The Western Federal Blues Representing the Common Civil War Soldier
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The goal of this organization, The Western Federal Blues, or the W.F.B., is to most accurately portray the Western Federal soldiers. To do honor to the efforts of our ancestors and their pards in the War Between the States, we should strive to act, look and behave in a manner which was common to them. To attain this we must set out sights, expectations and goals higher than is normally perceived today.
We will bring together like-minded reenactors who want their experiences in the field to be the most authentic and accurate possible. In order to achieve this, there will be a higher standard of guidelines in the W.F.B. which must be met and followed by all participants.
Guidelines for the company structure will be in compliance with the “U.S. Army Regulations, 1861,” hereafter referred to as “A.R., Art. #.” To best portray the Western Federal soldier, we need to concentrate on participating in Western Theater events.
Offering the highest competence in battalion command staff is the cornerstone of strength for The Western Federal Blues.
Appointments to battalion staff positions shall be made from the best qualified field commanders. Tactical ability, thinking on your feet in battle situations and basic understanding of the function of the position are required standards. Henceforth one must be thoroughly familiar with the “U.S. Army Regulations, 1861” and other manuals.
All operations will be conducted according to military procedures and protocol of the time. This includes utilizing the chain of command in communications, which will be observed and followed.
The field battalion positions available are Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Sergeant Major, Adjutant, Aid-de-camp and Quartermaster. The men applying for these positions should be of the highest caliber and be prepared to function on foot or mounted as the event may require. The mounted positions would be Colonel, Lt. Colonel, Major and mounted aids.
A field ration program will be implemented for the battalion within the office of the Quartermaster. These will be basic field rations issued in accordance with “A.R., Art. XLIII.” A flat fee will be charged on an individual basis per event.
Extra ammunition should be stored in appropriate wooden ammo boxes. Re-supply of expended rounds will be handled through the Quartermaster department. Each company should have its own ammo boxes and have it labeled or stenciled on the bottom of the box.
The W.F.B. requires all companies falling in with this battalion structure to run their companies in accordance to period military structure. This includes utilizing sergeants, corporals and officers in the correct manner, (A.R., Art. XIII.) Companies must consist of at least 25 rifles.
Drill will be conducted by sections, companies and then by battalion. This is required. Fatigue and guard duties will be handled by sections under command of the respective N.C.O.’s. Instructions for this will be given by the battalion staff at the beginning of each event. Attendance by all officers and sergeants is mandatory. Drill will be conducted according to Hardee’s and Casey’s primarily. For items not covered in these manuals, Butterfield’s and Coppee or other period resources will be utilized.
Timely and thorough communications is another cornerstone of strength for the W.F.B. The primary form of communications will be via internet. Secondary communications will be via hard copy through the United States Postal Service. A quarterly newsletter will be provided to all participants either by internet or hard copy.
Guidelines for any event will be clearly defined in advance so people know what to expect and what is expected of them. Information of upcoming events will include the unit designation to be portrayed, respective uniform and impression requirements and a history of the unit to be portrayed. Other helpful information to better portray the Western soldier will be forthcoming.
When you register with the W.F.B. for an event, a company assignment will be given you unless you are associated with an existing unit or request a particular unit.
CODE OF CONDUCT
The W.F.B. authenticity standards will be far stricter than the “mainstream” impression. Units of individuals need to already be squared away or at least actively attempting to do so. Defining the term “squared away” – those that participate with the W.F.B. have already procured uniforms, clothing and gear that are constructed with correct period sewing techniques with the correct type of cloth or material.
Tentage to be used will vary according to the time period being portrayed. The preferred tent for an early war impression is a Sibley. The W.F.B. currently has access to two Sibley tents. The preferred tentage for mid to late war is the correct shelter half.
20th century items are prohibited i.e. coolers, sleeping bags, camp furniture (unless the scenario calls for it) lanterns, wristwatches, modern eye glasses, etc. Period gear will vary from the Spartan on-the-march needs to more varied garrison impression, depending on the historical event being portrayed.
Respect for your fellow living historians will be required. We are here to honor our ancestors, teach history, and impart comradeship with our fellow soldiers. We are not here to belittle, defile, or “make fun of” anyone who participates at Civil War events. Our goal is to attract others to our ideology and this cannot be done by belittling others. All individuals who participate with the W.F.B. will respect their fellow living historians, the W.F.B. and themselves.
Individuals and units who have complaints about the Code of Conduct of others should bring this to the attention of the field staff by the chain of command.
For any unit or individual to participate with the W.F.B., they must abide by the guidelines of the W.F.B. If you refuse to comply with the guidelines of the W.F.B. you will be removed from this battalion by orders of the field staff.
At this time there will be no dues to participate with The Western Federal Blues. Upon registering for an event, a flat fee will be charged that will include the ration program and registration fees.
One week before any event’s registration deadline, is the due date for the W.F.B. to receive registration and ration money from all participants. This allows us to be registered in a timely fashion and be able to purchase the needed supplies. A small portion of the money will be used for administration expenses. Any funds left over will go to event’s preservation effort. The actual amount will vary according to registration fees for the event itself.
Bylaws - None at this time.
For those who wish to join The Western Federal Blues, they can contact the Colonel via the website or by mailing a hard copy of the request. If the guidelines are met, they will be approved for acceptance. This can be done on an individual or unit basis. Still, it is not necessary to be a member of the W.F.B. to participate with this battalion at events.
Future events will be determined by consensus of the participants while at a decided event in the field. We will actively participate in at least two events per year. One will be on the “national” level while the other will be on a “regional” level. Other events may be considered if those who participate with the W.F.B. are interested.
Civilian impressions, or citizens, are welcome and encouraged within the W.F.B. The W.F.B. doesn’t want to discourage citizen impressions, but again the same higher authenticity standards for the military will be in place for the citizens. Wide arrays of female impressions are available, but service in the military is not allowed. Any woman discovered in the ranks will be dealt with in a period military fashion.
Civilian interaction with the W.F.B. at any given time will be determined by what would be most appropriate for any given event i.e. military contract personnel, reporters, sanitary fairs, aid societies or refugees, etc. Specific citizen impressions must be cleared through battalion staff to determine what would be most appropriate for said event.
Compiled from input from numerous fellow reenactors
For further information please contact:
1760 Whites Road
Perryville KY 40468