The largest opening Battle of the Civil War after the firing on of Fort Summter was litterly fought n my back yard. On July 3 1961 the Battle of Carthage Missouri took place. I started two miles north of town and proceeded right over the property of the first house I remember living in. It involved over four thousand Confederate troops, half of them unarmed, and a large force of regular Union troops from Springfield, Mo. under the command of a General Lyons. I grew up on storied of the battle and tales of a union cannon abandoned in Spring River. Periodically boys would form expeditions to try to find the gun. According to official records such a gun was lost never to be found. But I expect it was later recovered by the victorious confederate troops. As a young teenager after I discovered the town library I spent countless hours pursuing a set of ten large books of Civil War photographs. My Wife Bought me this set about five-teen years ago for one Christmas. Over the years I have amassed a library of over one hundred hardbound books on the subject. Add to that the six or eight years of magazine subscriptions I have quite a Lot of materiel on the subject.
If you have read my previous ramblings you know of my forays into the Mountain Man era. I have a respectable collection of books and material on that subject also, as well as on the American West (read that as Cowboys that for a later time). After my daughter had reached the age where she became her own individual and was perusing her own interests, I drifted away from the Mountain Man encampment and was at odds-ends as what to do with my self. I attended a function one weekend at the store that provided most of my shooting supply for black-powder shooting which hosted what they called a shivery. This was a gathering of different shooting enthused. One group caught my attention. They were calling their-selves the Southern Missouri Confederate Artillery. After talking with them and discovering there was a large group of Civil War reenactors in Southern California I became involved. I found I could join the Confederate group using much of my mountain man equipment with out a large out lay of money. To join the Union forces at that time would require in excess of fifteen hundred dollars, that was a no brainer on my part. Yeah I know I had at least six double great grand fathers who fought for the Union rolling in their graves but what the heck I was not making a political statement I was just playing a great game. Over the years I eventually got a full Confederate Artillery lt’s. uniform, complete with saber and sidearm, Calvary knee boots and all. Lord the blacksmith at work became interested and joined up with me and we became fast friends. Eventually we ever made and smuggled a complete cannon out from work and put it on the field form more than three years. We took a five man group up to eighteen men and three guns before I had to quit because of work schedules. It was a fun while it lasted but all good things come to a end. I’ll revisit this subject again in the future as there are interesting people and stories to be shared. Health and age has put a damper on many of my interest but at least I have had the experience to remember and share. It is hotter than heck here in So. Cal. and my little long haired buddy needs some TLC right not so ole ramblingbob is jumping the train for now