Fort Armstrong Gazette

November 2009


President’s Message – Steve Rinck


On the last weekend in September, Steve Creamer and I journeyed to Orlando to attend the 2009 Florida State Parks Citizen Support Organizations Workshop.  This comprehensive program included presentations on board management, fundraising strategies, marketing, cooperating with local government, and more. I found the most intriguing sessions were those devoted to interacting with the public through internet social networking systems. Society Secretary, Jessica Hoag, has been working on creating a Facebook page for us that would have links to our website and other relevant information sources. Board members feel as if such a “Fan Page” could become a new voice with which to communicate with a potentially much larger number of people who would learn of the importance of Dade’s Battle and of their ability to participate in the events taking place at the Dade Battlefield Park. 


Workshop speakers also cited the benefits of using web-based resources such as PayPal to simplify the collection of the $10.00 annual dues of each society member. Dues have become increasingly important this year, since the State has severely limited funding that had previously

been available to the Society through the State Park System.  Expenditures are going for reenactment-related items that had been picked up before by Tallahassee. Just as an example, the costs for reenactor black powder and for golf cart transportation for disabled members of the public are over $2,600.00 alone! We also pay hefty sums for offsite parking on adjacent private property.  The list goes on.  We’ll let you know more about the PayPal option as it becomes viable.


A Quality Experience


Opportunities to help make the next battle reenactment, during the weekend of January 1-3, a quality experience for attendees are not limited to financial necessities.  An operation of this scope requires the services of many, many people behind the scenes as well as in front of the public.  The contribution of your time, even for just a few hours, at any period during those days could have a significant positive impact.  For more information on how you may help, call Park Manager, Robert Baker, at 352-418-2010, or email CSO President, Steve Rinck, at nrinck@yahoo.com


New Forms


Starting with the upcoming reenactment, battle participants will find two new forms in their packets when they arrive at the park. One is a standard photo and recording release form. The other is a new “Reenactor Statement and Medallion Authorization”. This new document, to be signed by each participant prior to receiving his commemorative medallion and taking the field, will certify that each Seminole and Soldier Reenactor has read the battle scenario and has attended the onsite official safety meeting.



There was a misprint in the September issue of this newsletter as follows: The 175th Anniversary of Dade’s Battle shall be commemorated on January 1 & 2, 2011, and shall be considered to be the 31st Annual Reenactment.


Society Gains Sponsor – Jean McNary


The Dade Battlefield Society, Inc., has gained a major sponsor for this year’s reenactment – Florida Monthly Magazine. The Society has been able to advertise in this magazine for the past couple of years because of the tourist development grant that we received from Sumter County.

Florida Monthly is providing advertising in their November, December, and January issues. November’s issue will have a full-page ad similar to the one published last year. Depending on space available, December and January could be full-page ads, too. They have linked our web page to theirs for the next three months, and will also run an ad in the fall issue of their park’s magazine.  The Society agreed to add the magazine to our web site as a sponsor and we will be giving away some copies of the magazine during the reenactment.


If you are unfamiliar with the magazine, they have circulation statewide.  There is a calendar section in the back of each issue that lists Florida events for that month. A lot of counties advertise in the magazine. So, be sure to pick up a copy of Florida Monthly at this year’s reenactment.


Board Meetings


All meetings are open to the membership and are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month in Dade’s Lodge at 6:30 p.m.


Remaining meetings for 2009 are:      November 10                          December 8!


Some Interesting Historical Phrases


One of the pleasures of the reenactment hobby is learning the history of language, and, in particular, some of the expressions that still survive today, with very specific meaning, but whose historical basis has long been forgotten. For example, you have often heard the expression, “lock, stock and barrel” indicating that you have done everything necessary to accomplish your task. The term “lock” refers to the firing mechanism on a flint lock rifle, “stock”, obviously, refers to the stock and “barrel” refers to the barrel.  All three were required in order to have a functioning firearm. Also, the expression “flash in a pan” refers to the powder in the pan of the flint lock igniting in a “flash” but failing to discharge the powder inside the barrel, resulting in the firearm failing to discharge. “Pen knives” are so named because they were small knives that were primarily used to make ink pens out of quills taken from birds. “Sleep tight” refers to the ropes that were strung from side to side of a bed and on which a mattress was placed to complete the bed.  If the ropes were not tightened, the mattress would sag, resulting in a very uncomfortable sleeping position.  One expression relevant to our reenactment is attributed to a gentleman in Georgia of whom an inquiry was made as to whether or not a certain event would come to pass. The response was “the good Lord willing and the Creek don’t rise”. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the creek to which the gentleman was referring was not a waterway but, instead, he was referring to the Creek Indians and the fear that they were going to declare war.



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