I went to Virginia, and all I got…

WAS A COLD!  and three medals, and some cool trinkets, and a half bushel of apples.

I left for Ft. Shenandoah, Virginia last Tuesday morning (Oct. 3rd) for the North-South Skirmish Association ( N-SSA )*  134th National Competition Shoot.

*N-SSA promotes the competitive shooting of Civil War firearms and artillery while encouraging the preservation of battlefields, artifacts, clothing and education of the period. (from the N-SSA website).

My plan was to compete in the individual matches with 4 firearms: 1842 Springfield smoothbore (reproduction); 1841 Mississippi rifled musket (original); 1863 Model (Second Model) Maynard breechloading carbine (repro); and 1861 Colt Navy revolver (repro). I planned to shoot 3 team longarm events.

I had intended to shoot the revolver match on Wednesday afternoon after I got to the Fort and setup the pop-up camper, but it was such a warm, sunny, lovely day that I wandered around the grounds of the Fort (there are several hundred acres of land which comprise the Fort today). I also spent some time chatting with the few Sutlers who were already setup and open for business.


Early bird setup, lotsa room to get comfortable… Below is what it was like by Thursday morning!!


When everyone finally showed up, we had 14 members of the 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry team on the grounds. I shot my individual matches on Thursday in the longarms, but ran out of steam and time to shoot revolver, so never turned in an entry for that.  Results were fair this year, but we did not medal in any team events, even though we fielded 2 teams (A & B teams) for the three longarms events. Smoothbore on Friday, carbine on Saturday, rifled musket on Sunday. Smoothbore, I carried my weight+… Shot all my allotted targets +1. Carbine and musket I sucked.  Individually I got 3 medals.   4th Place – 100 yard musket; 4th place – musket aggregate; 9th place – 50 yard carbine. I should have just gone home after the Individual matches!!


It rained most of Friday night and Saturday day, so the ground at the range got a little, tiny, eensie-weensie damp….

We shot the majority of the carbine match in the rain, and despite wearing rain gear, I was pretty drenched by the end of the day. Except for my feet! My rubber boots did great so I had happy feet!


I opted to stay over Sunday night again, rather than break camp and head home early Sunday afternoon like everyone else. Overnight the temperature got down into 40’s Fahrenheit. And my nose started to run like an old faucet with bad gaskets. And my throat started to hurt. And my head to ache… Whaaaa! I broke camp at daylight Monday morning and headed out of the Fort feeling TERRIBLE! But it was promising to be a clear day! YaaY!


On my way out of the Fort, I passed by a small retail shop where the owners sell all the stuff a black powder shooter could ever imagine needing, and at fair prices. I did not expect they would be open at 6:34 am as I passed by them, but to my happy wonderment, they were! So I was able to check off my shopping list for the year, and as I was about to leave, a young guy working there asked me if I needed any fresh apples for the road. The young man had picked them fresh the day before in the orchard that bordered on the Fort, so of course I bought 1/2 bushel!! They are delicious BTW! (And the pie The Mrs made from some of them yesterday is fantastic!!!!)

The remainder of the day was spent driving and blowing my nose and taking pain killers…I pulled into the driveway at home at 7:16 pm…

14 thoughts on “I went to Virginia, and all I got…

  1. Yes… all worth it! I do enjoy being on the line with a few hundred other competitors at the same time shooting a musket, but I get a REAL adrenaline rush when the cannons are rolled to the line to fire in competition!!! WooHOO!!! 😀


  2. i’m just so happy you got home safely, and a day early! but sad that you were sick…but happy you’re getting better…and WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH ALL THOSE APPLES???

    more apple pie, and an apple crisp, and some baked apples…and…and…luckily the weather is brisk, perfect apple-pie-baking weather…except it’s supposed to be in the 80s in a few days so i’d better get back to work!

    and you didn’t mention that the guys had to push your van through that soggy gloppy glop of mud. that must have been fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping in Charles! As soon as I get over my cold, I am going to wear my medals ALL THE TIME until I wear them out!! Ok, so I got my 1/2 bushel for $12, double that to make a full bushel, so $24, and at the exchange rate posted this morning of .82… £19.68.


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