This one was adapted from a clever little photocopied "Rules of War" someone recovered from an office in the Pentagon, where real war is planned. Some recollection and imagination makes it also suitable for reenacting war. - Jonah

Maxims of War

By Jonah Begone, Mal Stylo and a host of others

1. If you are at an event which is short of everything (straw, porta-johns, water, planning, etc.) except cavalry and Confederates, then you are at a 125th, 130th or 135th anniversary "mega-event."

2. Confederates invariably attack on two occasions:

a. When you're ready for them.
b. When you're not ready for them.

3. During the course of any drill session, someone will utter the immortal line "The Longer It Takes You To Get This Right The Longer It'll Take To Get Back To Camp. It's Your Choice."

4. A "sucking chest wound" is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.

5. Anything you do can get you shot, including nothing.

6. If the Union forces are attacking and making progress, then they're being drawn into an ambush; and the top echelon of the National Regiment - which has no inkling of this - will be leading the charge.

7. Try to look unimportant. The Rebs may be low on ammo.

8. Professionals are predictable, it's the amateurs that are dangerous.

9. Never forget that your weapon is made by the lowest bidder (remember that, those of you with Japanese Springfields, Italian Enfields, and Indian Bayonets). Corollary: The only thing sutlers at a "mega-event" will not have in stock (although one would be able to totally outfit the Playmate of the Month in complete female civilian 19th century garb, if one wanted to) will be the part you need for your reproduction musket.

10. If the Confederates are in range, so are you.

11. Incoming minie balls have the right of way.

12. A Union rear guard will always be composed of those young enough to keep pace on the march, but too old to keep up during the rout.

13. Your immediate superior always thinks his immediate superior knows what's going on, who always thinks that his immediate superior knows what's going on, who always thinks...

14. Never share a trench with anyone braver than yourself.

15. Teamwork is vital: it gives the Rebs someone else to shoot at.

16. The feint the National Regiment has been ignoring will turn out to be the Confederate main attack, and your unit's colors will be posted at the center point of its impact.

17. The commands "Charge!/Fall back!" always cause cohesion to disappear and wipe out the fruits of hours of battalion drill.

18. If your attack is going well you have walked into an ambush.

19. The elan and zeal one should display during an "attack," when close contact with the Confederates is a possibility, can always be gauged by where the veteran privates are relative to the front and rear of the formation.

20. Never draw fire - it irritates everyone around you.

21. Nature will invariably call you just before the battle, when you are in the middle of a completely open field under the intense and watchful gaze of 5,000 spectators, 14 Vivandieres, and 92 camp-followers.

22. Make it tough enough for the Rebs to get in and you won't be able to get out.

23. Those Confederates you taunted with witty aspersions about their lineage and intelligence at a safe distance away in the morning, will be the same ones who capture you in the afternoon.

24. The 90+ degree-heat, which was sufficient to cause cancellation of the afternoon tactical, is not sufficient to cause cancellation of battalion drill.

25. No matter how good a time almost everyone else is having, some reenacting umbrella organization or non-organization leader(s) will come up with a reason to try to organize a "BOYCOTT!"