I have a couple of events, or should I say appearances, to announce. The first of these, as Harry Smeltzer posted last week, is an artillery-focused tour of First Bull Run. Here’s Harry’s pitch:
If big guns are your bag, you won’t want to miss a day at Manassas National Battlefield Park retracing the steps of the Union and Confederate artillerists during the First Battle of Bull Run with widely regarded expert Craig Swain and your humble host, me. Same game plan – no fees, everything is on your own (food, lodging, transportation). We’ll meet up at 9 AM on October 20, 2018 and head out onto the field. Dress appropriately – tour is rain or shine.
Expect to discuss all aspects of artillery: gun manufacture and capabilities, tactics of the day, and the action. We’ll also discuss some of the personalities involved.
This will be the FIRST artillery tour of First Bull Run since Henry Hunt led a staff ride over the field in March of 1864….
NO… I’m making that up.
But I would say the artillerymen have been given less attention than deserved for their actions at First Bull Run. Much attention is focused on the employment of batteries on Henry House Hill which proved a crucial turn in the battle. And much has been heaped – wrongly in my opinion – over the notion of “flying batteries” or “artillery charges.” Though little has been mentioned of the other ten Federal in the campaign… or the more than a dozen Confederate batteries on the field.
When Harry first proposed this tour subject, he promised a “no holds barred” concept. Mostly, we’ll consider the nuances of drill and tactics as employed in this “early war” setting. But be prepared for discussions of the “metallurgical art of cannon making” along with some “practice of battery command” topics. I promise not to break out the trigonometry tables, however, as we won’t actually be shooting off anything!
If you are interested, Harry has setup a Facebook event page. Please let us know if you plan to attend, so we can best factor logistics.