Personalities

 

 

Private Samuel Dwyer
“ I was born on October XIIIth, 1844 AD, In Harper's Fairy, Virginia, CSA,  I was the first in my family to be an Irish cadet at The Citadel, in Charleston, South Carolina, which joined last year, when the Second War For Independence broke out, I joined a militia-infantry reg’t called the 2ND SCVI, Co. I, Palmetto Guard
Preston's brigade, 2nd CorpsArmy of Northern Virginia
Confederate states army,Confederate States of America.1861 AD.
I enlisted as a Company Militia-Infantry Private, on April 22ND, 1861 AD. 
and still fighting for thy cause of the south!"

Choo Choo
Charlie
Private Charlie Knoth-DeFilippis signed up with the 43rd Virginia, Bowman's Brigade at Roaring Camp 2011. Private Choo Choo fell in love with reenacting and says he will do it again for sure. His two main goals for joining are to fight Yankees and someday become Brigade Commander of the Confederate Brigade!

Jennifer Langley
Jennifer Langley was born in 1846. She has four brothers in the 43rd Virginia Cavalry. She visits them in their camp as often as they are near enough to where she lives. When she comes to camp she helps them cook their food and clean and sew their clothes. She also knits them socks and scarves to keep them warm through the long winter months. She loves her brothers dearly and anxiously waits for the war to end so that they may come home safe and sound.

Joel Langley
2nd Lt. Joel Langley was born in Washington, January 13th, 1839, but his early years were spent in Virginia, the home of his ancestors. He came to Baltimore in 1857, and was among the first to go to Virginia when the war broke out. On June 1st, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company B, Maryland Guard, attached to the 1st Virginia Infantry., but when the First Maryland Regiment was formed was transferred to Company H, Capt. Wm. H. Murray, June 18th, 1861. In this company he served in all the campaigns and battles of the year, and at the battle of Cross Keys, June 8th, 1862, in Jackson’s Valley Campaign he was desperately wounded, being shot through the neck. He was permanently injured by this wound and disabled for a long time, but as soon as able to ride he was appointed to Volunteer Aid to Major General Trimble. General Trimble being wounded and left at Gettysburg, now Lt. Langley then volunteered into the 43rd Va. Cav, under Mosby’s command. He currently serves as a 2nd Lt. in Company D under the command of Major Robert “Cheify” Burgio. Or, as the company is more lovingly known, “Company Darling.”

Matthew Reynolds
Cpl. Matthew Reynolds was born in 1846 in the county of Essex, England. His father was an artist for the local newspaper in Epping. In 1849, news reached England of the gold rush in California, so Matthew Reynolds and his family traveled on the next available ship to America, hoping to strike it rich. After a long and wearisome voyage, the Reynolds family made their way to the gold mines. But not having any luck and running out of money, Matthew's father decided to see if they could live with his uncle in Maine and find a job at a nearby newspaper. They made it to Mr. Reynolds' uncle's house and told him their dilemma. Charles Reynolds, Matthew's great-uncle, welcomed them into his home and said that they could indeed stay with him. While this was happening the war was beginning to brew in the South. Matthew decided he wanted to help fight against the rebellion. With his parents consent he joined the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry. He is currently fighting with the Army of the Potomac.

Patrick O'Connell
Corporal Patrick O'Connell was born in 1845 in County Cork, Ireland. His father was a potato farmer there, but he and his family were kicked off the land in 1847 when they could no longer pay the taxes because of the great potato blight. The O'Connell family emigrated to New York City in 1849, and the youngest daughter, Margaret, died on the coffin ship; she was only a few months old. Timothy O'Connell, Patrick's father, joined the 69th New York State Militia, an all-Irish unit, when it was founded in 1851. When the southern states Fired on Ft. Sumter, the members of the 69th NYSM voted to stay with the unit a few more months to help fight the war, as their contracts with the state ended in mid-July, 1861. After the battle of Bull Run, July 21st, 1861, the 69th NYSM was disbanded, and Meager formed the 69th New York State Volunteers. Over 300 veterans from 69th NYSM joined the 69th NYSV, including Timothy O'Connell. However, there were newly-recruited Irishmen as well, including Patrick O'Connell. Timothy O'Connell died of disease and old age in April of 1862; he was almost forty-six years old. Patrick O'Connell is currently stuck in the middle of a war, on the Peninsula Campaign in Virginia.

T.R. Bolton
T.R. Bolton of the 7th Virginia, Company C, Raccoon Rough's Mess, has over two hundred relatives who fought on the side of the "Rightious" in the Great Rebellion called the Civil War.
His relatives hailed from Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
He hates all things "Yankee" and was even seen shooting at his own troops who were wearing captured Yankee overcoats!
Luckily, they were over a mile away and soon threw down the coats after realizing their folly.
T.R.'s only regret is that he didn't start reenacting sooner so he could have thinned the ranks of the "blue devils" even more.

Hal Howell
From the pristine shores,to the high lonesome of ol' Virginny; the tunesmith of the popular minstrel music heard round the southern campfires, comes our loyal, sr.gunny:
"HALISHA DECATUR THOMAS HOWELL"
son of a pirate, hung for treason in the north.
  
His motto:
VICTORY OR DEATH,BUT NOT WITHOUT RUM!

"Mean" 
Kent Walls
Kent Walls is an ardent secessionist and believer in the Declaration of Independence as gospel truth. His persona mirrors true-to-life Southern sentiments so closely, you might believe he is channeling a Condederate soldier from 1863. He detests all things Yankee and especially the color blue. Making no bones about it, he would rather die a thousand deaths than see the yanks win even one battle, and has even been known to yell at his own officers for daring to retreat a single inch. Never wanting a Yankee to kill him, his pards wonder if he wears an iron skillet under his shirt. He is also working hard to insure his children follow in his foot steps! 
DEO VINDICE!   Crpl Kent M. Walls, Liberty Hall Volunteers, Co. I, 4th Virginia Infantry

Donna Pedvin,
Civilian Corps

Miss Donna says she loves being with the ACWA and is looking forward to meeting everyone and attending all the events. Her tent is filled with wonders that will delight and astound you so please visit her tent and see these wonders of wonders for yourself!

Rochelle Smith,
Richmond Fayette


During a hot and humid battle near New Cold Harbor, it is said that a Miss Rochelle walked onto the field of battle looking for her husband, Adam. The Federal Northmen were so taken by her beauty that they forgot what they were doing and the rebels were able to flank them! All of Richmond Virginia is buzzing about Lady Rochelle of the Southern States! 
General Grant was besides himself but when he saw Miss Rochelle he could not
blame his boys for forgetting what they were doing!

   

Jason Marlow, 
Richmond Fayette 


It is said that one of Private Marlow's ancestors during the Civil War, created the 
Rebel Yell! Looking at him, it must be true! 
His mother taught him how to fire a Napoleon Cannon at the age of 4 and at the age of 8, he was so mean that a Alabama pole cat would shed his fur and sing dixie just at the site of him!

Wm. David Johnson
Lt Wm. David “Double Canister” Johnson portrays Lt Samuel Benjamin of the 2nd US Artillery Battery E. David has been an ACWA member for over 9 years and commander of the 2nd US  for the past 3. He builds many of the unit’s boxes, limbers, carts, and implements in what little spare time he has. A staunch Unionist.

“Let them Suhcesh get real close then give’m 
a volley of double canister, it’ll teach ‘em a lesson”.

Miss Leslie 

The American Civil War affected almost every family in the United and Confederate States. Whether at home waiting, following the army as sutlers and camp followers or serving the soldiers directly as nurses and contractors, the Civil War was by no means a strictly military affair. Please visit the Civilian Camp and see the many activities we do at the reenactments. Miss Leslie hosts a 10 a.m. tea party at events which Lt. Col. Freemantle says, rivals even the Queen's tea parties!  Miss Leslie is a real lady.


D. William 
Entriken II

"Farb is my Nemesis!" So says Mr. Entriken II. William has been with the
ACWA for 13 or 14 years!
He started out as a sutler then the civilian corp, his first military unit he joined was with the 43rd Virginia as a private. The list goes on and on! He was president of the ACWA, 2006 and 2007.William has always been there to fill the ranks as needed. He works to improve the image of the club and to help in grow and of course to look more and more authentic. As of 2008, he is the club quartermaster, Coordinator for Roaring Camp and Knights Ferry and he is the club Master of Ceremony. His favorite pastime is eating "Farb" people!


Brian "Stretch"
Hann
 Corporal Brian Hahn, know as “Stretch”,  towers over his boys in the Second South at a meager 6’9” tall. A middle class shop owner’s son from Charleston, SC. He enlisted in the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry in Charleston in 1862 as a private but quickly worked his way up the ranks. His popularity may have something to do with the occasional “cold treats” that he is able to acquire for his boys through various connections back home. 
Brian joined the ACWA in ’06 quickly followed by his wife Bethany . Brian is also the Webmaster of the Second South Website and “home made, hand cranked ice-cream” enthusiast.
Stretch is so tall that the Confederate Battalion uses him to see over trees and hills to spy on the Yankee Camps. The Brigade doesn't need observation balloons!
 

Peter Lee
Peter Lee portrays L.t. Colonel Fremantle of the Coldstream Guards, of  her Majesty, Queen Victoria. He was a military observer who came to America to see and report to the Queen on the Civil War. Mr. Lee has been doing this impression since 2004. It was Ray Bisio who recommended him to be Lt. Col. Fremantle because of his proper English speech and manners. Since then, Peter has thrilled spectators and fellow reenactors at ACWA events. Some ladies have been known to become faint upon seeing him looking so dashing. You can spot Peter on the battlefield miles away because of his scarlet and gold uniform!

Paul Shone

Paul Shone portrays Mr. Francis Lawley who was a London Timescorrespondent sent to America to observe and report on the Civil War. He arrived on the blockade runner, the CSS Lillian, and toured the Confederate States with Captain Justus Scheibert. He was noted for his accurate accounts of  the war, particularly Gettysburg. Mr. Shone joined the ACWA at Casa de Fruita in 2008 with his 9 year old son, Peter. He is with the 43rd Virginia


Justin Lee Mills
Known as "The Voice", 2nd Lt. Justin Lee Mills is the commander of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry (Palmetto Guard). Lt. Mills has been with the ACWA since its inception. It is said that the Second South Carolina is the cornerstone of the brigade. Perhaps that is because you can hear him shouting commands over the sound of the cannons and musket fire!

Chuck Rhodes
Chuck Rhodes is an architectural designer in Sacramento. During reenactments, he portrays his alter ego, the kindly Lt. Rhodes, map maker, draughtsman, and topographical engineer,  for the Confederate Brigade. He portrays a civilian contractor for the Corps of Topographical Engineers in the Army of the Valley District (A.V.D.), consequently he holds only a Brevet Rank as a Staff Officer. Staff, in this case, is a branch of the service much like Artillery, or Infantry, and not necessarily someone who is on a General's staff.  Some consider him a hero.

Anna Belle

Anna Belle is a camp follower who literally goes the distance to "provide physical comfort" for all the brave soldiers who can afford her company. Debbie Hawley enjoys attending events because it gives her the opportunity to spend time with her brother, Major Paul Vancas, RFA, but she also relishes portraying a notorious shady lady. There is no shortage of men eager to get an eyeful of her charms. Part of the allure is her stunning gowns, each of which she spends a couple of months creating. Her red and black ruffled "off the shoulder" ensemble is one that is hard to miss, as is the $100.00 bill peeking out of the bodice. Lest you think she is an easy mark, be aware she keeps a gun strapped to her shoe for protection. "Gentlemen, avert your eyes!"


Lillie Belle

Miss Lillie Belle is the twin sister to Anna Belle and has been brought up in the proper way a lady should be. Their mother warned them about "the other side of the tracks" but poor Anna didn't listen to her mother and hopefully Lillie will set her straight. So you will see more of Lillie Belle at the reenactments. She is not married, is a school teacher and lives in Virginia. She is also Mother and Father's favorite. But as Miss Anna says many times over.
"At least I send money home to ma and pa!"

 


Brian Miller

Brian Miller left the family farm in Orange County, Virginia at the age of 16 to find his own way in life. He made his way south doing whatever he could to survive. In 1863, he joined the Army of North Virginia. After being wounded in the arm, he convalesced in South Carolina. There he met Donalyn Sue, who nursed him back to health. He told her he would be back to marry her. She responded, " So you think so Johnny Reb?" He responded by saying, "It's Brian." After the war ended, true to his word, he returned to marry Donalyn Sue. They settled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, spending their time mining gold and living off the land.


Major
Paul Vancas
Commander
The Richmond Fayette Artillery (RFA), Co. B, 38th Battalion Virginia Light Artillery, was one of the few companies that stood ready when the Civil War began. The RFA was formed on May 3, 1821, when it received two brass six-pounders from the Public Guard. In 1824, it was renamed the RFA after the Marquis de La Fayette presented the company with two more six-pounders. The RFA took part in several battles throughout the Civil War, including the Seven Days Battle, South Mountain, the Suffolk Campaign (where it was attached to Dearing's Battalion and took on the 38th distinction), Gettysburg, Petersburg, and New Bern. The RFA eventually returned to Virginia and took part in Cold Harbor and the defenses around Richmond and Petersburg. The RFA escaped capture at Appomattox, only to spike her guns at Lynchburg.

"The Sisters"
Mary Aye and Marilyn Lane portray sisters who have a penchant for matchmaking. Although their efforts have been unsuccessful so far, they are convinced that a blissful match is somewhere in their future. In addition to being "Purveyors of Matrimony for Lonely Gentlemen and Soldiers," they plan on branching out with advice for the lovelorn. Seek out their assistance if you have troubles in the romance department. They might just be able to help you. In addition to dabbling in matters of the heart, Miss Mary excells at collecting donations at events. Miss Marilyn writes articles and takes photos for The Courier. They are both members of the ball committee and committed to making the ACWA ball the social event of the year. As of their debut at Roaring Camp 2008, acting in a kidnapping scenario, they look forward to being in more skits for the public. 

"MJ" 
Judie Adams 
Miss Judie Adams, "MJ" is a member of the 69th New York Volunteers. She was voted to be Camp Cook after the 69th tasted some of her samples! She cooks for the 25 members of the 69th, 3 meals a day. She says she loves making the meals for the boys. The main reason the Union Battalion is so large is that recruits join up just so they can taste Judie's cooking! In fact, she says; "They made for me my very own kitchen just like the ones they had during the Civil War. That was so exciting! I  feel like I am living in 1862 when I cook. It is also said that Miss Judie is one of the most graceful dancers in the entire Union! Miss Judie also makes shirts for the boys both North and South and custom shirts for ladies also. If you would like to have a shirt made for you at fair prices, please email her at judie_adams@att.net

Debi Lambeth
"The hearer of
many things"
This is my 4th year in the ACWA.. The first event that I ever attended was at Nevada City and my son and former husband both wanted to join, so I said fine. Little did I know that I was not going to be able to wear my jeans to events. So, during that fall, I researched ladies clothing and construction techniques applying to the period and set to sewing up a dress for myself. My first event was at Knight's Ferry when I also began to man the information tent with Jan Todd. I was still doing some of the handwork as I had breakfast that Saturday morning. Working with the Todds, I realized the club needed a replacement as treasurer, so I  ran fortreasurer.
One of the major reasons for joining was to allow my son to be a "boy" and do boy things. So far I have found only 2 places that boys can act like boys and that is the boy scouts and reenacting. So, I do highly support all those young men of all ages to run around the field with rifles chasing and shooting at each other. Just let me sit on the side lines with my camera in hand enjoying all the black powder from the rifles and cannons.

Donald
P. Fuselier 
 "The Doc," aka: Doctor Bartholomew Boudreaux, surgeon, New Orleans, has been a reenactor since 1955. Since then he has collected an impressive collection of period medical items. Mr. Boudreaux joined the ACWA in 2005 and has made just about every event. The spectators always rave at his demonstrations, some even swoon! His goal being aCivil War surgeon is to make the public more aware of our history, the terrible cost of war, and to honor those who fought and died.  

Scott Chapman
Scott Chapman has been an ACWA member for nine years. He has been missing in action for the last two years. In that time, he has moved, refinished the house, his wife had a baby named Jon, and on and on. However, he made a triumphant return to the fold at Duncans Mills this year. He will try to make it to events at least twice a year. He was happy to see the esprit de corps so high and looks forward to attending his next event.

Claude Labelle
The reenactment at Duncans Mills was the birthplace of a new Robert Edward Lee portrayal. Claude Labelle made his first appearance as the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Northern Virginia and found it to be an enjoyable experience even though he came within a hair's breath of being captured by the Yankees during the last battle on Sunday! How did the crowd react? There was instant recognition. No one had to ask who he was.. Everyone felt proud to meet him. He also portrays a surgeon and plans on switching between the two roles during upcoming events.

Nicole Denis
Nicole Denis is Claude Labelle‚'s wife, who portrays a nurse assigned to the Marines. She and her husband started reenacting two years ago and have enjoyed meeting people and sharing their interest in history with others. When the boys see her on the field they know she will be there with a kind word, water and a smile that makes the bad times seem to disappear.

Jerry Foster
"The Galvanized
One"

Corporal Jerry Foster, a brave telegraph operator with the RFA, CSA,, was taken prisoner at Antietam in 1862 by the Yankees and put in prison. After 4 months in captivity, he was offered parole by General Meade if he would join the U.S. Army because there was a great shortage of Yankee telegraph operators. He would be sent to Fort Point, San Francisco to operate the telegraph there and to intercept Confederate messages about blockade runners and Southern provocateurs. Of course he said YES!without question just to get out of prison. So now he is also known as Corporal Jerry Foster, "20th Maine, Army of the Potomac Telegraph Office." He won't be coming back home to Alabama  anytime soon, for obvious reasons! He is considered a hero in both camps!


Cameron White
"The Meanest 1st Sargent in the entire U.S. Army!" That is what Cameron White in known as. It is even said that he helped Thomas Francis Meagher to escape from Austrailia.  Cameron has been with the 69th New York Co. B since he joined the ACWA four years ago. After working as a sargent the past 25+ years with the Pacific Grove Police Department he is finally retiring and moving to Gettysburg this September. He intends on remaining active in the ACWA and plans to attend upcoming events.
Cameron is also known as a: "Pagrovian."


Major
Preston Gilliam
Commanding
1st Virginia
Artillery & Infantry

Reenacting is in my family lineage. My Great, Great Grandfather wasCol. James Gilliam of the 9th Virginia. Throughout the years, I've had the honor to portray my Grandfather with 5 companies of the 9th Virginia. I've been Scoutmaster for Troop 505 for over 25 years and the two interests have dovetailed as I've introduced the Scouts to the world of reenactment. Ten years ago, I  took 40 scouts to the National Jamboree in Virginia, where they learned about battle from the 9th Virginia. As a result, we started reenacting with the NCWA 1st Virginia. The 1st Virginia is the only Boy Scout Explorer Post in the nation that owns its own artillery battery, 5 pieces of artillery and two Gatling guns. Seven years ago, the 1st Virginia was welcomed into the ACWA.. I've attended the past three
5-year anniversary reenactments at Gettysburg, always alongside General Armistead. For my young Scouts, it has been the experience of a lifetime. There were 19 members of the Gilliam family who fought at Gettysburg. Gettysburg is very real and very  personal to me. It is truly sacred ground. 


Doug Erickson
He has seen 
the "Elephant!"
Captain Doug Erickson, ( who has seen the Elephant more than anyone else), Commander of the 69th New York Infantry-Co. B, 1st Irish Brigade, is known among the Union Battalion as "The Terror."  He is the only Union Commander who strikes true terror amongst the Confederate Brigade. Every time the two armies meet on the battlefield, you can hear a low moan from the Southern boys as soon as they see Capt. Erickson. They know with him on the field, the battle will be a hard fought one for sure! History students of the Civil War are always stopping him to say how much he looks like Joshua Chamberlain!

Kathy Pabilona

Kathy Pabilona, known as " Katie Leadbetter" is a new member of the ACWA . Miss Kathy and Lloyd Holocomb came to the Duncans Mills event  in 2008 and were totally taken by the atmosphere and cameraderie. They both decided to join the club then and there. Miss Katie put her sewing skills to work and was proud to debut her beautiful new Civil War dress at Nevada City. She received many compliments on her handiwork and is already planning some new designs to wear at upcoming events! She is looking forward to her future as a reenactor and is sure to an asset to the ACWA.. 


Lloyd Holocomb
Private Lloyd Holocomb ( 2nd South Carolina ), known as "Tarlton Leadbetter" is a new member of the ACWA.. After he and Miss Katie (see above) joined our club, their first event was at Virginia City, 2008 to "test the waters," so to speak. They both enjoyed themselves so much that the two of them showed up at the event at Kearney Park. Private Holcomb looks so real in his uniform that some people think he really is from 1862!

Sandy May
Miss May is a very wise lady. People come from all over the land to listen to her tales and advice. 
Also, Miss May would like to share the secrets of a happy marriage:

*Make up your beds early in the morning; * Sew buttons on your husband's shirt;
*Do not rake up any grievances; *Protect the young and tender branches of your family;
*Plant a smile of good temper on your face and carefully root out all angry feelings
*Expect a good crop of happiness.
If you follow these instructions, stop by and I'll give you a bathing lesson!