Author Archives: admin

Period paint recipe for poncho or ground cloth

Period Recipe: This recipe is an approximation, since the original recipe specified “litharge,” or lead monoxide (PbO) which is extremely poisonous.

Bright Idea: Leave out the lampblack, and you have a recipe for a nice civilian waterproof cloth.

I strongly recommend this recipe because it is about as authentic as you can get without putting life and limb in danger.


  • Boiled linseed oil
  • Mineral spirits paint thinner (or turpentine)
  • Lampblack (comes in tubes or dry powder)
  • Japan dryer
  • Corn starch


  1. Make a sizing by boiling about a quart of water and adding cornstarch mixed in cold water until the mixture becomes a little syrupy.
  2. Paint the cloth with the cornstarch sizing and let dry.
  3. Mix one part of boiled linseed oil with one part of mineral spirits. Add lamp black until the paint is a very opaque black. Add one oz. (2 tbsp) of Japan dryer per pint.
  4. With a brush, paint the cloth with the blackened linseed oil and let dry. This can take several days.
  5. Mix one part of boiled linseed oil with two parts of mineral spirits. Add one oz. of Japan dryer per pint.
  6. With a brush, paint the cloth with the clear linseed oil mixture and let it dry. This can also take several days. Two coats of this mixture should give the results you want. (You can omit the cornstarch sizing if you want, but the oil-based paint will pretty much soak the cloth.)

For best results let the cloth cure for 2 weeks hanging outdoors.

Why Shiloh wounds Glowed in the Dark

Some of the Shiloh soldiers sat in the mud for two rainy days and nights waiting for the medics to get around to them. As dusk fell the first night, some of them noticed something very strange: their wounds were glowing, casting a faint light into the darkness of the battlefield. Even stranger, when the troops were eventually moved to field hospitals, those whose wounds glowed had a better survival rate and had their wounds heal more quickly and cleanly than their unilluminated brothers-in-arms. The seemingly protective effect of the mysterious light earned it the nickname “Angel’s Glow.”

Read more here:

(Image courtesy Todd Ciche,Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 USA)

Conquering a Peace – 9th KY shenanigans

IV Conquering a Peace from History of the Orhpan Brigade – Edwin Thompson

The Fourth Regiment having been organized sometime before the Sixth and Ninth and very carefully drilled felt themselves veterans when the latter were still raw and rallied the awkward squad as they called them unmercifully At Burnsville however the Ninth found an opportunity to pay them back in one species of their own coin aud they made such use of it as to force the veterans who also called themselves Buckner’s Pets to sue for a treaty of amity

The tents of the two regiments were pitched on the same slope and in such close proximity that it was not deemed necessary to keep two separate camp guards so they agreed to dispense with that part of the detail at least which would be required to watch the two lines near the point of contact and to have a guard proportioned to the strength of each regiment detailed for duty around the two commands

They now became better acquainted and things went on swimmingly till one morning when a certain valuable cooking utensil was missed from the Ninth A careful reconnoisance developed the fact that it had found its way to the Fourth and a plan of retaliation was at once instituted

The night which followed was dark and favorable to the enterprise After tattoo and when the men of the offending regiment were fully committed to their slumbers a party of the Ninth stole quietly among their tents and bore off every cooking vessel upon which they could lay their hands The astonishment of the veterans next morning knew no bounds when they found that instead of a single piece of camp furniture’s being gone there were more indications that they had been visited by Ali Baba’s forty thieves

But the true state of case was soon discovered and there was a large meeting of plenipotentiaries from the respective regiments who entered into a solemn league and covenant providing that no matter what might be practiced upon outsiders the strictest forbearance was to be observed toward each other There was then a restoration of the property but the Fourth had a late breakfast that morning From that time a warm friendship sprang up between these two regiments and the treaty was never broken Buckner’s Pets very naturally concluded that men who with so little training could avenge their wrongs so promptly were worthy of esteem and confidence

Southern Bread Pudding

FLASHBACK: 2004 Monitor Article originally published in 2004

Great to use left over biscuits for
this one….

  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbs. vanilla
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 4 cups biscuit crumbs
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • Nutmeg to taste

Mix milk, eggs and vanilla together in a saucepan. Place over heat until hot but not boiling.

Line baking dish with biscuit crumbs mixed with melted butter.

Pour mixture over biscuit crumbs.

Sprinkle with nutmeg. Place baking dish in a pan of hot water in a moderate 350 F. oven and bake fore 45 minutes. You’ll never throw away another biscuit.

In order to cook these over a fire you will have to be sure that you have a Dutch oven. You will place a pan inside the Dutch oven to cook the Bread Pudding. Sit pan on a trivet inside the Dutch oven and cover with lid.

Woodstove Chili

FLASHBACK: 2004 Monitor Article originally published in 2004

From the Cast Iron Pot
Old Fashion Woodstove Recipes

  • 1lb pinto beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 lb, ground beef
  • 1 28-oz. can tomatoes
  • 1 6-oz, can tomato paste
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder

Soak beans overnight in water. Drain off in the morning, saving 1 cup of the liquid. Place ingredients in your heavy Dutch oven and cover.

Cook over a low fire (300 degrees F.) 8 – 10 hours.
Serve over hot rice. Top with grated cheese and diced onions.

Piggin’ Out in Dixie, A Real
Southern Cookbook

Message from Captain Thompson

Notes from Captain Gus Thompson

I had a phone conversation with our illustrious captain discussing the upcoming event at Charlton Park. He is very excited about this event and gave me several reasons as to why this event was going to be the best event so far this year.

  1. Numbers – We have 27 confirmed for this event and another 8-10 that are on the fence. This will be our biggest turnout in years. With so many men in the ranks, we will be a powerful force within the battalion and on the battlefield.
  2. Food – The unit has planned some delicious meals. Grits on Saturday morning, stew on Saturday night! Full company commissary!
  3. Fresh Fish – We are going to have quite a few reenacting virgins out there this weekend. It will be exciting showing them what reenacting 9th Kentucky Co. C means. It will be great to meet new people and make new friends/comrades in arms.
  4. Event Schedule – We have TWO battles each day, including the Sunday morning Tactical that has always made Charlton Park a great event. There will be a lot of opportunities to march, drill, and fire; all of the things that sets our company apart from the others.
  5. Weather – This will be one of the most pleasant trips to Charlton Park in recent memories. Much cooler than the 94 degrees we had last year and it looks like it will be mostly dry!
  6. Comradery – This will be a great event to catch up with your pards. The band will play; there will be carousing, gaiety and fun.

Please Note: Since we are going to have so many newbs out with us this weekend, we ask that you bring any/all extra gear that you can. We will have to uniform at least 6 new pards this weekend.

Thanks every one and see you all on Friday!

Message from Woodward

Submitted from Moses Townes

A message from Woodward, spending a nice relaxing vacation is Pennsylvania

“That’s it!”

“What’s it?”

“Don’t worry about it. You’re asking too many questions. I’m parking, be back in five.”

“Wait, what?”

“Don’t open the doors for anyone, no matter what. Be back soon.”

“Caleb, I don’t feel comfortable with you going up to that house.”
“Leave it alone, I’ll be fine.”

I go to the house and see the ‘hours of operation’. I notice that there is no aspect of this house that I’m older than, except for the sewer rats nesting underneath the stairs. I don’t know, just try the door. Shit, locked. From reading the signs I sensed fear upon realizing that my designer jeans will not be welcomed. I snap brief pictures of the important information and hurry across the parking lot/mine field to get to the museum, who’s curator has only one working eye and a limp from the Falklands War.

“Sir, is the sutler in?”

“Nay lady, he’s got a job in Merry-land. What daya need?”

“Um… French import knapsacks and Confederate canvas shoes, the wooden sole kind… Sir.”

“Wooden souls are the devil’s friend.”

“Excuse me?”

“Wooden souls fuel the devil’s fire”

As the old crooked-eyed man laughed and cackled I dashed out of the brick museum in genuine fear for my life. I arrived back to my car with a deeper understanding of the disdain one holds for “the farb”. I enter the driver’s seat, where my wife asks,

“Where have you been?”

“You’ve been gone forty-five minutes, where have you been?”

“Oh, uh, the bathroom, your mom’s cooking is lethal.”

As I conjured up my alibi, I knew the truth was too difficult to handle. She knew the legend of Mac and JW courtesy of a wedding no more than a year before, but I knew, damn sure of it, that she was not prepared for the mythos of a mystical purveyor of Civil War wares known as Spiros Marinos.

In Their Own Wrds: A poetry column by Kathleen Fredal

My dear fellow Reenactors,

Our mutual love of reading history and reenacting Civil War events has compelled me to share some of my poetry with all of you: my distinguished colleagues who truly understand the nature and significance of historic events. (And, John kept bugging me to submit them.) These events and people have affected society in a myriad of ways, and sometimes, revisiting them in a poetic genre can offer a unique perspective on a much-loved topic.

I have attempted to be meticulous in researching all my topics, and my goal is to distill the essence of the man/woman or the event into each poem. The initial inspiration for each poem is found in a direct quote that best illustrates the theme of each work. (Hence, the title of my column—In Their Own Words ) I have tried to convey the subtle or the larger-than-life images that so inspire us as Civil War Reenactors and history lovers.

Thus far, my efforts (and personal interest) seem to have led me to explore the Eastern Theatre. Therefore, the submissions you will read in the subsequent Monitor will be observations of said front. On this point, John has been a great advocate of the Western Theatre and has expressed a desire for me to read The Orphan Brigade so that I can try to create a poem worthy of our brave men. I assure you, Valued Readers, I have embarked on that quest, but helping with homework and doing laundry sometimes takes its toll on a writer’s best intentions. I have found that meticulous research can not be done quickly. And, reading the facts first, so that I can choose the appropriate poetic phrases, though immensely enjoyable, is quite time-consuming.

My ultimate hope is to spark discussion between military and civilian factions and to encourage further exploration into our chosen hobby. I hope, also, that any interesting book titles or potential poetic topics might be forwarded to me so that I may pursue them. At the end of each poem, you will find the quote that inspired the piece, and, hopefully, you might even find a special spark of interest you wish to personally pursue.

My sincere wish is that each column finds you happy and healthy. And I humbly hope my words help to illuminate, even if only in some small way, the scope of this epic time in America’s history.

Enjoy and be well.

Kathleen Fredal


A poetry column by Kathleen Fredal


By Kathleen Fredal

Above all
The great one sits
Astride his faithful

Above all
The honorable General
Answers his
Call of Duty.

Above all
The horrific scenes
Graphically burnt
Into the minds of men:

Fredericksburg’s bloodbath parade
Chancellorsville’s insurmountable loss
Gettysburg’s turning of the tide
Petersburg’s impossible last stand

Above all
His call of duty to
God and

“Above all things, learn at once to worship your Creator and to do His will as revealed in His Holy Book.” General Robert E. Lee