Home | Welcome Letter from the Unit President | Unit History | Research by Members of the 64th | Events Calendar | Photo Gallery of today's 64th | The Recruiter's Tent

February 2003

Spring Training

Our Spring Training weekend (April 11-13) is coming upon us. This is an important weekend so we can brush off some of the rust and practice new things. If you cannot stay overnight please just come down for a day. There will 2-3 other units participating, which should allow us to practice battalion maneuvers as a group as well as company drill. We hope to see everyone there.

Next Board Meeting

The next Board Meeting will be at Bob's house at 7 pm on March 13.

64th Web Site

Our web site team is doing a great job in constructing the web site and adding pictures and information. You can find a current list of events there. Please take a look: it can be found at http://www.64thill.org/. We would welcome any comments or ideas on what to add.

Naperville Event: May 16-18

Mark it on your calendars! Our first event of 2003 is the Naperville event in May. We also have one of our Potluck Dinners there to feed the troops as well as the May Board meeting so everyone can attend.


Just a reminder that this year’s dues need to be in by April 12th.

Color Guard Duties

The first Color Guard event is planned for May 26th at the Rosehill Cemetery. If you have any interest please contact Bob Bierman for details.

Fall Out
By Ken Gough

“Knapsack Packing 101”

A good number of members of the 64th have started carrying knapsacks over the last year. This is good as the current thinking is that knapsacks were carried in the field all through the war almost as commonly as bedrolls.

As the 1st Illinois Battalion has now standardized the method of packing them we should start packing ours to match. In this way the overall look of the Battalion will be maintained.

Just about everyone has picked up a 53/55 model soft pack so this is what we will discuss here. Those of you with other types will have to make some minor adjustments to the directions given here.

There are four parts of the pack that are used for storage;

Start with the Box. First fold smoothly any clothes you wish to carry. Smoothly is the key as what you put in hear first is what will rest against your back all day. Next put in your shelter half, guy rope and three, or four, depending on your model, tent pegs. Put the pegs towards the top of the pack so they won’t dig into your lower back. Those of you with heavy canvas tents may have to pass on this. Some of those tents may not fit into the pack. Last comes your blanket. Take your time learning how to fold your blanket to fit in the Box. It should fill it completely side to side, top to bottom. Press everything down and fasten up the straps. The Box should now look like a box with squared up sides and corners. If it doesn’t then keep trying, without a good shape here nothing else you do will give the pack a good firm look, not to mention riding comfortably after a couple hours march.

The Envelope is where you are to keep any dry rations that won’t fit into the haversack. This is mainly the hardtack and maybe coffee. If you’ve ever tried to pack a full three days rations into the haversack, it can’t be done. Most guys use this space for personal items but have a care. It’s easy to fill this space up with books, photo’s, and games, until there’s no room for the food. I know you want to show these things off to the public during inspection but get together with your pards so when the spectators come down the line everyone doesn’t have the same thing on display. How many decks of period cards will they want to look at?

Your Gum Blanket is folded and put in the fold and the pack is buckled up tight. You will see why the first time it starts raining during a march. Just reach around and pull your poncho out the side of your pack and put it on. With cooperation this can be done on the march without stopping.

The Top of your pack is where your overcoat is to go. Most guys think this is for the blanket but its not. In fact the straps for the top of the pack weren’t issued with the pack but came with the overcoat. This is not to say that blankets weren’t stowed up there, they were, and during cold weather we do it as well but don’t get into the habit of placing your blanket on top in lieu of inside. Keep in mind, on top means it gets wet right away in any kind of rain, inside and it will stay dry in all but a heavy rain.

For those of us just looking for something to do this winter, practice packing your pack the right way until it’s second nature might be a good way to pass an afternoon.

Confederate Civil War Uniforms for 140th Gettysburg

The Board approved a motion to purchase cloth for uniforms and through a number of volunteers make Confederate shell jackets to used during the forthcoming Gettysburg event for any member looking for a Confederate uniform. Through the rental or outright purchase by some members, it is expected that the unit will recover all the costs associated with this activity and retain those uniforms not purchased for member rental in the future if needed. Below is a short note from our Civilian Coordinator on ordering the uniform if needed.

Listed below are the basic measurements we’ll need to fit each guy for a jacket. If you will need a jacket for Gettysburg, please get these measurements to Mary Gutzke as soon as possible.

Measurements (in inches) we’ll be needing are:

  1. Neck (taken around neck at the Adam’s apple)

  2. Chest (measure around the fullest part)

  3. Natural waist (taken around the body at the belly button)

  4. Largest circumference of stomach (taken around the largest part of the stomach or belly – be honest…)

  5. Coat sleeve (from top of arm at shoulder to 1” above first set of knuckles)

  6. Shirt sleeve (from neck base at center of back, along shoulder, over bent elbow to wrist)

  7. Front waist length (measure from the spot where the two collar bones meet, measure down to just past your belly button/natural waist.

  8. Back waist length (measure from the small bone at the top of your spine to your natural waist)

***For reference, please also give your modern normal coat size and normal shirt size (neck & sleeve measurements). I know these are very detailed measurements, but better to have too many than too few. Please have anyone who is getting a jacket get their measurements to me ASAP so we know how many we’ll be making (we guessed around 10).

Field Rank Voting

Please find below the list of field ranks and the members who have been nominated by the unit for each position. Please place an X next to one candidate for each position and send this document to President John Thurston so every vote can be tabulated. All votes must be in by Thursday, April 3, 2003. We will announce the winners of each position prior to training camp in April.

_____Bob Bierman, Incumbent
_____Write In ________________________________________

1st Lieutenant
_____Bob Cuevas
_____Ken Gough
_____Write In ________________________________________

1st Sergeant
_____Chris Schroeder, Incumbent
_____Write In ________________________________________

2nd Sergeant
_____John Thurston, Incumbent
_____Write In ________________________________________

1st Corporal
_____Greg Dely
_____Mike Gyorkos, Incumbent
_____Write In ________________________________________

2nd Corporal
_____Bruce Malesh
_____Keith Gangel
_____Scott Gutzke
_____Zack Cuevas
_____Write In ________________________________________


Home | Welcome Letter from the Unit President | Unit History | Research by Members of the 64th | Events Calendar | Photo Gallery of today's 64th | The Recruiter's Tent