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Salt-Boilers,

Ian, Devin, Bob and I got there about 8pm. 3 hours in the car  Shawn, Ron, and Will arrived almost at the same time we did, Sign in was neat, they gave us a dollar in period money, a 3rd corps badge to sew on ( The 151 ladies offered to sew them on) and sutler 5 cent gold tokens, They were used as change also by the sutler you would have to buy more stuff to use them up. Craig Shaffer(151) who played sutler said that's how real regimental sutlers would encourage you to spend more. He also wanted each of us to bring one home as a memento. The had them made in California, There was display of Dennis Shanks's (151) collection of carte de visits and enlistment papers of 151st men. 
   Devin was good enough to wear his uniform Friday night even though he wasn't staying the weekend. Its good he did, and not just for the warmth the wool provides but because afterward John Hutchinson (151) led us away from the site to a path down a ravine into the river side of the encampment. With a full moon lighting up the woods and fields we approached a sentinel and were allowed to pass, coming to a out-post with a fire and a evergreen arbor shelter. Then across a foot bridge up the hill to the camp, through a gun emplacement to the 8 winter huts copied from photos. We were assigned into the 'Pine Cottage" a large hut with three tier bunks and a small wood stove. Later it was realized the boys who got the "High ground" had more heat than the "bottom rails" I picked out a middle one, which I named, 'my box'. It reminded me of the berths on a schooner I have been on. They slept 12 altogether. With a barrel and some logs to sit on.
    We met the 148th boys sharing the hut with us and I went to the NCO/officers meeting. Captain Kevin O'Bierne (Columbia Rifles), officer of the day, then gathered the men around the out door fire in front of the sutler hut and stressed first person, military correctness, winter safety and not writing our names in the snow in yellow around the huts, A "sink" was to be designated and used. and would be inspected It was cold in the teens Friday night. Taps was blown by the bugle at 1100 for lights out and all quiet We were duly reminded by the officer of the day soon after, from the banging of his sword on our door. Bob's extra bag of cherry hardwood he donated burned hot and kept the hut comfortable and saved any trips out in the cold for wood. Most went to sleep, a few stayed up too late (Me) and jabbered. It was different than the usual Friday reenactor re-union night you see at events. Filled with time travel moments.
 
 Saturday started with reveille by the bugle , then assembly by companies for the roll call.The schedule for the day was read and guard and fatigue assignments given out and we were dismissed till breakfast call, all by the bugle played by Andy Stupp (148NY) After receiving crap on a shingle and sausage doled out at the cook house Then sick call, the officer of the day conducted cabin inspection. We lined up in from of our home and the Sgt  Major Scott Shotts (151) and Captain O'B inspected. We were found with a contraband wine bottle which was later figured to have been planted. The wicker jug that had held the beer was not mentioned. Nor were the flasks found. good.  We were dinged for having a dirty floor,  bad. We were left wondering how we were going to get around this regular army type officer.
 We were first assembled in the company street as one of the two companies for weapons inspection, alot of reenactors need to work on presenting the weapon the right way for inspection. The 149th I saw all got it right by the book.The 149th's brass all looked passable.Those not assigned to the guard were given fatigue duty stocking the huts and the out post with wood and chopping wood. And sitting around the sutler fire. We assembled for guard mount parade and inspection. You don't get to see this at many events. The only fifer not on duty played drum because the other drummer who was present at winter 64 was invisible somewhere, so the music part suffered. Sometimes it's not good when the actors don't show up to the play, there are no stand ins for some roles.
I as second Sergeant of the guard had a mind melt and blew my part in the parade even though I had studied those diagrams. Stage fright..
 
 After the parade Lt Casey Osgood (Calicos) marched the guard back to the guard house where I took over and saw to it the relief's were organized and posted. Casey went into the guard room and started on the Guard Report and doing Grand Rounds,  post number one was in a federal post office, two areas divided by a mail pigeon hole wall between, an area for company clerk Kerry Barlow (137th NY Co. C)  to had out passes near a nice sunny window and a room for the guards with a wood stove.
I should of had a corporal of the guard meeting quick to talk about the orders for the posts.                  The first relief went out with out orders I think. We never got people a chance to recite and learn use the formal "I am required to take charge of this post.... yada yada." at least once. After a while the 3 relief's fell into the routine of going out their half hour shifts and warming up in the guard room. A lot of good first person took place in the guard room. Each corporal of each relief (Shawn Parsons, Ian MacNeil (149th NY) and Mike O'Conner (140th NY) got better at assembling and posting his relief I saw
Corporal O'Conner was very professional with his relief. As were all three corporals in the guard.
 
 I kept the time on a pocket watch. And checked on the people.  It got like I was feeling like my old job as train conductor before the war..

A towns woman came by complaining of  our soldiers and theft, I sent her to the officer of the day under guard.

The first real challenge to the guard was two privates caught foraging with out permission, I had two guys presented to me with a  huge slab of salt bacon on a stick and a bag of what looked like potatoes. Captain O'B punished these two by having them rum a gauntlet of the guard relief's for a spanking and then 3 laps around the parade ground hands in the air while apologizing at bayonet point. While being snowballed.
Then there was a southern parson person claiming to be a minister being escorted to see me complaining of depredations , I thought "Nuts, now I got to go look for candle sticks or something?" The evening shifts of guard were high drama.  At some point a skinny starving Johnny surrendered. He very much looked and acted the part. There were men "drunk" on duty , men away from camp without a pass and "drunk" and whisky induced delirium tremens to a serious degree, orders to buck and gag. Rumors of broken noses. Even period boredom and letter reading. Several escape attempts, a little private soldier justice and general caterwauling. a little bad re-enactor theater among friends who haven't seen each other in a while.
 
We NCOs decided to ask to bag the guard duty for the day shift after every one had done three shifts it was getting cold, and it provided extra time for the boys before the march to Mason lodge for dinner. The post dinner guard had two relief shifts, for twice each. Mostly of those folks who had not done the day one. The Sgt major decided enough was enough.
 It got cold!!  That night after guard I  was a little worn out and a little surprised at the day, I dried my pants and wares by the fire. I will leave the rest of the evening and Sunday for some one else to tell.
I missed Sunday because of family stuff.  My car said 3 degrees when i left at 8 am.
 
 I think we started off the year at a good one boys, The 149 did good again.
Bill