with the chapS
are presently recruiting new and seasoned reenactors
who are interested in campaign oriented reenacting
at local events in the Pacific Nor'west and at eastern events we attend.
The CHAPs is a high-end group of reenactors devoted to portraying the common soldier of the war as he was.
NEITHER BLUE, NOR GRAY : The CHAPs is a nondenominational group. This means that members are willing to portray soldiers on either side of the blue/gray divide. For example, members have portrayed soldiers from Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Vermont, Ohio, Missouri, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, California and Iowa.
Five CHAPs portraying Iowa soldiers at the 2009 Piney Woods event near Natchitoches, LA.
TRAVEL : A willingness to travel is helpful. Members participate in one or two eastern events per year. These have included : Sharpsburg, MD (2002) ; Mansfield, LA (2003) ; Lookout Mountain, TN (2003) ; Columbia (Franklin), TN (2004) ; McDowell, VA (2005) ; Corinth, MS (2005) ; Rich Mountain, WVa (2006) ; Banks Grand Retreat (Natchitoches) LA (2007) ; Perryville, KY (2007) ; Chickamauga, GA (2008) ; Mill Springs, KY (2008) ; Into the Piney Woods (Natchitoches) LA (2009) ; and Vicksburg, MS (2010).
Some members will be participating at Kirby Smith : In The Van this August.
The CHAPs big event for 2011 will be the week long living history in Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, S.C., which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the siege and seizure of the island fort.
LOCAL EVENTS : The CHAPs participate in one or two local events per year where a march and bivouac can occur. About once a month, members organize ten mile marches on Saturdays to keep in shape and/or prepare for upcoming events. Members have many times organized and trained reenactors how to perform their duties as police guard - known informally as pickets or guards - at several of the last reenactments at Ft. Stevens, Oregon.
Mainstream reenactors who want a higher end experience are welcome to participate in marches and other events with the CHAPs. Advance notice that you're interested is required. (We'd love to have you, but don't just show up.)
This year, we're likely to particpate at Fort Steilacoom in May, Port Gamble (WA) in June, Fort Stevens (OR) and Estacada (OR) in September.
AUTHENTICITY. Most units talk about being authentic. Few do more than talk. CHAPs do their best to portray soldiers as they were. This includes :
wearing approprite uniforms cut from original patterns using accurately reproduced fabric and sewn without modern machines ;
carrying accutrements like those issued to the portrayed soldier ;
creating properly prepared and packaged ammunition ;
toting food from a haversack, not a number ten can ;
wearing the wool undershirt and full length drawers ;
sleeping on the ground without tent or cot ; and
PRESERVATION : Preservation is very important to members. For its work in raising funds to help save land at the site of the Battle of Mansfield, LA, the Civil War Preservation Trust designated the CHAPs as the 2005 Civil War reenactment unit of the year.
PHOTOS : Below are some links to photos posted online earlier this decade :
The MudMarch - April '02 - Estacada, Oregon
Duncans Mills - July '02 - California
A march east of Bend, Washington, August '02
Fort Stevens - Labor Day Weekend '02 - near Astoria, Oregon
140th Battle of Antietam - Sept '02 - Sharpsburg, Maryland
The MudMarch - April '03 - Estacada. Oregon
Fort Stevens, 2003. Impression : 2d Florida Batt'n of Infantry at Fort Brooke
The consolidated company of
CHAPS, Lazy Jacks from England and Ground Hornets from Texas
at the NSA Franklin reenactment in 2004.
Portrayal was the the 15th Texas Dismounted Cavalry.
Make your mark and bring history alive. For more information about campaigning with the CHAPs, contact Silas Tackitt.