In 1994, Four gentlemen, Bill Jones and Mike Soden for the Confederates and Gary Smith and Robert Garbisch for the Union side, decided to form a new Civil War reenactor club. After many weeks of planning/discussions the four formed the "American Civil War Association". The American Civil War Association of Northern and Central California recreates the most trying period in our nation’s history. For four years the country ripped itself apart in a great war that was to decide the many questions left unanswered since the days of its birth. When it finally ended, the United States was again one nation but no less than 620,000 men, two percent of the population, had perished for what they believed. Our members attempt to educate the public and each other on this most pivotal era through battle reenactments, recreations of authentic camps and school programs. With the uniforms, clothing and equipment of the period one can get some small sense of how the men, women and children lived through the hardship that was the Civil War and also enjoy the very unique camaraderie and friendships that the hobby of reenacting offers.

The American Civil War Association is a not for profit educational 501c living history organization.

Confederate Brigade

Brigade Commander: Colonel Mark Alan Price

Chief of Staff/Executive Officer/Chief of Infantry: Lieutenant Colonel Josh Chiuli

Chief of Cavalry: Major Gavin Iacono

Chief Artillery: Major Paul Vancas

Sergeant Major: Sergeant Major Ryan Ferguson 

AAG & Chief Signal Officer: Captain Jerry Foster

AAG & Provost Marshal: 1st Lieutenant Brendan Krepchin

Chief Topographical Engineer: 1st Lieutenant Robert Preston


Stonewall Brigade,

2nd Corps,

Army of Northern Virginia,

Confederate States of America,

American Civil War Association

Confederate Brigade Charter


Current as of 05-29-04

To safely and somewhat realistically portray the American Civil War from a Confederate military perspective. Through the process of living history, present persona’s of Confederate soldiers’ during that era. By doing so, educate others and ourselves, thus gaining an insight as to what it was like to be such an individual from that era. To establish a chain of command to minimize confusion in the operation of our activities. To accomplish this, the simplest approach is to reproduce the rank and file system used by the CS military. To assure that we work together in the spirit of cooperation to attain these goals:

1. General:
A. The collective Confederate military units of the ACWA shall be referred to as
“the CSA Brigade” or simply, “the Brigade.”
B. The Brigade shall portray the Army of Northern Virginia circa 1861-1865, and
shall follow the documented CS regulations of the period. Safety is strictly 
enforced. Living history and interaction with the public are major priorities. 
Authenticity is every member’s goal. Infantry drill and tactics adhere to
manuals of the period, and individual soldier’s decorum shall adhere to
“Custom’s of Service.”
C. All Brigade laws are subordinate to ACWA rules

1. Bylaws, Ordinances, Rules and Regulations, Definitions.
2. A Bylaw shall be a law governing the entire Brigade at all times and shall be contained in this document.
a. Rules and Regulations shall be rules that affect only a portion of
the Brigade at all times and will be contained in a separate
b. Rules and Regulations shall be enacted by a 3/5th’s majority vote
of the entire Board of Officers.
c. A petition may be filed with the Board of Officers by at least 1/3
of all eligible voting Brigade members, which would require that
such a Rule or Regulation be voted upon by the members of the
3. Ordinances shall be rules, which affect any portion up to the entire
Brigade that is temporary in nature, lasting not more than 90 days.
a. The BC or the Board may enact ordinances.
b. The Board may veto ordinances by the BC by 3/5th’s majority vote.
c. AN expired ordinance may not be reenacted during a calendar year.
D. The Brigade shall be commanded by a Commanding Officer (BC, Brigade
Commander) who shall hold the rank of Colonel. BC may further be assisted
by appointed Senior Staff Officer’s as needed. BC shall ultimately be
responsible for all Senior Staff and their duties.

1. Duties of Senior Staff:
a. Enforce all ACWA and Brigade rules and orders.
b. Coordinate official Brigade activities at events.
c. Coordinate battles with US counterpart.
d. Act as principle spokesman for the Brigade.
e. Ensures proper uniform and drill.
f. Meet daily with regimental commanders at events.
g. Chairs all Brigade meetings.
h. Is responsible for camp layout.
i. Is responsible for Brigade records.
j. Shall appoint capable staff, with Board confirmation.
k. Shall appoint rank of all regimental commanders with Board confirmation.
l. Shall issue Ordinances governing the Brigade,
m. Shall have veto power over the Board of Officers.

2. Board of Officer’s (Board):
a. Shall consist of the BC, appointed Brigade Staff, elected unit
commanders, and any duly commissioned Brigade officers.
b. Only elected unit commanders shall vote on the Board, and each unit is entitled to only one vote.
c. In the absence of the unit commander, a proxy will be allowed. Said proxy must be either part of the unit’s chain of command, or have written permission from the unit commander.
d. Shall assist the BC in governing the Brigade.
e. Shall pass Ordinances by simple majority governing the Brigade.
f. Shall confirm/veto by simple majority all Staff appointments.
g. Shall confirm/veto by simple majority rank of all RC’s
h. Shall be chaired by the BC
i. Shall have authority to remove BC by unanimous vote OR by 3/5th’s majority AND 3/5th’s majority of the entire Brigade.
j. Shall have veto authority and the ability to override any veto made by the BC. All veto and override must pass with no less than 3/5th’s majority vote.
k. May require the BC to convene a meeting of the Board by presenting to the BC a written request signed by a simple majority of the Board.
3. Appointed Staff Positions that become necessary within the Brigade
may be initiated or removed at any time, based upon need. Positions
may be of any nature, but must be consistent with the Confederacy and
the Army of Northern Virginia,
a. BC will propose the position, duties, rank and person. Once approved the position, duties and rank will be placed in the written Rules and Regulations.
b. The Board will confirm/deny by simple majority vote.
c. Person in position will serve concurrently with BC and will exit automatically upon completion of BC’s term.
4. Position will remain unless removed by BC or Board.
a. BC may terminate position or replace the person serving in position at any time, with or without cause.
b. The Board may terminate position or dismiss the person serving in position at any time by 3/5th’s majority vote, with or without cause.
E. Membership in the American Civil War Association is required in order to be
a member of the Confederate Brigade.

1. The Confederate Brigade of the American Civil War Association
does not discriminate because of race, gender, religion, age sexual
orientation, or national origin.
a. Women are strongly encouraged to actively participate in all
activities of the Brigade, but with the express understanding
that women were not allowed in military service during the
Civil War. Consequently, in order to present an accurate
portrayal, a female must make every effort to look and act the
part of a male should she choose to participate in military
activities. The “30 foot rule,” where the gender of the
individual cannot be determined at a distance of 30 feet or
better, will be strictly enforced.
2. Membership in the Brigade is a privilege and not a right. AS such, The Brigade reserves the right to deny membership. All applications for membership are subject to review by the BC and/or the Board before approval. The Board of Officers shall have final approval on all applications.
3. Members are strongly encouraged to belong to a regimental company (unit) within the Brigade.
a. Those Brigade members not belonging to a unit of the Brigade shall be under the direct authority of the Brigade Commander.

II. Elections:

A. Brigade Elections
The eligible Brigade members shall elect the Brigade Commander each year. This election shall be conducted by secret ballot through mail out referendum. Unless determined otherwise by the Board, this election shell be conducted by the ACWA EC and run concurrent with the ACWA yearly.
1. The Board reserves the right to conduct the election for BC.
2. The Board reserves the right to overturn the election for BC conducted by the ACWA EC.
3. Eligible Brigade members shall be those who are paid members of the Confederate Brigade of the American Civil War Association. Having attended no less than one full day of any ACWA reenactment verified by having appeared on a morning report of a recognized unit of the Confederate Brigade of the ACWA.
4. The ACWA EC shall conduct Brigade elections calling for the permanent removal of the Brigade Commander, unless determined otherwise by the Board.

B. Regimental Elections
1. Each regiment is required to hold an election for unit commander, yearly.
a. A written election procedure shall be on file with the Brigade prior to the election, and shall be in place no later than December 1st.
b. Unit’s that have no election procedure on file with the Brigade by the deadline shall have their unit elections conducted by the Brigade.
c. Unit’s that have elections conducted by the Brigade shall be charged a five-dollar charge per eligible voter for administrative costs.
d. Regular elections shall be conducted after the last event of the season.
e. Results of regimental elections shall be reported to the BC no later than February 1 prior to the upcoming season.
f. All elections shall be conducted by secret ballot.
2. In the event that a RC must be replaced during the event season, the replacement shall be elected according to that unit’s procedures.
3. The BC and/or the Board reserves the right to investigate any complaints made concerning unit elections improprieties, and take action as deemed necessary.
a. All complaints must be submitted in writing to the BC and/or the Board, and may come only from a member of the unit from which the complaint is being made. Verbal complaints alone will not be considered.
b. The name of the complaint may be held confidential, at the discretion of the BC and/or the Board.
4. In the event that a unit fails to comply with all specifics of this section, the
BC and the Board may intervene in the election process of that unit.
a. The unit members shall be notified that the unit is not in compliance with election procedures.
b. The Board shall assign one or more Board members to implement and oversee the election process for that unit.
c. The assigned Board member(s) shall advise the Board as to what election procedures were implemented, and the results of the election.
d. Any challenges to the procedures or results of the election shall be heard by the Board, at which time the Board shall render a ruling as to weather or not the Board-administered election was Valid or Invalid.
5. If valid, the finding is final.
6. If invalid, the process shall be repeated, starting from 
Section II.B.4.a.

III. Regiments:
A. The Regiments within the Confederate Brigade are to be considered individual clubs within the Brigade and thus, autonomous.
B. Individual unit Rules and Regulations are strongly recommended. Unit rules will only be official if on file with the Brigade.
1. All unit rules are subordinate to Brigade and ACWA rules.
2. The BC and/or the Board reserves the right to investigate any complaint brought where unit rules are violated and take appropriate action deemed necessary.
a. A written election procedure shall be on file with the Brigade prior to the
election, and shall be in place no later than December 1st.
b. Unit’s that have no election procedure on file with the Brigade by the deadline
shall have their unit elections conducted by the Brigade.
c. Unit’s that have elections conducted by the Brigade shall be charged a five-
dollar charge per eligible voter for administrative costs.
C. New Units:
New units must be approved by the Board first, then be approved by the ACWA EC.
1. Unit will have 1 year to attain the minimum of 9-man roster strength.
2. Unit’s not attaining minimum will be deactivated.
D. Minimum Requirements to Field:
Any unit not fielding the minimum number of men at an event (6) shall have its men temporarily reassigned to the BC.
1. Units falling below minimum strength for 4 consecutive events shall be assigned Probation by the Board. The unit will then have 4 consecutive events of Probation to bring their average numbers up to minimum standards.
2. If at the end of 4 consecutive events of Probation, the minimum standards have not been achieved, the Board may then permanently decommission the unit and all remaining members directed to transfer to other units.
3. The ACWA EC shall than be notified by the BC of the deactivation of that unit within the Confederate Brigade.
IV. Rank 
A. It is the duty and responsibility of each member to follow the rules of the organization. Since the Brigade follows a military structure as per ranks, it is the responsibility of the BC to oversee the Brigade, the RC’s responsibility to oversee the unit and the Sergeant’s responsibility to oversee the company, etc.

B. Not in Good Standing:
A condition levied by the Board upon individuals for misconduct, misbehavior and miscellaneous other offenses.
1. Requires a 3/5th’s majority vote from the Board to place or lift. Must be reviewed every six months. May not be levied for more than 18 months. May be appealed to the Board of Officer'’ at any time, but not more than twice in a six month period.
2. Removes all voting privileges and nay rank held, whether elected or appointed, above the rank of Private.

C. General Courts Martial:
Shall be conducted per CS Army regulations for breaches in military protocol, dereliction of duty, insubordination, not adhering to CS Army regulations, etc.
1. Punishment, subject to the will of the General courts-martial judge(s), up to expulsion from the Brigade.
a. Appeal of punishment may be made to the Board who may validate/invalidate by vote of 3/5th’s majority.

D. Court of Inquiry (CI):
Shall be conducted as per ACWA guidelines for violations of safety, civil or criminal laws.
1. Punishment, subject to the will of the CI judge(s), up to expulsion from the Brigade.
a. Appeal of punishment may be made to the Board who may validate/invalidate by vote of 3/5th’s majority

E. Removal from the Brigade:
A 3/5th’s majority vote of the Board AND a 3/5th’s majority vote from the entire Brigade may remove any member permanently from the Brigade, with or without cause. Brigade vote to be conducted by the ACWA EC by mail.
1. Any member of the Brigade may be temporarily expelled from an event by order of the BC or the Board for conduct detrimental to the smooth operation of the Brigade.
a. The Board reserves the right to veto any expulsion ordered by the BC.
b. Any person expelled from an event by the BC may immediately appeal to the Board to have the case reviewed. Upon hearing the particulars of the case, the Board may choose to confirm or veto the BC’s decision.

VI. Changing Bylaws:
A. Changes, additions or deletions to the Bylaws are proposed to the Board for
1. The Board shall pass or reject proposals by simple majority.
a. Proposals that fail shall be dropped from consideration.
b. Proposals may bypass the Board and go directly to the Brigade for referendum with signatures from no less than 1/3rd of all Brigade members.
2. Any Bylaw changes additions or deletions accepted by the Board must be submitted to the Brigade for a vote.
3. Such proposals shall be enacted as by laws when confirmed by eligible voting Brigade members, either through referendum, or at a Brigade meeting.
a. Brigade Meeting:
a. Referendum voting shall be conducted by secret ballot, through the mail and be managed by the ACWA EC. Proposal shall pass/fail with a simple majority of all ballots returned.
b. Proposal’s voted upon at Brigade meetings must be done at events when not less than 1/ 2 of all Brigade members that are present. Proposal shall pass/fail with vote of 3/5th’s majority of members present, and may be done by ballot or show of hands. 
Current as of 05-29-04



History of the ACWA


Here is a list of the Union and Confederate Commanders of the  ACWA past and present:
  • Colonel Joe Rose Early 1997-1999  
  • Colonel Ed Basanese 1995-2000
  • Mike Soden  2000-2001  
  • Colonel Ed Basanese 1995-2000  
  • Colonel "Fighting Joe" Kitzero 2001-2002
  • Name withheld upon request 2002-2004  
  • Colonel Justin Oldfield 2003  
  • Colonel Niles Kynett 2004
  • Chris Mondo 2005-2006  
  • Colonel John Kalleen 2005- 2007  
  • Will Hilt 2007   
  • Joe Rose 2008  
  • Colonel Thomas Bispo  2008- 2010

A Long History of Civil War Reenacting

Reenacting began during the 1961-1965 Civil War centennial commemorations. These battles and events found a receptive audience, but public interest in reenactments faded by the late 1960's. Living history reenacting grew in the 1980's and 1990's, due to the popularity of the 125th Anniversary Battles series (1986-1990) and the 130th Anniversary Battles series (1991-1995). Recently many historic battles and events were re-created during the 140th Anniversary Battles series (2001-2005). Currently, the (2006-2010) 145th battles Anniversary series is set to include more realistic reenactments of major battles such as Antietam and Gettysburg. The re-enactments can often take on a religious sense of a sacrament or memory.
American Civil War reenactments have drawn a fairly sizable following of enthusiastic participants, aged often between 8 and 64, willing to brave the elements and expend money and resources in their efforts to duplicate the events down to the smallest recorded detail. Participants may even attend classes put on by event sponsors where they learn how to dress, cook, eat, and even "die" just as real Civil War soldiers would have. Most reenactment have anywhere from 100-1,000 participants, portraying either Union or Confederate infantry, artillery, or cavalry forces. Some people, though uncommon can portray Engineers or Marines and some even choose to don the Veterans uniform, which is like the dress coat, but instead of dark blue with light blue trim, it is light blue with dark blue trim. To date the largest Civil War reenactment was the 135th Gettysburg (1998), which had over 41,000 reenactors and over 45,000 spectators attending. Many groups are planning on making the 150th anniversary of the battles and events the largest to date. There have also been rumours (as of yet unverified) of sponsorship by the US Federal and State governments of several of the more famous battles.
Reasons given for participating in such activities vary. Some participants are interested in getting a historical perspective on the turbulent times that gripped the nation, particularly if they can trace their ancestry back to those who fought in the war. Others participate merely for the escapism that such events offer. Some commentators have suggested that Southerners are drawn to these activities for political reasons, because they represent a rejection of the North. Often, however, this is a false stereotype. In fact, some are Northerners that may have been "sympathetic" to the Southerners, who are often outnumbered in events in the North. In some cases, if there are not enough Union soldiers present, Confederate soldiers are asked to change sides, or become galvanized yankees, for the day/event.
Some people are interested in reenacting other historical events, such as Revolutionary War, World War One, World War Two, and now even Viet Nam battles, but Civil War reenactment is by far the most popular activity in this area. However, when reenacting the American Civil War many users have an established inference that their modus operandi must be based on historical particulars such as period correct documentation and other things.

The Types of Reenactors

There are thought to be four types of Reenactors.


Some, called "Farbs," are reenactors who spend relatively little of their time or money maintaining authenticity with regard to uniforms, accessories, or even period behavior. The 'Good Enough' attitude is pervasive among farbs, although perhaps few casual observers would be able to point out flaws in their impressions. Blue jeans, tennis shoes, polyester (and other man-made fabrics), zippers, velcro, snoods and other modern things are prevalent. Some think the origin of the word is a truncated version of "Far be it from authentic." An alternative definition is "Far Be it for me to question his/her impression", or "Fast And Research-less Buyer"


Another group of reenactors is often called "Mainstream." These reenactors are somewhere between farb and authentic. They are more common than either farbs or authentics.


Another type of reenactor is the "Authentic/Progressive". They try to recreate life in the Civil War to the fullest, researching details of material goods and operations in a quest for accuracy. They are constantly trying to "progress" in their knowledge and other aspects of the mid-19th century.


On the opposite side from farbs, you have "stitch counters". A number of hard-cores crash-diet themselves in the lead-up to campaign season in order to look like authentic under-fed Southern soldiers, such as would have been part of Stonewall Jackson's foot cavalry. Many people have misconceptions about hardcore reenactors, which spawn from a published book about hardcore reenactors, Confederates in the Attic. Such things as urinating on buttons to "make them look old", even though an actual soldier from the American Civil War would have had relatively new things issued to them. Hard-cores are typified by their disregard for farbs, whose frequently corpulent appearance and inaccurate dress is a source of great irritation.

Types of Civil War reenactments

There are four main categories of Civil War reenactments.

Living histories

Living histories are meant entirely for education of the public. Such events do not necessarily have a mock battle but instead are aimed at portraying the life, and more importantly the lifestyle, of the average Civil War soldier. This does include civilian reenacting, a growing trend. Occasionally, a spy trial is recreated,and a medic too. More common are weapons and cooking demonstrations, song and leisure activities, and lectures. These should not, however, be confused with Living history museums. These outlets for living history utilize museum professionals and trained interpreters in order to convey the most accurate information available to historians.

Public demonstrations

Public demonstrations are smaller mock battles put on by reenacting organizations and/or private parties primarily to show the public how people in the 1860s lived, and to show the public civil war battles. The battles are often only loosely based on actual battles.

Tactical battles

Tactical battles are battles that are generally not open to the public. Tactical battles are fought like real battles with both sides coming up with strategies and tactics to beat their opponents. Since there is no script, the battle tends to follow the same course an original battle might.
©Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Union Battalion

Commanding Officer   -    Lt.Col. Douglas J. Erickson  irish28th.mass [at] rocketmail.com
Executive Officer   -   Major. Tim Rosatelli timothyrosatelli [at] hotmail.com
Adjutant  -   Lt. Danielle Leroux  danielle.leroux7 [at] gmail.com
Sgt Major.  -   Austin J. Bettencourt  abettencourt1863 [at] gmail.com
Aid- de- camp  -  Cpl. Jacob Nishimura 
Aid- de -camp  -   Carter Erickson

Unit Contact Information

Union Battalion

2nd United States Artillery
Captain David Johnson, commanding

2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry

5th New York Volunteer Infantry (Duryee’s Zouaves)
Captain Stephen Aguirre, commanding

7th Michigan Mounted Cavalry & Artillery

20th Maine Volunteer Infantry
Captain D. Thomas Starr, commanding

24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry

28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Captain Douglas Erickson, commanding

69th New York Volunteer Infantry
Captain Julian Elliot, commanding


Confederate Brigade

1st South Carolina Sharpshooters
Captain Michael May, commanding

1st Virginia Artillery
Captain Preston Gilliam, commanding

2nd Mississippi Mounted Cavalry
Major Gavin Iacono, commanding

2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry
Captain Michael McPherson, commanding

4th Virginia Infantry, Company A (Wythe Grays)
Captain Michael Lenhardt, commanding

4th Virginia Infantry, Company I (Liberty Hall Volunteers)
Captain Brian Miller, commanding

7th Virginia Volunteer Infantry
Captain Christopher Mondo, commanding

43rd Virginia Dismounted Cavalry
Captain Seth Trout, commanding

Confederate States Marine Corps Artillery
Captain Vlad Sadilek, commanding
Confederate States Marine Corps Infantry
Captain Dillon Engstrom, commanding

Hardaway’s Battery of Artillery
Captain Jack Eaves, commanding

Richmond Fayette Artillery
Captain Mark Radney, commanding

Staunton Light Artillery
Captain Richard Lawrence, commanding

2nd South Carolina Inf., Co. I

We are the 2nd Soth Carolina Infantry, Co. I.

On this page, you will find the basic info that you will find on our website, like:

  • Command Staff

  • About

  • Contacts

Thank you and Deo Vindice!

Staff, 2nd South Carolina

Brigade / Corps: 
2d SC Inf.

43rd Virginia Cavalry, Companies A & D

We are the 43rd Battalion of Virginia Cavalry, Companies A & D.

On this page, you will find the basic info that you will find on our website, like:

  • Command Staff
  • About
  • Contacts

Thank you and Sic Semper Tyrannus (Thus Always to Tyrants)!

Staff, 43rd VA Cavalry

Brigade / Corps: 
43rd VA




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
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:
son of a pirate, hung for treason in the north.
His motto:

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

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.



Brian "Stretch"
 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.

Paul Vancas
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. 

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 atdancething8 [at] yahoo.com"> judie_adams [at] 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.

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.  

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

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."

Preston Gilliam
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 28th Massachusetts Infantry - Company B of the 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.. 


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!


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