticed during the national event trip last year that some Missouri markers and monuments are in great need of upkeep. See Company board meting Minutes.New Business
Mike White has been appointed to the Lewis and Cark Trail committee for the state of Missouri. There may be a need for early 1800’s reenactors for events this coming year. Let Mike know if you are interested in helping out.
Zack Crane is rolling paper tubes for cartridges, the cost is $5.00 for 25, contact the Cranes if you are interested.
Next Meeting will be held at the Spring Drill , California MO march 16th at 4 pm
Meeting adjourned at 3:35pm
Sorry about the delay for this issue. The Season is coming faster than I can believe. Our spring drill is in just about here. This issue will have some important information for the upcoming year so read it carefully. There are a lot of changes in the event dates, we will need to discuss at spring drill.
Check the roster and make sure all your information is correct.
Minutes Board meeting January
Called to order 15:40 by Vice president Mike White
Outstanding postage for 2001 Messenger of $70 owed to Mike White.
Paid $45 Whites dues and T-shirt were deducted from total.
Preservation donation to the Vicksburg national park of $200 was authorized.
Approval of purchase for 24 tins of musket caps was authorized.
The rental of a Porta-John was authorized for Spring drill.
Meeting adjourned at 15:55 hrs
(Members of the Fifth Mo at Vicksburg Nat. park)
Care and Cleaning of the Civil War Musket
By Alan Bowling, Pvt, Co A 5th MO Infty
Some of you older members of the 5th may remember I have written on this subject in past issues of the Messenger. However as it has been a while and we have new members. I think it may be appropriate to address this issue again. By way of qualification may I say that though I don’t claim to be an expert I have been shooting and cleaning muzzle loading arms since about 1970 both percussion and flintlock.
Basically there are three reasons why we as re-enactors should devote time and effort to cleaning and caring for our muskets. The first and foremost is safety. If a musket is dirty it is more likely that after repeated firings an ember will remain in the breach to ignite a charge as it is poured down the barrel. In 1995 at Springhill, TN, I witnessed this very thing in the ranks of the 5th. A gentleman who was not a member of the 5th but had fallen in with us had this happen during the battle. He was in the rear rank right behind me. The resulting discharge blew my hat off and peppered the back of my neck with hot powder grains it also badly burned and blistered the fingers on the hand with which he was holding the cartridge over the muzzle. (A good reason to be careful not to get any part of your hand over the muzzle while charging.) Also as fouling builds up in the breach and flash channel it will not let some or perhaps any of the fire from the musket cap reach the main charge this can result in a hang-fire or a misfire. While this is bad enough there is a more dangerous side effect to this. When the fire from the cap is restricted or prevented from going through to the breach the cap pressure has to go somewhere. This results in the copper or brass body of the percussion cap being fragmented and these fragments are usually thrown to the side with enough force that they can draw blood when they strike you or a man in the rank on either side of you. I know of one instance at Jefferson Barracks a few years ago in which a re-enactor was struck in the eye by a cap fragment and lost partial sight in that eye! ENOUGH SAID!!
The second reason is to preserve the value of your investment. Perhaps some more wealthy than I may disagree but the purchase of a reproduction musket represents a fairly significant outlay of money. Black powder fouling is corrosive and if a musket is left uncared for it will cause rust. This will at least lower the value of your musket should you decide to sell or trade it for another and if allowed to progress can impair proper functioning altogether.
The third reason is authenticity. We are trying to represent to the public the clothing, equipment and conditions of the Civil War soldier. Some time ago I was a sergeant in the US Army Infantry and I would never let any of my men get away with having a dirty rusty weapon. While I’m not quite old enough to have served with Pap Price I believe the army, whether 1775, 1865, or 1965 hasn’t changed much on this. Also, no soldier in his right mind is going to neglect an instrument with which in a battle his very life may be endangered if it fails to function. I am not just speaking about cleaning and caring for the bore and lock internals of the musket though this is of primary importance, but also of the exterior of the weapon as well. Some will point to surviving originals on which rust pits and a grayish brown rust patina is to be seen as evidence that this is how they looked in 1863. To this I say Bunk! That rust and pitting is the result of the 40 or 50 or more years they spent neglected in some closet, attic or basement well after the Civil War when they were nothing but old obsolete guns with no value. I quote a passage from a book written by Leander Stillwell entitled “The Story of a Common Soldier“. Mr. Stillwell lived on a farm near Alton , Illinois and in late 1861 at age 18 enlisted in the 61st Illinois Volunteer Infantry. The 61st fought at Shiloh, Corinth, Iuka, Vicksburg and then later in Arkansas and finally portions of the regiment finished the war near Macon, Missouri. The regiment was initially issued Austrian Lorenz rifle muskets and in 1863 received Springfield’s. Mr. Stillwell served to the end of the war and rose from private to Lieutenant. He wrote this book in later years from letters he wrote home that his had mother preserved. It has been reprinted by Time-Life Books. On pages 90 and 91 he says “ About the only drawback resulting from our being caught out in the summer rains was the fact that the water would rust our muskets. In our time we were required to keep all their metal parts (except the butt plate) as bright and shining as new silver dollars. I have put in many an hour working on my gun with an old rag and powdered dirt, and a corncob, or pine stick, polishing the barrel, the bands, lock-plate, and trigger guard until they were fit to pass inspection. The inside of the barrel we would keep clean by use of a greased wiper and plenty of hot water. In doing this we would ordinarily, with our screwdrivers, take the gun to pieces and remove from the stock all metallic parts. I never had any head for machinery, of any kind, but, from sheer necessity, did acquire enough of the faculty to take apart, and put together, an army musket, - and that is about the full extent of my ability in that line. We soon learned to take care of our pieces in a rain by thoroughly greasing them with a piece of bacon, which would largely prevent rust from striking in.” While this is a Federal unit I hardly think the officers and NCO’s in Confederate service were any less professional in performing their duties. I will quote again from Mr. Stillwell. This on page 45 of the above mentioned book. This takes place at Shiloh and the author is speaking of Confederate troops “ Suddenly on our right, there was a long wavy flash of bright light, then another and another! It was the sunlight shining on gun barrels and bayonets- and- there they are at last a long brown line with muskets at right shoulder shift.” I hardly think rusty barrels or bayonets are going to reflect sunlight in that manner. As you can see from this those re-enactors who use three band Enfields with blued barrels and brass mounts are going to have it easier but even a blued barrel will rust if neglected and brass will tarnish.
This concludes part one of this article. Next month I will address the methods I use in cleaning and caring for my Musket both at home and in the field Until then, keep on the good side of the First Sergeant!
Spring Drill Information
Spring drill will be held on March 16th &17th 2002, located at 31975 Jacket Factory Rd, California MO. The dress for the week end will be confederate full uniform and equipment. Yes, Civilians are welcome. We will be firing muskets so bring cartridges. If you do not have all of your uniform and or equipment at this time, that is fine. Bring what you have. This drill is for us, not the public. This will be a good time to get your questions about your gear answered. Due to the weather in Missouri this time of
Year, bring a cot or what ever you may need to stay warm and dry in your nice warm tent. We will have a port-a-john and firewood on hand. There will be a company meeting on Saturday at 4:00pm.
Here is a map and directions to the location (North is ^^up)
From HWY 50 and HWY 87 intersection turn east on HWY 50 towards Jefferson City. Look for Jacket Factory Rd on the right side of HWY 50 (across from the east end of the cemetery). Turn Right or South drive1.5 miles on Jacket Factory Rd the site will be on the right. Look for the signs along the way.
Battalion Muster, 13-14 April 2002
Civil War Ranch Arena, Carthage, MO
¨ At this time I do not know about where or if civilians can camp on site. I will check with battalion on this issue and hope to have an answer for you at spring drill.
This will be the Last issue of the Messenger coming if you have not paid your Dues
2002 Dues Notice
Individual & Family membership ($12 & MCWRA $10)= $22.00
Each additional family member whishing to receive a MCWRA vote add $10.00
Associate Membership (News Letter only)= $9.00
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