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▣ Pick your battles carefully.

posted by Joseph Certaine on February 23rd, 2010 at 2:54 PM

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Although there were engagements involving black troops during 1862,  it wasn't until 1863 that the Bureau of Colored Troops was authorized. So it's important to plan now for which battle scenarios will be presented and where they will be fought. Of course,  there is Camp Nelson i(n Kentucky) that is available to the USCT each year but beyond that considerable planning must be done.

It is important that the USCT determine which battles we want to plan. Here in Pennsylvania, we are holding a planning meeting on Saturday,  April 17, 2010. The meeting will involve Federal, Confederate and USCT units as well as other Living Historians who participate in military events. We will meet and discuss where and when events can be added to existing annual schedules. We will also introduce new venues suited for bringing different CW battle scenarios to the attention of the public. We are planning to use urban municipal parks and other publicly owned space in order to allow greater public access and participation to Sesquicentennial events.

It is important that we agree on as many  inclusive battle scenarios as can be supported by existing USCT units. It would be poor use of limited resources  to plan any battle reenactment that couldn't  be fully supported by the units that were involved historically. So, in order for the USCT  to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Sesquicentennial Observance, we will have to recruit, eqip and train a large number of new recruits.

That is hard enough for Infantry units which are the easiest to recruit. It is more difficult for USCT Light Batteries as well as  Heavy Artillery units becuase of the need for artillery pieces and attendant equipment.  The Cavalry presents an even larger problem. Cavalry horses must be acquired and trained along with the men they carry. The training for cavalry is complex and It is inherently more dangerous, even before getting to the battlefield.

So it's important for USCT units to pickt the battle scenario they want to present to the public early.   We will need to work closely with other Federal Units as well as Confederate forces in order to present an historically accurate and period authentic CW event. This planning must begin now for USCT units. We must recruit new members throughout our communities. recruitment drives don't have to be dissimilar to what was done nearly 150 years ago.   I suggest working with pastors to set up recruitment drives for the USCT after church services on Sundays as a begginning.   It is also important to select which battle scenario you want to fight. Remenber the USCT was involved in about 439 combat engagements close to 40 of which were major Civil War Battles. There were approximately 209,145 officers and men who served in the United States Colored Troops, many more if support services are included. So there are any number ofUSCT battle scenarios that can be planned for  for the Sesquicentennial observanc. Just make sure you pick your battles. If you need some details on how to proceed contact us through this website




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