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Civil War reenactment participant shot in Isle of Wight County(Reb halts Yankee victory celebration)
WAVY.com ^ | Sep 27, 2008 | Katie Collett

Posted on 10/01/2008 4:44:57 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo

WINDSOR, Va. (WAVY.com)-- A man participating in a Civil War reenactment was shot Saturday afternoon, according to the Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Department.

The incident happened around 12:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds, about three miles outside of Windsor on Route 258.

This wasn't your typical re-enactment. Tom Lord was one of many men acting out a scene for a film being made about the Civil War. During that filming, Lord was shot...for real.

Speaking only to WAVY.com, Tom says he isn't as worried about the damage done to his body. He's more concerned with the damage this could do to the reputation of reenactment.

Tom reenacts history as a Union Cavalryman, but he never thought acting would become so real.

"At the time we were in a ditch that acts as a trench and we had just driven the Confederates out of the trench, and we were all enthused about it," says Tom, " and under direction we raised our hats and hurrah, hurrah, hurrah."

During that last hurrah, the unthinkable happened. Julian Ison, acting as a Confederate Soldier, was there.

"We were shooting at the Union Soldiers and suddenly the guy told us to stop after we were firing because one of the Union guys actually got shot."

"I got hit in the shoulder and I thought somebody had hit me with a shovel," says Tom.

What the 73-year-old was actually hit with was a round from an 1860 Colt Army Revolver. Tom says the moment he was shot, every thought ran through his mind at once.

"How can I be shot? I've been doing this reenacting, who shot me? Why?"

Tom says the cameras were rolling on him, and were directly in front of him, when he was shot.

"Everybody was wondering what was wrong with me and then they saw the blood on my uniform...They immediately took my uniform jacket off and my shirt was all bloody. They applied pressure bandages on it because it was bleeding," says Tom.

Tom doesn't believe an "experienced" reenactor could be behind this.

"The muzzle of our weapons or pistol or rifle is always elevated at least 40, 45 degrees and we're shooting into the air. The battle lines never get close enough that people would be hit by the expended paper that comes out of these muskets."

Tom also says before and after every reenactment, the actors go through an important routine called "capping off."

"We take our weapons and we fire three caps in an empty weapon. If we have pistols, we discharge our pistols, put caps on that and discharge them again and all it is is like a child's cap going off," says Tom.

There are concerns about how this could have happened in the first place.

"It was an accident, but somebody was negligent in not inspecting the weapons. I don't know who you could blame - the people who did the filming or the person who did the firing," says Tom.

Now Tom, along with his friends and family hope investigators find the clues they need to piece this painful puzzle together.

"I would like to see them catch, get a hold of this person that did this and bar him for life from doing this because we don't need people like him reenacting."

Lord is also worried this accident could shine negativity on his main passion.

"It's hurting reenacting when they hear something, a reenactor was shot at a reenactment."

Tom says reenacting creates a way for children and adults to actively become involved in history, something he never thought he'd be so much a part of.

"I'm the first one in reenacting that's ever earned a purple heart," says Tom with a laugh. "The good Lord was looking over me. That's all I can say. The good Lord was looking over me."

Isle of Wight Sheriff Paul Phelps says they are investigating to find out who shot Lord. In the meantime, Tom says he may be done with the "physical" part of reenacting. Instead, he may become a narrator at the reenactment scenes.

Stay with WAVY.com and WAVY News 10 for new details in this developing story.


TOPICS: US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: banglist; civilwar; dixie
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Apparently there's a few who have not heard the news from Appomattox yet.
1 posted on 10/01/2008 4:44:57 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Was Cheney there? Sad deal all around. At least he wasn’t killed.


2 posted on 10/01/2008 4:48:47 AM PDT by refermech
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Glad the guy is okay.

So what movie is this? (crosses fingers for third installment of Gettysburg series)


3 posted on 10/01/2008 4:53:27 AM PDT by Slapshot68
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Typically, it is the ram rod left in the barrel in the excitement. After the Gettysburg, anniversary and several incidents, our unit removed ram rods entirely during actual reenactments. Not realistic, but keeps it from being real.


4 posted on 10/01/2008 4:53:49 AM PDT by doodad
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

That wasn’t a peace treaty. That was just a cease-fire...


5 posted on 10/01/2008 4:53:54 AM PDT by gridlock (The Democrats have attacked Motherhood. If they attack Baseball and Apple Pie, we got it made!)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
"They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist--"
Union General John Sedgwick(suffering head-shot by Confederate sniper)
6 posted on 10/01/2008 4:58:34 AM PDT by laotzu
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

I wonder if they found the bullet.


7 posted on 10/01/2008 5:01:43 AM PDT by ReformedBeckite
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
Some loud mouth asked me one time what would happen if a participant started using live rounds. I told him both sides would hang the guy on the spot. No trial and it would be done without contacting the authorities.

The closest to this I had ever witnessed was a drunk on the sideline yelling a lot of inappropriate insults. After the the “battle” was over, a large group took the guy out of the crowd and “executed” him by “firing squad” complete with blindfold. The crowd loved it.

8 posted on 10/01/2008 5:04:06 AM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA - Vote against the dem party)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
No, just a stupid accident by someone who had no business being out on that field during that re-enactment.

I'm a former CW re-enactor, with years of experience at both small and big events. After a guy with the 7th Virginia Infantry got shot accidentally at the huge 135th Anniversary Battle of Gettysburg re-enactment by a Frenchman who had flown over for the event without any training or experience and had fallen in with a less-than reputable Union cavalry unit, the hobby at large instituted wide-spread safety inspections before each scenario and required accountability on the part of battalion and brigade commanders.

Although there was a subsequent accident at Raymond, Mississippi, in which a guy got shot (through his testicles) with a .36 pistol round, the safety guidelines and intense weapons inspections have been quite successful since then. Obviously, at this event, the safety regime broke down, and someone got hurt. Both the event organizers and the the re-enactment community at large will suffer for it.

My guess is that it was some stupid cavalryman (infantry don't carry pistols--and they weren't close enough for a Confederate officer to have done it), who likes to target shoot his pistol at home and forgot that he had loaded it with a live round before coming to the event. That this guy's unit failed to properly inspect and pass the pistol is damning in the extreme. And he should NOT have been aiming directly at this Union cavalryman with the pistol, like it was a water gun.

9 posted on 10/01/2008 5:05:35 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left!)
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To: doodad

According to all safety guidelines, ramrods should NEVER be pulled after leaving camp and after unit inspections, certainly never on the field.


10 posted on 10/01/2008 5:06:53 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left!)
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To: doodad

Ramrod for a pistol?


11 posted on 10/01/2008 5:07:12 AM PDT by Past Your Eyes (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
What the 73-year-old was actually hit with was a round from an 1860 Colt Army Revolver. Tom says the moment he was shot, every thought ran through his mind at once.


12 posted on 10/01/2008 5:08:40 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life ;o)
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To: Shooter 2.5

Battle reenactment is a great way to impress history on kids and adults. But it just takes one careless person. Hopefully, this incident will have the typical positive safety effects of a close call.


13 posted on 10/01/2008 5:08:56 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Shooter 2.5

Battle reenactment is a great way to impress history on kids and adults. But it just takes one careless person. Hopefully, this incident will have the typical positive safety effects of a close call.


14 posted on 10/01/2008 5:08:57 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Past Your Eyes
No for muskets. Pistols have their own packing levers.

What he was saying is that usually these types of accidents involve someone using their ramrod on their musket against safety rules, getting carried away, leaving it in the barrel after packing the powder, and then shooting it down range toward the opposing battle line. It happens occasionally, but almost never hits anyone.

Back in the 1990s, at an infamous event at Monmouth, New Jersey, a guy did get hit in the head by a worm that someone had left in their musket barrel. He almost died, and as a result, the hobby almost collapsed because of the lawsuits that followed.

15 posted on 10/01/2008 5:13:00 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left!)
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To: ReformedBeckite
I wonder if they found the bullet.

Yes, they extracted the round from his shoulder and gave it to him. More info here.

And, no, I had nothing to do with this 'un...

16 posted on 10/01/2008 5:13:01 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("Never underestimate the hungover side of the Force.")
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Just keeping it real.


17 posted on 10/01/2008 5:14:14 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: doodad

Not realistic, but keeps it from being real

After the battle of Gettysburg, guns collected off the battlefield were found to contain more than one “load” as well as the ramrod. Quite a few rifles were found to be loaded with up to 5 bullets. In the excitement of battle, many soldiers forgot to aim and pull the trigger but just kept on loading.


18 posted on 10/01/2008 5:15:14 AM PDT by Paisan
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
My guess is that it was some stupid cavalryman (infantry don't carry pistols--and they weren't close enough for a Confederate officer to have done it),

The reenacters are saying the shot came from the confederate infantry side.

19 posted on 10/01/2008 5:15:25 AM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA - Vote against the dem party)
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To: Shooter 2.5

Officer then? Unless, it was one of those stupid local “shoot-out” events where the Confederate reenactors think they are Josey Wales. I’ve seem my share of those too, and have walked away.


20 posted on 10/01/2008 5:18:08 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
at Raymond, Mississippi, in which a guy got shot (through his testicles) with a .36 pistol round

Just DAMN!

Time to find a new hobby! (among other things)

21 posted on 10/01/2008 5:21:45 AM PDT by bayliving (Democrats used to be funny. Now they're just plain dangerous.)
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To: Paisan
Well, actually, from my experience as a Confederate "line infantryman" at the big reenactments like the 135th Antietam in 1997 and the 135th Gettysburg in 1998 and countless other events, the rattle and noise of the musketry is actually so loud that when you fire, you cannot hear your own musket going off. In fact, you have to watch for the smoke leaving your barrel just to be sure that you actually fired.

Since the percussion caps occasionally do NOT set off the powder in the chamber, especially when the air is damp, then I can certainly see why real infantrymen during the CW may have kept on loading even though they weren't firing. They did not know that they were not firing.

22 posted on 10/01/2008 5:25:58 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left!)
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To: Jonah Hex
Back when I was involved with NSSA rifle matches, we were obsessive about firearms safety training. Amongst the billowing clouds of blackpowder smoke and the crackling shots of hundreds of shooters, a slip of mental discipline meant somebody could have a bad day at Winchester.

And in the five years I competed, we never had anybody seriously hurt. Strained shoulders from sending a ramrod down range, yes, but nobody really hurt.

I'm really looking forward to follow-up reports on this incident.

23 posted on 10/01/2008 5:26:39 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("Never underestimate the hungover side of the Force.")
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To: Past Your Eyes

The article mentions that an 1860 Colt caused the wound.

The cap and ball revolvers used during the civil war era didn’t use cartridges. You poured a measured charge of black powder into each cylinder, then placed a round ball on top. The ‘ramrod’ is permanently mounted to the gun, under the barrel, and was used to seat the ball in the cylinder.

Follow this up with a dab of grease over each ball, to lubricate and also to prevent multiple cylinder discharges. Cap each nipple at the back of the cylinder with a percussion cap, and the gun is ready to shoot.


24 posted on 10/01/2008 5:27:30 AM PDT by Rockhound
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
I'm bettin’ some corn sqeezin’s was involved. Damned Johnny Rebs!
25 posted on 10/01/2008 5:41:12 AM PDT by BallyBill (Serial Hit-N-Run poster)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
Tom doesn't believe an "experienced" reenactor could be behind this.

The Director was heard to shout, "Use it, use the pain!" as he called for a close-up.

26 posted on 10/01/2008 5:52:42 AM PDT by Trailerpark Badass (Happiness is a choice!)
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To: Liberty Valance

That’s purtier than the 1861 Navy I’ve got at home. But the 1861 Navy I’ve got at home has been handed down from father to son for a couple generations now.


27 posted on 10/01/2008 5:52:50 AM PDT by Tennessee_Bob (A prayer's as good as bayonet on a day like this.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

“What the 73-year-old was actually hit with was a round from an 1860 Colt Army Revolver.”

....that’s a .44 Colt and shoots a big ball...that guy was lucky.....I’ve got an origional one that was my g-grandfather’s....it’s in good working order and would still kill you deader than hell....although it’s too valuable to shoot now.


28 posted on 10/01/2008 5:57:57 AM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

We told everyone to leave them at home. Anyone who forgot had to put in the car locked prior to inspection.

This was back around 1980 in DC area. Lot’s of “loosely” organized events.


29 posted on 10/01/2008 6:27:34 AM PDT by doodad
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To: Past Your Eyes

No, just talking about my experience. We were infantry obviously.


30 posted on 10/01/2008 6:28:27 AM PDT by doodad
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To: Paisan
After the battle of Gettysburg, guns collected off the battlefield were found to contain more than one “load” as well as the ramrod. Quite a few rifles were found to be loaded with up to 5 bullets. In the excitement of battle, many soldiers forgot to aim and pull the trigger but just kept on loading.
But you see, all it takes is one misfire for that to happen. If you don't load properly the first time, and if in the excitement of all the cacaphony and danger of battle you don't realize that the weapon didn't discharge, you would load in another round on top of the defective initial load. Then if the initial defective load still doesn't fire, the fact that there is another load in the barrel on top of it isn't going to make any difference.

Rinse.
Repeat.

I would think that there must have been cases when the initial load finally did fire after misfiring once or twice - and, if so, it seems likely that the musket would have "blown up real good."


31 posted on 10/01/2008 7:36:08 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The conceit of journalistic objectivity is profoundly subversive of democratic principle.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

In the fledgling days of the North-South Skirmish Assn (1963) we were reenacting the 100th anniversary of Gettysburg. I was with the 3rd South Carolina that day and in the middle of a firefight the battle was halted.

The word was that a guy in my company had been hit in the shoulder and we all were sick with worry. It ended up that in some past shooting match a defective Minie ball had just the nose shot out, with the hollow base remaining. It was deduced that the constant firing of blanks (powder only, no wads) eventually loosened the base and out it went. We never found out who did it and I doubt that even the shooter would have been aware of it.

The guy had a half-moon cut in his uniform and a purple bruise as big as the palm of your hand. (When he grabbed his shoulder after being hit, the base fell into his hand.) We all kidded him that he could now say that he was shot at the Battle of Gettysburg and all felt that it was the best of bad luck as he could have been hit in the head.


32 posted on 10/01/2008 7:39:11 AM PDT by Oatka (A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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bttt


33 posted on 10/01/2008 7:51:18 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
There's a reason why safe gun handling rules dictate that you never point a firearm at anything you do to intend to destroy....

Even elevating 40-45’ is still pointing a real firearm-too much movement and dynamic action to insure this measure is effective, especially as distance closes to CQB ranges (25 m or less).

The US Army has strict rules of employment of blank fire-and these weapons have plugged muzzles (to create adequate gas pressure to operate the semi/full auto mechanisms). Army Regs prohibit aiming at a “target” closer than 10m (33’)with blank fire, observer/controllers (O/Cs) are assigned to assess casualties in close quarters batle engagements, Multiple-Integrateg Laser Engagement Systems (MILES) provides mid-range hit assessment via low energy laser emitters triggered by blank fire and registered on opponents MILES receivers worn with battle gear.

The weapons used by re-enactors are 100% real, actual arms capable of shooting standard period projectiles with a perfectly free bore-the very recipe for injury.

Just not a safe concept-even with the controls used. All one needs to do is trip, poke the muzzle of your .58 cal 1861 Springfield charged with a paper wad and 30-50 grains of FG black powder into the belly of the guy along side you and negligently (accidentally as amateurs call it) drop the hammer. Capable of killing rather efficiently.

I am amazed that there are not more incidents in this hobby.

On the other hand, it is pretty cool to watch a good well executed historically accurate re-enactment.

This comment reflects my personal opinion as a professional Soldier and firearms trainer and is just that-my opinion, yours may vary.

God Bless and MOLON LABE.

34 posted on 10/01/2008 8:11:45 AM PDT by Manly Warrior (US ARMY (Ret) "No Free Lunches for the Dogs of War")
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To: manc; GOP_Raider; TenthAmendmentChampion; snuffy smiff; slow5poh; EdReform; TheZMan; ...

Dixie Ping


35 posted on 10/01/2008 8:16:39 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner

Good thing it wasn’t a well aimed Walker loaded up

sounds to me like an accident

or a nut


36 posted on 10/01/2008 8:54:47 AM PDT by wardaddy (everyone has underestimated the media and their bias, it's killing us)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

“Civil War reenactment participant shot in Isle of Wight County”

Is that close to the heart or the kidneys? I forget.


37 posted on 10/01/2008 8:57:07 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: stainlessbanner

any idea what the film is called , I just hope it is the 3rd of Gettysburg


38 posted on 10/01/2008 9:32:10 AM PDT by manc (Marriage is between a man and a woman no sick Ma sham marriage - -end racism end affirmative action)
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To: archy

ping


39 posted on 10/01/2008 10:37:30 AM PDT by B4Ranch (I'd rather have a VP that can gut a Moose, than a President that wants to gut our Second Amendment!)
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To: STONEWALLS

“I’ve got an origional one that was my g-grandfather’s”

My gun collecting started in 1968 when my Grandmother gave me an old pistol that had languished in a trunk up in the attic for many years. When I cleaned it up, I found that I was the proud owner of an original Remington New Model Army cap and ball revolver. This gun had presumably been carried by my Great Grandfather in the Civil War.

I was 14 years old, and collector value never entered my mind. I read up on them, gathered up powder, lead, bullet mold, and all the other accourements, and set about to shooting.

I shot thousands of rounds through that old revolver over the next ten years. It was cheap to shoot and I enjoyed the laid-back style of shooting - it took a while to load!

Overall, it held up wery well. I broke a trigger spring, which was easily replaced with an order to Dixie Gun Works. The loading lever catch loosened up, and I had a gunsmith sweat-weld the catch to the barrel. The welding messed up the bluing, and I contributed a couple of scratches and overall wear to the bluing, particularly holster wear at the muzzle. I suppose that I’ve taken away some from the collector’s value, but back then I just didn’t know any better.

The old Remington is enjoying retirement. I clean and oil it at least once a year. I have replicas that work just like the originals, although I don’t shoot them much either nowadays (modern guns are just easier to clean and maintain). My favorite shooter was always the 1860 Colt - I always shot better with it than the Remington, it just seemed to balace better in my hand.


40 posted on 10/01/2008 10:46:25 AM PDT by Rockhound
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

I’m thankful it wasn’t a Parrot rifle.


41 posted on 10/01/2008 11:56:05 AM PDT by azhenfud (The government is not best which secures life and property-there is a more valuable thing-manhood.)
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To: wardaddy
"Good thing it wasn’t a well aimed Walker loaded up.."

Chuck Norris doesn't wing 'em.....;-)

42 posted on 10/01/2008 12:20:03 PM PDT by azhenfud (The government is not best which secures life and property-there is a more valuable thing-manhood.)
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To: azhenfud
Indeed! My model 1861 Parrott puts out a muzzle blast of over 50 feet with just a blank charge in it. The danger cone is 100 yards in front of the gun when we fire it. A premature ignition could launch a seven foot long oak sponge-rammer like a javelin and cripple or kill the #1 crewman, so we are extremely careful about our firing procedures.

Over my 15 years in re-enacting, I have seen thankfully few injuries. Most of these seemed to have been caused by carelessness or excitement, but a couple by alcohol or other mind-altering substances.

My battery will not hesitate to pull our guns off the field if we think an event is not safe. I scouted one event near me this season to see if it would be worth adding to our schedule next year, but I am vetoing it because of the carelessness and drunkenness I saw.

43 posted on 10/01/2008 5:12:39 PM PDT by RebelBanker (May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.)
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To: RebelBanker

When we do soldiers’ grave marker dedication services, I’m always impressed with the Parrot rifle firing its three volleys accompanying the seven riflemen. The black powder smoke really drives home the experience those men (of both sides) experienced, especially realizing most of those men walked upright right into the ranges of those weapons.


44 posted on 10/01/2008 6:25:03 PM PDT by azhenfud (The government is not best which secures life and property-there is a more valuable thing-manhood.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Gotta love my bubbas. This must have been on a Friday pay day after work and the liquor store!!!!
American by birth, Southern by the Grace of God...


45 posted on 10/01/2008 6:30:03 PM PDT by LakeLady (Be they fat cat or skinny cat - I'm not saving their assets/Defeat Nobama /Bidet)
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To: B4Ranch
ping

I swear to Dixie, I was nowhere near Windsor, Va.

I'm with the Army of Tennessee, and besides, I most generally carry a LeMat and shot-gun.

46 posted on 10/03/2008 1:05:30 PM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: Rockhound

Guns are not meant to be looked at and held up for envy. What you did was exactly what was meant to happen. You used it and learned how to defend yourself and your family’s home. Enjoy those memories nost of all.


47 posted on 10/03/2008 1:29:41 PM PDT by B4Ranch (I'd rather have a VP that can gut a Moose, than a President that wants to gut our Second Amendment!)
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To: archy

I was just awondering if you was up there defending the Dear South from them Ugly Yankees.


48 posted on 10/03/2008 1:31:43 PM PDT by B4Ranch (I'd rather have a VP that can gut a Moose, than a President that wants to gut our Second Amendment!)
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To: B4Ranch
I was just awondering if you was up there defending the Dear South from them Ugly Yankees.

I am doin what can be done. Though I would note that in several counties of southern Indiana and Illinois, there were towns where formations of young men left their communities heading south as a unit to avoid Yankee conscription and jine up with their Southron cousins.

There was also at least one wreck of a Yankee troop train near Washington, IN, near Tunnelton. Whether poor maintenance and increased wartime rail traffic caused a genuine accident or the event was the result of actions by Dixie agents, Copperhead sympathizers or both is not certain, though still suspected.

49 posted on 10/07/2008 12:06:35 PM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: archy; Raven6

Not all the hens in the coop will have the West Nile virus, we know there is some good Yankees. Even the odd ones in heavily infected states such as Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.


50 posted on 10/07/2008 12:46:44 PM PDT by B4Ranch (I'd rather have a VP that can gut a Moose, than a President that wants to gut our Second Amendment!)
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