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Cavalry Rules of Engagement
The unit commander is responsible for the training, safety and the actions of
his unit during an event. If he is not at the event, the next person in the
chain of command bears the responsibility for the unit.
New recruits should be suitably drilled and given safety instruction to the
satisfaction of the unit commander and the senior non commissioned officer
before being allowed on the battle field. All troopers should have read a
copy of these safety rules and understand them before participating m a
1. Do not place your horse on someone else's picket line without asking
permission from someone in that unit. (They know where the kickers and
fighters are -- you don't.)
2. Do not run horses through areas with spectators or sutler's
3. Do not ride or lead horses through someone else's camp (not everyone loves
horses and the Infantry does not like dung in the middle of their camp).
4. Do not let spectators ride your horse, it causes insurance problems.
5. Watch your picket line, don't let unescorted children or adults approach
it. They may not know how to approach a horse without spooking it.
6. If you find a loose horse in the camps (especially at night) tie it in a
safe place until the owner can recover it.
7. There should be no jumping or other extra equestrian activities in the
camps, sutler areas, or areas with foot traffic.
1. Per MCWRA rules passed 11/2/91, company commanders will carry whistles and
fluorescent green flags to be used in the case of serious incidents (serious
injury, projectiles, etc.). In such case the whistle and flags will be used
to stop all fighting and freeze everyone in place, no one is allowed to leave
the field. Senior commanders will meet to find out what the problem is and
decide how to proceed.
2. Do not approach another horse or group of horses faster than a walk when
you are within 25 feet.
3. Do not force your way through a battle line. Make sure there is enough
room between riders so you are not crashing into men and horses.
4. If a man or horse goes down all activity in that area stops until they can
be checked out and remounted. If the incident is serious, see No. 1 above.
5. If there is a riderless horse on the field all
fighting stops until it is recovered. Our main job is to protect the
spectators and other reenactors from injury.
6. Never grab a man or horse during a melee or otherwise try to dismount him.
7. Attempting to capture a flag or guidon is
prohibited by MCWRA rules. Never grab a flag or guidon
unless it has been arranged before the battle.
8. During a melee if an opposing rider is in trouble either help him or back
off. Don't continue the attack. 9. Men under the influence of drugs or
alcohol have no place on the field.
10. Guidon/flag poles shouldn't be used to attack
or beat anyone.
11. Make attacks that look tactically sound and reasonable. Example - 6 men
shouldn't ride through twenty enemies, unharmed, to attack a
1. Attacks should only be made from the right side, never engage to your left
- it puts you off balance and calls for reaching too far to engage.
2. Keep the point up, never stab, side cut or hack at anyone (point should
never get below eye level).
3. Saber fighting should be done with the fiat of the blade, never the edge.
4. Never strike anyone with a blade or hilt.
5. If it's a saber fight and you don't have a saber, stay out of the fight.
Don't come in using a pistol or carbine.
6. If your opponent says "break" this means both of you discontinue
the engagement battle and go separate ways.
7. Do not lay your blade on someone's back in crowded or tight quarters.
8. If you have to reach out to engage, you are too far apart and shouldn't be
engaging. Get closer and try again.
9. Do not press an attack on someone unable to defend himself.
10. An inexperienced man should tell his opponent that he is new to saber
fighting. Veterans should encourage them to fight but don't press them as you
would another veteran.
PISTOLS AND CARBINES:
1. Never use "wonder wads," hard wax or hard paper wadding.
2. Never fire directly at anyone. If you are within 25 ft. fire in the air.
Make sure you won’t hit anyone when you do this. THE OPTION OF FIRING AT THE GROUND IS
PROHIBITED AS OF 8/2012.
3. Never fire at a horse's legs.
4. If it's a pistol fight use a pistol not a carbine.
1. Cavalry should never engage Infantry in hand-to-hand combat unless it has
been pre-planned and practiced.
2. If no hand to hand or close work has been practiced, Cavalry shouldn't get
any closer than 25 feet to Infantry.
3. Cavalry units should not attack mounted staff officers or couriers, if an
individual cavalryman is attacking a staff officer, remember they are not
used to being engaged in this type of combat. Their horse may not be used to
1. Never fire within 25 feet of an artillery piece or limber.
2. Do not ride between a limber box and an artillery piece.
3. The signal for a loaded artillery piece is implements crossed on the
barrel. If you see this signal or the crew is waving you off-- stay away.
4. Make sure the artillery piece has fired before attacking. Sometimes only
the primer goes off and not the powder charge. In this case the gun could go
off at any time because it is "hot."
5. Do not fire at artillerymen or their pouches; some of them are carrying
charges or primers for the cannon.
MOUNTED ARTILLERY: reserved
1. Stay out of the Casualties, do not ride through or among casualties on the
field. Go around them.
2. If a trooper takes a hit off the saddle it should be worked out in advance
and the opposing commander should be informed so they will be ready for it.
3. No hits off horses should be taken in the middle of the melee area. Go to
the outside of the area.
4. A man who takes a hit off his horse is responsible for securing his horse
while he is down. If he is holding it stay away from
1. Don't charge into an opponents' horse holders, come in slow to capture
2. Make sure attacks on the horse holders won't drive them into a dangerous
area or position.
3. If a horse holder is having problems either stay away from him or offer to
help him out.
1. No stallions at events.
2. Uncontrollable horses should be removed from the battle.
3. Because of new (1991) State of Missouri regulations all horses at events
should have a Coggins (EIA) test within the last 12
months. Horses without them will have to be barred from the event.
4. Don't use horses as a weapon or battering ram.
5. Horses that have to regularly be drugged to be controllable have no place
on the field.
6. Sick horses (Coughing, mucous discharges, running
sores) shouldn't be brought to events. If sickness is discovered at events
excluding non-contagious problems (colic), horse should be moved away from
all other animals. Water and feed should be taken to it in containers not
used for any other livestock. Protect the other livestock there from
7. Only fixed port curb bits are to be used. No snaffles, hackamores or
broken bits allowed.
1. Surcingles are strongly recommended by
Cavalrymen as a safety measure.
2. Gloves or gauntlets are recommended in saber melees.
Rolling Artillery will follow the Missouri Civil War Reenactors'
Association Artillery Safely Rules with the following additions:
EQUIPMENT: 1. All horse drawn artillery will be made to
original Ordnance Department specifications or better.
2. Proper type of harness will be used.
3. Harness will be sound and conform to Ordnance Department specifications or
DRIVING: 1. Horses and mules will conform to cavalry rules.
2. No driving off of limber boxes allowed.
AMMUNITION: 1. Ammunition carried by Rolling Artillery will
be packaged in scaled plastic bags, covered by one layer of heavy aluminum
2. Primers will be stored and carried separate from powder.
1. There should be no firing into the Artillery within 25 feet (includes
limber, team, artillery piece or crew).
2. Do not close within 25 feet without the approval of the Battery or Gun
Commander. This should be worked out before the battle.
3. Close at a walk on Artillery.
4. Only sabers will be used within 25 feet of an Artillery piece.
5. Artillery men are permitted to fire small arms outward from the gun or
limber until the 25 feet range is reached by the approaching enemy.
6. Never approach a gun that is limbering or unlimbering.