Safety Regulations

  • All safety regulations will be STRICTLY enforced through the CS and US commands.
  • All unit commanders of all branches will be responsible for weapons safety and inspection. The official Weapons Safety Inspection forms (issued by the overall military command) will be completed, signed and turned in to the overall commander. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN EXPULSION FROM THE EVENT.
  • No firearms of any kind will be carried by any person under 14 years of age, and fathers, or properly designated adults, must supervise boys ages 14-16.
  • Bullets, musket balls, shot, or any type of projectile ammunition are prohibited.
  • Only officers and all cavalrymen may carry pistols.
  • All cartridges must be made up prior to an event. No staples may be used in any cartridge. Vent picks may not be carried in cartridge boxes.
  • Bayonets may be carried but will not be unsheathed at any time without the explicit, direct command of the commanding officer. Such command will only be given with the prior approval of the event hosts.
  • Opposing troops will not advance within 15 yards of another unit at any time during the event. Exceptions will only occur if they have been carefully planned proir to the event. OFFICERS: You must control your men in the final, chaotic moments of the scenarios! The LOSING SIDE must die, surrender, or run rather than fight unless otherwise directed by the host unit!
  • Weapons will never be fired directly at opposing participants within 15 yards of each other.
  • There will be no weapons fired within the bivouac or encampment area or along routes of march without prior approval or direction of the event hosts. Infractions will result in the expulsion of the individual or unit.
  • No alcoholic beverages are to be consumed prior to 4 hours before or during a reenactment event. Any drunk or disorderly person will be removed by the Provost and evicted from the event.
  • Maximum musket or rifle charges will be 90 grains of black powder. Cartridge paper will not be placed in a barrel and no ramming will be permitted except in the use of handguns.
  • Cartriges will only be carried in cartridge boxes, and tins MUST be present in cartridge boxes.
  • ALL weapons and extra cylinders must be brought to the event unloaded.
  • Each unit commander is responsible for the conduct of his men. He must make sure his men are aware of all rules and that they understand and abide by them.
  • In the event of an actual injury needing immediate medical attention during the event, either the injured person or someone going to his aid will shout the word “MEDIC” to signify the need for immediate attention. This word, “MEDIC”, is to be used ONLY for conditions requiring IMMEDIATE attention. When the call “MEDIC” is heard, all activity should cease and the person in need cared for.

Attention Cavalry: Coggins Papers will be checked by the respective Military Commands.  It is the responsibility of the Overall Military Command to ensure that each military command has inspected all equine participants to ensure they are in compliance with the current negative coggins event rule.  Any equine participants owner found not to have proper documentation in their possession attesting to a negative current coggins shall have their equine participant removed from the event site immediately.  A method for marking each participant that is easily visible during the course of the event should be be forwarded to the event staff to include in the event documents.

Artillery Rules
A. General

1. The Chief of Artillery and Staff are committed to enforce these rules prior to and during the event to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment. The artillery staff will be on site by mid-morning on Friday before the event. The artillery HQ will be located behind the earthworks near HQ. When you arrive on site, please report to the artillery HQ for your unit position and battery assignment.

2. Registered guns will be organized into field batteries under a battery commander to be appointed from among the unit commanders of the units in the battery. Units will be notified of the position and battery to which they will be assigned upon arrival at the site. Each unit commander will be responsible for the conduct of his unit and will be held accountable for the misconduct of any unit member. Also, the Chief of the Piece and/or the Gunner is responsible for the discipline of the gun crew, safe operation of the piece, and carrying out of orders of the appointed battery chain of command.

3. You must bring both Confederate and Federal uniforms and be willing to galvanize if requested.

4. Morning report and weapons inspection forms will be provided, and Morning Reports will be collected before 9 AM on Saturday and Sunday by the respective military commands with copies of same forwarded to the Overall Artillery Commander so that he may accurately plan gun placements for the days battle.

5. Violations of the following rules will result in expulsion from the event.

6. Equipment and Crew inspections will be completed before noon on Saturday. A gun and/or crew will not take the field unless they have passed the safety inspection.  No exceptions.

7. Inspection of personal weapons must be performed by each unit within 30 minutes before each scenario, and a completed Form 100 submitted to the artillery staff before the unit takes the field.

8. The artillery staff will be observing the operations of artillery during the scenarios, and may order a piece to cease fire if any safety rules or major safety infractions are observed, and these will be reported up the chain of command for appropriate action.

9. No rounds will be rolled or prepared in any manner on site.

10. There will be no discharging of cannon in camp. Any discharge, other than during scripted battle scenarios shall take place on an established firing line after notifying and receiving approval from the Chief of Artillery.

11. No member of a cannon crew shall be allowed on his piece if he has been drinking alcoholic beverages or using drugs for 6 hours preceding the commencement of firing, and/or he appears to be intoxicated.

12. The maximum rate of fire for any gun will not exceed one round per one minute, from time of discharge to placing next cartridge into muzzle. Slower rates of fire are encouraged. Battery Commanders are responsible controlling the rate of fire. Batteries will only be assaulted at a pre-arranged signal. The signal to opposing infantry or cavalry will be the furling of the battery guidon indicating all guns are clear and safe for assault.

13. While on the field, the ammunition chests shall be placed at least 35 feet to the rear of the trail of the piece. All rounds shall be kept in ammunition chests, except for rounds being delivered to a piece in a gunner’s haversack. The lid of a chest shall remain closed at all times except when rounds are being removed, during inspections, or while work is being performed inside chest.

14. A 150 foot minimum safe firing distance shall be maintained at all times between the muzzle and any person, animal, or vehicle in its front. At 150 feet the crew shall load only “light cartridges.” A “light cartridge” is defined as no more than 3 oz of black powder per inch of bore with NO COMPRESSION FILLER. No cannon shall be loaded or discharged using “light cartridges” with any person, animal, or vehicle within 125 feet of the muzzle. If “light cartridges” were not prepared beforehand, then firing will cease at the 150 foot minimum.

15. The No. 1 man shall not double or triple “tamp” the charge. The charge will be rammed into the breach in one motion only.

16. In the event of a misfire (for any reason) the command is given “do not advance the primer has failed” At this point the No. 1 man shall place his rammer on the hub of his wheel as a clear indication of the misfire. The Battery Commander will be notified and present before the failed primer drill is initiated. The crew shall begin the proper failed primer drill after a minimum of a 3 minute wait. During this time the cannon shall not be left unattended or moved. The misfire shall be cleared when the Gunner is satisfied that it can be done safely. No cartridges shall be reseated or “tamped” if the primer fails to discharge the piece. Should a piece have three consecutive misfires the artillery staff shall be notified. Prior to any additional action by the gun crew, the artillery staff shall be present. No. 1 will hold his rammer on hub until piece is cleared.

17. Once the artillery staff is present, the piece shall be flooded with water through the vent, then the muzzle. Flooding of tube shall be accomplished by Nos.1 & 2. No.2 shall retrieve and hoist a full water bucket to the muzzle using the worm entwined through the bucket bail, and the bucket shall then be tipped by No. 1 using the rammer staff. Care shall be exercised to ensure that neither cannoneer approachs nearer to the muzzle than absolutely necessary. With practice, this procedure can be successfully executed with both Nos. 1 and 2 standing outside the wheels and slightly to the rear of the muzzle face. (Note: Crews may be asked to demonstrate this procedure with an empty bucket during gun crew inspection.) The cartridge shall then be wormed out when the Gunner is satisfied that it can be done safely.

18. Mishaps or incidents involving personal injuries or significant property damage shall be immediately reported to the artillery staff.

19. Per Event policy, female troops shall be allowed in the ranks only if they can successfully maintain the appearance of a male soldier at all times during the event weekend. If a soldier is discovered to be female, she will be discharged from service, as was standard practice during the Civil War. This policy will be administered by the artillery staff.

20. Any deviation from these Artillery Regulations must be approved by the Chief of Artillery in advance of the opening fire for the event or the day. It is our intent to have a safe, enjoyable, and historical event.

B. Ordnance Inspection And Requirements

1. Only full scale Civil War artillery field pieces will be allowed. Only those Mountain/Pack Howitzers that have prior approval will be allowed.

2. All Reproduction artillery tubes will be equipped with a steel safety liner or sleeve. All tubes will be inspected for serviceability on an individual basis. All carriages will be inspected for general condition and determined serviceable on an individual basis per inspection checklist. (attached)

3. Only Friction primers or percussion primers shall be used to discharge cannon.

4. Only cannon grade, Fg, or FFg black powder is permitted. Powder grades shall not be mixed. No artillery cartridges shall be constructed at the event site. Artillery cartridges will be stored in the ammunition chests at all times.

5. The bore of the cannon shall be thoroughly sponged with water and wormed after each discharge. Subsequent dry sponging is a matter of unit preference.

6. Each piece shall be equipped with the following implements in good working condition:
Two Sponge/Rammers – Shall fill the bore and be capable of sponging the bottom of the breech.
The sponge for field howitzers shall fill the breech.
Worm – Shall be of a size capable of dislodging all foreign objects in the bore.
Sponge Bucket
Thumbstall or Glove for thumbing the vent.
Priming Wire
Gunner’s Haversack
Friction Primer Tube Pouch
Gimlet or Vent Punch
Vent Brush
Two pairs leather gauntlets or gloves for Nos. 1 & 2
Model 1848 Ammunition Chest capable of being locked – Limber recommended.
No loose powder in chest

C. Crew Inspection And Requirements

1. All crews shall be inspected on their piece for proper drill and safety. At the time of inspection, each unit will provide the staff inspector with a written copy of their drill. Crews will be inspected in accordance with their own drill. If units do not have a written drill, the artillery staff will provide them with a copy of the National Park Service Manual for the Handling and Firing of 19th Century Field Artillery in Interpretive Demonstrations on which it will be judged. It is strongly recommended that you bring a copy of your own drill to avoid delays.

2. A cannon crew (detachment) will consist of a minimum of six men including the Gunner (corporal) and cannoneers 1 through 5. The gunner, chief of piece, and Nos. 1, and 2 must be 17 years of age or older. No participants shall be less than 15 years old. Artillerymen under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or recognized guardian.

3. A Chief of the Piece (sergeant) is authorized for a crew that meets the minimum crew size (6). The Chief of the Piece cannot take the place of the Gunner (corporal).

4. Only the Chief of the Piece is authorized to wear a saber and saber belt. In keeping with General Orders issued December, 1862, no enlisted cannoneers are authorized to carry revolvers/pistols. Sabers of any period type are highly encouraged for chiefs of piece and officers.

5. Crew members Nos. 1 & 2 shall wear their jackets/coats made with natural fabrics with sleeves down, and gauntlets while serving the piece.