Fellow Confederate Participants,
In September 1987, I experienced my first “national” event. As a young teenager I joined up with the 14th Tennessee Infantry, and for 2 days I was immersed in the Civil War, gaining new perspective and left awe struck and energized to learn more about this fascinating period of our history.
30 years later is it my goal to pass that experience on to you, the participants at On to Richmond- The 155th Anniversary of the Seven Days Campaign.
Combining the best of both the campaign and garrison worlds, I am honored to be teaming one again with my good friend and partner, Mike Lavis, to bring you this remarkable event.
For the past several years, we have brought you Fire on the Mountain 2000, To the Gates of Washington , Summer of ’62, September Storm, At High Tide, Boys of ’61, Lee Takes Command, Maryland, my Maryland and Campaign Before Richmond.
But enough about what we have done, let’s talk about what we will do.
First, to insure your safety, the authenticity of the event and the vision both you and the visiting public receives, we will be enforcing all authenticity and safety regulations.
Many events say they will, but most don’t.
So please do read the Rules and Regulations which are at this link.
Next, we will operate as close as we can as a military organization in the Spring of 1862. This includes proper use of written orders, military decorum and always observing the proper chain of command.
We are blessed with two excellent Division Commanders, General Richard Watters and General Brian Gesuero. These gentlemen bring dedication, ability and experience to help you make the most of the weekend.
One of the major components of events we have organized is working very hard to get as many attending units the ability to portray historical units that they desire. It is not always possible, but we do our best to make this occur. And it may at times mean being temporary transferred to another command for that scenario. We have done this at dozens of events now and it always works out for the benefit of all attendees.
Which then leads me to the next obvious topic, scenarios.
If you have been to a Lavis/ Anders Event before, you know we focus on unit specific, highly detailed scenarios, with each unit’s action scripted as tightly on the historical record as possible.
This means at times you may be told to break and run, so break and run, not retreat slowly backwards. Other times you will be told to charge, which means exactly that.
Civil War combat was a chaotic, semi-controlled mess. Men in battle did not stand in neatly dressed lines and stare each other down. Men ducked and dodged, used whatever cover they could find. When told to fall back, the colors were sent to the rear and then the men RAN to reform on them as best they could.
When attacking accounts state the men advanced, hunched over as if leaning into a driving rainstorm, in more of a ‘vee’ formation than perfect straight battle lines, with their flag at the apex.
The ground around a firing line was filled with men yelling, screaming and ducking, with walking wounded streaming backwards and the wounded writhing on the ground in such a manner as it seemed the ground itself was moving. Flag bearers dropped regularly as much of the enemies fire was directed at them.
For those looking to replicate accurately the Rebel Yell, which must be done, I have attached one link here to help you do so.
Keep in mind, this recording was done by a 90 year veteran, and when he was younger I am sure it was louder and even more terrifying.
This is what Civil War Combat looked and sounded like, and what our representation should as well.
Remember, we are portraying the actions of these brave citizen soldiers of the South and should do so to the best of our ability and knowledge.
Speaking of which, I have also linked the section of the event website, Confederates Looking 1862 here.
It is highly encouraged that each of you take the time to read over the suggestions and if possible adapt your impression, for we all know the common Confederate soldier of 1862 looked different than the men defending Petersburg in 1864.
It is also encouraged that each of you start to drink more water than usual leading up to the event.
The modern American, due to a variety of reasons, tends to walk about slightly dehydrated. It is the water that you drink prior to getting thirsty that matters.
For the event, the scenarios Saturday are at Endview Plantation, within very short walking distance of our camps.
For Sunday however, you will be transported over to Lee Hall Plantation and spend the day ‘in the field’.
This means you will need to carry a minimum of 80 rounds and foodstuff’s with you Sunday Morning.
We will be leaving Endview starting at 6am Sunday Morning and not returning till after the final scenario which is set for 11:30 am.
During Sunday, we will be engaged in a moving fight or fights. Right now we are planning on 3 separate but yet connected scenarios, ending with the climatic charge at Malvern Hill.
Keep in mind, over 50% of the Confederate Casualties at Malvern Hill were caused by artillery fire, so the moment you step off you will come under fire and must start dropping casualties.
Finally, I am humbled by your participation in this event. I pledge to work tirelessly for each of you and our shared history, with one main goal in mind-
Experiencing the Civil War– Isn’t that what most of us joined the hobby for? Learning about them, replicating their actions and taking home, hopefully, a few magic moments, where just for a second, the hands of time are pushed away and we each get a vision of what it was like to witness those bloody days of June, 155 years ago.
I ask each of you to take personal ownership of this event, and work together not only for ourselves, each other, the visiting public, but also in remembrance of the Brave Boys of ‘62.
Duinn onior agus cuimhnimid!*
S. Christian Anders
States Rights Forces
On to Richmond
* Gaelic- “To honor and remember”