KEARNEY, Neb. - (Chronological order starting in 2002) The 1848 Venture Crew was started in November of 2002. It was decided that we would specialize primarily in Civil War reenacting and learning about Native American Indian history, and also to learn about pioneers on the Oregon and Mormon trails. Our first big event was to sponsor the District Boy Scout camporee in April of 2003. At this event we did Civil War living history and a battle, please see our photo section. Other events thoughout the year included flag ceremonies, parades, fund raisers, battles and visiting Fort Hartsuff. At the end of our first year the 1848 Venture Crew received the BSA Quality Unit Award. Our unit is very closely associated with "C" Battery 3rd US Field Artillery at Ft Kearny.
In Feb. 2004, the 1848 Crew voted to portray Company "C" of the 1st Nebraska Infantry Regiment that was formed in 1861 to fight in the civil war. The regiment fought at Fort Donnelson and Shiloh. Later the unit was converted to a cavalry regiment and sent to Fort Kearny to protect immigrants going west. Company 'C' was the first company of the regiment to arrive at Ft Kearny. We are also participate with "A" Company 1st Nebraska Infantry from the Omaha and Lincoln area, however, we are not part of their unit or organization. We are capable of doing Confedeate impressions but have not yet selected a unit to represent. Within our unit we have the following Eagle Scouts, Shea O'Brien, Paul Ostermeyer, and Joe Carlson. We expect Lonny Reeder and Cody Royle to earn their Eagle in 2005.
In March through July of 2004, the unit performed two service projects, one at the ARCH picking up rocks on a new campground area and at Ft Kearny where they replaced 2 sections of the stockade fense. They were at the district BSA camporee and did the flag ceremony then went live fire shooting at the police range in Ravenna. They had their own School of the Soldier training at Sodtown with Rob Tobin assisting from Omaha. This is where they first learned bayonet drill and the basics of skirmish drill. Their pictures were taken and put in the Kearney Hub newspaper. Members participated at Stuhr Museum in Grand Island helping train and drill new recruits in June. Also in June we moved to the 1870s as we visited Ft Hartsuff, NE and observed a display of about 70 original infantry rifles and machine guns from the American Revolution up to the Vietnam war. We also had a demonstration of what that era of soldiers kept in their foot lockers and the differences of uniforms and rifles from ours. On the 2nd of July we had our Open House for new members advertised in the Kearney Hub, and had a campout at Ft Kearny. On Sat the 3rd we drilled with Zouaves and were then in a major battle at 2:00 pm. We did a flag ceremony for the ARCH on the 4th of July, and on the 5th we did another flag ceremony for Ft Kearny and fired both cannons and rifles for the public and were on the local NTV station news at 6 pm.
In August 2004, we received almost a full page color article on our unit in the Kearney Hub newspaper, it was really good. We participated Labor Day at Fort Kearney and then traveled 5 hours to the battle at Pawnee City, NE where the Perryville Kentucky battle was reenacted. We fought along side of "A" Co. 1st Neb. We fired so many rounds and so fast that our barrels were almost too hot to touch, we learned to wrap a rag around the barrel for our hands to grab onto. We took casualties in the battle but the Union won. We also participated in the Archway Open House by setting up a living history display, Travis cooked us a stew, and we had a skirmish among ourselves. It was a super fun day. Our last events of this year were our 2nd year Birthday Party at the Arch, followed by marching in Veterans Day parade. We also had a Cub Scout cvil war history night once a month, starting in Oct, through March 2005. For our efforts we earned the Boy Scout "Quality Unit" Award for the year. It was presented to us in Jan. 2005. All in all we think we have had a GREAT year.
In 2005, we have had a avery busy year. It started off with us doing a number of Cub Scout living history nights at the Archway, followed by doing a service project at Ft Kearny when we rebuilt two sections of the fort stockade. Joe Carlson was recognized by the Hub Newspaper and the city of Kearney as Volunteer of the Year in the Service Organization category for his efforts with the 1848 Venture Crew and had his picture in the paper, followed by a similar story in the Omaha World Hearld. This year our numbers have grown, the new members who have started coming out with us and purchased uniforms have been: Butch Knap, Keyton and Pat Merrifield, Cody and Carl Royle, Stephen and Mark Heaton and Dan Meyers. These were all able to participate in the Memorial Day, Stuhr Museum and 4th of July events with us. In July we lost Mike and Jorday shin when they moved to Florida. We did gain Matt Morehouse and Adam White in Aug. when they both started to the Univ. of Nebraska at Kearney, Shea O'Brien is also attending there an Travis Moore will be attending Wayne State but will remain with our unit.
On Memorial Day we had Gary Rath work with us regarding skirmish drill and really came a long ways in being more proficient. We also had 3 scouts and their two leaders from Sutherland come down and participate with us as Rebs, which was a lot of fun having them. On June 25th, we went to Stuhr Museum in Grand Island to fight as confederate infantry. We fell in with the Zouaves to fight and were on Ch. 11 and Ch. 13 TV. There were 14 of us there. This was followed by us being at Ft Kearny on the 2nd and 4th of July where we fought a minor skirmish both days, were on TV and had a lot of fun. So far this year, we have upgraded our unit by by 5 reproduction rifles and one tent which Terry Houser of Grand Island graciously allowed our unit to have for it's use.
FOR 2006, SOME OF US WERE AT A JOINT CAMP OF INSTRUCTION AT STUHR MUSEUM IN THE SPRING, PERFORMED AS THE COLOR GUARD FOR THE GOVERNOR OF NEBRASKA AT THE UNVEILING OF THE NEBRASKA CENTENIAL QUARTER AT THE UNIV. OF NEBRASKA AT KEARNEY. WE PORTRAYED SOLDIERS FROM FORT KEARNY IN 1846 ASSITING IN GUARDING HANDCART PIONEERS GOING WEST AT THE 150TH CELEBRATION OF HANDCART PIONEERS WHICH WAS A NATIONAL EVENT. WE WERE ON TV 4 TIMES AND IN THE PAPER 3 TIMES. LIVE FIRED MUSKETS AND ATE DUTCH OVEN COOKING. WE OBTAINED 3 REPRODUCTION DRUMS AND 10 FIFES AND STARTED OUR OWN DRUM AND FIFE CORPS. WE ADDED 2 WALL TENTS TO OUR UNIT ALONG WITH 2 ADDITIONAL RIFLES. WE OBTAINED NEW VENTURE CREW BUSINESS CARDS AND BROCHURES. WE PARTICIPATED IN CUB SCOUT CIVIL WAR HISTORY DEMONSTRATIONS, FIRED CANNONS FOR THE "HUDSON" ANTIQUE CAR SHOW AT FT KEARNEY, AND MARCHED IN THE VETERANS'S DAY PARADE IN KEARNEY. WE ALSO PEROFRMED SERVICE AT FORT KEARNY BY REPLACING TWO SECTIONS OF THE STOCKADE WALL. WE ATTENDED THE BATTLE AT PAWNEE CITY REPRESENTING THE CSA 16TH VIRGINIA AT THE 2ND BATTLE OF BULL RUN AND WE WON. WE HAD A 8" x 10" COLOR PHOTO OF US CHARGING IN THE LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR NEWSPAPER. sOME OF OUR MEMBERS PARTICIAPTED IN A CIVIL WAR VETERAN'S GRAVE STONE DEDICATION AND WAS FILMED FOR A 1 HOUR TV DOCUMENTARY ON THE CIVIL WAR WHILE ON A RIVER BOAT ON THE MISSOURI RIVER. ALL IN ALL WE HAD A GREAT YEAR.
For 2007 we had a great time and were on TV and in the newspaper numerous times. In Nov. we had a special run on us about our youth leader, Michael Sothan and our event at Mahoney State Park for the BSA Scoutfest. This was an event of 6,000 scouts plus adults. We put on two battles of Shiloh, this was our biggest event we have sponsored. We had 4 cannons, cavalry from both sides and fought against the Zouaves and 10th Iowa as infantry. We also had a living history time line from the Revolutionary War, 1821 Venture Crew from Ft Atkinson, Mexican War - Mormon Battalion, Civil War, and post civil war - Indian wars. We participated in Chautqua at the Arch, fought battles at Ft Kearny, and Pawnee City. Helped Stuhr Museum do their recruiting day, helped build a section of the stocade at Ft K, helped build a sod house at the Archway, even entered our own scare-a-crows in a contest. We marched in the Veteran's Day parade and was the color guard for the Kearney area Freedom Award banquet at the Holiday Inn. You can see our year's and 5 year accomplishments at the front of our new soldiers manual from the main page.
In 2008, our BIG EVENT was that Michael, Ron, Roger, Cody, Bill, Adam and Kyle all went to the 150th Gettysburg reenactment, with over 12,000 reenactors. They were union and fought on the stone wall at the angle during Pickett's charge. What a great opportunity they had. A newspaper article and photo was published in the Hub after their return. Bill wrote the article. Whle they were there, 8 of us fought at Ft Kearny on the same weekend. The other fun event was to go to Vertigre tactical event and to fight two days in Brownville (where our original company was from but we fought as CSA troops). We met the pony express rider at Ft K. and were in the photo of him arriving. We picked up 4 new troops, Kyle, Anthoni, Matt, and McHale this year, along with three more 3 band rifles for the group. Three of our group, Cody, Bryan and Michael all graduated and started college, and Bill graduated with his Masters degree in History from UNK. After Gettysburg, about 4 of the guys decided to purchase "Hardee Hats". Ronnie O'Brien received the District BSA award for merit, and our unit received the Quality Unit award. We were on TV about 4 times and in the paper twice. All in all it has been a GREAT year and we are still having fun serving our community and country!
2009 Has been a very exciting year. We started it off with putting on a District BSA camporee for scouts from two districts, one here in Kearney and the other in Grand Island. We had about 250 scouts that came and the weather was excellent. We had Dr. Roberts do the hospital again for us, Pam Carlson did children's games, C 3 artillery with Paul Hendrickson and Jerry Groenwoll taught artillery, and we did the rest. It had been 6 years since we put one on and we were much more proficient this time. We got a lot of compliments and we made approximately 120 wooden guns for the scouts to use.
The next unusual big event was the Pawnee Pow Wow, the first at the Archway. We portrayed Union soldiers from Ft. Kearny. They had a huge crowd. We set up tents, showed how to throw tomahawks, brought in a cannon and fired, then did our regular demonstrations. Joe portrayed CPT Frank North of the Pawnee Scouts and did a presentation to the group.
We did our normal 3 events at Ft Kearny. We also went to Doniphan for the Cattleman's Classic, and to Ft K. for the annual Pony Express meeting with Six Guns for Hire and helped them put on skits which were fun. Michael and Joe were on a 1/2 hour NTV program in Aug. called the Nebraska Good Life which was fun to see and do. Our group was on TV for most of the major events this year, we got a lot of publicity and from 3 different TV channels. We also attend a camp of instruction at Stuhr Museum withthe 165th NY and 10th Iowa, then about 3 of our guys went to the tactical at Verdigre and had a blast.
This year we added Jared Blanenship as a drummer along with his dad, Brian, and Sean Michael Ruppert with our gallant soldiers. Roger bought a wall tent and Joe an A frame.
In Sept. we went to Pawnee City and fought at the 16th VA CSA and won on Sat. Four guys stayed over for Sun. but lost. We went 3 years ago as CSA and got our pictures in the Lincoln paper, but only 3 of us had CSA coats, this time we all had them. We have come a long ways. You can see the differences in our photos. Then in Oct. we went to Fortescue, our very first time going there to fight, it was a lot of fun.
2010 Has been a fantastic year for reenacting. Major events included another Pawnee (with Arikaras)
Indian Pow Wow in June followed with doing the Pony Express, doing a Color Guard in Holdrege,
going to Ft Hartsuff with the 4th Cav. boys, fighting for the first time at Pipestone MN,
and putting on a battle of "Gettysburg the First Day" at Rail Fest in North Platte at the
Lincoln County Historical Museum which was great. In Oct. we were Confederates at the Bownville NE
battle with 11 of our folks camping and another 7 coming for Sat. This was our biggest turnout ever
for either Brownville or Pawnee City. We won the tactical, but lost the staged battle when our
forces ran out of ammunition and most took off running, some were captured and took the oath of
allegiance. We also participated at Vertigre in a tactical, and with the Zouaves in Grand Island
and at Diller. Some of our guys were at the Cattlemen's Classic, Kidz Explore and
at Ft Kearny for their Expo. This year we have added Derrick Roberts, Megan Smallcomb,
Jeremy Hiemke, Kory Reeder and Caleb Spangler to our unit. In Nov. about 8 of our unit
to the Memphis TN area to participate in the battle of Ft Donelson. A GREAT year !
2011 stared off with the 150th anniversary of the American Civil war at the Archway. We
trained new recruits (grade school students and visitors to the Archway). It
was a great event.
We are planning on attending the national event at Wilson Creek, MO this yearand return to
Fortescue. We put on
two battles for the 150th anniversary of Bull Run for the town of North Platte
in July which also was a great success.
There was another Indian Pow Wow this June with the Otoe and Misouria tribes
in attendance in which we performed and did living history. Bottom Line - We are having fun !
2012 was another busy year. On March 30 through April 1st some of our members participated in the 150th National event at Shiloh where our unit fought. They had a great time.
we participated in the regular battles at Ft. Kearny, Pawnee City and Nebraska City this year, along with living history displays at the Pow Wow and Hastings Museum. We put on a 150th civil
war event for school kids in the spring at the Archway, and marched in the Veterans Day parade. We obtained 3 additional rifles, a donated 10 x 12 ft. canvas tent, were on TV and in the
newspaper numberous times, and a special full page with pictures of us was in the UNK student newspaper in Nov. Jared Blankenship was the youth leader. We ended the year celebrating our 10th anniversary with a pot luck dinner
program and civil war dance. We look forward to a great new year.
2013 was another busy year. some of our members participated in the battle of Chicamauga Tennesee. They had a great time.
We participated in the regular battles at Ft. Kearny, We put on a 150th civil war school day at the Archway. We also put on a 150th annyversary of Fort McPherson at North Platte, The Lincoln county historical museum. We did a large candle light tour and numorous
displays about Fort McPherson, We were on TV and the newspaper, this was our biggest event of the year.Our group also participated in a weekend camp of instruction at Fort Hartsuff. Overall we had a great year. Our unit is now 11 years old.
2014 was another busy year with events similar to the past years. We had 3 drummers this year; Silas Carlson, Haydn Jones, and his younger brother Gareth Jones. They looked sharp at
Nebraska city in Oct. We also had adults, Joel & Holly Schmidt and Donald Simmons join up with us to fight this year. We are very glad to have them with us. Michael Sothan our former youth leader
married Megan Katz both from our unit. It was a real nice old fashion wedding. Again we were in the newspaper, radio and TV. Our unit bought a used 1853 3 band Zouave rifle, and
Ivan Burton donated a reporduction Sharps to our unit. He has been a GREAT friend ! We also bought a large number of musket caps and about 26 lbs. of powder. No one in the group bought a new musket
Joseph Carlson was the youth leader, and Jared Blankenship was 2nd in command, both earned their corporal rank last year. We are making pan on going to Ft Caspar next year.
All in all we are still having fun.
2015 Was a special and different year. We went to Ft Caspar, Wyoming to participate in their 150th anniversary of the Battle of Platte Bridge fighting Indians. We were "Galvanized Rebs" fighting for the Union. There were two battles, in which most of the Union soldiers
were killed. We did stop the Indians from burning the bridge though. We got to participate in an authentic musket shoot while we were there firing real rounds. Our Captain Carlson won 1st prize of a range finder for all the participants.
They fed us well and had a lot of Indians available and they put on quite a dance. This was a very fun and new event for most of the unit.
We continued battles at Ft kearny, and did a new living history for the Trails and Rails Museum as part of their Wagons West and Chacaqua event. Roger called the dances for the pioneers
going west. We also opened the event with a Color Guard Firing. Brians and Jared Blankenstaff moved to Lincoln this year, which surprised us, but they are staying active with us. We did put on an event
for about 200 Cub Scouts at Ft Kearny that Mike R. set up for us. and also, did a presentation to the Kearney Area Car Club at the Car Museum which they really liked. Our 1st Sgt. got a new pair of
Brogans to keep up with all of the troops. We look forward to a new year of reenacting!