Well the big day arrived on Wednesday June 26, 2013. I was going to be picked up by my fellow reenactors at my house at 7:30pm for our journey to the 150th Gettysburg reenactment.
I had been getting ready off and on since Friday June 22nd. I had started rolling cartridges Friday night, and ran out of black powder after I had about 50 cartridges prepared.
When I say cartridges, I mean I poured about 60 grains of black powder into little paper cylinders and folded the top of the cylinders as per the accepted requirement to keep the powder from pouring out.
So, the Saturday before our trip, I had to go to the gunsmith to purchase enough powder to have 160 rounds for the whole reenactment weekend.
Anyway, I got the powder and rolled the rest of the cartridges on Saturday. I also cleaned and oiled my trusty replica Civil War Enfield rifle, that I affectionately call “Grandpa,” until it could pass any unit inspection with flying colors.
Next, I started to assemble all my gear and uniform. I made sure that my cartridge box had 40 rounds in it, with the other 120 rounds divided between my haversack and knapsack. Checking my cap box, I had about 120 caps. My bayonet was clean and rust-free, and my belt had the requisite CSA emblem on the buckle. Also, my canteen was full.
My haversack, which looks like a satchel, had my package of soft tortillas, a small sack of beef jerky, toilet paper, Vaseline, a dinner plate, eating utensils, a “housewife” (small cloth holding buttons and thread), a camera and about 40 cartridges.
The knapsack, which is a two-fold soft pack, housed more cartridges, a very small flashlight, leather strips for shoelaces, toothpaste with Civil War toothbrush, rifle cleaning kit, rifle swabs, a pair of socks, underwear, one spare shirt, and two gum blankets.
In addition, I had my uniform, rifle, brogans, shirt, hat, and the socks I would be wearing the first two days at Gettysburg.
By 8:30pm, my Pards hadn’t arrived, and I was wondering, “Where are they?”