Civil War re-enactor Rob Pfluger worked Saturday night as the Quartermaster at Fort Clinch State Park during the Living History Weekend. The job as he explained it to a scout troop from Daytona, involves overseeing supplies, including clothing and bedding issued to soldiers and tools used at the fort.
A table was loaded with blankets, shoulder bags, metal cups, candles, shirts and shoes. A chaperone asked if size 14 shoes were available.
“No,” said Pfluger. “Just size 8 to 10 would basically be it and they’d cost anywhere from $2.50 to $3.50. That’s a lot of money to a private earning $13 a month.”
Pfluger, 44, who works in IT for Rollins College in Winter Garden, Florida and lives in Orlando, said that he has participated in the Fort Clinch re-enactments for 15 years. He said the supplies in the three-room Quartermaster office were replicas. But his uniform is authentic.
Pfluger wore a simple gray jacket (“100 percent wool”) with brass buttons and a hat with an engineer emblem. He said that it is one of six uniforms that he owns, including two confederate army uniforms.
“I’ve spent a lot of time on eBay,” said Pfluger.
Pfluger said uniforms can cost several hundred dollars and that he also wears a uniform that signifies that he plays in a military band. “I play brass instruments, including bugle,” said Pfluger.
He picked a similar band jacket off of a shelf and held it up to his shoulders. “It would look like this,” he said. The jacket had several gold stripes across the chest.
Pfluger said he plays in a band called Band of American Freedom.
“I’d love for us to play at Fort Clinch,” said Pfluger.
They have concerts here. A big one is coming up next month.
“I know and I’m worried about the weak mortar and the windows,” said Pfluger.
The rock bands Umphreys McGee and opening act Lettuce are scheduled to play a two-night show April 10th and 11th at the fort in Fernandina Beach. The local promoter said 1,350 tickets have been sold, including VIP tickets for $399 each.
Pfluger said he listened to the band on YouTube and is alarmed by what he saw and heard.
“The lead guitarist was saying that he blew his amp out,” said Pfluger. “Not like, Oh no, I blew my amp out. But like, YEAH! I blew my amp out, and pumping his fist.”
Pfluger said that he is a member of the 75th Ohio re-enactors and that he and other members object to the concert. He said letters have been written to Fort Clinch Park Manager Benjamin Faure, the band’s management company and concert promoters.
“I’ve got a long list of email addresses,” said Pfluger.
Pfluger said that he has had polite meetings with Faure but that he has not convinced him to cancel the concert.
“This is about money,” said Pfluger.
The concert is expected to raise $40,000 for Fort Clinch, according to promoters and Friends of Fort Clinch.
Pfluger understands that the money is needed to make repairs. But he has another reason for objecting to the concert.
“U.S. soldiers died here. Not in battle but from disease, like yellow fever and construction accidents,” said Pfluger. “These men gave their lives in service to our country and it’s not an appropriate venue for a rock concert.”