Yreka 2014

Civil War events coming up...

-- Sept 13-14 - CCWS Ft. Klamath, OR

-- Sept 13-14 - NCWV Gardnerville, NV

-- Sept 25-28 - RACW Hawes Ranch, Anderson, CA

For more information check out www.RACW.org

 Hawes Ranch 2014 
  • Join us for this event near Anderson, California.
  • Reenactors from several clubs are planning on attending.
  • Two horse drawn artillery teams will on the field.
  • School Day on Thursday and Friday, Sept.25 and 26
  • Election of Confederate Brigade Commander will take place at 4PM Saturday.

For more detailed information CLICK HERE.

 Letter of Intent to stand for 
 RACW Board position 


I, Joe Allison, declare myself a candidate for RACW Treasurer.

My platform is simple: I won't steal your money.  I'll report our financial status to the membership in each Shoulder Arms.  I will timely file documents required for us to maintain our federal and California non-profit status. 
My experience: I previously served on the Board for 6 years as President, Vice President, and Brigade Commander; I understand how the corporation works at both a legal and practical level.  I have been a company commander/administrator since 1999 so I know the challenges that face the units and members.  The six RACW events that I have been the Event Coordinator for have all shown a profit (Yreka x 4, McCloud, Fortuna). I balance my personal checking account every month.  My decision making skills have been honed by 25 years as the Assistant District Attorney (and Deputy District Attorney) for Siskiyou County. 

 Letter of Intent to stand for 
 RACW Board position 


My name is Lilly Walton and I have been a member of the RACW for over 3 years now. I feel now that most of you know me, I would like to serve you and the RACW better by running for PR. I feel I would serve you and all of the RACW very well as P.R. because I have experience with the news media in print, television, and radio interviews. Also I have been going to most all of the board meetings for the last few years because my better half has been VP, an event coordinator, and for the last year the confederate brigade commander. I on the other hand have been the confederate brigade adjutant for the last 2 years. So help me to be able to help you by voting at the club's election to be held at Hawes ranch.
 A Fresh Fish 
-- Submitted by Seamus O'Cooney
Taken by a CDV artist with a canvas painted background of a Company Street with Camp Life activities shown, is a fine study of a very young and self-conscious Fresh Fish from the early war era.

 Artillery Thoughts 

-- Maj. Don LaPorta
Commander, Federal Artillery

"Team work" is the corner stone of artillery in our hobby. The quick pace of this years reenactment season has put stress on everyone in the hobby. Events close together combined with long drives put all in the hobby under pressure to perform. Artillery units are close teams that most work together and have to depend on each other to do the tasks set out for us. This year has been a very fine example of team work within the artillery units both Union and Confederate. Members have been filling in units size and crewing and work very well together. Yreka was an example of team work. For school day members of the Union and CSA manned cannon to do school presentations. A LARGE THANKS goes to the men of the 8th Alabama Confederate unit. When cannons had to be moved long distances, they were quickly there and willing to help. The Confederate cannon had to be removed and replaced on its trailer without a winch. This is a very heavy task and has some danger if done improperly. They were there to do the heavy work! Thanks again from your friends in artillery!

Seeing everyone work together this season so very well at events was very pleasant.  We hope that the other issues that sometimes "cloud" our hobby could go as well as things go at events. Hats off to all and lets try and keep this spirit of cooperation going in the RACW and our hobby.  

An Image for Our Ladies of the RACW: Braided Hair in All its Glory

A DAY IN OUR LIVES: From O'Cooney's Gallery of Rare & Unusual Daguerreotypes

  This Civil War Era daguerreotype is quite interesting and somewhat unique, in that the photographer, Alexander Hesler of Chicago, has taken images of four different views of this lovely young lady's shoulders, hair and jewelry, and then has printed all four images onto a single sixth-plate daguerreotype. The woman's name is unknown to us, although there may a link to the family name "Hesler" from Chicago. The original image is mounted in a 3.75" x 3.25" case. Although it has significant damage – with many scratches, and serious cleaning & wiping marks (one should NEVER wipe these images!), this image clearly shows the pride and satisfaction of a pretty young lady, and gives an overall image of the fruits of her labors, in preparing herself for a significant personal or social event. The daguerreotype itself, being so artistic, charming and subtle, is listed recently at auction with an expected winning bid of about $1,500.

-- Lt.Col. Byran Duncan

While I was working on my western saddles a few months ago.  I saved the metal cinch rings from a worn out girth.  I found that these metal rings work very well for pulling "hook top" tent stakes from the ground. 

"Make a friend of a trooper with the mounted cavalry.  When the girth cinch wears out on his saddle, offer to dispose of it for him.  Cut the mohair braid off the cinch rings and you have a "period" tent stake puller that fits your hand well.  Plus, since there are two ends, you have a second "period" tent stake puller to give to a friend." 

 An open letter to the RACW 

I disagree with the RACW BoD; Perhaps you should too!
On Saturday, August 9th, I asked the RACW Board of Directors to add a Yes or No question to this clubs' General Election ballot.  The election being held this September at Hawes Ranch.  It read as follows.
"Should other branches of the RACW,  eg. Infantry, Cavalry, Civilian Corps., and Club Administration, also be reimbursed from the proceeds of any event? Current club policy only reimburses the Artillery."
You will not see this question on the ballot because it was considered too dangerous a question to ask the general membership, even though the question affects everyone in the club.  I have argued over the last few months the validity of the RACW Artillery being funded at a rate of 100% for all their Black Powder and Primer needs.  Their current request for approximately $3,000 dollars to field eight cannon at the Hawes Ranch event is just such an example.
I have invested over 16 years in Civil War reenacting.  14 of which have been in the Artillery with both CHAS and the RACW.  Until this year I was under the misconception and illusion that the Artillery used a great deal more black powder than all other military branches of this club or any other.  Hence the need for a reimbursement.  This is simply not the case, and can easily be mathematically proven.

Frankly I'm upset with the current RACW reimbursement policy for the Artillery.  When a major portion of this clubs' members are ignored to the benefit of a few, I get upset.  When every member in this club pays their own individual costs for black powder, and that of every Artillerymen too, ( by way of club reimbursements to the Artillery), I get upset.   

At this most recent RACW Board meeting the general opinion appeared to be, "Don't rock the boat!". Please ask yourself as I have many times: What makes the Artillery more deserving above the rest of the volunteers in this club?  Why do they alone receive a substantial dollar reimbursement to the exclusion of all other members?   Ultimately you, the "other members of this club", have to say something. Otherwise, you should be content to pay for all your own powder needs and those of the Artillery too.
Lt Norman S. Hewitt
9th Regt USIC

 An open letter to the RACW 

Powder reimbursement
            Hi, for those of you that don't know me, my name is Don Walton, or better known as Pappy. I am a private in the 42nd VA and the event coordinator for Hawes Ranch and a few other events in the past. 
            Now that you know who I am and a little about what I do for the RACW, let me tell you why I am writing to you today. We have a couple of people in the RACW that want it to be mandatory to reimburse all branches and parts of the RACW "equally out of the gate money from events." I wanted to give you the other side of the story and set the story straight.
            It has been argued that 10 infantry men firing in a battle is equal in expense to a 3" ordnance rifle firing 6 oz. charges in the same battle. I say this is just not true. It assumes that each man will fire 25 rounds per battle. In the Confederate infantry we do not fire an average of 25 or more rounds per battle. Most common is the average of 15-20 rounds per battle. So this concept just does not work.
            If you stop and look at what the RACW has done for all of the components of the RACW you will understand why it is not a good idea to make it mandatory to reimburse all of the different parts of the RACW. Without the extra money on hand from events the RACW would not have been able to help all of the units that it has. The RACW over the years has bought tents, flies, weapons, uniforms, cases of black powder, ground charge equipment, a larger trailer to haul all the club gear, and donated the equivalency of a case of powder in money to the non-combatants. None of this would have been possible if it was mandatory to reimburse the different parts of the RACW from the gate at events. The board of directors of the RACW has already voted to give a case of powder to both brigades and the equivalency to the non-combatants at Hawes Ranch to say thank-you for a good year and job well done.
            If you have a problem with any of this and you want to make changes in the RACW for the better, then run for the board and serve your term to make those changes. The other thing that you can do is to become an event coordinator and put together events for the rest of the RACW to have a place to play. Part of what the event coordinators do is write in the contract the total to be reimburse to the combined artillery. From there they get in contact with the chiefs of artillery to find out how many cannons can be reimbursed and how many rounds can be fired per battle for the event.
            Now that you have heard both sides of the argument, learned how to make changes in the RACW and a little bit of what the event coordinators go through planning events; let me ask you this question. Do you want it to be mandatory to reimburse all parts of the RACW from money earned from events or should we leave things the way they are and give a case of powder or whatever the brigade needs as a way of saying thank you for a good year and job well done?
Don "Pappy" Walton
42nd VA


Publication Information

The Shoulder Arms' editor is Ken Janson who will be happy to receive any help/suggestions/submissions you might have to offer.


The Shoulder Arms is the official newsletter of the Reen­actors of the American Civil War, Inc., a 501c3 educational organization. All material (C) The Shoulder Arms 1995-2014. The copy-right of any credited article/photograph is held by the author thereof and is printed here with the author's permission. Such articles may not be reproduced without the author's expressed written permission. Any unaccredited articles are (C) The Shoulder Arms 1995-2014 and may not be reprinted without the express written permission of the Editor.

Article Submissions - Articles, photographs, event information and letters to the editor which may be of interest to the general membership are encouraged and actively solicited. The Editor reserves the right to edit and screen any item submitted. To submit an item for The Shoulder Arms, to comment or make a correction, please e-mail shoulderarms@racw.org

The Shoulder Arms is published six times per annum: January, March, May, July, September, November. Sub-mission deadlines are the 15th of the month prior to publication. Submissions received after those deadlines may be included in the following publication.

Editor - Ken Janson, shoulderarms@racw.org

R.A.C.W. Website - For up-to-date information about events and contact information for unit officers, go to our website at www.RACW.org. This is the best source for event and membership information, current rules and regulations, membership documents, past newsletters and event photo-graphs. n

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