It's April! That means the new reenacting season is upon us! Time to brush the dust off the wool and break out all the new stuff we made over the winter. The 18th Indiana just kicked off this season with the Beech Grove Civil War Show last weekend. We saw many old friends and made several new ones, which we hope to see a few of mixed in
with our ranks! Civil War reenacting is a very exciting hobby! (Not that I'm biased or anything...) If you have even the least inclination to get into reenacting, I reccomend starting in the artillery first. You don't have the extra expense of having to purchse a musket, and they are getting increasingly more expensive every day! Grab a uniform and find a good artillery crew (Like maybe the 18th Indiana!) to see what happens during a battle. Get a feel for what the camping, drill, food, and commraderie is like before you decide to jump completely in. Artillery tends to be a little more family friendly than the other branches are. We are not constantly drilling like the infantry, but we drill enough to be the sharpest battery on the field. The younger generation and us old-timers alike can find something to do both on and off the filed, and the ladies of the battery keep camp-life lively. Most of the events we do also include a Friday or Saturday evening ball, which can be enjoyed by everyone! Not that I like to brag about the 18th Indiana Light Artillery, but our battery does many special events for the community such as firing the starting shots for the Indianapolis Tour de Cure, salutes at the Crown Hill Cemetery Memorial Day services (including a 21 gun salute with the Indiana National Guard), and marching in the Carmelfest 4th of July parade. So check us out, give us a try and see for yourself if this is the hobby for you. I guarantee you will not be dissapointed!
At Hartford City several years ago, it was discovered that there were two groups portraying the 18th Indiana Light Artillery; mine and Joe Ferrell's, with most members belonging to central Indiana. Joe and I had decided some time ago that our two groups would fire together at any events we happened to both be at and a strong friendship/bond has existed ever since. We have since taken the field at many fun events with many more to come. Last October, again at Hartford City, we arrived late in the evening and set up camp, not getting ourselves to bed until well after midnight. First thing after waking up that Saturday morning, intent on getting a fire going and having some breakfast, it became apparent that there was ANOTHER group bearing the mantle of 18th Indiana. This group was led by Mike Smith, the majority of it's members being from southern Indiana. Introductions were made and new friendships started. It didn't take long to decide that another merge was in the best interest of all. A winter meeting was held in January at a local Indianapolis restaurant and now the 18th Indiana Light Artillery can field four cannons! I believe the 18th Indiana is now the largest Union artillery reenactment group in the state of Indiana!
2016 promises to be a fun year with many exciting events on our calendar. There will be a lot of new faces and sadly a couple of others that will be leaving us for a while to pursue careers in the U.S. armed forces. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to the day when they come home safely! If you are interested in joining the BEST artillery group in the state of Indiana, send us a message and we will tell you haw to get started! We look forward to hearing from you!
Well, the Lincoln funeral has come and gone and now we look ahead to the rest of May. The battery was solicited to provide a little color in honor of Armed Forces Day on the 16th. I can't think of a better way to honor our men and women in uniform than to uniform up ourselves and talk about what is was like in the artille ry 150 years ago. This will take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Should be a good time!
Then, on May 20th, we will be arming up and talking to the fine students at Greenwood Middle School. Always a good time! Nothing better than educating the next generation about our nation's history! AND, we get to fire a volley or two at the end of the day. These kids have always been very polite and attentive. I really do enjoy being a part of their education every year.
And last, but certainly not least, we will be firing a couple of salutes at Crown Hill Cemetery for their Memorial Day service. The awesome thing about this is that we will be firing a 21 gun salute with the fine soldiers of the Indiana National Guard. Governor Mike Pence, hundreds of veterans and many other notables will be in attendance. We must never forget those that have given their all in defense of our great nation. It really is a beautiful ceremony and I highly recommend that everyone attend. Hope to see you all there!
Below is an excerpt from an email from the artillery coordinator for the Lincoln Funeral Coalition. For those that will be participating in this event with the 18th Indiana, this information is VERY important.
I have included some travel instructions, photos of the camp site, the artillery schedule and some additional information.
When on Interstate 55 take the Sangamon Ave exit (100 I believe) and go west past the State Fair Grounds. On your left (south) will be Lincoln Park.
Registration will be in Lincoln Park.
After registering you will want to get back on Sangamon Avenue and head west until it ends at N 1st Street (which is the eastern edge of the cemetery). Turn left (south) on N 1st Street. As you continue southward the street changes its name to E Black Avenue.
You will see on your right (west) the rebuilt gate/entrance to the cemetery. Immediately across the street to the east is artillery camp. Major Henson anticipates that we will have company style streets running east/west. We will need to be well back from Black Avenue to leave turning space for the hearse to make its turn into the cemetery.
LINCOLN FUNERAL ARTILLERY SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 2
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM: Set up and man two guns on Washington Plaza just north of the Old State Capitol guarding each entrance on the West and East ends and talking to the spectators about the piece and Union artillery.
9:00 AM From the ridge in the artillery camp begin firing a section of artillery with heavy loads every 10 minutes for one hour. This is in place of the minute gun along the railroad track.
11:30 or late morning at the conclusion of the ceremony at Washington Plaza the 10 guns on the ridge at artillery camp will fire a 21 gun salute by the piece facing south towards town.
5:30 PM (Approximate time) Move all 12 guns to the pre-determined position just west of the receiving vault.
Sunday, May 3
9:00 AM Fire a 21 gun salute by the piece from this position in the cemetery
9:00 AM to Approx Noon: Fire one section simultaneously every 30 minutes.
Cemetery Ceremony Conclusion: Fire by the piece at 10 second intervals a 36 gun salute. One shot for every state in the Union. General Hooker to read the names, General Cook to lower the sword to commence the fire order.
Load out 30 minutes after completion of 36 gun salute allowing time for spectators to visit guns and leave the area.
1. The official black arm band was made from strips of 3" black cloth and worn between the elbow and shoulder.
2. We do not expect any artillerymen to march in Saturday's procession.
3. We do need a strong contingent for Sunday's procession. We request that at least one half of the artillery to march in the Sunday procession. Please bring white cotton gloves to wear during the procession. We would like to see them march 4 abreast under their own officers. No weapons or implements are necessary.
4. Those artillerymen NOT marching in Sunday's procession will have one of two duties: a.) Guard the artillery pieces set up in the cemetery, or b.) guard the area around the stage so spectators don't clog up the space prior to the arrival of the hearse and marching reenactors. They will be released when the marching infantry arrives.
5. Larry Werline did get official permission for gun-trailers to park in Lincoln Park west of the ball diamonds on Saturday and in the cemetery on Sunday up the roads from the artillery position hidden from view.
Maximum rounds anticipated
Minute gun/ 2 guns/ 1 shot every 10 minutes/ 6 LARGE rounds per gun
21 gun salute/ 10 guns/ 3 rounds per gun
6 Section fires/ 6 rounds per gun
21 gun salute/ 10 guns/ 3 rounds per gun
36 gun salute/12 guns/ 4 rounds per gun
Not every gun will necessarily fire this much, but this would be the maximum as long as all registered guns are able to participate. We are recommending each gun bring 25 rounds.
For those that are interested in participating in the Lincoln Funeral Coalition event, they have updated their information, and it can be found here:
Here is a clipping from an original bulletin detailing the events of President Lincoln's funeral which took place May 4th, 1865. Our battery will most likely be firing by the same schedule. Can you imagine a cannon salute fired every ten minutes from dawn to 10am? I LIKE IT!
We are holding a planning meeting at the Snell residence on December 13th at noon. Send us an email for directions if you would like to attend. We will be discussing possible events for the 2015 season and other issues important to the 18th Indiana. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested to come and meet the members of the battery and their families. Join us for a pitch-in lunch before the meeting! I look forward to seeing you there!
1st Lt. Joe Snell