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November 2002

Fall Out
By Ken Gough

Well, another season has come and gone. Was it a good one? We started out a little weak on the battle line, but finished the last two events with an outstanding turnout. Our civilian camp has grown to the point of needing two streets [wish the military side had that problem]. New families and new faces are a welcome sight. Any way you look at it these are two big positive points.

One negative point that may not be considered negative to some members is the almost complete abandonment of the company street in the military camp. Where did everyone go?

We post the colors, pitch a couple dog tents and the dust blows through the camp undisturbed until drill or battle brings a few hardy souls into camp where they still have to wait for most of the guys to show up from the civilian camp.

Now before the fur begins to fly, I too like to hang out in civilian camp now and then. I’m not above sneaking a pop from my family cooler. I know many members feel obligated to spend a lot of time with their families at events.

But guys!

Those two flags drooping next to a couple of sagging tents can’t tell the spectators about what it was like to live 140 years ago. Try as they might those pitiful excuses for tents won’t be able to convey what it was like to eek out life for a few years in its few feet of protection. Our tattered National flag can’t move someone with the tale of how it came to that sad state of repair. Our Regimental flag can’t even explain about the battles the 64th took part in. By themselves they can’t even explain to that guy in the shorts talking with his kid who the hell Yates is. They need us for that.

Our colors are looking pretty lonely over there by themselves…

Minooka 2002

Minooka this year was another great event. Certainly now if not the biggest, it is surely the best event in Northern Illinois. Good weather and a great battlefield sure help. The turnout was spectacular again with over 20 infantrymen and almost that many civilians!

We had a regimental breakfast for the unit and some other the invitees [the 29th USCT]. It was great and appreciated by all. Our hats go off to the civilians who put this together. I would appreciate some feedback if we wish to do this more often?

We also owe a vote of thanks to our Capt. Bob who manages putting this event together. Another GREAT JOB BOB!

The Christmas Party

Our annual Christmas party will take place at the Moran Athletic Club, 1207 N. Nicholson St., Joliet, IL on Dec. 7. The bar opens at 6 pm and dinner is served at 7 pm. Directions are as follows:

From Rte 55, get off on Rte 30 East [it is also called the Plainfield Rd.] to Joliet, continue on 30 till you get to Ingalls Rd. [about 10 min. drive; you will go past Larkin Ave.] and make a left on Ingalls. Go a few blocks and turn right at Nicholson Rd. [the Moran AC is at the corner of Ingalls and Nicholson].

From Rte 80 get off on North Larkin Ave. Make a right at Ingalls Rd. and then look for Nicholson and turn right. [The Moran AC is at the corner of Ingalls and Nicholson].

And You Thought You Had the Winter Off!

Nominations for the field ranks will start after the Christmas party. The Board will decide on the required field ranks by the Christmas party and nomination forms will be available at the party. They will also be mailed out to everyone [email or real mail] in December. Elections will be held in February in time to have the results for the Training Camp in April.

We hope to discuss some dates for a round rolling party sometime in early 2003. The unit round supply is fairly depleted.

Bob would like to plan some dates over the winter to meet with all officers, NCOs and other interested parties. The purpose is to go over drill tactics and other aspects of military life in preparation of the regimental drill weekend. Even if you have no interest in rank but wish to expand your knowledge of military life, I would encourage you to come to the meeting.

We also wish to set some dates for the Game Club for this winter (I am finishing up an Army Corp to be ready). If anyone would like to participate in board, computer games or with 15mm toy soldiers please watch for the dates and locations [happy to have any volunteers for a place to do these at].

The Board will be reviewing the prospective events to be attended by the unit in 2003. If you have any suggestions please drop any of the Board members a line. We will have a list of locations at the Christmas party but will also put the list on the next Dispatch for feedback. We need to know who might wish to attend the 140th Gettysburg next year. I will have some information on it at the Christmas party and the next Dispatch.

The Haversack

The haversack is an important piece of kit for any solider. It is what he lived out of for most of the campaigning season. After doing some research I would like to offer the following that might be useful in customizing your haversack. The US Pattern Tarred Haversack [12½” x 3½” x 13” with a 5” flap] had a single strap, an inside cotton sack buttoned at two ends and on one side [the sack is what the food was carried in]. Officially [as per the 1863 regulations] the flap was marked with the company letter and the regimental number, the number of the solider in black [or white] 1½” tall block letters. This was seldom actually seen in volunteer units. As with canteens they could be embellished as per the choice of the individual soldier. The strap was typically longer than required in service. The haversack should be kept at waist belt level to avoid banging against your leg when walking or running. Items kept in the haversack were three days rations [27 pieces of hardtack, 1 lb. of pork, peanuts and beef jerky as well as coffee, sugar and salt]. Other personal items were plate, knife/fork/spoon, cup which is hung on flap outside, writing set, jack knife, neckerchief, cards, pipe/tobacco/cigars, comb, toothbrush, wallet and 40 rounds of ammo.

Items for Sale

We will be listing equipment our members might be interested in selling or purchasing so please drop me a line if you have anything.

Panther wall tent
Included center poles, side poles, and stakes
$325 or OBO
Sizes and dimensions available on request
Dave Wirtz
(630) 554-2966


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