Prepared by Dave Pridgeon
Fifth Battalion Events Committee
Plans continue to evolve for the campaigner portion of the Sailor's Creek reenactment to be held at the Sailor's Creek Historic Battlefield State Park, April 7th through 9th, 2000. This is an update as of April 2nd, 2000.
MAJOR UPDATE (April 2, 2000) - THE MARCH ROUTE
The march route has been selected. More then half of Saturday's route will now be crosscountry and we have found a "diamond in the rough." Some will be on original road beds that Lee's army marched on and at one spot past a major area of camps. The route is a total mixture, hardroad, dirt/gravel road, woods, fields, paths, etc.. Participants will get their feet wet on several occasions due to crossing creeks, so come prepared. At some points we will be marching past modern houses, but at other times you will have the chance to "go back in time" for a number of hours. Saturday's march will begin at the David Poore residence, located on Cherry Row Lane (nearest hard road, Amelia Springs Road). The Poore's have been gracious hosts and the elder Mr. Poore has invested a great deal of time helping us with the march route. He personally talked to a number of property owners for us and without him we would be on the hardroad for almost the whole march. The Fifth Battalion also wishes to thank Lester Schmacher who has helped greatly, working with Mr. Poore on the new route, and given a great investment of personal time.
HAVERSACKS - BE PREPARED! (added April 2, 2000)
Once participants leave Amelia they must be prepared with ample rations in their haversacks. There are no stores along the march route or near the Saturday night camps. Thus all day Saturday and Sunday marchers are going to have to live off the food items they have prepared and stored in their haversacks. Please spread the word to the men of your units and messes.
SATURDAY REAR-GUARD ACTIONS! (added April 2, 2000)
Saturday's route/terrain will provide numerous occasions for rearguard actions. It is critical fighting only take place when directed by the commanders of the route (Dave Culberson, & Dave Pridgeon). We are crosing much private property and fighting cannot be conducted near cattle and chickenhouses. While many times not visable, the commanders know the locations sensitive to the farmers and thus particpants cannot skirmish except when given specific orders to do so. NOTE*** Of critical importance is the fact that a number of property owners were specific about not leaving any trash behind. This means that all used cartridge papers must be stuffed in haversacks or pockets and disposed of at the Saturday night camp. Used cartridge papers cannot be dropped on the ground if we want to use these properties again.
CIVILIAN SCENARIOS (added April 2, 2000)
At the 2/3rds point on Saturday, the marching columns will come out of private property onto Soap Stone Road. One half mile away is the antebellum home "Selma." We have permission from the landowners to use the grounds of Selma for scenarios with the Federal cavalry and as the starting point for civilian refugees. It is a lovely home on a little-travelled dirt road.
Joyce DeMatteis will ferry Refugees from Amelia Courthouse to Selma early Saturday morning. Those civilians portraying Residents are encouraged to come out as early as you would like in order to enjoy the setting. Bring something to do - needlework or some sort of chores. We can't dig in the yard, but we can hide valuables behind bushes and such if you are inclined.
The Federal cavalry will come take Selma (procuring it for federal staff officers)and will disperse the Residents and Refugees. Refugees will driven down towards Soap Stone Road. There they will come upon the Confederate column and be "offered" safe passage as far as Dentonville. Thus the Refugees will walk under the protection of the Confederate column into Deatonville. Residents will drive to Deatonville and take up "residence" at the old, abandoned, nearly destroyed "old Joyce house." Here they will wait for the refugees and troops for further scenarios. Federals will go into camp here.
The Confederates and Refugees will continue to "Hickory Hill" and go into camp. Those of you portraying Residents are welcome to come to Hickory Hill for further scenarios if you would like.
On Sunday, Residents are staying "at home" at the main event site. Refugees will complete march from Hickory Hill to the main event site before the troops move out for fighting along the road. The Fifth Battalion wishes to thank Joyce DeMatteis for her hard work on the Sailor's Creek event and once again organizing Civilian activites that will greatly compliment the look and feel of Campaigner portion of the Sailor's Creek event.
SHUTTLE STATUS - AS OF MARCH 30TH, 2000
The Sailor's Creek Preservation and Reenactment Committee will be unable procure buses for the shuttling of campaigner participants. Donations of buses has not worked out and the rental of such is cost prohibitive. Particpants should realize this is "NOT" a for profit event. The SCPRC has the opportunity to make another land purchase and wants to channel all funds raised thru this event to that purpose. Thus the Fifth Battalion will organize the needed shuttling of campaigner participants and aid in the prepositioning of some vehicles from each unit, mess, etc., at Sailor's Creek Battlefield State Park. This worked sucessfully at Bentonville and has worked countless times at the APCWS preservation marches we were involved in organizing.
WE MUST MAKE SURE THE FOLLOWING BASES ARE COVERED:
1) That enough vehicles are prepositioned at Sailors' Creek State Park so that we can quickly get partipants back to Amelia Court House after Sunday's activities.
2) That enough vehicles are present in Amelia so that we can transport all partipants out to the march starting point on Saturday morning.
Organizing campaigner marches presents its own sets of logistical challenges. But the Fifth has been helping organize these marches since 1994 and we have yet to leave anyone in the lurch. Once again we will make sure the needs of all participants are met. We ask for everyone's cooperation and together we will get the job done.
Confederate Authenticity Guidelines
Federal Authenticity Guidelines and Information
EDUCATION COMPONENT - SCHOOL PRESENTATIONS, LIVING HISTORY
AT AMELIA COURTHOUSE
The town of Amelia is extremely interested in our providing educational programs at Amelia Courthouse on Friday, April 7th, 2000.(Map of Amelia Court House Area) In the spirit of increasing community awareness about the importance of the numerous historical sites in Amelia County, and taking into consideration that at times in previous years a lack of interest has been shown by Amelia toward the Sailor's Creek event, the campaigners have agreed to conduct educational programs in Amelia. We view this as a positive step in building further relations between the town/county of Amelia and the Sailor's Creek Battlefield State Park.
This means big changes for the campaigner portion of the event. First, we must now guarantee that a viable number of participants will arrive at Amelia by noon on Friday for presentations to numerous school children that will be brought to the courthouse. The school programs are to run from 12:00 (noon) until 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Also a program must be established for Friday night. A living history will be conducted for the public between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. Between 7:00 and 9:00 living historians portraying hungry Confederates will forage throughout the town of Amelia, knocking on doors of houses that are designated for participation by the displaying of ribbons. Ms. Ann Salister of the Amelia Monitor, the local paper, has been providing publicity for the programs thru newspaper articles and thus gathering support of the townspeople for the night foraging, recreating a scene that happened around the entire countryside of Amelia in the early days of April 1865.
Amelia County has offered the use of the Joe H. Paulette Recreational Park in Amelia for the campaigners' Friday night camp. It will also be the location for registration of campaigner participants and will duplicate and follow the same procedures as the registering of participants at the State Park. Registration will open at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning, April 7th, and run until 11:00 p.m. that night. It will again reopen Saturday morning, April 8th, at 6:00 a.m. and close promptly at 8:00 a.m.. Those late arrivals hoping to participate in Saturday's activities must arrive by 8:00 a.m. in order to catch the last shuttle going out to the march starting point.
FRIDAY NIGHT CAMP
The Joe H. Paulette site offers plenty of camping area (some in wooded areas), water, and sanitation facilities and will well serve the needs of the reenactors. The only additional amenity that will be needed will be firewood, which will be provided by Sailor's Creek Reenactment and Preservation Committee (SCRPC). While containing some modern anachronisms the Park does have a number of shelters which will help in the event of unpleasant weather on Friday night. Participants vehicles can remained parked at this Park over the weekend. The Amelia County Sheriff's Department has agreed to step up patrols of the Joe Paulette site over the weekend. It is critical that all participants see to the policing of the grounds at both Amelia Courthouse and the Joe Paulette Park, making sure all trash has been picked-up and properly disposed of and that all fires are doused and put out(as required by regulations of the fire warden) as our activities in Amelia draw to a close. Fire pits must be carefully covered back up with sod that has been removed.
A second camp for Friday night has also been procured which is closer to the Courthouse square. This is on the property belonging to Joe Allen and is near the intersection of Park and Court Streets. Information on this site will be available at registration.
All participants of the Amelia portion of the event will be under the strict control of the military commanders for the off site (non Sailor's Creek State Park) portion of the event. These are Dave Pridgeon (Confederate) and Dave Culberson (Federal). Both are members of the Fifth Battalion, the reenacting organization that is co-hosting the campaigner portion of the event along with the SCRPC.
The march routes will be a total of twelve miles for the campaign portion of the event. The bulk of this will be the 8 miles that will be marched on Saturday, with only 4 miles left for Sunday. This is because a good portion of the Sunday march will be on an slight upgrade, and we must allow for participants already being possibly fatigued. Participants should realize that by far the majority of the march is on hard roads, but this is because we are following the route of Lee's retreat. Experience sponsoring many marches has taught the Fifth Battalion that 10 miles is a "magic mark", with major foot problems usually occuring after this amount of mileage is walked on hard surface roads with brogans. Thus we are limiting Saturday to 8 miles, with a chance for participants feet to recover overnight before the 4 mile march on Sunday.
Saturday's activities will commence with an authenticity inspection and a safety inspection of all firearms and accouterments. The column will be followed by trail vehicles, which can pick-up any participant whom develops fatigue or has medical problems. The trail vehicles will be required to pick up all stragglers. No one will be allowed to continue on by himself, in an attempt to catch up with the main column. One of the trail vehicles will have a constant water supply in order to insure that all participants stay hydrated. The marching column will have cell phones (on both Federal & Confederate sides) in order to stay in contact with the command center at the Sailor's Creek site. The Amelia Rescue Squad will be onsite all weekend at Sailors' Creek State Park, thus never far away in the event of an emergency.
Living history scenarios will be occurring along the march route on Saturday. These will include Confederate troops surrendering as prisoner's along the line of march. We will have a number of civilians manning several period homesteads along the way, ready for living history scenarios with the troops of both sides. All arrangements for these activities have been prearranged with property owners. Property owners have be encouraged to have neighbors/friends over to witness the sights of 1865 unfolding around them. Participants should expect a number of "rearguard actions" to take place along the line of march. Thus cartridges are a necessity.
SATURDAY NIGHT CAMPS
On Saturday evening the Confederates will make camp on the property of Chuck Hillsman, just outside of Deatonville, on East Sayler's Creek Road, Route #617. The Federal campaigners will camp on the Joyce House property, on Route #616 (South Genito Road) in Deatonville. The two camps are .5 miles apart. The SCRPC will furnish the needed menities for the Saturday night camp to include water, porta johns and firewood. Once again it is imperative that both campsites be properly policied of trash and all firepits taken care of in the manner prescribed by the fire warden.
A third property has been procured that lies in between the two mentioned camps. This property may possibly be used as forward pickets posts for both forces on Saturday night. We want to play this scenario "by ear" and assess the condition of the men on Saturday night and if we have men that are willing to set-up and maintain the posts.
SUNDAY MORNING ACTIVITIES
On Sunday morning the day's activities will once again begin with a safety inspection of all firearms and accouterments. Confederate pickets will be pulled back in and the march towards Saylor's Creek will resume, proceeding down Route #617, Sayler's Creek Road. The column will contain all the necessary logistical support as provided the day before. Once again living history scenarios will take place along the way. Once again rear guard actions can be expected. The distance marched this day will be four miles. The column will reach Holt's Corner exactly 25 minutes before the start of the public battle at the Hillsman House.
HOW CAMPAIGNERS WILL CONNECT WITH THE MAIN EVENT!
The Confederate column will halt and fight a brief delaying action at Holt's Corner(Brown's Store), which is one mile north of the Hillsman House at the Sailors' Creek Battlefield Park. Dana Heim has agreed to have a large portion of the Federal garrison force deployed along a woodline at Holt's corner. These forces will join in with Federal campaigners' and drive the Confederate column down Sayler's Creek Road. The garrison Confederate force will already have been deployed at the Hillsman House.
This action at Holt's will serve to set the stage and give the spectators at the Hillsman House the sense that the back of the Confederate column is being pressed and indeed in trouble. The Confederate column will retreat back toward the Hillsman House and as we approach it head into the pine woods on the east side of Sayler's Creek Road. In great disarray, organization broken, the campaign Confederates will burst from the pine woods into the sudden view of the spectators and the force under Chuck Hillsman. Disorganized they will fall back, thru,and beyond the established Confederate battleline at the Hillsman House and reorganize. At this point the Federal force, hot on the heels of the remnants of the Confederate column, will advance and the Battle of Saylor's Creek will commence at the Hillsman House. When reformed Confederate camapigners' will come back up from the Creek area and offer support to the battleline previously established by the Confederates at the Hillsman House.
IMPORTANT *** All campaign participants should be aware that once we reach Holt's corner the Federal column will come under control of the overall event Federal commander, Dana Heim. The Confederate column at Holt's corner will come under the control of the overall event Confederate commander Chuck Hillsman. FEDERAL CAMPAIGNER'S - once we reach Holt's corner it will be your opportunity to rejoin your mainstream unit (if you so choose) before the start of the main spectator battle at the Hillsman House.