Living History Living History organization of the United States Navy and Marine Corps portraying sailors and marines as an infantry expeditionary force during the Civil War.
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"Nor must Uncle Sam's web-feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present. Not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, and the rapid river, but also up the narrow muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been, and made their tracks."  A. Lincoln
 (Excerpt from his letter to James C. Conkling, August 26, 1863.)

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      if you are located in Florida and want to join the USS Fort Henry as a sailor or marine, please contact us,  There is also much information on this site as to uniforms and equipment, as well as training for these roles.  Select a page under the [About] button, above.
Mission 
      The U.S.S. Fort Henry is a living history group depicting the American Civil War (1861-1865) period. Our goal is to educate the public on the various aspects of the sailor and marine of that period.   All of our members have protrayed these men at various reenactments, in battles as well as period camping.

     Throught the years we have researched the U.S. navy and Marine Corps in order to provide first person impressions.  As a result, of all this research, some of our members have written books, articles and provided lectures as well as demonstrations.  (Some members continue to participate in actual reenactments.)

     The U.S. Navy (including its Marine Corps) situation in Florida was quite unique.  Military action in Florida was significantly less than other areas during the Civil War.  (The population of Florida was about 79,000 so less emphasis was directed at the Confederacy here.)  Quite often the U.S. Navy ship on station had to carry out raids on shore, usually requiring small boats to transport the sailors and marines to where they would then act as infantry.

    Some of the barrier islands around Florida had a naval presence where a camp would be set up on land.  Guards would be posted and patrols would be set out, again, much like the Union infantry.

     As part of our goal to educate the public, we provide these lectures and demonstrations at historic events, schools, museums, organization meetings, etc.
Presentations and Demonstrations 
      What and how we present is up to the organization that requests us to appear.  We provide either options or perhaps our standard presentations.

     Uniforms are replicas of what the marine and sailor wore.  This also gose for weapons and other gear, as well as implements used in both on board ships as well as ashore.  (NOTE:  We follow safe guidelines as well as regulations and laws concerning weapons, especially at schools.)

      Different members often have different presentations and demonstrations.  For example, sailors are often more focued on ship based items, where marines might be more focused on infantry, small arms weapons, etc.  But, like the original crews of these ships on blockade, training and duties often overlapped where the men could perform in each others roles.
Requesting a Presentation
      If you are interested in having us provide a living history presentation and/or demonstration, contact us.  The contact information is on the menu button at the top of this page.  We will answer your questions so as to prepare the right presentation for your group.

     We did not mention cost as there is none.  Each member is proud to present and educate the public so they will have a better understanding of role of the Civil War U.S. sailor and marine.

     Established in 1998, the U.S.S. Fort Henry has participaed in many events as mentioned above.  By actually reenacting the role of the original U.S.S. Fort Henry crew, we learned much more than books could tell us.  At events we learnded and trained for marching as well as small weapons handleing and firing.  We participated in both training and reenactment involving movements of troops into battle which was sued during that period.  The smell of gun powder, the screaming of officers trying to get their men to hear the commands above the sound s of hundreds of rifles and loud cannons.  That added to research and discussions plus the visits to museums enables the members to provide knowledgable demonstrations and presentations.
     The original U.S.S. Fort Henry was a New York City ferryboat that was converted into a gunboat.  It was stationed off the West Coast of Florida from about Tarpon Springs north for 75 miles to the big bend area.  The "Fort Henry" had a crew of about 100 men, including a contingent of marines.  A number of raids were conducted by the officers and crew of the "Fort Henry" incolving injuries and loss of life.

     Please peruse these pages for more information on us as well as information pertaining to the navy and marines in Florida.  Your comments are welcome.    
  
 
Battle of Ballast Point
Topic: The Brooksville Raid - photos of the 2010 event added.

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