Monday, August 31, 2009

A message from Hale Farm

Dear Hale Farm & Village Civil War Weekend Participants,

On behalf of Hale Farm & Village and the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS), we would like to extend to you our appreciation and congratulations on a successful Civil War Reenactment on August 8th and 9th 2009. Hale Farm & Village partnered with National City, now a part of PNC, to present the 17th annual Civil War Reenactment at Hale Farm & Village. Nearly 3,000 people came to Hale Farm & Village for this weekend event, including 400 re-enactors!

In our opinion, the high point of both days came with the moment of silence and playing of Taps in the field following the battles. As public historians, there is no greater satisfaction than observing the impact of living history moments such as these on our audiences. The re-enactment community succeeded at Hale Farm that weekend in its mission to keep the history of the Civil War - arguably the seminal event in American history - alive in the hearts and minds of our visitors. Huzzah!

Hale Farm & Village and the WRHS enjoys presenting this annual summer event and we realize that your dedication and passion for the presentation of Civil War history only makes this an even more memorable weekend for our visitors and staff alike.

We look forward to having you back next year so mark your calendars for August 14th and 15th 2010.

Kelly Falcone-Hall & Becky Carlino
Vice President, Hale Farm Director of Community Engagement

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ride Through History update

EVENT: 25-27 SEP 09 - Alliance, OH -

I had a very good meeting with the folks from the Marlboro Volunteers who host Ride Through History here in Ohio. I was given a tour of the facility and layout. We also discussed the various activities at the event. I number of you expressed an interest in for information.

LOCATION: RTH is held on the property of the old Taylorcraft factory in Alliance, Ohio where the L2 Grasshopper spotter planes were built and tested during World War II. The runways behind the plant are now overgrown with woods and brush. This is the area where the living history and history "vignettes" are held for roughly 2000 spectators over the weekend.

CAMPS: Throughout the woods, various areas have been cleared to feature living history camps from the Revolution, Civil War, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

VIGNETTES: The RTH actually takes place on the other over grown runway. Spectators board several military troop trucks and travel down a trail progressing through a Revolutionary War redoubt where soldiers are engaged, a Civil War artillery firing supported by Federal cavalry, a WWII Market Garden period engagement between Germans in bunkers and Airborne in a building (finally with support of US armor). A Korean period US engineering unit working on a project, and finally a Vietnam era US infantry squad engaged in a rice paddy. Each of theses "vignettes" last about 10 to 15 minutes (the total spectator ride runs about 45 minutes).

OTHER ACTIVITIES: There will be a lot to see and do for those who have friends and family wishing to attend. In addition to the aforementioned, there will be a military vehicle display and motor pool where personnel will be performing field maintenance on vehicles from various periods and talking to the public. A stage area will feature programming including a demonstration of military small arms from flint locks to current weapons. There will also be vendors selling militaria.

REENACTOR AMENITIES: There is NO registration fee for participants. A complete field kitchen and mess tent will be set up. If you wish, you can buy a $15.00 meal ticket good for the entire weekend and includes two breakfasts, two lunches, and dinner. All participants with have 24 hour access to water, lemonade, iced tea, and coffee at no charge.

From a Civil War stand point, this is just a living history camp for the weekend. As I will be working with the WWII side of things, any one interested in participating should contact Don Van Meter of the 105th OVI. his email is

Chris Smith

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hale Farm AAR

From the Captain's Desk

1864, August:

After Action Reports

Hale Farm and Village, Ohio: There were two skirmishes at Hale Farm and Village.

The action started on Saturday afternoon, August 8th, at about 1:30 pm. It was drizzling and muggy. We were informed that there were some Confederates in the village area. Birney's was comprised of three companies and a platoon of sharpshooters. There was also one company and a platoon of sharpshooters from the USV's. The sharpshooters moved into the village to disperse the enemy, with the USV's in support. Birney's was in reserve. As the Confederate skirmishers were pushed back, they and a small group of Confederates retreated from the village. We pushed through the village and waited as it appeared that a larger Confederate force was across the road in the wooded area. We crossed the road, into a field, as the Confederates emerged from the woods. It was a tough fight with Birney's leading the attack. We were unable to flank the enemy and each time we seem to gain a little ground we were pushed back. Many a brave Union soldier lay dead or wounded in the field after several attempts to push the enemy from the field. In the end we were forced to retreat from the field and stop the loss of valuable men. The 5th OVI was combined with the 4th OVI, the 30th OVI and the 51st OVI. We fought valiantly but to no avail. We would still be on the field had our commanders not stopped the battle. We spent most of the night trying to dry out from the rain. Several of us, the Slattery boy's and myself, went looking for some other soldiers to try to amend for some of the lost life at the battle. We found several others, from the USV's, but the Union Commander saw us and told us to hold off until tomorrow. He said we would get our chance to avenge our comrades' lives.

On Sunday, August 9th, the men were still angry that our commanders pulled them from the field. The weather was very hot and muggy. The rebels reoccupied the village and our men were itching for another fight. Just like the Union Commander said, they were pulling us together for another battle. Birney's and the USV's moved into the town to push out the Confederates again. Just like the day before, the USV's, with the sharpshooters, push them out of the town. This time as they retreated to the woods across the field, to combine with their fellow secessionists, we were ready for the fight. Birney's again led the battle in the field. With hard fighting and several forward pushes, combined with our sharpshooters and the USV's flanking the enemy, we forced the rebels to call for a halt in the fighting. Many a gray and butternut soldier lay on the field that day. The men were hot and tired but proud as we marched from the field victorious.

August 2009

The event at Hale Farm & Village was wet, very hot and very humid. You would have thought we were in Virginia, not Ohio. The military camp was in the same place as it was last year. We only had one family camp and they were with the others near the carriage house. Wood was in short supply on Friday, but the Hale staff opened up a reserve and we were able to have enough for the weekend. The small skirmish in the village made the battle a little better, even though we were in reserve both days during that part. The Saturday night tactical was cancelled because of the rain. We had several men from the 4th OVI, the 51st OVI, the 30th OVI and one from the 74th New York fall in with us. I commanded the combined company on Saturday and the Lt. from the 4th OVI commanded us on Sunday.

Your Humble Servant,

Captain Andrew J. Kaminski
5th OVI, Co. H