Loaded up the family on October 8th and headed off to tiny Brownville, Nebraska. No battle took place in Brownville during the war but they wanted one to take place there during a street festival they were having. We arrived with daylight left after a fairly smooth 3.5 hour drive. The town is hilly and suitable camping space is sparse so the Confederate camps were fairly widely separated. After registering we were given directions to the camps we needed.
Got Mrs. Spiff and the wee ones set up in the yard of an antique shop/book store before heading off to a hilltop park to locate the CS infantry camp. Little trouble with either since the reenactment numbers were less than 150 total. That done we headed off to a nearby town to hit up a Subway for dinner. After dinner I took the family back to their camp and left the car nearby. Hiked up the steep hill to my camp about a mile away. Passed a comfortable night Friday night. Got a little cool once but the weather was nice all things considered.
Saturday dawned clear and nice. Got some breakfast and discovered that no other members of the ninth save a new recruit and the acting major were present. After breakfast I helped drill the new recruits. Mid-morning we headed into town for the promised tactical fight. After some reluctance on the part of the Federals the battle was joined. Saving the downtown area and church grounds, the entire town was in play. Made for an interesting battle as we fought through yards and a walking trail area. Spectators watched from wherever they could find a vantage point.
Following the tactical we reformed and then broke ranks for lunch. Walked to the civilian camp and ate with the family. They had seen part of the tactical but had returned to camp before it was over. Spiff Jr. had several questions. Sis and Bug were enjoying the nice weather and were busy feeding their dolls. Walked back up the hill after lunch to refill my cartridge box.
The scripted battle occurred along the Missouri River. The area was mostly sand and the scenario was poor. In addition the Federals were less than aggressive and I suffered major damage to my uniform pants. Not an impressive battle. Stopped by the civilian camp to switch out pants before returning to camp. Cleaned my musket and played cards for awhile before returning to the civilian camp to eat dinner with the family. Another pleasant evening Saturday night. Slept very well.
Sunday dawned just as pleasant as the day before. After breakfast I was tabbed to act as defense counsel in a field court-martial. In spite of what I thought was a spirited defense I was unable to get the accused acquitted. The poor lad was convicted of insubordination, desertion, and treason. The sentence was a public parade and execution. This was carried out before lunch in downtown Brownville. The spectacle was impressive and well-attended by the public.
Sunday's battle was a repeat in reverse of the day before and not much more impressive. Following that we packed up and headed off for home.
In summary, the event was enjoyable and one I would recommend should the town repeat it. In spite of the battle flops I had a great time, as did the family. The town was hospitable and welcoming and the powder ration was much appreciated.