Before 7AM the rattle of muskets being fired in the woods served late sleepers a loud reveille. The object of this early Sunday tactical skirmish was to capture a disguised General. The low-hanging morning fog cut visibility way down and the gun-smoke hung below that, further hampering the view of the reenactors. Advancing into the sound of the guns, 26 infantry and 2 small fieldpieces w/crews crept slowly down the lane that bordered the smoke filled trees. Two small groups of six darted off into the trees to drive the General and his men out into the open. As they skirmished and the smoke thickened, the forces became separated and the confusion deepened as it became impossible to follow the events within the trees. The "fog of war" was ultra-realistic and eventually the larger force w/cannon was routed into retreat by a small band of raiders. The General, meanwhile, had been captured and released ... apparently several times.
The Nature Coast Civil War Reenactment (also known as the Battle of Crystal River) was held on March 11+12 this year. At this event there are more "just for reenactors" activities than usual. These include; the aforementioned morning "tactical skirmish", Live cannon firing, Live Musket Fire Competition, Live Mortar Competition, Tug 'o War, along with the more usual; Period Dance, Ladies Tea, and full battles each afternoon.
Nearly 500 reenactors brought themselves, 20 cannon, 25 horses, and 4 mortars to fight with and put it all to good use each day in roaring battles complete with "pyro" and preachers, "ice angels" and medical dog, saber fights and an exploding cabin! Following each battle, the reenactors stood in formation before the spectators and simultaneously fired a loud "salute" to our Armed Services and to honor those who have "gone before".
For information about the real Battle of Crystal River
Camp Chase Gazette printed many of my photos, reports and stories during the years of 2005-2009. More than 10 issues during that time carried my photo on the cover. Here is the May 2006 cover with my photo.