Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fort Stanton, NM After Action Report

This after action report was submitted by Jo Pope of the Ft. Stanton
Garrison of New Mexico.  Thanks for sharing your event with us.

*********************************************************Members Present:
23 members attended.

Event Overview:

... It is COOOOOOOLD out there. But, the Garrison is dedicated to seeing living history take place at Fort Stanton throughout the winter. Garrison members began showing up in the afternoon on Friday to set up camp and prepare for the event. With work completed quickly, we retired to the warmth of the Nurse’s Quarters for the evening and engaged ourselves in entertaining conversation before heading to bed.

Saturday dawned a crisp 22 degrees, but as usual, Ken had the fire going and coffee brewing by sun up. One by one, each member showed up to dance around the fire cooking various parts of their bodies by the flames. It would be a beautiful warm day before long, so we set to the daily chores right away. Breakfast was cooked and consumed, the dishes cleaned and camp was filled with various bits of historical equipage that visitors would soon gaze upon. The flag was raised by 10:00 and a little bit of drill was enjoyed before a short break. We set up the saber course for Matt as he saddled up Belle and then watched with delight as the pair gleefully destroyed potato after potato (Matt can’t ride without smiling……….. add a saber, and he’s in Heaven). Following mounted drill, rations were issued to the group and consumed in short order.

The afternoon began with a little class time. The subject of said class was ‘The packing of knapsacks and rolling of bedrolls’. Larry Pope displayed the experience of many a campaign explaining that neatness is the key to success as each item is packed or rolled in place. The demonstration was well received and the group broke with the opinion that a bed roll is preferable to the ungainly knapsack. The final planned activity was Artillery drill conducted by Larry Auld who was working through the remnants of the flu. Members were rotated through the various positions on the gun as the firing procedure (including misfires) was repeated over and over. This was a very good drill as both rookie and experienced cannoneer alike learned something. The day was closed with evening flag ceremony. Theresa cooked a fine stew for dinner and fed the group to capacity. After filling our bellies, we built a grand fire and enjoyed each other’s company through the night.

Sunday opened much like Saturday, cold and clear with a warm fire and hot coffee. The flag was again raised by 10:00, but no further scheduled activities took place. Several living historians remained on site until about 2:00 receiving a number of visitors (there were about 60 for the weekend). Everything was cleaned and cleared out by about 3:30.


This weekend was a very good event. We had another good turnout of living historians and a large number of visitors for the dead of winter. Our members are gaining great experience and we continue to bring a large group each month to the fort. We will continue to improve ourselves to provide a professional experience for visitors to Fort Stanton. Next month’s event will be another ‘Ladies’ Special’ as Victoria Davis will again host a seminar. The topic will be ‘Corset Construction’. Attending ladies will fit, cut out and construct a corset for themselves. Details on this event will follow later. Spring will soon be upon us and several off site living history events will take place. These off site events will be a wonderful opportunity for our members to expand their experiences by participating in living history events at other historic sites. Contact Larry Pope for details on these off site events.

A list of the next four month’s activities is as follows:

February 16 Fort Stanton Living History
February 22 -24 Battles for Socorro Civil War Reenactment Socorro, NM
March 16 Fort Stanton Living History
March 22 - 23 West Texas Heritage Day Fort McKavett, TX
April 20 Fort Stanton Living History
May 3 -4 Fort Chadbourne Days Fort Chadbourne, TX
May 18 Fort Stanton Living History
May 24 -26 Fort Garland Memorial Day Fort Garland, CO

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