July 2020
The current painful state of affairs in our country has transpired close to the anniversary of one of the most horrific episodes of civil unrest in the history of the country. The draft riots was by no means a peaceful protest, it was by a mob, armed with primitive weapons, descending upon defenseless victims.

The following passage in Wikipedia offers a clear synopsis...

Initially intended to express anger at the draft, the protests turned into a race riot , with white rioters, predominantly Irish immigrants , [4] attacking black people throughout the city. The official death toll was listed at either 119 or 120 individuals. Conditions in the city were such that Major General John E. Wool , commander of the Department of the East , said on July 16 that, " Martial law ought to be proclaimed, but I have not a sufficient force to enforce it."
The military did not reach the city until the second day of rioting, by which time the mobs had ransacked or destroyed numerous public buildings, two Protestant churches, the homes of various abolitionists or sympathizers, many black homes, and the Colored Orphan Asylum at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, which was burned to the ground. The area's demographics changed as a result of the riot. Many black residents left Manhattan permanently with many moving to Brooklyn . By 1865, the black population had fallen below 11,000 for the first time since 1820. "

Another excellent perspective on the calamity is found on the link below.
Image courtesy Mark Maritato Historical Image courtesy Mark Maritato Historical Artist
Of particular note and valor, were the members of the Metropolitan Police Department. They directly bore the rage of the mobs, and fought bare knuckled and unarmed. They also performed heroically in the defense of the African American citizens of the city. An excellent precinct by precinct history of the event was written two months subsequent, and is found on google books on the link below.
Police Arlington at Cypress Hill

Beginning in 2012, a reenactor and full time NYPD police officer, Nick Finelli, participated in the annual ceremony at the Police Arlington Cemetery in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn New York. Nick was as hardcore as any reenactor, and put every bit of research and detail into his police impression as any one of us does. We were honored to make the uniform that he wore in the picture below. The saying that no effort is ever wasted came true in meeting Nick, as all the development and research primed us to produce all of the police uniforms for the BBC America series COPPER . This was a cooperative effort between Nick and us, and we prevented Hollywood from using 1900's keystone cop costumes.

Nick never drank or smoked but his life, and career was cut short, as a result of being stationed at ground zero during the clean up process. He developed Esophageal cancer, which was found to be inoperable.
The ceremony at Cypress Hills continues every May. Nick had also participated in a commemorative ceremony in City Hall, but I don't think that anyone has stepped into the vacancy that was left with his passing.
Tampa Bay History Center
801 Water Street, Tampa, Fl 33602
The Tampa Bay History Center in Tampa, Florida is a regional history museum in the Channelside area of Tampa, and sitting on the fringes of old Fort Brooke, a US Army post from 1824 to 1882. As of August, TBHC will be managing history and interpretation at the antebellum home Chinsegut Hill in Brooksville, Florida. Ross Lamoreaux, a long time reenactor/living historian, is the site manager at Chinsegut Hill and was integral to beginning the living history program at the main TBHC museum.  

The main museum opened in January 2009, with Ross hired to work both in the Facility department and as a historical interpreter, a challenging and vital combination of two different tasks. Working with the various departments, particularly the Education and Marketing departments. The day-to-day operation of programs for living history include school tours, special groups, and holiday programs, particularly the popular military timeline program for 4th of July. This annual program includes reenactors of various Florida history going back from 16th century Spanish Colonial times up to Vietnam, with a proud partnership with local individual reenactors and the Liberty Guards Mess, an independent progressive group of quality young reenactors doing multiple periods but specializing in Revolutionary War and Civil War.

Ross was recently named Site Manager for Chinsegut Hill after a partnership with Hernando County (Florida), stewards of the site, was formed. Construction of this home began in 1849, with further work being done by 4 families up to the 1950's. This will allow for excellent interpretive programs for Seminole , Civil, and Spanish American Wars, through World War I, and will include the Civilian Conservation Corps since a company of the CCC were there doing vital work on the grounds in 1934.

In a museum with two different sites and representing multiple eras of history, Ross (who has been reenacting since 1997) has worked on dozens of historical impressions through the years. He makes many things himself, but has been blessed to use other
quality vendors , particularly NJ Sekela, and has been buying and using NJS goods frequently, whether that was buying through partners like the Jersey Skilletlicker years ago, field agents at various events through the years, and direct from the website over the last few years.  

The Tampa Bay History Center and Ross Lamoreaux are proud of the various living history programs that have occurred, and look forward to many more at Chinsegut Hill as well.

 About the Museum
Beginning with a look at Florida’s first peoples, who inhabited the peninsula some 10,000 years ago, and the arrival of European explorers in the 1500s, to Tampa Bay’s modern role as a port city, the industrial capital of west central Florida and a draw for tourists and visitors the world over, the History Center tells the story of Tampa Bay’s and Florida’s history, heritage and culture

The History Center is also home to the Touchton Map Library/Florida Center for Cartographic Education. The only cartographic research center of its kind in the state, the TML/FCCE houses one of the most comprehensive collections of Florida cartography in the world, with holdings spanning five centuries.
The TML/FCCE features a regular schedule of changing exhibitions, and is open by appointment to researchers and students.
Visitors to the History Center can dine in the Columbia Cafe, a branch of the world-famous Columbia Restaurant, featuring signature Spanish-Cuban cuisine, a staple of Tampa’s iconic immigrant community of Ybor City. The History Center also includes a Museum Store, classrooms, temporary exhibition galleries and event rental spaces.

The history center is available online at Tampa Bay History Center website

Email: info@tampabayhistorycenter.org

or better yet, by visiting them in person.
Discounted magazine subscription offered to our cusotmers!
We have been playing catch up for the past few months, but have been adding a few extra items to our small run, with the intention of building stock. We are going back through the website, and updating stock levels. but if you have a pressing need, please do not hesitate to send Lisa an email to check availability of an item. We will also continue to announce items on Facebook as they come to hand.
Graham Wood.
  Graham was in third grade when his teacher covered President Lincoln and the American Civil War. Graham was fascinated by President Lincoln and eagerly listened to stories of the American Civil War. He went to Appomattox Court House for the 150th Anniversary of the Surrender. He met with General Lee and General Grant. His interest with building a uniform sparked when he saw General Lee's uniform up close.

Graham began to save his birthday, Christmas, and Easter monies so he could improve his Federal impression. Graham visited our Gettysburg store on Lincoln Highway near the First Shot Marker. Graham walked through each part of the store and hand selected the items he needed to complete his Federal impression. Graham's mother sent us these kind words "Graham, who is autistic, can be difficult to understand, but Mr. Sekela demonstrated such patience and empathy for Graham. Mr. Sekela told Graham about his store and how he became interested in making historic clothing ."
Graham purchased our JT Martin Contract Fatigue Blouse. It is Graham's favorite piece. To complete the Federal uniform, Graham also purchased from wool socks, Federal brogans, Federal Issue Drawers, Domet Flannel Issue Shirt, Federal Issue Blanket, hot dipped tin Mess Pan, Standard Painted Linen Double Bag Federal Knapsack, and several insignia, which Graham loves. With his Federal uniform nearly complete, Graham participated in several events at Appomattox Court House, including the Stacking of Arms.

We are glad to support for a young man like Graham who wants to learn more about American history and to be involved in historical reenactments.
New shelter tents coming!

We taking delivery of a new run of our wide walled and British shirt bone buttons, and plan to have some early war shelter halves in stock very shortly. We will be posing an announcement on Facebook when they are in stock.
The American Battlefield trust is hosting a virtual commemoration of the anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg. There is a full program of speakers, artifacts and more and can be found at the link below.