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NWT News: Past News (2006)
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NWT News

Winding Down
Hugh McLeod, NWT Public Information Officer.

After returning from the 114th National skirmish held at Fort Shenandoah from October 4th through the 8th, it was rather nice to take some time to reflect on what Nationals means to me. I see the Nationals as a chance to gather and meet with people who share my hobby from around the country (and sometimes around the world). It is a chance for me to relax and spend time surrounded by family and friends, to enjoy the camaraderie of skirmishing, and on (very) rare occasions to thrill at winning a medal in competition. The weather was rainy for much of the weekend other than Sunday, which seemed to keep most people in their trailers and tents. Still we managed to venture out to see the sights and participate in some of the social events. The Blue-Gray Ball held on Friday night was a success, with people enjoying a chance to dance and the music, which was provided by Potomac Thunder. The barn dance on Saturday night was the usual course of fun and the mood seemed rather cheerful. And other than the trip being too short, it was a fun time, even with the rain.

Dan & Norm with Trophy 2006

In the results of competition, the 111th Ohio took a 10th place in the Class A-1 musket competition with a time of 508.9 seconds. The 1st Michigan took 15th place with a time of 557.8 seconds and only 16 seconds out of the medals. 5th Battery 1st Michigan Light Artillery took 4th place in the Class A-3 musket matches with a time of 773.2 seconds. The 1st South Carolina took 7th in Class B-2 (1381.1 seconds). In the carbine competitions, the 111th Ohio took 4th place (353.2 seconds) in Class A-1, the 1st Michigan A team placed 10th (452.8 seconds) in the same class, and the 1st Michigan B team placed 2nd (940.0 seconds) in Class B-2. The 4th Michigan placed 6th (309.5 seconds) in the Class A-2 revolver match and in Class A-3 the 8th Michigan placed 3rd (529.4 seconds). The 111th Ohio took a 3rd place medal in the Class B Breechloader 2 competition. Kudos to the 7th Michigan for a 10th place finish in the mortar event. The 7th Wisconsin placed 3rd in the Howitzer class Cannon competition. And last but definately not least, the 1st South Carolina took 3rd place overall in a three way tie (with a score of 50-3V out of a possible 50-5V) for 1st place in the rifled cannon competition. The margin between 1st and 3rd place was one-half inch at a target 200 yards away; and the match was shot in the rainy weather. For the first time they took the Larry Beyer Memorial Trophy for a combined Spring and Fall Nationals aggregate score of 100-8V. Shooting the reproduction Model 1863 10 pound Parrott rifled cannon were: Don Iveson, Sean Buckert, Tim Hayden, Phil Vermeulen, Dan Gibson, Karen Gibson, Wally Gibson, Dianne Gibson, and Norm Gibson. So, to close this season I wanted to say "Thanks" to everyone who gathered and supplied information to help me perform this job. I look forward to seeing you on the line next season.

Public Outreach Event in Northville
Chris Hubbard,NWT Webmaster.

Story provided by Chris Einowski, 24th Michigan Infantry

Northville once again played host to the 24th Michigan, who were invited back to the familiar grounds to display our equipment and tell the story behind it. The occasion this September day was the town's annual Victorian Festival, a celebration of the village's quaint and tidy 19th century homes found scattered about the intersecting streets of the neighborhood.

While taking our standard place down in the historic Mill Race Village, we were asked to set up a period encampment near the heart of all the activities in the center of the town. Setting up on the front lawn of the local VFW Hall, complete with a WWII vintage 3-inch field piece to serve as our backdrop, Paul Lipka and I set up our makeshift mess on the corner of Mainstream USA, in the heart of all the festivities. Our tent and the 24th Michigan's state colors flapping furiously in the stiff wind seemed to be beckoning the festival crowd to step back to the time of the American Civil War.

Paul Lipka Speaking at Northville

On display were the usual shooting accouterments as well as items that might be found in a soldier's knapsack, spread out upon a rain poncho for inspection by the curious. Much discussion was held with the very interesting and surprisingly well-versed people on the history of the late hostilities. I recall the conversation I had with a woman who told of her recent trip to Maryland where she had the opportunity to take in the Antietam Battlefield. She described how moving it was to walk the hollowed ground and bear witness in her imagination the frightful carnage that took place. She was moved by the personal story of the individual soldiers themselves, who, when killed in battle and identity was unknown, often left family at home without any closure when buried in mass graves.

Watching the children come and stare with wide-open eyes while listening to the story of the soldier of another era, and leaving perhaps understanding a little more the sacrifice and hardship of contestants on either side endured, made us feel that the time and effort spent that day to be most rewarding.

Paul Lipka exasperated himself, much to my amusement, explaining how no, we are not re-enactors, and describing what the sport of skirmishing is, emphasizing on the opportunities for whole families to be involved in the activity. Many people expressed an interest in learning more about our sport, and a number of N-SSA brochures and team histories were distributed.

We had well over a hundred visitors that day stop by to take a look and ask questions, which left little time for refreshment breaks to wet the dry pipes. The added bonus of the day for us was the beautifully dressed Victorian women who were making the rounds throughout the downtown area.

Apparently the 24th was well received, as the organizer for the event asked us if we would come back in 2007, this time for the whole 3 days of the festival.

Team members that were present at both sites were Paul Lipka, Doug Reed, Bruce Welther, Mike Welther, and Chris Einowski.

With the pleasant reception given to us that day and the chance to publicize skirmishing, there can be no doubt that we will be back again!

Finale!
Hugh McLeod, NWT Public Information Officer.

On September 8th - 10th the members of Battery "C" 1st Michigan Light Artillery, along with volunteers from several other teams, hosted the Marion skirmish at the Marion Rod and Gun Club in Marion, Michigan. The weather turned cool (and rainy on Friday), enough to send many people to bed early both Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday night I went wandering through the campground stopping to chat at various campfires, and just getting a chance to see those people that I may not see again until spring. Sunday morning during Opening Ceremonies the Bob Scheele Award for Skirmishing Spirit was presented (posthumously) to Ron Walters of the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics for his many years of service and dedication. Thanks were also given to Bob Preston Sr. of the 5th Battery Michigan Light Artillery for donating a Parker Hale Musketoon to the prize table for the raffle.

In the results of competition, the 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry continued to dominate both class AAA musket and carbine team matches. The 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics held onto the top position in AA musket, taking 1st place for the 4th time this season. And the U.S.S. Michigan Landing Party took their first medal this year with a 1st place class A musket. In class AA carbine Purcell's Battery edged out the 24th Michigan for second place by 0.7 seconds. There was a record seven "B" and "C" teams in the carbine class B competition, with the 1st Michigan "B" team taking 1st place. The mortar match on Saturday was interrupted by a break for cheesecake, courtesy of Chuck Kintz (7th Tennessee), under the theory that this was a gentlemen's competition and that there was no need to be uncivilized. In smoothbore events the 1st South Carolina took first place by a margin of almost 50 seconds and the 111th Ohio walked away with a solid win in the Breechloader II competition. I did enjoy this close to our regional season, and am looking forward to next year already.

Close to Home.
Hugh McLeod, NWT Public Information Officer.

Mike Yeck @ Carleton 2006

On August 25th - 27th the members of the 1st Michigan and the 4th Michigan hosted the Carleton skirmish at the Carleton Sportsmen's Club between Milan and Carleton, MI. Many people seem to like the location of this skirmish because it is close to home for the Detroit area members. It was a rather quiet skirmish on Friday and Saturday nights, with a couple of inventive solutions to the "No ground fires" rule. In one case I saw a clothes dryer's drum being used as a fire pit. On Sunday morning the team commanders agreed to delay opening ceremonies for half an hour to let the rain pass, which I know that I really appreciated. And it was nice to have the grass / ground cover hold through the rain instead of turning into a bog upon getting wet. Thankfully most people had a chance to head for home before the rain came down Sunday afternoon. On Sunday during the musket match we had a visit by Mike Yeck, an instrumental member in the development of the Northwest Territory. Photo by Bob E.

In the results of competition, the 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry took the top position in class AAA carbine over the 110th OVI (the current National champions). The members of 5th Battery continued their upward trend this season, taking first place in the class AA musket matches. The 110th OVI took the top position in Breechloader II competition over the 111th Ohio by 6.5 seconds. In smoothbore team results, Battery "C" slid past the 110th OVI by a single second for second place, trailing the 1st South Carolina by 35 seconds. All in all, I know that my spirits weren't dampened by the rain, and I hope that everyone else's weren't either.

Showing Off
Hugh McLeod, NWT Public Information Officer.

Information provided by Dennis Fyke, 8th Michigan Cavalry

Casting Demo

At the 27th Annual Dearborn Homecoming weekend held August 5th and 6th, there was a collection of historical representatives of early American military figures. Our very own 8th Michigan Cavalry stood in attendance representing the Civil War era and the North-South Skirmish Association. Other activities and entertainment included the Vogues & the Reflections as well as the Commodores. Each night had a great fireworks show. 'History Hill' included Revolutionary, French & Indian, Civil War, Spanish American, WWI, and WWII re-enactors. The weekend was full of fine weather and interested participants coming by to learn more about different aspects of these times. Mike Baker performed one such demonstration for Christopher Root, a potential recruit, by showing the finer techniques for casting bullets.

Group Shot

The members of the 8th Michigan Cavalry who participated in the demonstrations are (l to r) Lyle Koch, Harold Sanford, Mike Baker, Richard Gondek, Judy Gondek, and Robert Wooley.

The River Flows Onward.
Hugh McLeod, NWT Public Information Officer.

Honor Guard

On July 28th - 30th the members of the Huron Rangers Riflemen and the 7th Tennessee hosted the Blue Water skirmish at the Blue Water Sportsmen's Club near Port Huron, MI. It was a rather busy weekend, as this is the only shoot in the region that hosted all seven team events (musket, carbine, revolver, breechloader, smoothbore, mortar, and cannon) in two days of competition. We did experience some of what seems to be traditional weather for this skirmish: baking heat and pouring rain. Thankfully most people had a chance to head for home before the rain hit Sunday afternoon.

In Memory

During the opening ceremonies on Sunday morning, the skirmish was dedicated to the memories of Greg Baumgartner and Ron Walters. Both of these esteemed gentlemen passed away during the month prior, but they continue to live on in our memories. Instead of the roll call of units, seven members carried out a 21 gun salute, Taps was played on the harmonica by Edwin Hildreth (7th Tennessee), and Amazing Grace was played on the bagpipes by Christine Gutt of the Richmond VFW Post 6802. Since I can't tell you too much about the skirmish (I spent most of the weekend in the stat shack looking out the windows at people having more fun than I) instead I will tell about these men we hold in our hearts.

Greg Baumgartner was a member of the U.S.S. Michigan Landing Party for 42 years and the 15th Virginia Cavalry for 2 more years. He served as an Eastpointe auxiliary police officer for over 25 years. For many years Greg also was the official starter for the Roseville Big Bird Race (at Thanksgiving), putting his musket to good use. He lived through a World War, and spent his time and energy remembering those who paid their sacrifice.

Ron Walters was a longtime member of the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics. He was a veteran of World War II, was extremely dedicated to our sport, and was the type of man that would willingly do anything for a friend in need. I always appreciated getting a hug from Ron, one of the first things that I would do on getting to the firing line on Saturday mornings. He was a family man, and was well loved by those around him. This organization is family to both these men, and their passing is a deep loss that affects all of us. Remember them, cherish them, and try to live up to the example they set for us.

In the results of competition, Loomis' Battery took their first musket medal (class A) in some time. The 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry continued to hold the top position in both class AAA musket and class AAA carbine, as well as taking 1st in the Breechloader 2 match. The 4th Michigan took 1st place against 5 teams for the Revolver match, beating the 19th Michigan by less than 20 seconds. The 1st South Carolina won 1st place in the smoothbore match by 2.5 seconds over Battery "C". In the mortar match, the 7th Michigan won by a margin of 7 inches, beating the 15th Virginia Cavalry who had managed to hit their stake, shattering the top third of it. And the 1st South Carolina won 1st place in both the rifled and smoothbore categories of cannon competition. A brigade event was held, and apparently the fickleness of fate decreed that the targets would not break. Participating members ran short on ammunition and the event was called with targets tattered and ragged but not severed. All in all, I hope that everyone had a good time.

Photos courtesy of Pam Naylor

Going for Gold
Hugh McLeod, NWT Public Information Officer.

Jim Weber's Smoothbore Target

The 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry hosted their 42nd consecutive skirmish at the Defiance County Police Range near Defiance, Ohio on July 8th and 9th. With that many years of experience it is easy to see why they can run a skirmish as well as they do. This year also marked the 50th anniversary of the 111th OVI regiment in the N-SSA, as the second oldest regiment in the region. And with several Midwest Region teams present, it was a chance to meet and compete with our neighbors.

In a not-so-slight change of pace, there was a large pink bunny rabbit making the rounds of the campground at Defiance this year. Apparently Matt Schooley (7th Tennessee) felt like doing something a bit different on Friday night. It was rather easy to follow his progress around the camp by the sounds of merriment. Otherwise it was a rather quiet weekend. I thought it felt rather good to just sit by the fire and relax, talking with friends and family.

In the category of shooting results, I got to watch Jim Weber of Battery "C" shoot his best ever individual target (for any gun), a 48-2X in 25 yard smoothbore. What I found amusing was that after every shot into the score rings he looked back at his daughter and smiled, as his score passed hers in that same event. Battery "C" had a very good weekend in that they took a 1st place medal in all 3 team events they entered (musket, carbine, and smoothbore). And the "B" team for the 110th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (the current National champions) came in 4th place overall for musket teams.

In a continuation of the reminders about our safety protocols, I want to put forth that at the end of an event the safety officers should remain on the line with the green paddles raised until all of the shooters are off of the firing line with their firearms. This is to ensure that the tower is aware that the members policing their positions have been cleared.

Photo courtesy of Allissa Weber.

Talkin' Skirmishing on the Fourth

Article and photo courtesy of Chris Einowski, 24th Michigan Infantry

24th Michigan at Northville, Mi.July 4th found several members of the 24th Michigan Infantry promoting the N-SSA at Northville's Mill Race Village. Recognizing the town's holiday celebration as an important opportunity to promote our unique brand of sport, team members of the 24th have spent several of the past nation's birthday's at Northville helping to make the public aware of who the N-SSA is and what we do.

The Mill Race Village, for displaying of our firearms, accessories, and Civil War memorabilia to the curious would-be history buffs that passed by provided several tables for us to set up on the green.

Team member Doug Reed provided a scaled down version of a target frame, similar to that of which we use in skirmishing, on which we displayed samples of hanging clay pigeons, four inch tiles, moskeets, and clay pots to give a visual of what type of targets we shoot at during competition. While stressing the importance of practiced marksmanship, the visitors were also informed of the enjoyment of friendly competition amongst friends, and the ability of whole families to share in the experience of Civil War style shooting.

Also displayed were period-related memorabilia from the personal collections of team members. A history on the 24th Michigan Infantry in the Civil War combined with the N-SSA unit was prepared and made available to those who wished to learn more of the regiment or the skirmish team. Team members that were on hand included Bruce Welther, Mike Welther, and Chris Einowski.

Public exposure of our sport as well as honoring the soldiers who fought on both sides of the conflict made the team's effort a worthwhile day of time spent.

Sunny Side Up
Hugh McLeod, NWT Public Information Officer.

Richmond 2006

In a continuation of fine tradition, the 1st South Carolina hosted the Snyderville Skirmish at the Richmond Sportsmen's Club the weekend of June 17 & 18th, 2006. The weather was sunny and warm, and the host staff was kind enough to arrange a large canopy in the spectator area for people to sit and relax under. Saturday events finished up earlier than usual which allowed us to get to the regional picnic a bit faster. Peggy Edwards-Shaw of the 7th Wisconsin does an excellent job in arranging this activity and ensuring that there is enough food to satisfy the hungry crowd. Personally I do appreciate having the picnic at this skirmish because there are facilities that accommodate this activity, such as the shade from the trees and clubhouse overhang and also the ready availability of the picnic tables.

David McIntosh Trophy

The host team did decide to change up opening ceremonies Sunday morning by giving out the awards for the team events held Saturday. This allowed for the recognition by all members present of those who succeeded in their endeavors during the prior day's competition. It did add a splash of color to the opening ceremonies. One of the presentations was of the new David McIntosh Mortar Award for the top mortar team, since the predecessor award was full. Some noted accomplishments in the competition were the 21st Michigan's total time of 537.9 seconds for their carbine team (class AA) was 4th overall (beating 4 AAA teams). And Battery "C" bested the Musket teams in their class (A) by 600 seconds! There were 6 revolver teams, which is a good showing since revolver events are only offered at a few skirmishes during the year. By scheduling the revolver team event during individuals, this allows those of us who would like to participate the opportunity to do so and still allow other events to fit the schedule.

Richmond Individuals Winners

I wanted to offer thanks to Jan Cross and the 1st Michigan for taking the time to discuss our pastime with a visitor who saw our campers and stopped in to see what was going on. This team spent an hour showing examples of the firearms used and explaining what we do. I spoke with the gentleman and one thing he mentioned was the openness of the people in this organization. I believe that this is one of our greatest strengths.

I know that our region has been commended at the national level for our safety practices and our level of dedication. So with this, I offer some gentle reminders to help us keep that sharp focus. The "Cease-Fire" command from the tower is done so for safety purposes, even at the end of an event. The safety officers on the line should also repeat the commands issued by the tower to ensure that the people on the line can hear the commands.

Photos courtesy of Allissa Weber and Norm Gibson.

Honoring those... (Kuster Cemetary, Lenox Township, MI)
Hugh McLeod, NWT Public Information Officer.
June 4, 2006

Dedication

On Sunday June 4th, 2006 a memorial service was held at the Kuster Rd. Cemetery in Lenox Township, MI. Members of the public came to pay their respects for those buried there who gave their lives in service of their country. Among those interred there from the Civil War era were several members of the 19th MI Regiment.

On hand were Hugh McLeod, John McLeod, Ed Hildreth, and Bonnie Dudash of the 7th Tennessee; Steve Lambert, Bob Johnson, and John Dudash of the 7th Wisconsin; Larry Stockmeyer, Dave Schaening, Phil Cushard, Mike Skreigan, Jack Fuller II, Lou Adams, and Christine Gutt representing the Richmond VFW #6802, James Coleman Post.

Spring Nationals, 2006
Allissa N. Weber, NWT Stats Officer
May 17-21, 2006

1st Mi Medals

As the weekend started, so did the worries about the weather, and what mighty Mother Nature would have in store for us as the Nationals weekend progressed. As each day dawned anew, it held out, and this Spring National came to be one of the nicest weekends that many skirmishers can remember. Sunday morning the sun was shining and the breeze ruffled a line full of flags during the National Anthem and Dixie (and dried some wet eyes when Amy Dean sang the Star Spangled Banner.) As a matter of fact, I don't think that anyone complained about the weather until the hundred-yard event, when all of phase ones tiles were dancing in the wind.

Maybe there was something in the air, maybe it was just a fluke, or maybe the Northwest Territory is fast advancing as a region to be reckoned with, but nonetheless, many NWT teams took home medals that weekend, as evidence of their fine marksmanship, and marksmanship all across the board. I would like to acknowledge some of the distinguished teams in our region who participated at this last National skirmish, and shot well. I believe that these teams deserve the recognition.

In team revolver class A-2, the 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry took home the fourth and final place medals, with a time of 256.3. The 4th Michigan Infantry placed seventh, with a time of 267.4.

In breechloader, class A-2, the 111th OVI rocked the competition with a time of 160.0, and took home the gold. (And probably advanced themselves to the A-1 class also.) Class A-3 saw the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics place sixth, with a time of 388.2.

Class A-1 smoothbore team competition saw the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry finishing in the fourth place slot, literally seconds out of the third place medals. Their time was 344.1 - great shooting!

In mortar competition, the 19th Michigan Infantry placed both of their guns in the top twenty-five. Gun number one placed fourteenth, with a distance of 48'8.75". Their second gun placed twenty-second, with a distance of 60'3.75".

The 1st South Carolina gave the smoothbore artillery gun crews a run for their money, with a score of 30-1v, placing them seventh. In the rifled artillery competition, the 1st South Carolina took home the gold, with a perfect score of 50-5v, competing against twenty other guns.

The carbine team competition saw the 111th OVI again medalling in fifth place, class A-1, with a time of 383.0. The A-3 classification saw the 19th Michigan claiming ninth place, with a time of 874.6, and the 14th Tennessee Infantry had a time of 976.3, placing them fifteenth. And let's not forget about those "B" teams. The 1st South Carolina 'B' team captured seventh place, with a time of 852.5.

7th TN medals

And in musket, the bread and butter of our competition, the NWT saw several teams rise to the occasion, and shoot very, very well. In class A-3, the 7th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry took home fifth place medals, with a time of 880.2. This was a special thrill for Holly Herndon, as this was her second skirmish, and first National in competition. The 14th Tennessee took tenth place with a time of 1043.3, and the 1st Michigan E&M followed them closely, ranking eleventh, with a time of 1048.9.

Class A-2 musket saw some intense competition, and with the 1st Michgian Volunteer Infantry capturing the first place gold medals with their time of 548.8.

Class A-1 musket felt some heavy heat from our very own 111th OVI, who with a time of 493.3 fell in to the seventh place position.

With the NWT bringing home so many medals, so early in the season, it makes you wonder what is in store for the Fall Nationals. Will NWT teams dominate in the next gathering that we have at Fort Shenandoah? One can only hope. To all those who participated, here's to you! Great shooting makes this sport all the more fun. I can only hope that there are as many smiles in the Fall, as there were this Spring.

Here's to everyone who was at the Spring Nationals! To all those who were not there, we missed your company around the campfire, and hope to see you all soon.

Photos taken by Allissa Weber.

Lighting the Fire (Kalamazoo, MI skirmish)
Hugh McLeod, NWT Public Information Officer.
April 29 & 30, 2006

It was really unusual at Kalamazoo this year in that it was cold out rather than hot. There was more open space, some due to renovations but much of it was to what seemed like a smaller number of people attending the shoot. I know that a lot of teams were shooting shorthanded on both days. It was also quieter than normal, without all of the campfire wandering but much of that seemed to be temperature related. But we did find out that you could squeeze 10+ people inside the McLeods' trailer, which isn't very large.

It was pleasurable to travel around the range catching up with friends, just stopping to talk with people that you haven't seen in quite a while. It appears that for most people there, they have weathered the winter fairly well. There are a few members that we do have to remember with our thoughts and prayers, though.

Medals @ Kzoo

As a change of pace, the 2005 End of the Season awards were given out at opening ceremonies on Sunday. This was to give greater recognition to those who achieved these awards, and was a convenient place to gather people together for the occasion. I also want to congratulate two new skirmishers for winning a medal at their first shoot. Deanna Doubler and Holly Herndon (of the 7th Tennessee) had 16 hits between them in the musket match, making a vital contribution to the team taking second place in the AA class. Photo courtesy of Allissa Weber.


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