night camp

Hawes Farm 2014

Civil War events coming up...

-- December 6 - FARA St. Barbara Dinner, Redding, CA

-- December 6 - BBCWR Ball, Sparks, NV

-- December 27 - RACW Christmas Ball, Red Bluff, CA

Night camp
 After Action Report 
Lt. Col. Carl Fowler
It is my duty to inform you of actions taken September 26 to 28,. I ordered contingents of the III Corp south to Anderson, Virginia, in search of a crossing of Cow Creek. Maj. Mann commanded the 72nd NYVI supported by the 71st Penn, 28th Mass, and pioneers of the 2nd Wisconsin along with Cannon from the 1st Ohio Light, 13th Independent, and the 5th US Artillery under the command of Maj. Thomas Osborn, and the 1st Cavalry (Dragoons) under the command of Lt.Steve Kerns. My forward patrols arrived in the morning of Sept. 26.
The only viable crossing was Hawes' Crossing which needed improvements. Pioneers began making repairs while camp was established. Defensible positions were constructed as a Confederate force was believed in the area. An artillery position was established on a knoll overlooking the crossing. Work was completed on the evening of Sept 26 and pickets were posted in the outlying woods.
On the morning of Sept 27, I ordered a detachment from the 1st Dragoons to assist in placing a battery of artillery at an overlook to north-east so as to protect our front. At about 11:20 o’clock, a Confederate Brigade struck this position. The battery was unable to respond and were forced back across Cow Creek, taking a position south-east of the crossing. Three Confederate units advanced across the field. These were later identified as elements of the 42nd Virginia Infantry, 8th Alabama, and the 1st Texas, under the command of Lt.Col. Henry Wagner, and their artillery was subsequently identified as that of Hurt's Battery 1st and 2nd Co, and Co B, C.S.Marines.
I sent our infantry forward with support from Maj. Osborn’s artillery. The Confederates took heavy casualties. Our men fought bravely and were able to halt the advance at Cow Creek. Fighting continued for some time but as the enemy weakened I ordered Maj. Mann forward. With assistance from Lt. Kern’s cavalry striking the Confederate left flank, our forces were able to force a Confederate withdrawal from the field. Units from the 71st Penn and 28th Mass nearly captured a Confederate artillery battery while the 72nd NYVI, under Command of Capt. Henry Hobbs, forced the main contingent of Confederates back. The Confederates withdrew.
I ordered our units back to our primary position at Hawes' Crossing. The crossing was damaged by Confederate artillery and again repaired. I sent a cannon forward with an escort by Cavalry in an attempt to establish a battery on the knoll to the north. Lt. Kerns was struck by the advance force of a counter attack by the Confederates and was again forced back to the crossing. With cover fire provided by their own artillery, the Confederates advanced with a superior force. My reserve forces had not yet arrived and I was forced to withdraw from the positions along Cow Creek and the enemy was able to gain the crossing.
Heavy fighting ensued and I withdrew to our secondary defenses. The Confederates advanced against our defenses but suffered heavy casualties. Constant fire from our artillery took its toll of lives. The advance was halted when canister fire was used against the Confederate forward units. Our men were able to hold at our secondary defenses. Sunset brought an end to the hostilities and the Confederates ceased the advance. I was able to consolidate our defenses and pickets were posted. The night proved to be quiet.
The morning of Sept 28 brought news that the Confederates had abandoned the crossing and apparently withdrawn from the field during the night. Reserve units had arrived and I ordered scouts from the 1st USSS forward to reconnoiter our front. I ordered a general advance of Cavalry and infantry across Cow Creek to the high ground to the north-east. We had occupied this ground but short time when the 1st USSS returned to advise a large Confederate force converging on the area.
Battle lines were formed and a defensive posture was taken when our line was hit on the right flank. Heavy fighting ensued. Many brave men under my command were lost. Maj. Mann and Capt. Hobbs rallied the men to fight on but against the large force to the front, were pushed back to the crossing. Confederate artillery and infantry rifle fire were heavy. A stand was made at the crossing but a strong push by the Confederate 8th Alabama Infantry cut off the crossing from nearly half of my forces. We were forced to wade Cow Creek to avoid being cut off all together. A heavy Confederate artillery barrage took its toll and I ordered a general withdrawal to our secondary defense. Again, our artillery were able to slow the Confederate advance to allow for our remaining forces to reach our line.  The 1st US Cavalry continued to harass the enemies left flank, making enough inroads to force a repositioning of the Confederate units. There was no further advance of the Confederate forces. I ordered a general cease fire at this time and the Confederates were able to gather their dead and wounded.
Reserve units of the 69th NYVI and the 7th West Virginia arrived and a counter attack was ordered. At about 2:10 O’clock, I ordered our men forward. The Confederates had attempted to consolidate their position when the attack was started. Heavy fighting ensued with the enemy suffering heavy casualties. Lt.Col. Wagner’s men fought bravely but were eventually driven back by an artillery barrage and withdrew to the crossing. Maj. Mann was able to maneuver his units and with a major push by Capt. Hobbs and the 72nd NYVI, they were able to force the Confederates from the crossing and back to the north. Their casualties continued to mount and I saw there was a general withdrawal. Lt. Kerns took his cavalry forward and was able to break up the defensive stand made by what was left of the 8th Alabama. The fighting slowed and I ordered my units to halt.
I am pleased to inform you, Sir, that we currently hold the crossing but there was a heavy cost in men’s lives. I found Maj. Mann severely wounded and I ordered my Surgeon to attend to him personally. I am told he will be convalescing for a time but is expected to recover. Our hold is precarious at best and I am requesting further reserves be sent to this location. The Confederate forces are still north of our position and I am, as yet, unable to determine their numbers. Unless orders are received to the contrary, I will improve our defenses here and settle the men into winter camp.
Respectfully Submitted,
Lt. Col. Carl Fowler
 Rebs at Hawes Farm 
Music in camp
2nd National
Reb line
For more photographic images and an excellent video of the Hawes Farm Event go to

Michael Turner, who took many excellent photos of the event wishes to make known that he can supply digital and printed copies in varying sizes to those who wish them. A link to Michael's website is to be found at
  • One 8x10: $15 shipping included. Any additional prints in the same order $8.00 each. So for example two 8x10's would cost $23, three 8x10 prints for $31.
  • Larger prints 11x14' 11x17, 13x18:   $25 for the first print including shipping. Any additional prints $15 each. So for example two 13x18's would cost $40.
  • Email only, FULL  SIZE  file. You "print it yourself" $5 per photo. 

Pay Pal "" or personal check ok.
 RACW Christmas Ball 

Ladies and Gentleman,

Memories of Hawes Ranch are still vividly in my mind. The spectacular battles, a lovely harvest dance, picnics, and the fellowship of dear friends. As I write this I'm excited to know that fall is here with all its' splendor of harvest-time. Though our battle reenactments are officially done for the year, our Christmas reenacting activities have just begun. Last year, was our first annual Christmas Ball. It was an experiment because we had never done any dances during Christmas, but it was a fantastic success. Therefore, I would like to you to mark your calendars and reserve, December 27, 2014, for the RACW Christmas Ball. Fellowship time will begin at 6:30 and dance will start promptly at 7:00 pm and will end at 10:00 pm. It will be located at the Red Bluff Veterans Hall, and directions can be found on Google Maps. Tickets will be $10/person at the door. Refreshments and appetizers will be provided, however there will not be a no-host bar as in years past. I would like you to invite your friends and family and non-reenactors to attend this event. Additionally, we will be having a silent auction to support the Widows and Orphans Fund. If you are inclined you may contact me to accept items you wish to donate, or you can bring them at 6:30pm when you arrive. If you are interested in helping to set-up for the dance, the civilians will be at the Vets Hall at 10:00am. I hope you will be able to attend!

Tabitha Dubke,
Dance Mistress 
of the RACW   

              Saturday, December 6, 2014
              J.A. Nugget, Sparks, NV
              Bonanza Room / Rose Ballroom
              6:00pm Cocktails
              7:00pm Holiday Dinner Buffet
              8:30pm Grand March, Dancing until 11pm
              Silent Auction! (until 10PM)
Tickets available:
$22.00 each adult until November 30th.
$25.00 after that and at the door.
$12.00 for children 12 & under.
Special room rates available until November 6th
$49.00 per night (including Friday the 5th for those who might want to make it a long week-end).
To purchase tickets or reserve will call tickets please email Yvonne Sullivan at or
Maryanne Berdan at
Payment can be mailed to BBCWR, P.O. Box 1865, Carson City, NV 89706.
 ENLIST NOW  Banner Missing 

At Hawes Ranch event somebody removed the Enlist Now banner from the RACW trailer and did not return it. This is the canvas banner 10' x 3' that Jerry Curtis-Walker and the Invalid Corps uses at the recruiting booth at the main gate to the events. It was last seen on Friday afternoon inside the trailer in it's clear plastic tub that is clearly marked "Enlist Now".

By Saturday morning it was missing, never given to O"Cooney at the event, and not returned on Sunday afternoon. No one logged it out and we have no idea who, or why, anyone would have removed it. If it is not returned quickly, the club will have to purchase a replacement banner (about $150) before the next public event. We can only assume that someone removed it in error and does not realize they still have it. Would everyone PLEASE check your gear to see if you accidentally got home with it.

Also, Lilly Walton reports that someone removed her Enfield carbine from inside her tent at the event and did not return it. This is a very expensive item to 'lose' so it would be greatly appreciated if everyone would make sure that they did not get home with it accidentally. 
 An open letter to the RACW 

Fellow Reenactors,

My recent articles to change Artillery Policy and Procedure have been centered around the idea that the entire club should benefit from RACW Gate Profits. Not just the Artillery. The Artillery is the only part of our club to have an agreement for full reimbursement of their black powder and primer needs at every RACW sponsored event. What I find most offensive is that every artilleryman pays nothing individually to fire their own weapon. Comparatively speaking, the average Infantryman spends about $20 dollars per event for black powder and caps, with no guarantee of any reimbursement. The recent one time gifts of money and black powder given to the general membership, were voted on by the BoD. However, the Artillery reimbursements are a mandate of Policy and Procedure every time. I think it's time to change a few outdated rules to better serve the entire club. Would it be so unreasonable to require every artilleryman to match the black powder costs that every Cavalry and Infantryman already pays? In plain words. Shouldn't the Artillery be more responsible for their own needs?

In order to achieve a more equitable balance and distribution of the gate profits I suggest the following changes to RACW Policies and Procedures:

1. When gate profit from an RACW event is reimbursed, every branch of this club should share in those profits.

2. Every Artilleryman should be required to provide black powder to fire their own weapon of choice comparable to that already paid by the Infantry and Cavalry. This dollar amount is yet to be determined by the (BoD). However, so as not to create an individual hardship, this dollar amount could be deducted from any reimbursement money the club provides. This would be monitored by a head count at each event.

3. I would also strongly urge, that the Artillery be limited to a standard 6oz. round size per cannon, for club reimbursements. Regardless of individual cannon black powder requirements. For such larger cannon, additional money could be factored into an event cost by vote of the BoD or Event Coordinator, or provided by some other means. Consider this, one shot fired from the Bronze Napoleon cost more than one shot fired from all the cannons on the Confederate side at Hawes Ranch.

My stated suggestion in the 2014 Sept./Oct. issue was to divide the gate profits five ways. The three branches of military service, the Civilians, and Club administration with no mention as to the percentage of division, but rather leaving that decision up to debate at the (BoD) Board of Directors meetings. Not everyone would receive 100% of what they need from any reimbursement, However 100% of the club members would receive something. These reimbursements could be kept in the club treasury until the end of the season and then distributed to every branch of the club. There by holding in reserve money for "big ticket items" if needed.

As volunteers we all serve to the best of our abilities. That's what makes us great as a club. We can't all be Event Coordinators or Board Members, but we can voice our opinions. This is what I have done, perhaps you should too.

2nd Lt N.S. Hewitt
9th Regt. USIC
Contact me at:
Also at: 530-273-3887

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 © 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 © 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

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,

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

Copyright © 2014 Reenactors of the American Civil War, All rights reserved.