January 2020
Happy New Year!
Another year begins, and we look forward to the upcoming reenactment season. We have many new items planned, and are continuing with the ongoing projects and items!
Richard Eckart
Started in 2016 R. Eckert Tinware was founded by Richard Eckert, learning tinsmithing from Phil Eckert of Old Sturbridge Village. In 2011 he started working as a part-time seasonal staff member. In 2017 Richard became the Lead Tinsmith at Old Sturbridge Village continuing his work under Master Tinsmith Phil Eckert.

With the passion to learn and do more Richard started his own shop to learn not only about the early 19 th century tin industry but is beginnings in American history to where is evolved to during the 19 th century and finally 20 th century. Taking him to places such as Berlin, CT where the industry in America started with Edward Pattison in the 1740’s and its vast tool industry for the trade to the era of the American Civil War with the American Civil War Museum, USS Cairo, and the Steamboat Bertrand. Finally extending into the realm of the painted tinware known as Japanware from the Historical Society of Early American Decoration.

Each new find and study he applies these to his work using period correct Hot Dip Tinplate and lead free solder. Using tools from the early to mid 19 th century including ones produced in Berlin, Southington, Connecticut along with Woodstock, Vermont and Terrytown, New York. He is willing to consider custom work pending approval.
Fort Pitt
 In late November 1758 General John Forbes and an army of 6,000 men finally took control of the Forks of the Ohio from the retreating French. Construction of Fort Pitt followed the next year and would take two years to complete. The result would be one of the largest most intricate British fortifications in North America.

After 1772 British Forces disbanded Fort Pitt and successfully sold of some of the building materials used in its construction. But with the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, Militia from Virginia were able to take hold of the fort which would become the headquarters for the western department of the army. With the ending of the American Revolution Fort Pitt and West Point were the only military post maned by U.S. troops. Fort Pitt was finally decommissioned in May of 1792 in favor of Pittsburgh’s new military post Fort Fayette.

The museum sits on the footprint of what was known as the Monongahela bastion in Point State Park. Consists of two floors of exhibits including a rotating exhibit gallery on the second floor. It is open seven days a week from 10-5.

For the past five years volunteers and craftsmen from Pennsylvania and surrounding states have been assisting with living history programs not only at Fort Pitt but other French and Indian war sites as well. Following basic guidelines and an understanding of progressive minded reenacting that comes with experience. With most events done in the warmer months, and colder months set aside for the research and construction of everything from hats to shoes.

French and Indian war reenacting is akin to trying to recreate First Mannassas. Every regiment has specialized uniforms with different colored cloth, individual lace and button patterns, trying to accumulate any sort of wardrobe to attend various events can be a logistical nightmare. Not to mention that simple one stop vendors do not exist due to the nature and fit of 18 th century clothing.

For most civil war reenactors, a simple starter kit of sack coat and trousers, or RDII will suffice for the first few years but could something that basic exist for French and Indian war reenacting? Enter into the books, and newspaper archives to see what was achievable and below is what was decided upon. Unfortunately, limited published archeology exists at French and Indian war sites or is so contaminated with other periods, trying to utilize it can be difficult. Fortunately, one Pristine collection and publication exists for Fort Ligonier. A site in use by the British Army from 1758-1766. A trash pit covered over with clay has yielded everything from buckles, buttons, to shoes. All nicely written by Jacob Grimm in the 1960’s.
 A Simple impression of a Blue Coat Turned up in red, blue breeches, red waistcoat, and cocked hat representing Virginia Provincials from 1755-1762. Present in the Ohio Country throughout those years and more specifically at Fort Pitt in 1760. And like other time periods with a few modifications can work as North Carolina Provincials at Fort Dobbs, or the coat, green leggings, and cut down round hat works as Massachusetts Provincials on campaign at Fort Ticonderoga.
 With time and energy more appealing impressions such as Royal Artillery and Royal Americans are sometimes used.
Women interpret the historic occupations of women from the time period. Laundry being one of the primary roles those women belonging to the army would be employed in doing at the fort. Suttlery and refuges are also common interpretations among women. These impressions include basic kits of shifts, stays, bedgowns/gowns, aprons, kerchiefs, and caps. Women share the important and essential roles of women who followed the army in the 18th century.

Anyone interested in volunteering with living history programs at fort pitt please contact Justin Meinert at jameinert@heinzhistorycenter.org.....
News from the sales counter...
Will Vanderburg is the proprietor of Leesburg Arsenal, and will be retailing our products in the forthcoming season. He has worked with us in the past and we are glad to be rekindling the relationship.

Will's interest in the period starts along family lines. His great-great grandfathers fought in the Confederate Army, the 4th NC, 42nd NC, and the 57th NC respectively. He began reenacting in 1990 with the 26th NCT, but his early fascination with this period of history began in Junior High school, while watching The Blue and the Gray miniseries on CBS, reading every book he could get his hands on about this subject.

Working as a Librarian's Assistant and then later as a Historical Interpreter, gave him the skills necessary to research and discover more facts about our past than was available in books. Although he doesn't profess to know everything; like everyone else, is still learning. Everyday.

Leesburg Arsenal was created in 2005 after having moved to New Jersey and joining the 14th NJ, He was feeling the physical strain of reenacting, and started the sutlery as a way to keep in the hobby. He came up with the name of the company, by using his middle name and the last four letters of his last name; "Leesburg" although the arsenal part is a misnomer. His goal was to trying to cater to the common soldier as well as practical needs in the hobby. While no sutler is a "one-stop" shop, he would like to strive in the direction of totally "period".
New Video series in the works!
We are working on a video series of different aspects of the hobby that nobody has touched upon before. It will be a fresh approach to overlooked subjects. Follow us on facebook for updates and annoucements.
With the new year's eve passing,the words should old acqaintance be forgot apply to this month's customer profiles. We grouped them together to underscore the generational continuum that the hobby enjoys. Some reflect pards and sisters no longer with us, but is meant to be a cup of kindness for all.
Matthew Herring

Matt's Father, Mark Herring, began reenacting in the early 1990s with the 139th PA Infantry and then later with the 149th PA Infantry. His initial interest in the Civil War was sparked by an uncle who had researched ancestors in his family who had fought in the war (one such ancestor being Nathan Haring of the 149th PA Bucktails). His Father's focus in reenacting was always that of fostering the learning of younger reenactors as well as enjoying the comradarie of fellow reenactors.

In 2009, his father passed of cancer and his passion for the Civil War and reenacting was something his family felt compelled to honor. Along with his grandfather, he decided to begin his journey in reenacting to continue his father's legacy and to pay homage to his Civil War ancestors. Along with many of his father's reenacting friends he started the 149th PA Bucktails reenacting regiment and began growing the unit from the ground up.

Matt was living in Boston, MA at the time and also found a home as a Civil War reenactor with the 28th MA, Company H. The regiment allowed him the opportunity to experience the comradarie his father had come to know in the hobby and to learn from excellent veteran reenactors in the regiment.

As a reenactor, he has participated in all of the major battle reenactments over the past 10 years and most enjoy researching the history of the individual soldiers who fought in the Civil War. He says that the most rewarding experience as a reenactor was serving as one of the organizers of the Annual Bucktail Reunion which has operated for more than 25 years.

Matt remains profoundly grateful to his Father who sparked his interest in the Civil War and he looks forward to continuing to honor him as a reenactor.
Kevin Barnes

Kevin has had a love of history since early childhood, but his reenactment journey began in 1993. His father was a Mason and Shiner, and knew a fellow Shiner that was captain of Company I, 6th North Carolina.

After learning of my interest in history, he quickly set out to recruit us both into his group. After a visit to a small local battle, Kevin knew that he had to do this. They bought a musket, the guys in the company dressed him out, and threw me into the ranks and thereafter was hooked.

His dad followed just after, once he got his own kit squared away. One of their favorite places was Gettysburg. His dad especially loved it. He was diagnosed with cancer, but fortunately managed to stay with us long enough to attend the 150th Gettysburg reenactment. He passed away in 2014. Kevin still attend events with the 6th, as well as with many of the friends he's met along the way.
Mel Daniel

Mel's love for civil war history started when he was 8 years old, when his mother carried him to the Atlanta Cyclorama. From that day on his mother started buying civil war books for him to read. Eventually, a friend told him about civil war reenacting.

Santa Claus started shopping at C&D Jarigan and dropping uniforms and equipment off over the course of 3 years. At 18 years old he participated in his first reenactment. Not having brogans at that time,he was forced to go barefoot.

32 years, several brogans later, and many anniversary events (125 th -155 th ), he is fortunate to have his 16 year old son Trey, participate alongside him, as they travel the eastern United States. they portray The 3 rd  Wisconsin, a regiment in the 20 th  Corps. of General Sherman's Army and occasionally Johnny Rebs in the 39 th GA, a confederate regiment, trying to stop the mighty Sherman juggernaut as it passed through GA and the Carolina's.

He says that his son Trey amazes him in the amount of time that he puts into research of the common soldier's everyday life and uniforms. In March they will attending the Bentonville event portraying the 39 th  GA, wearing Peter Tait jackets. It is documented that the 39 th  was issued this jacket a couple of months prior to this battle.

Mel has enjoyed reenacting with some really close friends and his older sons over the years. His and Trey's travels have just begun and promises to be just as fun.
If you would like to join the fight,please visit the link below to learn more.
Thanks for your support!
American Battlefield Trust
The preservation year in review!

Thanks to our wonderful members and supporters, the American Battlefield Trust had another amazing year, as we reached the 52,000 acres saved mark! We also are making great strides in education, as we continue to reach multiple generations with battlefield events and digital content. After 20 years, Jim Lighthizer also announces his retirement as President of the American Battlefield Trust.