Federal Generals’ Corps at the Dr. Samuel Mudd House

April 11, 2013 - No Comments

by Jim Barnes

Union Generals with Lincoln

Union Generals with Lincoln

 

 The following is a report from our correspondent, Nick Korolev:

 

Federal Generals’ Corps at the Dr. Samuel Mudd House

 

March 22-24 , 2013 the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Society hosted the Boy & Girl Scout encampment and the Battle of Zechiah Swamp activity on the grounds of the historic Dr. Samuel Mudd Farm in Waldorf, MD, on 198 acres of farmland and woods untouched by modern developers. This beautiful site is still owned by Dr. Mudd’s decedents who have kept it in excellent condition with all rooms in period decor that comprise many original items including the couch J. W. Booth used during his infamous visit that brought disaster down on the good doctor. Several reenactor units were there to train the scouts in drilling and field maneuvers and our living history unit, the Federal General’s Corps and our counter parts, Lee’s Lieutenants were invited and fielded several members. In a day of total immersion into Civil War history for the scouts, both groups presented living history in a “Meet the Generals” program at Station #1 in their tour through time. Other stations presented a weapons display, field hospital, artillery demo and more.

 

The scouts were drilled using wooden muskets under the guidance of experienced reenactors in the morning to prepare for their afternoon battle. This year, the smaller Union force in a position fortified by a snake style split-rail zigzag fence held off a larger Confederate force and even managed a counter charge and forced a Confederate “Strategic withdrawal”. All the kids did well in the field and many dropped in portraying casualties to make it look real – reenactors take note here. The kids had a ball and one on the return march out of the field yelled to his Mom “I got killed and am now a zombie!” Later in the evening while waiting for the night to get darker, both living history groups presented another “Meet the Generals” with a question and answer period at the end then “taps” was sounded. This was followed by the lighting of a great bonfire with scout skits as entertainment.

 

Our members in attendence were Jim Opdenaker (Gen. W.T. Sherman), his daughter Hannah Opdenaker (Miss Tillie Pierce), Rick Byrd (Gen. Williams), Mike Doyle (Gen. O. O. Howard) and his aide, Bob Wolfhope (Captain Edward Pearson) and myself as Commodore S. W. Godon. All of us gave the scouts both a land and sea based Civil War history lesson.

 

We had a great time and the scouts enjoyed the history lessons they would never get in school. The Dr. Samual A. Mudd Society gave us free tours of the house, provided a conference room for a sleeping area for those who did not bring tents and was very much impressed by our presentations inviting us back next year for the event. As an interesting postscript, there were several who had paranormal experiences. The grounds are so active that TAPS from Ghost Hunters on the SyFi Channel featured it on one of their recent programs that actually showed filmed evidence.

Nick Korolev

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