Rish participates in Mobile Bay reenactment


James Rish, far right, served as a replacement for an artillery battery.

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 09:09 AM.

During the first weekend of August, James Rish of Wewahitchka participated in the 150th anniversary of the (Damn the Torpedoes) Battle of Mobile Bay.   He is the great-great grandson of John Rish who came to what is now Gulf County from Georgia after the War Between the States.  John Rish was part of the Georgia 59th infantry regiment and fought at such places as Gettysburg, Chickamauga, the Wilderness, Spotsyivania and Cold Harbor.

John Rish survived the war and lived until 1925 with a mini ball lodged in his body.  James Rish is part of the First Florida regiment company E (re en-actors) and survived a hot weekend in a wool uniform and a lot of bureaucratic foul ups for the event.  However, the re en-actors did respectfully put the US flag back on the flag pole after having removed it for the event and raised the Confederate Stars and Bars in its stead.  James Rish served as a replacement for one of the artillery members after having spent the day before shooting at Yankees with a .58 caliber Springfield rifled musket.  He is wearing a pin fire pistol that the rebels imported from France. In history the Federal forces were not able to take the fort by land assault.  So, instead they used new and improved rifled naval guns that basically made Swiss cheese out of the fort.

After a 13-day bombardment, the Confederates decided that maybe it was not such a good place to be and surrendered the fort.

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