Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Citizens of the Cumberland Valley

As part of our civilian impression, last year our mess and members of the 1st Maine Cavalry participated in a mustering at the Hessian Barracks in Frederick, Maryland. This 150th Commemoration event focused on civilians being recruited, examined by a physician and mustering into what would become Company B, 1st Potomac Home Brigade of Cavalry or better known as Cole’s Cavalry. The event was heavily researched as there are numerous resources describing the layout of camps, receiving arms, drilling, camp life itself and finally receiving uniforms. The men of came in wearing regular dress clothes and brought with them what they could carry.

Although I had plenty to research about the experiences during their stay in Frederick, I had to also research the area I was from. I portrayed a farmer from northern Frederick County near the town of New Midway. I wore a simple sack coat made from wool flannel, cotton trousers, work boots, a regular shirt, and cravat and beehive slouch hat. I wrapped a coverlet in a form of a blanket roll and I carried my tooth brush, tooth paste, tobacco, playing cards, journal, over shirt and extra socks in a small carpet bag.

Marshall portrayed a worker along the Monocacy River near Woodsboro. He wore a simple outfit. He had on blue jeans-cloth trousers, shirt, waistcoat and a mechanics’ cap made from painted linen. Aaron portrayed a worker at the C&O Canal and he wore overalls made from jeans-cloth with work boots, sack coat, shirt and a corduroy mechanics’ cap.

During the event, we were all mustered into service by the recruiting officer. From there we received our papers and went to the medical tent to be examined by a physician. Once he approved we assembled on the grounds of the barracks and began to learn the basic school of the soldier and drill. We displayed the arms such as the 1841 Mississippi Rifle and the accouterments it went with to show what the guard duty was issued. Canteens were also on hand.

While we drilled, a few ladies were on hand. One of them was Alicia. She wore her best day dress, showing her support for what the men were doing as there were several accounts of ladies mingling with the men.

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