Wednesday, May 29

Tuesday, May 28

Mail for Jane Austen Festival... LAST CALL!

Open Call to ALL Reenactors, Historians and Creative Writers!

The Royal Navy reenacting group that represents HMS Acasta will be attending the Jane Austen Festival in July of this year. One of the things that I'd like to be able to do is deliver a 'mail packet' full of letters to the various Acasta members. This is a project that I have undertaken in the past with other groups with awesome results.

This is where YOU come in!

Anyone who would like to submit a period correct letter to add to the packet is encouraged to do so! We'd love to have your contribution, however large or small! Anything added to the packet will help to enhance the historical experience for not only the Acastas who receive them, but for the public who will attend the Festival as well.

Need some ideas for what to write? Try one of these:

Letter from a friend or colleague back home.
A bill or request for payment.
An overdue payment of debt.
A letter carrying news of the war(s)

Or, use the link below to see some other types of period letters:

Wondering what a period letter looks like? Here are some beautiful examples:

Contact me to find out where to send your finished letter… or for any other additional information. 
Finshed letters will need to be to ME by the end of June so that they can find their way into the Mail Packet!

You can also find a list of the crew on the CREW PAGE

So pick up your pen and paper and get writing, and HAVE FUN!

Monday, May 27

Two Royal Navy Surgeons

Last week, Mr. Matthew Brenckle of the USS Constitution Museum contacted me after having found a page for an old online auction that offered a miniature painting of a man in a Royal Navy Surgeon's uniform. 

I contacted the auction company who directed me to the original seller. I sent them a request for a larger image and additional information along with an image of myself in my RN uniform. This was their response:

"Your uniform is an extremely faithful reproduction of the naval surgeon’s uniform from this period. I will have to take care when cataloguing a sitter wearing a uniform along these lines in the future. Sadly, we do not have any images on file for lots auctioned prior to the Bonhams-Brooks merger of 2001. Please however find scans from the hard copy of the sale catalogue for your records. 

-Head of Department - Portrait Miniatures"

Attributed to Charles François MÜLLER

A fine portrait of a Naval Officer, with side-whiskers, wearing a blue coat with white facings and gold buttons stamped with anchors, white waistcoat with gold buttons, black stock and white frilled cravat with ruby and pearl stickpin gilt-mounted rectangular papier-mache frame, inscribed on reverse: Taken at Chatham / by Monsr Muller, on / the 2nd Aug 1820, / Aged 29 Years / for Mrs Johans *** / ****

Oval 3.5 inches (89mm) High

You very rarely find images from the period of RN Surgeons in their uniforms, which is what makes this particular find of such importance. There are some lovely details included in this little painting, the hooks and eyes that are used to fasten the Surgeon's coat shut are clearly visible, as well as the anchor details on the buttons. Something else that I haven't seen on a surgeon's coat before is the white lining of the coat's interior.

The Joshua Horwood coat that I have shown you before, the official description states that the coat is unlined save the sleeves. In the photo of the Horwood collar, you can see that the interior of the collar is unlined and you can also see the top hook and eye.

Detail from The Death of Nelson, 21 October 1805, an 1807 painting by Arthur William Devis portraying the death of Horatio Nelson at 16:30 on 21 October 1805, below decks on his flagship HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar. It is now in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Tuesday, May 21

A Campsite

I have gone ashore to scout the campsite that the Acastas will inhabit whilst in residence in July at Locust Grove during the Jane Austen Festival. The garden 'quad', seen above, will be our home for the duration of said event. I covertly measured the plot and made note of its dimensions &c. so that we might plan in advance the most economical and commodious layout for our camp. More details to come. In the meantime, be sure to visit Locust Grove yourself.

Monday, May 20

Lt. Ramsey's Summer Project

Lt. Ramsey
Our Lt. Ramsey has gone and gotten himself involved with the Americans at Williamsburg... about 30 years in the past (from US anyway)!

He seems to have found some gainful employment to make the best of his time, he's helping with the construction of a great tent for their General Geo. Washington! 

For much of the Revolutionary War, George Washington's home was a large oval-shaped tent, the first "oval office" of the Commander-in-Chief of an American Army. 

Mr. Ramsey seen in the center, in the blue/grey cap.
This summer, Historic Trades tailors are reproducing the tent as part of a new partnership between Colonial Williamsburg and the Museum of the American Revolution. Once complete, the reproduction tent will be used for a variety of educational and outreach programs, in advance of the opening of the Museum of the American Revolution in 2016.

Be sure to stop over and have a look!

Friday, May 10

Royal Navy Fun on a Friday

Set against a backdrop of British, French and Spanish tensions during the Napoleonic wars, Trafalgar Origins is a game that gives you the command of a Royal Navy ship in historical recreations of Napoleonic naval battles.

Be sure to be on the lookout for the Acasta in your travels! If your ship has an 'HMS' in front of the name, the Acasta will assume you're on the same team and you can play together! But heaven help you if your ship has a French or Spanish name!

To read more about the development of this game visit the Preloaded Website 

Wednesday, May 8

Fort Meigs 200th

Artillery fire from 200 years before came to life today friday through flash pots and round charges at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg.

The reenactment on both sides of the Maumee River, including a few artillery in the fort.

It was the first of several events that commemorate the 200th anniversary of the First Siege of Fort Meigs by recreating military camps and tactical demonstrations from 1813.

Read the rest of the Article HERE

A cannon fires during half an hour of exchange Friday, May 3, 2013 between Fort Meigs in Perrysburg and other re-enactors on the opposite bank of the Maumee River. - THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH

Tuesday, May 7

Havre de Grace 200th

People fled in panic when British troops invaded Havre de Grace 200 years ago, as rockets rained down on the city and soldiers and Marines stormed through the streets, ransacking and burning homes, businesses and houses of worship.

Read more of the article and see the video from the Baltimore Sun HERE
( MATT BUTTON AEGIS STAFF / May 4, 2013 ) Folks take a look at the Sultana, one of the tall ships on display during the War of 1812 Bicentennial event in Havre de Grace on May 4.