Fort Armstrong Gazette

March 2006

President’s Message

As part of the President’s message for this newsletter, I am including a very complimentary letter received from San Antonio (FL) resident, Deborah Gillars:

Dear Sirs and Madams,
I would like to take this opportunity to compliment you on the wonderful Reenactment event that you hosted in January.  My niece and her two young children were visiting for the holidays and we were looking for something that was interesting to all ages and family oriented, your event was the perfect choice.

From beginning to the end you could tell the quality of thoughtfulness to detail.  I appreciate the ease of parking and being transported by the buses to the Battlefield.  The short trip gave us time to answer questions by the four year old in our group like “What is that gray stuff hanging down from the trees?”It allowed us to talk about how people used moss for their mattresses and how we would be able to see how people live in the 1800’s.  The short drive down the tree canopied road gave us a moment to leave civilization behind, so when we stepped off the bus and walked through the gate we were transported back in time to canvas tents and cook fires. 

I cannot thank the various re-enactors enough for their generous spirit of sharing of their knowledge and time; their commitment to passing down history in this way is an experience that the children and adults of our group will remember. 

Please thank all the members of your organization for making this a truly wonderful experience, and we are already planning to return next year.

Deborah Gillars

I think this letter sums up the success of the 25th anniversary reenactment.  As always, the re-enactors were
did a wonderful job.  Personally, I think this was visually the best one I have seen over the years.  No matter where you were in the crowd, you had a great view of what was going on.  There was something to see no matter what position you were in on the mound.  We were blessed with excellent weather again this year.  Thank you all, park personnel, volunteers, sutlers, vendors, demonstrators, reenactors and the board of the Dade Battlefield Society.  Plan to come back for this year’s reenactment December 30, and 31, 2006.
Jean McNary


Award Winners 2005-06

Indians: Best Dressed: Gary Watts
              Best Camp: Matt Griffin
Tomahawk Throw Winner: Blake Southard
Soldiers: Best Soldier: Joe Blount
               Best Camp: Wayne Hartley
Musket Competition Winner: Gary Grafweig

Newsletter Dates:
            The board plans on sending newsletters out in March, May, September and       November/December.

Scheduled Meetings for the Year – 6:30 pm Dade’s Lodge, open to all members
            April 11
            May 9
            June 13 (Important – annual membership meeting)
            July 11
            August 8
            September 12
            October 10
            November 14
            December 12

February Board Actions:
            A board motion was made to continue shuttle parking.  The State of Florida will fund the shuttle parking.

            The board will apply again for a Sumter County Tourist Development Grant.  This time we hope to expand the advertising and if awarded the grant, take this expense out of our budget.  These TDC grants can only be used for what is specified in the grant and only those expenses.

            We will also have FDOT place reenactment signs under the park signs on I-75 before each event.  This is done for Olustee and Park Manager Tracey Standridge has found out who to contact to try to arrange for signs.
            We will not move camps for the 2006 reenactment.  The board would like more input from reenactors. Please see Steve Creamer’s article below. 

            We will continue to use the pre-rolled cartridges.

            The Board invited John McCoy to cook again for the reenactors on Friday night before the reenactment.

            Other items discussed were putting photos on the website, adding membership forms to the       program,  adding more uniform pieces for new reenactors, encouraging new people to participate,            having a “school” for new participants, looking at grants for protecting the battlefield thereby          increasing the area the state now controls, increasing coordinators fees,  and an archaeological           study of the park.
Fellow Warriors,
We have heard for years that some day we will no longer be able to camp on
the battlefield. At the last meeting this topic was discussed. The area
being looked at for the Seminole camp is the area near were we gather for the
battle. It has a good buffer zone to the north side of the park. We may even
be able to construct a round house for approximately 150 people.
The Soldier camp being looked at is the field prior to the bleachers. There
may be a flagpole erected for the Colors.At this point in time  there are no commitments just ideas being looked at. Any ideas the membership may have are welcome. Please let the board know by e-mail or phone. Thanks.
Steve Creamer


Tax Tidbit: Volunteer Expenses
by John G. DeLancett

     Volunteers who perform services for qualified charitable organizations
 may be able to claim their out-of-pocket expenses.  The IRS has ruled that no deduction is allowable for services, that is, the time and effort spent on behalf of the organization. However, the IRS has ruled that nonreimbursed lodging, meals, travel, and transportation expenses incurred while traveling away from home on behalf of the organization, can be deducted. Certain requirements must be met. One example is the cost of a uniform, that does not have general utility, which is required to be worn when performing donated services. Similarly, nonreimbursed auto expenses, such as gas and oil, may be deductible or mileage, plus tolls and parking.  One case has ruled that expenses incurred in entertaining others while performing services on behalf of the charity may be deductible. To claim these deductions, you must be able to document the expense, the necessity of the expense and the fact that it was associated with performing services for the charity. You must pay the expense in the year for which it is claimed.  Further, the expenses are only deductible if you itemize. As in the case of any deduction or tax position, the taxpayer should consult with his return preparer or other qualified tax
professional before claiming any deduction.



Bored? Frustrated because it is too hot and humid in Florida to engage in your hobby  during our endless summer. What if there were an indoor event similar to what our northern neighbors do in the winter? Well, now there is one! On June 17, 2006, from 10 am to 4 pm, the Dade Battlefield Society will host its first Reenactor’s Swap Meet at the Dade Lodge at the park. This will be an opportunity to trade, buy or sell your personal items by renting a table for $10.00 at the event. The public will be invited as well. The Society will also have books and memberships for sale. All items must be pre 1880.  This is not for commercial vendors or sutlers. There will be drinks and food for sale. Applications will be available shortly. For applications or questions, please call John DeLancett at 407-644-8253 or send an email to frentrpr@earthlink.com.


Newsletter Archive:
September 05
March 06
May 06
September 06
November 06
March 07
May 07
September 07
November 07
March 08
May 08
September 08
November 08 March 09