KNOW YOUR ENEMIES!
(excerpts from the Army of the Potomac
Enemy Recognition Manual #TR-10A)
On one of his many midnight raids into the headquarters tents of the Army of the Potomac to search for fine cigars, port or blankets, Jonah Begone stumbled across a registered copy of the long-rumored to exist but never before exposed "Army of the Potomac Enemy Recognition Manual #TR-10A." Now, for the first time ever, Jonah shares these with Virtual Regiment members in Cyberspace! Keep a sharp eye peeled and be on the lookout for these dangerous Rebs!
I've always liked this piece. The way it works is that I find some ridiculous portrayal of a Confederate soldier - VERY easy to find - and then I write a fanciful bio for him, which I incorporate into the manual.
I once got an e-mail from the father of "Ax Reb," who was amused by the piece and stated that, yes indeed, his son was indeed fearsome trouble. (I had seen this photo in an article about a reenactment which took place in the early nineties.) I figure Ax Reb is now in his thirties... I wonder if he still reenacts.
The name "Psychic Injury Reb" came from a medical disclaimer I was once required to sign as a condition of attending a battle reenactment; I indemnified the organizer from any "psychic injury" I would experience as a result of attending. I think the only psychically injured party was the lawyer who came up with the silly phrase.
"Super Reb" and "Blazing Rebel" were 4th of July fireworks from 1989. I wonder if the Chinese still label them this way, given that Confederates are so much more politically incorrect now than then.
"Abusive Reb" is some kinky homoeroticism I saw in a Civil War history magazine. "Really?," I thought. "That illustration accompanies a legitimate historical article? Really?"
"The Young'uns" are, in fact, Tom Sawyer and his gang. "The Graceliners" were attendees at an Elvis convention and "Granny Moses" is, of course, the immortal and beloved Irene Ryan.
"Stonewall Camel," by far the most lethal of them all, is a corporate mascot.