Josiah Sirmans, my first attempt at my persona

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Tennessee.45

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Let me know what you think, this is persona 1 of 2, this one is a fantasy impression

I was born in 1740 in Spotsylvania county Virginia. Growing up I learned how to grow crops, raise cattle, hunt, and scout from the my father and our Indian
neighbors.

I was drafted into the Virginia Regiment in 1755 and served as a ranger fighting in the Virginia Regiment under Washington, when the Cherokee war broke out I was serving as a guard, guarding the frontier.

After the fighting stopped I returned home only to find the entire settlement I once lived was completely destroyed during an Indian attack.

Unable to bare the loss, I moved to North Carolina where I met my wife in a small settlement in the foot hills of the Appalachians, raising crops and cattle trying to live in piece, until the Cherokee declared war on the settlers, where I once again find myself scouting and fighting the Cherokee to help the settlement survive.
 

SgtErv

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My vote is that it sounds pretty squared away

A lot of the men who fought in the FIW formed the nuclei of militia companies during the AWI, quite often as officers. That you included scouting is good, too; many folks would say that militiaman is an incomplete impression. Well, sort of. In Virginia, however (my area of study) the records are replete with men who signed up for 3,6, even 12 months in a company of spies and rangers under pay of the state. They were an active duty militia, to be sure. Posts were often garrisoned with such men as well.

I really think a good impression requires you to narrow the focus, which is what you've done here. One would be hard pressed to cover the entire lifespan of a person in one impression.

Now, as far as the Cherokee, weren't they pretty much entirely defeated around 1776? Dragging Canoe led some militiants who never made peace thereafter. They splintered off to become the Chickamaugua. When the AWI came to south in earnest with Cornwallis' invasion, there was heavy militia involvement as well.

Good work, though. You'll refine it as you go along no doubt
 

Tennessee.45

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I was thinking about the second part with the Cherokee after posting, and I agree, I'm not really happy with it, I'm not entirely sure how I want to go with this...

I'm thinking I'll step back and base my persona around guarding the frontier during the Anglo-Cherokee war or as a ranger in the F&I war scouting ahead of the regiment
 

Tennessee.45

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I've decided to go with the ranger, out scouting ahead of the main force, and maybe change my birth year to 1730 since by 1755 I would be about my age now.
 

54ball

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Tennessee.45 said:
Let me know what you think, this is persona 1 of 2, this one is a fantasy impression

I was born in 1740 in Spotsylvania county Virginia. Growing I up I learned how to grow crops, raise cattle, hunt, and scout from the my father and our Indian
neighbors.
OK, who are these Indian neighbors? A quick check shows the aboriginal Souian speakers were gone from the record by 1728 in Spotsylvania. There my have been others around so who are they?

I was drafted into the Virginia Regiment in 1755 and served as a ranger fighting in the Virginia Regiment under Washington, when the Cherokee war broke out I was serving as a guard, guarding the frontier.
Serving under Washington is very plausible for 1754-1755. Were you with Braddock?
Now the Cherokee War is very convulooted. Some of the Cherokee were allied with Virginia against the French and shortly there after the Cherokee go to war against the Carolinas. So are you in Virginia or the Carolina frontier?


After the fighting stopped I returned home only to find the entire settlement I once lived was completely destroyed during an Indian attack.
Where is this? I can find no evidence of Indian raids against Spotsylvania. There were Shawnee raids to the NW and Cherokee raids to the SW....It seems like there were some raids in the Yadkin area. So are you in the Carolinas or Virginia?

Unable to bare the loss, I moved to North Carolina where I met my wife in a small settlement in the foot hills of the Appalachians, raising crops and cattle trying to live in piece, until the Cherokee declared war on the settlers, where I once again find myself scouting and fighting the Cherokee to help the settlement survive.
This sounds a lot like Holston and Watauga or the Overthemountain settlements of 1774. This could be Thompson's Valley in SW Virginia raided by the Cherokee and Shawnee in 1774-75....Lord Dumoores War. This is the Start of the Cherokee Wars that last until roughly 1800 with 1774-5....1777.....1780-81.....1793-94 being the height of those conflicts.

Ok..... What did Spotsylvania have from early on? Industry, more specifically Iron Industry.
What three things are in the Mountains in great abundance from Pittsburg to Birmingham? Iron...Coal....and Limestone.
William Bean one of the first if not the first settler of Holston was possibly a gunsmith. The Old Holston Rifle is loosely attributed to him. What makes the Old Holston Rifle unique among surviving Colonial Rifles? It's trimmed in Iron!


So, how about this.....
You are a middle son from Spotsylvania Virginia. Being the middle son you are trained in your father's main trade, Iron working. Being adventurous you much prefer the hunt for the Red Rock. As you approach manhood you journey searching for iron and fast moving streams. You also engage in the deerskin trade. Because of this Wilderness experience you find yourself as a scout for the Virginia militia.....
Maybe you were at Braddock's defeat.
Maybe there you met a young wagoneer about your age from Yadkin. Maybe you have met before.....
After the Dunquese Campaign the War for the most part Moves North....Maybe you move South.....Yadkin?
You find yourself in the Cherokee War....
In the following years eventually....Holston...Watauga
What does a far out settlement need? Iron
Whether it was locally produced or imported is a matter of debate and further study....It had to come from somewhere....Maybe it came from the early works from places like Spotsylvania :hmm:

I'm just trying to help....It's your persona not mine. These can be great fun!
 
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Tennessee.45

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I like your version better then mine! I will admit that I didn't have a lot of research in this...I reenact the Civil War so I don't really need an open combat impression...
 

SgtErv

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Might depend in how well you were doing in the iron business haha

There was a pretty lengthy discussion about brass vs iron in the FIW section of the forum.
 

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54Ball is correct there were no numbers of Native Americans left in Spotsylvania during the period you mentioned.

I lived in and around Fredericksburg,VA for over two decades. Can't begin to tell you how much I tried to document/find a Riflesmith in the area who worked Pre FIW or FIW period and made rifles anywhere close to Fredericksburg. I wanted to copy the work of a local smith to make a FIW period rifle. However, to make an extremely long story short, none were to be found anywhere close to Fredericksburg.

No Riflesmiths in Spotsylvania County either, BUT there was at least one if not two in the next door county of Orange County, bordering with Spotsylvania County on the West side of the county. So, if your persona traveled to the "next door county to the West," he could have gotten a rifle in that time period. However, none of those rifles from Orange County in that period had Iron furniture.

Personally and for what it seems you may want to do, I would choose a place of origin as one of the Counties in the Valley of Virginia. Here is a good link on that:
http://www.flintriflesmith.com/WritingandResearch/WebArticles/VirginiaRifle.htm

Gus
 
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Tennessee.45

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I'm thinking all definitely base my persona out of southwest Virginia around the south fork of the Holston river, but I could use some help with the everything else
 

Artificer

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I've done a number of impressions in different time periods and different places over the years, thanks to having been stationed in different parts of the country.

One thing I've found to make a more interesting and believable persona is to put as much of your modern self into it as possible. For example is your Lady originally a Carolina Belle in real life? If so, then you would want to include some part of your persona's history into having met her there or "along your persona's life history," if possible.

One thing I find a lot of people don't think about is what trade did they do in the period? I am fortunate because I have studied the period trade of being an Artificer/Military Armorer and gunsmith, the same thing I did in modern life, so I use that in most of my period personae. In my younger years, I explained my presence in Indiana in the War of 1812 years as having served in the Marine Corps, then came west after my discharge to "gain my fortune." I wound up working for a Free Trader first as a laborer and guard and then learning the trade.

If you are a military veteran, there are many ways to incorporate that into your persona, even if you are doing a civilian persona.

Now, some folks do things in their modern life that has no direct trade ancestry back then, but you can get around that as well. One friend was a computer programmer in modern life and I suggested he look into being a clerk working for the Indian Agent at Historic Fort Wayne. He didn't have to volunteer at the Indian Agency to "play" at the Fort, but he found he was very interested in it after he began checking into it. Of course anyone who was raised on a modern farm or has a modern farm, has the ideal background trade for almost any personae in any period. Modern machinists may not actually become Blacksmiths, but get interested in the period history of their trade and add that to their personae. In most modern trades/work there is something in the period that one could come up with either directly or indirectly as their period trade. One good friend portrayed the Soldier assigned as a "Bat Man" or personal servant to the Commanding Officer at Historic Fort Wayne. He loved doing it and was downright amazing at it.

Of course if you have a modern side hobby like doing leather work or making powder horns, etc., etc., you could use that for a period trade.

So what are your modern work and interests that could be incorporated into your persona?

Gus
 

SgtErv

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Sound advice from Gus there. Even if there is something you've studied extensively, it'd be good to include in your persona. I don't do first person ever, but if I did I'd almost have to be a veteran of the Continental Army. Ive read so much about it that I could pull it off. (Still working on the manual of arms)

In my back yard I am cultivating corn, beans, and squash in the three sisters fashion as well. I'm doing it just to get an idea of the labor involved, which parts are difficult, etc. Just about everyone on the 1770s Monongahela frontier cultivated crops.

I love Gus' idea about meeting your better half. That kind of stuff makes for better characters in books too
 

Tennessee.45

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I'm a phlebotomist currently (although I want to learn a different trade) I started working with ems at 18 then went to the hospital to drawl blood when my back and shoulders started giving me trouble, and I've been doing this since. My hobbies are building/working on guns, hunting, exploring, and I would like to get into traditional blacksmithing but it's a little expensive to get started and I don't have a place to set up a forge
 

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Wow, you training as a phlebotomist and your work with EMs would make you a natural to portray a Doctor in the period, if you are at all interested in that. Most Doctors then were not much more than people who knew first aid, could let blood and some had Apothecary knowledge.

Not sure if you have ever seen lancets, scarificators and the "best" type of leeches from South America and the West Indie for blood letting? (The leeches found in Virginia were not large enough to do the job as well, so they imported leeches during the 18th century.) I learned the latter from the living history done at the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop in my adopted home town of Fredericksburg, VA.
https://www.virginia.org/Listings/HistoricSites/HughMercerApothecaryShop/

One of my (not sure how many Great's) Grandfathers was a Doctor during the WBTS and before the War, I doubt he had much if any experience at surgery and was not much more than one who knew first aid and that was a century after your persona. Of course he learned by "On the Job Training" during the war.


OK, sorry, sort of got wrapped up in this for this post, so will go back and look at your earlier post for other ideas.

Gus
 
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Artificer

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Even if you did not want to portray a period Doctor, you could say your father was one and you learned some of that trade from him. But instead of following in his practice, you had grown up hunting and with a yearning to explore.

I know Daniel Boone has been sort of over used as a period example of many things, but his Father was primarily a Farmer, though also a Blacksmith who knew a little gunsmithing. He hired a younger gunsmith to work at his shop both to work on guns, but also teach young Daniel the trade of gunsmithing while they were in North Carolina. Of course Daniel did not become a full time gunsmith, but what he did learn proved useful to him in his adult life. Daniel could do and did both some blacksmithing and gun work, though he was primarily a hunter and explorer.

You could say you spent time around a blacksmith shop as you were growing up as it fascinated you. Not every Blacksmith knew gunsmithing, but some could do some lock work and some other things.

As SgtErv mentioned, almost everyone on the frontier wound up doing at least some farming, no matter what their trade was. Even if they did not try to raise large quantities of crops, they always had a Vegetable Garden and if married, almost always had a Kitchen Garden for herbs and spices.

OK, not sure if I'm going in directions you don't want to go, so does any of this sound good or not?

Gus
 

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Not sure if your wife wants to participate, but if she does, make sure you come up with a way to explain how you met in the period. That really is not hard to do with some little thought.

Gus
 

54ball

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I mentioned iron because a quick check of Historical Markers in Spotsylvania show a lot of iron works dating to early in the second quarter of the 18th Century.

Gus answered your question concerning the iron mounted rifle. While the Old Holston Rifle is iron mounted and possibly by William Bean, that was just an example of iron being used in a far western settlement.

Gus does an artificer, another related field is "mechanic". Actually the terms could be interchanged.
Related to the iron is a miller. Early iron would/could have hydro powered forges, even hammers. That's not too far removed from water powered mills.

Gus mentioned a Doctor. In my opinion a physician was highly educated while on the other hand a surgeon maybe not so much. Some physicians were surgeons but most surgeons were not physicians. A 18th Century surgeon would be a lot like a paramedic or maybe more accurately....a military combat medic.

I was a Fire Captain paramedic.....it nearly killed me and has.....well...I busted my skull on a medical call subduing a 16 year old with a bat preventing him from being shot by the police.... I don't do medical. I've had enough....

With that said I find my Fire Service background I think helps me "get" the concept of a militia leader/officer/soldier. The discipline...the way a Fire Officer works with volunteers and leads them into chaos and tries to make order of it is not unlike a militia leader. The chain of command and more importantly the feed back.....adlibbing and changing tactics on a dime...just being a good soldier or officer....it's similar.

Another thing too is the adjustment......in life, Going from a leader of men, a probem solver a disaster tamer to....not.

In my other life I am an outdoorsman a hunter, a farmer, a fisherman and a camper. I grew up in that. That gives another dimension to it. I have stalked, set up and taken game with a flintlock. So having some wood skills helps a lot. Some of the regular soldiers (reenactors) I know have never fired a live ball. They are quite good and do a great impression but they lack the wood skills......Kind of like the real history......Maybe that's not too far off from a regular soldier vs a partisan militia fighter/ scout of the time?

These are just some examples of using life experience. My apologies for sharing my drama.
 
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Artificer

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Great post, 54Ball.

It's true that most trades involved with forging and making things with Iron or Steel in the 18th century were "generically" called mechanics in the period. Good point.

I only know a good deal about Spotsylvania and the surrounding counties because it was in "my backyard" from the early 70's to the late 90's during the times I was stationed at Quantico. I spent about half my 26 years in the Corps there at different times.

Spotsylvania was known for production of Raw Pig Iron since the Germanna settlement. To save me a lot of typing, the following Wiki article on the history is pretty good. However, there was not much Iron work done with that Pig Iron there, even as late as the AWI. As far as I know, there was no casting of that Raw Pig Iron into gun parts in that county or most other nearby counties. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanna

However, there WAS a somewhat nearby Iron Works where a great deal of the Spotsylvania Pig Iron and other Pig Iron from some surrounding areas, was worked into all kinds of commercial items beginning in the late 1740's. This was the Hunter Iron Works in Falmouth (Stafford County), which is on the north bank of the Rappahannock River, directly opposite Fredericksburg. By the early 1750's; they had a large production of forged wrought Iron with which they made such things as nails, cooking wear, andirons, fire backs, chain, anchors and a surprising large number of other commercial things they made. However, they did not get into guns or gun part production until after the FIW. (This factory complex was turned into the Rappahannock Forge Military production site during the AWI.) Even though the Rappahannock River is about 50 miles from the Ocean, the river is still TIDAL at Fredericksburg even to this day. Many ocean going ships came into Fredericksburg during the 18th century and it was considered a good size Sea Port or at least a trading port for ocean going ships. (Yeah, I know that is hard to believe, but it was.) So for a combination of transport and water power from the Rappahannock River, it was an ideal location to set up a large Iron Works.

Gus
 
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Artificer

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Come to think of it, a period phlebotomist would often have been a Barber. It is strange for many of us today to think about that, but people would occasionally "get bled" along with a shave and possibly a hair cut. This because they were so convinced that occasional bleeding to get rid of "evil humours in the body" was such a good thing.

Gus
 
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