|Kelly's Ford Reenactment - Remington, VA|
Article by Sgt. Mike Rhyne
We had decided to try something new this year and the 2nd Virginia Cavalry had recommended Kelly's Ford. Little did we know when we decided to attend that it would become a such a challenge. Most of you know that John Stewart, Mike Rhyne and Chris Moose provide a large percent of the lift for our events. Chris, Dirk and Billy are the drivers we use at most every event. A black cloud descended over us the week prior to the event both literally and figuratively! John Stewart had pneumonia, Chris had to work, Mike had an operation on his knee, Dirk had to coach and Billy had an illness in the family. To make bad matters worse it rained much of the week prior to the event and since Kelly's Ford is a crossing over the Rappahannock River, we figured the bottlomland where the reenactment would be held would be very wet. What a great time to cancel out and stay home.
After numerous phone calls we came up with a plan and enough people committed to make it happen. Mike Rhyne took one gun to my house at Colfax, Bill Long, who normally pulls a horse trailer, pulled the gun. By using the bare bones minimum number of horses, Gary Price, who normally pulls the third gun, and I were able to get the right number of horses to field the two teams. Committed gunners arrived in the right numbers and we were able to field a section. Mercifully, the rain held off and the ground had the capability to absorb more moisture than we thought it was capable of.
Confusion reigned at the organizer level and after John Glaze and I had pitched our tents in the area we were told, we were told to move. By Friday evening we had all the equipment we needed on the ground and the personnel to operate it all tucked up next to the Rappanhannock River. Emmanuel May had offered to provide commissary support and Jim Nelson loaned him his equipment, so we ate high on the hog all weekend.
Soccer in Fredericksburg took me away almost all day Saturday and since the bridge over Kelly's Ford was under repair this trip was about 30 minutes longer than it should have been. We were given overall command of the Federal Artillery (total of 4 guns). The artillery combined with about half of the 2nd Virginia Cavalry (galvanized) and an infantry company comprised the total Federal Command. The Confederates had 6 guns and an equal amount of Cavalry, with no infantry. The site was a good one for both the reeanctors and the spectators. The battlefield and surrounding area could have easily support a total of 1000 - 1500 reenactors.
In my absence on Saturday, 1st Sgt. Slifer was promoted to acting
Captain in charge of all the guns, leaving Sgt. Lankford and Sgt. Horvath
to exercise control over their guns as the Chiefs of the Piece. The
section performed flawlessly during the afternoon's hour-long fight.
Emmanual fed us well all though Saturday and after supper, we spent a long
evening of BSing around the campfire. Since it was John Glaze's last event
with us, we all enjoyed his stories one last time. Boy, will he be missed!
The event organizers were extremely happy to have us attend! They would like to make this a fully mounted event in the future, as the battle truly was! I will remember this event as one where the NCOs took charge and were able to function as they did in the Civil War and throughout time! Thanks to everyone who attended and supported this event.
Capt. D.L. Stanley, Cmdg.
Articles, Photos, Movie Clips