If your family feels generous you might consider asking them to put a $500 deposit on one of the L. Romano Rifle Company's (551 Stewart's Corners Road, Pennellville, NY 13132. tel 315-695-2066) new reproduction Second Model Maynard carbines. I've sung the praises of Romano Rifle Company Spencer rifles and carbines in this column before, and the prototype Romano Maynard I handled at the Nationals was of equal quality. Over the years other Maynard repros have come and gone
, and some were good shooters, but Romano's gun, which uses Larry Gollahon's excellent internal parts, has a top quality barrel and the best fit and finish I've ever seen. The price of the new Maynard is not fixed as of this date, but I've been told it will run around $1,200 once production gets underway.
The 1998 Dixie Gun Works Blackpowder Annual ($4.99) is a perennial best choice as a stocking stuffer. The 1998 edition of this classic publication doesn't have as many Civil War stories as some in years past, but it is an outstanding issue -- and not only because I have an article in it!
Civil War related tales in this year's Annual include Linne Hansen's "Wisconsin's Great Indian Scare of 1862," and "Colt's Other Navy Six," an account of the often overlooked Model 1861 Navy, by S. W. Peterson. Other historical stories include my own piece on the Revolutionary War battle of Hubbardton, Vermont and George Layman's account of Florida's 1835 Dade Massacre. There's plenty of gun material as well. Having embarked on a similar search myself, I particularly enjoyed Rick Hacker's "The Search for the Ultimate Single Action." It is, by the way, a quest that never ends!
Heritage also carries a full line of cleaning patches, a brass stuck ramrod puller, black powder solvents, books, Civil War clothing patterns and historical videos ranging from colonial subjects to modern day cowboy action shooting.
In recent years, reprints of classic works and new books, primarily the products of Longstreet House and Belle Grove press, as well as the founding of reenactment units honoring specific New Jersey regiments and the activities of local historical societies, have begun to increase public awareness of the state's significant contributions during the Civil War era.
I was a participating panelist on the New Jersey Historical Commission's Civil War program last year, where Bill Styple of Belle Grove Press and the 15th New Jersey proposed that interested parties should meet to address the status of the state's Civil War battle flags and, hopefully, raise some money to assist in displaying and, if possible, restoring them.
We first met last August, and, with the assistance of the New Jersey National Guard's Colonel Apgar, who lent us some excellent "facilitators" to help with organization, began to hammer out the details of creating an association which would not only address the flag issue, but also assist the state archives in the preservation of its Civil War holdings. Future projects will include support for preservation and access projects involving all of New Jersey's Civil War resources, in and out of the state.
The group evolved into the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association (NJCWHA), on which I am proud to serve. The board's membership includes representatives from the all of the state's Civil War interest communities, including historians and historical societies, publishers, reenactment groups, and North-South Skirmish Association units. Officials from the New Jersey State Archives, the New Jersey State Museum, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs, the Office of the Governor and the state legislature advise the NJCWHA in an unofficial capacity.
The NJCWHA, which has taken on as its first project the creation of a public display of the state's Civil War flags, is actively recruiting members. Dues for individuals are $20 a year, and for organizations, $250 a year. Whether you live in New Jersey or not, if you are interested in the state's Civil War history, you belong in the NJCWHA. I can't think of a better Christmas present -- a present which will also make a tangible contribution to the preservation of New Jersey's Civil War heritage, than a membership in the organization. For further information, contact Peter G. Doroshenko, Corresponding Secretary, NJCWHA, 1959 South Beverwyck Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054.
Happy Holidays -- see you in the new year!
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