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February 2005

Upcoming Events

February 25

Votes for Military Rank Elections Due!

March 6

Round Rolling / Ladies' Get-Together at Bob's house in Joliet, IL at 1 pm

March 19-20

Indoor Infantry Drill at Dollinger Farm at 9 am

April 15

Unit Dues are Due!

April 15-17

Company and 1st Illinois Battalion Drill at Dollinger Farm

April 22-24

Re-enactment with the 26th NC (Unit will be Federal) at Keokuk, IA

Remember that you can always find more event details and directions at the unit website, http://www.64thill.org/events/. We also have info on several Civil War dances/formal balls held throughout the year in the area.

Next Board Meeting

The next board meeting will be on Sunday, March 6 at noon at Bob’s. We’ll be having a Round Rolling/Stitch n’ Bitch afterwards. Choose your activity! Please bring a dish to pass for lunch.

Reenacting and Participation
By Bob Bierman

Members of the 64th:

Hello everyone, it has been a long time since I actually sat down and wrote something for our newsletter. But I think this is an important subject. It's not like the old days of the 64th when I wrote the newsletter and did the duties of President and Captain all rolled into one person. Times have changed. We have many more people on our rolls than we used to. Help for various duties is easier to get with capable and willing people within our unit. In my opinion, the 64th is one of the strongest re-enactment groups within Illinois when we have good participation from our members, either when re-enacting on the Battlefield or with our civilians demonstrating living history in our camps. I think this is because of 2 reasons. Reason 1 is that the 64th since our re-organization has created a strong and workable framework for our unit to function and operate. From our Democratic constitution that our board is guided by and that all our members have a voice and vote in. I and many of you have seen many units fall apart due to misguided guidance or no real guidance at all, or people who are leaders that don't listen to their members. I hope, that if I and John Thurston as Presidents, have accomplished anything it is to give forum to all our members and a voice in directing our unit. And in so doing, I believe we have built a Civil War re-enacting family that hopefully can survive in our hobby for a very long time.

Reason 2 is unit participation. In the past we generally have had good participation from our members. Ladies and gentlemen of the 64th, it so very basic that for our unit to function well we need our members participating on the Battlefield and in our living history camps. Reason 1 doesn't work without reason 2 and vice versa. They are connected.

The last couple of seasons I have seen a decrease in participation from both civilian and military at events. But, most obvious from our military at most events. I could point out many examples, but why. I think participation boils down to 3 things. One is opportunity. That is each member's time between family, job, and what is left over for such activities as re-enacting. I have always understood when someone has said to me, I just can't find time anymore. All our schedules change. The second is that basic interest and excitement we all got when we started in the hobby. When that excitement and interest starts to wane, hopefully our unit has the ability to change and accept new and different ideas so to help keep our camps and events exciting and interesting for all our members. The third thing I believe is that we must have a comfortable and friendly atmosphere for our members to participate. If members come to events and increasingly are uncomfortable or ill at ease with the situation around themselves or in our camps, that is a problem that our board and we as a unit simply can not have. We cannot expect our members to participate when their not having fun. If this has been a problem for you please contact a board member and let them know what the problem is. Or, come to a monthly board meeting, as all members have always been welcome. Or, write one of us to let us know your concerns. The board wants to know. It is only thru communication that as a unit can we hope to solve our problems and survive in our hobby. I have also created a committee to look into why our members aren't coming out as they used to. You may get a call.

We on the board are trying to do a good job. But, we need your help, we need your participation. Well, I hope I have laid it on the table. The opportunity to re-enact with the 64th is there. The board is trying and working hard to make the 64th a better unit to participate with. But, you ultimately have to make the decision to come out and participate with us. We need you. We need all our members participation.

This year we have some new things happening in our civilian camps and we need your help with them. Changes have been made on the military side as well. We need our military members to come out to events to make it all work. As some of you may know already that I will not run for Captain this time around. Some events I may be in overall command and others I hope to fall in as a private. I am looking forward to falling in to the ranks and having some fun with you boys after all these years as your Captain. All things change, I as well am looking forward to some new experiences. I hope that all our members take a new look at the 64th and decide to commit ourselves to a new level of participation with our old 64th and our hobby.

Your President
Private Bob Bierman

2005 Dues…

Please send in your dues & insurance money for the coming year to Dianna Bierman (make checks out to 64th Illinois Company E, Y.S.S.) by April 15.

As a reminder they are $10/individual or $15/family, PLUS $7 for each member for insurance costs.

2005 Roster

I’m sending this newsletter via snail mail just this time so everyone can get a hard copy of the updated roster. If you have any updates please let me know ASAP. For the rest of the year you’ll receive it as you normally would via email or snail mail. If for some reason you aren’t normally receiving the newsletter but feel you should be, let me know and we’ll correct the problem (like if I have an outdated email address for you, etc.). Thanks!

Mary Gutzke

Chaplain’s Cornxr
By Jxrry Kowalski

As much as wx might not likx to admit it, many of us bxlixvx that onx pxrson can't makx a significant diffxrxncx in an organization such as thx 64th. Whxthxer you comx to xvxnts, hxlp with rxgistration, cook, or takx thx fixld with a wxapon - xvxryonx counts. Thx Almighty noticxs whxn you show up. Do you takx timx to hxlp othxrs or arx you concxrnxd only with yoursxlf? Do you attxnd a worship sxrvicx, or do you just roll ovxr on a Sunday morning?

If thxrx is any mxssagx that this Chaplain wants to sxnd - it is that you arx important, that God lovxs you and that Hx is concxrnxd about you. Hx wants you to bx happy with Him in this lifx and the nxxt. This mxssagx was sxnt with a singlx lxttxr missing. You can rxad it, but it is morx difficult. Thx 64th and thx Almighty nxxd you. Stxp forward and do your part!

Chaplain Jxrry Kowalski

Logan House—February Progress Report
By Ken Gough

The target I’ve set to have Logan House finished is the Spring drill at Dollinger Farm (April 15-17). As of now we seem to be on track and should be ready by the weekend.

The walls are built up about halfway. We’re now starting to cut in he windows and doorway. The window units are done and ready for the curtains (I’ll leave that one for the womenfolk…). The bedframe is done and the cording is spliced and stretched. We still need to make a tick for it but the quilt top that is being fitted to it is ready for the backing.

Complete window unit as seen from the outside with the shutters open.

Bed frame with cording in place.

Military Rank Elections
By Scott Gutzke

By now all military members should have received ballots for the rank elections. These will be your military officers for the next 2 years; please exercise your right to vote! Like Bob said in his message—this is a big part of unit participation. Please return those ballots to Scott Gutzke by February 25.


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