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May 2004

Upcoming Events

May 14-16 Reenactment w/potluck, Naper Settlement, Naperville, IL
May 25 Woodcutting at Dollinger Farm, Minooka, IL, 9 am
May 28 Presentation to Professional Teachers and Librarians of the Civil War, Hope United Methodist Church, Joliet, IL, 6:45 pm
May 31 Memorial Day Color Guard Ceremony, Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, IL, 9:30 am
June 11-13 Reenactment, Worth, IL
June 22 Woodcutting at Dollinger Farm, Minooka, IL, 9 am
June 26 Reenactment, Illinois Railway Museum, Union, IL

Welcome New Members!

Nick Dalhberg and Debbie Lowth both join the 64th after attending several events with the unit and still wanting to come back for more! Nick was voted in at the April board meeting, and Debbie was voted in at the Rockford event in May.

Welcome, Nick and Debbie! We look forward to seeing you both around the campfire.

Board Meetings

At the last meeting it was voted upon to officially move the board meeting dates from the 1st Thursday of each month to the 1st Sunday of each month at 4 pm. As of this printing, location will be at the Bierman’s house unless otherwise notified. These dates will only be effective in the “off-season” (roughly November – April). During the summer months we will play it by ear and likely be holding meetings at reenactments. Stay tuned to newsletters and e-mailings for updates and notifications of meeting dates/times/locations. And on that note…

Naperville Reenactment and FOOD!

Is less than a week away. And with that comes our much-anticipated 64th ILL potluck held annually at the event on Saturday evening. Please bring a dish to pass; the 64th will provide the ham/turkey for the main course. Come hungry and leave happy!

AND as a special side bonus, we’ll be having a unit meeting after dinner in the 64th camp. Please attend and share your input regarding unit events/issues as we kick off the 2004 reenacting season!

The New 64th Illinois Constitution

Has been voted upon by the membership and passed. Thanks to everyone who sent in their votes, and especially to those who put their time into detailing all the necessary revisions (Jerry Kowalski, Marge Dernulc and Scott Gutzke). Please hang onto your copy of the Constitution for future reference.

Military Elections

Congratulations to the winners of the 2004 military rank election:


To let Bob know which events you will be able to make for the 2004 season. This will be a big help in planning for events and registration (i.e. securing camping space and getting meals for everyone!).

Our Soldier

As many of you know, Carl Stahl has been called up to active duty in the U.S. Army this past month, for a 3-year tour of duty. We have an address for him where he can be reached:

SPC Carl Stahl
A/CO First Bn-6INF Regt.
CMR405 Box # 4302
APO AE 09034-4302

Please take the opportunity to write to him! It’s always great to have news from home. Dianna Bierman has been preparing a “care package” to be sent to him in the next few weeks – feel free to get in touch with her to send him items to make him feel more at home…use your imagination. What kinds of things would you like to receive if you were far from loved ones and the comforts of home? We will keep the 64th members updated as well as possible on his status and how he’s doing.

Training Camp Raffle

Spearheaded by Marc Findlay, this fundraiser was very well received by the military members of the 64th ILL, 26th NC, and 17th MS at the April 18th raffle. This was a trial run for a larger raffle which we’ll be holding at the Dollinger Farm reenactment in October. Raffle prizes and further info for the October raffle will be announced at a later date.

Presentation Opportunity

On Friday, May 28th, 2004, the 64th ILL will be making a presentation to a group of professional teachers and librarians on the Civil War—from the viewpoint of living history presenters. The billing for the evening is “Books, Cooks and Looks of the Civil War.” Boomer Crotty, a friend of Marge Dernulc, has arranged for us to make the presentation to some 40 or 50 educators at Hope United Methodist Church (2506 Caton Farm Road, Joliet, IL). Time will be at 6:45 pm and the presentation will be over by 8 pm.

We would like female members of our unit to come in period attire for a fashion show—from work attire, day dresses to fancy ball and wedding gowns. Jerry will talk about literature about the War and its present state. Members of the unit who can attend and present are encouraged to do so. It gives us exposure, and if we do well—there may be a presentation to a larger group of educators, with compensation for our efforts. This is a trial run to see exactly what we can do and how well we do it. Anyone who has done research in a specific area relating to the war would do well to share their expertise with these educators.

We do need to know who is willing to help. Please contact Jerry ASAP at paptom@msn.com or 630-833-3235 (home) or 773-631-1610 (office).

Fall Out
By Ken Gough

Don’t You Love Me Anymore?

You beat me on the butt hoping I’ll get hot faster and when I do you continue to pound me just to make sure I’ll stay that way. You only think of your pleasure. When you’ve had your fun you toss me in a tent or leave me in the hot sun huddled with others of my kind to be stroked and fondled by strangers. By Sunday afternoon you become infuriated when I don’t perform to your satisfaction. Your answer: pound me some more.

No, you aren’t reading the wrong newsletter, and no I didn’t mix it up with this month’s submission to “Penthouse Letters”.

We all look at old muskets thinking of the stories they could tell and someone always says, “If only this thing could talk.”

Well, what if our muskets could talk?

At the training camp I took the opportunity to watch how muskets are treated. At the firing line two thirds of the men charged their cartridge and commenced to pound the sh…er, stuff, out of their muskets on the ground. What’s up with that?! It’s not just us either. Reenactors all over the country do it.

The usual explanation for this odd behavior is that this practice ensures that enough powder reaches the breach without sticking to the side of the barrel, improving ignition.

Let’s see. We load with the barrel pointing up. Yup. Newton says that anything dropped through the air will be snatched by gravity and slammed towards the center of the earth. Check. Last time I looked none of us were walking around at more than a 45 degree angle to the ground so the powder shouldn’t “puddle” on the side of the barrel. Pretty sure of this one. So what’s the answer?

Got it!

This is some form of dance. Maybe to Mars (god of war to all you who didn’t grow up watching movies like “Jason and the Argonauts”). Or maybe it’s to pound all those empty cartridge wrappers into the ground leaving the battlefield cleaner than when we found it? Hum, nice thought, but if that’s it I’ve got news for you. It ain’t working.

If you guys were really that worried about powder sticking to the barrel you’d be admitting how long it’s been sitting around without being properly cleaned.

Naw, that can’t be it.

Can it?


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