Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sutler brings look of past to 30th Brooksville Raid Re-enactment

Debra Burnett of Hudson hangs period dresses Wednesday in Loafers Glory Sutler, the store she and her husband, Bob, run. She was getting ready for the Brooksville Raid this weekend at Sand Hill Scout Reservation in Spring Hill.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Debra Burnett of Hudson hangs period dresses Wednesday in Loafers Glory Sutler, the store she and her husband, Bob, run. She was getting ready for the Brooksville Raid this weekend at Sand Hill Scout Reservation in Spring Hill.

SPRING HILL — Cannons, muskets and mock soldiers in blue and gray will be the centerpiece of the annual Brooksville Raid Re-enactment this weekend, but visitors to the sutler village will get a fuller picture of Civil War-era life.

Sutlers weren't mere hangers-on or camp followers during the war from 1861 to 1865. They were government employees with a purpose, said Bob Burnett of New Port Richey, coordinator of the sutler village at this weekend's re-enactment.

Some 50 impersonators of sutlers — those who sold hard-to-get goods to the troops — will hawk their handcrafted period wares to the re-enactors and the public at the festival.

Shoppers will find replica militia uniforms and muskets; tinware; blacksmith's ironware, including lantern hooks, campfire grates, cooking utensils and pots; leather works; boots; shoes, and such women's apparel as day dresses and ball gowns, Burnett said.

Tasting choices from the era will feature Indian fry bread, kettle corn and homemade root beer.

The menu offerings will not include sutler's pie.

"It probably killed as many troops as bullets," Burnett said in jest. "It was greasy wheat, basically; it wasn't much."

The original sutlers, appointed by both Northern and Southern governments and mainly selected through political connections, camped with the troops, one assigned to each regiment, Burnett explained.

"They supplied things that the army didn't supply," he said.

The travelers in commerce offered pencils, paper, canned foods such as peaches and oysters, along with illegal liquor, Burnett said.

"They were pretty much shysters," he said.

Armies of the North fielded more sutlers than did those of the South because the latter had access to fewer goods, Burnett noted.

Today's acting sutlers aren't so much into making money as they are dedicated to preserving "the real truth of history," Burnett said.

"It is an educational thing … to (provide) a really close facsimile of the way people lived."

Burnett and his wife, Debra, both 61, joined the purveyors of history 22 years ago after friends invited them to visit a re-enactment. "We fell in love with it," Bob Burnett said.

The couple crafts some 70 different items, replicating goods of the late 1800s. His handmade leather works include sword belts, cartridge and cap boxes, and haversacks. She sews women's and men's clothing.

The Burnetts tote their store, the Loafers Glory Sutler, to some 20 re-enactments each year, reaching as far as Gettysburg, Pa.

Their tent this weekend will greet festival visitors at the entrance to the sutler village, just outside the battleground.

Beth Gray can be reached at graybethn@earthlink.net.

Sutler brings look of past to 30th Brooksville Raid Re-enactment 01/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 14, 2010 6:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'We were lucky': Zephyrhills, Dade City get back to normal after Irma

    Hurricanes

    Two weeks after Hurricane Irma struck Florida, residents and city officials in eastern Pasco — hit harder than other areas of the county — are moving forward to regain normalcy.

    Edward F. Wood, 70, tugs at a branch to unload a pile of debris he and his wife picked up in their neighborhood, Lakeview in the Hills in Dade City.
  2. After Hurricane Irma, many ask: How safe are shelters?

    News

    NAPLES — Residents of the Naples Estates mobile home park beamed and cheered when President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott strolled amid piles of shredded aluminum three days after Hurricane Irma to buck up residents and hail the work of emergency responders. But almost nobody had anything good to say about …

    The Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area opened its doors to anyone seeking temporary shelter during Hurricane Irma. Evacuees were housed in the Istaba multipurpose building and was quickly at capacity housing over 500 people. [Saturday, September 9, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. What you need to know for Thursday, Sept. 21

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    Aaron Richardson Jr. talks to voices in his head at his father's bail bond business in St. Petersburg July 22, 2017. Richardson has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was arrested for carjacking in 2011. He was declared incompetent to stand trial and moved between Florida State Hospital and Broward County Jail. While in custody he lost both his sight and hearing. He was released to his family in 2014 without an explanation. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   TIMES]
  4. When elders are in peril, who do you call — 911 or Rick Scott's cell?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Twelve hours after Irma blasted through South Florida, conditions at Larkin Community Hospital in Hollywood were miserable.

    Police surround the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power, on Sept. 13 in Hollywood. So far, nine deaths have been blamed on the incedent. [John McCall | South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
  5. As spice incidents decline, Clearwater consultant suggests more coordinated services for street homeless

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — The actual number of homeless people living in downtown streets and parks is not growing, as it has appeared to some city officials and business owners over the past five months, a hired consultant concluded this week.

    Members of the homeless population wait in line before they are fed a meal near the Clearwater Police Department headquarters in June.  EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times