Most reenactors are interested in history and do their part, as living historians. Artillery is no exception to this rule, and the safety of fellow reenactors and spectators also plays a large part in that impression. NCWAA artillery crews and staff are always concerned with safety, and willing to share their training with any and all interested parties. Like most NCWAA members, the Sixth New York Independent Battery takes this mission very seriously. A good example of this commitment to history, culture and safety is demonstrated by their continued participation and support of the Historic Weapons Shoot at West Point USMA.
Jeffrey Cohen is the commander of the Sixth New York Independent battery, and an active member of the NCWAA. Jeffrey and his unit attend many reenactments throughout the year, but always find the time to help with artillery training and demonstrations. The following is a copy of Anne Ficarella’s January 18, 2017 press release, after their trip to West Point:
On a blustery chilly morning in April the sounds of a Civil War cannon echoed through the hills around USMA West Point, N.Y. On this day, April 23, 2016, about 100 West Point cadets majoring in history were given an opportunity to see military demonstrations, arms displays and to be trained on the firing of vintage military weapons from history. They not only were trained on the weapons, but they were given the chance to meet living history re-enactors, who shared their stories about the people, their weapons and the histories they represented.
Our unit, The Sixth New York Independent Battery, is a Civil War Horse Artillery unit based out of Rahway, NJ where the original unit was recruited. We were invited by the West Point History Department to train their history cadets on the model 1857 Napoleon Cannon, which was cast by H. N. Hooper in 1863. There are four immediate positions on a Napoleon Cannon, and each cadet was assigned a position with a re-enactor instructor to guide them safely through the steps needed to fire the Napoleon. As each cadet stepped up to their assigned position, they learned to “tend the vent, worm, sponge, insert the charge, ram and fire the weapon.” Safety precautions were explained and followed through with each team member.
After the cadets trained for the day, the Instructors and staff were invited to take a turn on the vintage weapons as well. It was a memorable day for all. The Sixth New York Independent Battery was given the great honor of being asked once again to return to West Point Military Academy on April 22, 2017. If you are interested in learning more about our re-enactment Unit, and the events we attend, you can find us online at www.6thny.com.
More information about the 6th NY or the NCWW can be found on the web at www.6thny.com and www.ncwaa.com.