Monday, August 27, 2012

Federal Brigade HQ -- Chase Farm, Lincoln, R.I.

This map features the top of the hill, in the rear of the farm, together with the small pond located there.

Red River Campaign, Map #2

Surprise and capture of the Second Sectional Cavalry -- Henderson Hell -- Louisiana, March 21, 1864

Monday, May 14, 2012

NETE, Annual Meeting Minutes, 2012

The below notes were taken at the meeting and constitute the Meeting Minutes:

Margaret and I arrived at the Ledyard Library at 9:00 and unlocked the building.  We were met there by the Websters and James Duarte who assisted in getting the meeting room ready for the meeting.  The Germain's and John Proctor arrived shortly after that before 10:00 A.M.  We  waited an extra 20 minutes in the hope that Mike Grossman would be able to make it.  He had mentioned that there was a possibility that he and his son might be able to attend.

--1. The meeting began at 10:20 A. M.

--2. Attendance, Insurance Fees and Annual Dues:

Attendees were :

>>Jim Mathews;

>>Margaret Mathews;

>>Greg Webster;

>>Heidi Webster;

>>James Duarte;

>>Ray Germain;

>>Maryanne Germain;

>>John Proctor.

As previously indicated all meeting attendees will have their annual dues / insurance fees paid out of the Treasury.  Those members not in attendance will have a dues payment of $25.00 per family, plus $4.00 per person.  It is recommended that if there are youngsters in the family, that they should be included on the roster.  I should like to forward a unit roster to the NMLHA as soon as possible.  The event list is all ready to go.

--3. Discussion an d Determination of this years (2012) Topographical Engineer Reenactment Campaign:

a. Reenactments:-

>>April 27-29, NEB-COI (Camp of Instruction), Lincoln RI Chase Farm (Grant???);

>>June 22-24, Blackstone, MA,;

>>July 13-15, Ft. Adams Civil War Reenactment, Fort Adams, Newport, R.I.;

>>August 11-12,  Battle of Seven Pines, Look Park, Florence, Ma.;

>>August 31, Sept. 2, Museum Village, Monroe , NY (Grant???);>>Sept. 14-16, Roseland Cottage (Bassos) -- (Grant???) ?????????? undecided;

>>Sept. 28-30, Wickham Park, Manchester, CT;

>>Oct 12-14, Greenhill Park, Wooster, MA;

>>>>The Topogs have been invited to attend a Rev War event at the Nathan Hale Farmstead in Coventry, CT.  27-29 July.  Anyone who is interested please contact me.  James Duarte and I plan to attend;

>>>>There has been some talk of an event in New Haven at the Eastern Bank Park, but no information has been released at this time.

b. Work Parties -- Fort Trumbull:--

>>May 14 or 15 (further information needed);

>>June 18;

>>July 9;Arrangeents

>>Aug 27;

>>Sept. 10 or 11 (further info needed).

Park is open from May 21 to Oct. 8 (Wed. to Sun.)

Just a reminder, the above list of activities will be sent to the NMLHA, however, if you attend any other activities or events you must notify me and I the NMLHA two weeks prior to the event.

--4. Discussion and Determination of this year's volunteering at Fort Trumbull:

>>Cannon Carriage, Finish furnishing the Dining Room, Finish the containers in the Magazine, Build wooden bunks and benches for the jail, and complete one more casemate set display, finish the engineering display room models and model shelves, finish JR Officer's Room displays and display shelves.

>>Have not been able to contact either the Ranger or the President of the Friends of Fort Trumbull, First Meeting of the year is coming up.

--5.  Discussion  of brigade Activities, Departments, and Arrangements;

Discussed the two departments in the NEB:

>>Reenactment Dept.;
>>Living History Dept.

The Topogs have been placed in the Living History Dept. and the Dept. Head is Gen. Grant.  The Topogs act as a staff for Gen, Grant when he is in attendance, and a special assigned activity to the NEB when he is not.

--6. Honors:

>>Brigadier General (BB) Mathews received his permanent commission for the rank of Lt. Colonel;

>>Major James Duarte received his permanent commission for  the rank of Major;

>>Captain Ray Germain was promoted to Major (by brevet);

>>2nd Lt. Greg Webster was promoted to 1st Lt. and received his commission for that rank;

>>First Sergeant John Proctor was promoted to 2nd Lt. (by brevet);

>>Jack Salisbury was appointed Detachment Sgt. Major .

--7. Review of Maps and Plans:

>> Packets of maps and plans were handed out, reviewed and discussed.  Lt. Webster submitted thirty-seven pages of maps , plans and map data that he had completed over the winter months.

>> Discussion of the maps and plans before us and what further plans that we have for these elements.

--8. Presentations:

>>Lt. Greg Webster gave an excellent presentation on corduroy roads, with a very nice set of handouts,  and a working model of a corduroy road.  He also gave a short presentation on infernal devices and built a model of a barrel torpedo, coal torpedo, teapot torpedo, and a wood chunk torpedo.  He also produced a coal torpedo and tin pot torpedo for the Fort Trumbull Model Display.

>>James Duarte gave a presentation with handouts on the manufacture of "Gabions" for seige work and for fortifications.  He also constructed a model to show how the gabion was constructed.  This presentation ignited a discussion about table demonstrations in camp building several items for the spectators.

>>Jim Mathews gave a short lecture on the gathering of map data for a road map, together with a list of items for the engineer to be looking for.  Copies of the presentation paper was handed out.

--9. Display Table;

The display table was full again this year with the models of the "Infernal devices", gabion constructions, colored maps, and various pouches and belt boxes for carrying drawing materials.

--10.  Discussions, Ideas, Comments, Complaints,  and Corrections to the Unit Structure, Activities , or Methodology:

>>No complaints or Corrections were voiced.  Several ideas were put forth about the construction of miniature elements of engineering in camp such as gabions, Facines, Bridges, frazee, etc.

--11. Meeting Adjourned, at about 2:00 P. M.

>>Meeting Room Cleanup;

>>Late Lunch for those who chose to attend.

Respectfully Submitted;

Jim Mathews

Engineer Training, NEB -- COI (Camp of Instruction)

Lt. Gen. U. S. Grant
All Union Armies

Brig. Gen. M. Burbank
New England Brigade

Esteemed Sirs:

It is my pleasure to make my report about the Topographical Engineer' involvement in the subject event at the Chase Farm in Lincoln R.I. over the weekend of 28 - 29 April, 1862.


Brig. Gen. Ian McKay, 
Major James Duarte, 
Brevet Major Raymond Germain, 
Purser Margaret Mathews, 
Senior Sketch Artist Maryanne Germain

On Saturday the training plan was to carry out practical training in Road Map Data Collection.  A presentation on this subject ha been made at the T.E. Annual Meeting and Symposium.  Copies of the presention and sample data sheets were issued to all except the Purser who was away from the COI on Unit Business.  Then the unit set up a schedule to train each of the unit members by driving up Great Road from the bottom of Breackneck Hill to Rute 116 (george Washington Highway) a distance of 3 miles.  Each member then made the trip along Great Road marking data  on the data sheets for use in later making a detailed map of the rod way.

Following the the four training trips, in the afternoon we sat down in the Engineering Office and discussed each of the Data sheets produced by each of the enginers taking part in the training.  The result was very satsfactory each of the engineers developed his / her own style of data collection along the road, and very little of importance was missed in the three mile section of road that was utilized as  a training element.

On Sunday the COI was scheduled to close at noon, so the folowing tasks assigned were completed:

--Brig. General McKay -- Design of a single artillery piece gun emplacement at the top of the road near the pond.  The purpose of this gun emplacement would be to command the approaches to the upland area of the Chase Farm;

--Major Duarte -- Review and Clarification of a T.E.  _______ list for the use in future mapping exercises;

--Brevet Major Germain -- Produced a detailed Field Report of the ground surrounding the area occupied b the Brigade's COI;

--Senior Artist Maryanne Germain, produced a very nice sketch of the pond area in the upland area of Chase Farm.

These works will be put together a reproduced for the Engineer's Portfolio's with a courtesy Copy to the New England Brgade Commander.

Additional Note:  I want to thank Brig. Gen. Burbank and any others who were involved in arranging the room in the farmhouse for the Engineers.  It worked out perfectly that the room was the right size for two working tables with plenty of room for a nice display.  The civilian spectators who visited the Engineering Office were very pleased with the maps and instrumentation and asked many good questions.  My personal as well as the uniit's thanks for your efforts in this area.

Respectfully Submitted;

Ian McKay, Brevet Brig. Gen. of Engineers;
Chief of Staff (acting)
Chief Engineer
Lt. Gen. U. S. Grant's Pers. and Mil. Staffs  

Fort Trumbull Work Party (May, 2012)

Ladies and Gentlemen.

>>>>  Those who attended the Work Party  <<<<

--Lt. Greg Webster;

--Lt. John Proctor

--Lt. Col. Jim Mathews;

--Lady Heidi Webster

>>>>  Those who notified me of their planned absence
 and were excused as a result were  <<<<

--Major James Duarte;
--Capt. Ray Germain;

--Lady Maryanne Germain.

>>>>  Accomplished Work List  <<<<
--Designed and made wooden curtain-hangers for metal shelving units (2);

--Cut and put together the front and side curtains with tie-backs  on the metal shelving units (2);

--Made up and attached two wine labels to additional wine bottles (total of five);

--Designed  and Constructed two double bunks for the jail;

--Removed and stored two torn folding bunks from the jail and they will be repaired for further use;

--Cut wood for one bunk chest to be put together at the next work party ( 50% complete);

--Reworked a donated outdoors display case, and redesigned it for interior use (70% complete);

--Designed and drew up plans for make-over shelving in the Display and Jr. Officer's rooms;

--Cut wood for the standing shelving in the Jr. Officer's Room, to be put together at the next work party (50% complete);

--Designed a submitted material list to Ranger Jon to consider repairing the large hole in the wall above the fireplace in the engineer's bunk-room.  We will need the approval of the ranger , so that we can present the work list to the "Friends of Fort Trumbull" for the funding of the materials.

--Replaced furniture that had move moved and not replaced in the Chief Engineer's Office and Display Room.


Jim Mathews
Cdr. -- Northeastern Topographical Engineers (Reenactment Unit -- NETE) 



Sunday, May 6, 2012