1st Maryland Cavalry “Ladies Team” Strikes Again

by Mike Kendra on October 25, 2010

Photo Courtesy of Katie Scanlan.

At the 122nd National the 1st Maryland Cavalry put up a “Class C Musket Team”. That’s not the impressive part. What’s impressive is that the 8 “man” team comprised of 8 musket toting women!

I contacted Katie Scanlan, a member of the team, and got to ask some questions, enjoy!

Q: Who are the members of the ladies musket team at the 122nd National?

Katie: Clesta Rhodes, Ashleigh (Rhodes) Venskoske, Autumn Rhodes Gergely, Michelle (Rhodes) Gergely, Nikki Horne, Tama Hardman, Sheila Scanlan, and Katie Scanlan

Q: How hard was it to organize an all ladies musket team?

Katie: Getting the team together wasn’t really that difficult. There are five of us that shoot regularly. My mother-in-law had been wanting to rejoin, and Michelle and Tama both volunteered. The difficult part fell on Tim because he supplied the extra muskets, made most of the extra rounds, and some of the extra leather goods.

Q: Is this the first time you’ve organized an all ladies musket team for a skirmish?

Katie: Yes, we had discussed trying it in the past, but it all came together for this National. I think getting “Mary” (my mountain rifle) for Christmas and talking to the girls about a female cannon team really convinced us to try and enter a musket team as well.

Q: Last year I reported on your team shooting an all ladies mortar team. What other team events have you competed as an all ladies team and how were those experiences?

Katie: We shot the cannon match at the Artillery shoot and also during this past National, and things went really well. One of the things I enjoy most about shooting with the girls is that we always make it a point to have a good time. If we shoot well it’s an added bonus, but we’ll have fun regardless of how we shoot.

Q: Did any of the Ladies of your team win any medals at the Nationals Skirmish for team or individual events?

Katie: We took home a 7th place mortar medal, and I received a 1st A-2 carbine match medal. None of us shot any individuals targets.

Q: How have other skirmishers/teams reacted to all ladies teams? What was the reaction of the men on your team?

Katie: The majority of the skirmishers have been wonderful and very supportive. Some of the teams that shot on positions close to us cheered for us when we finished events. People seemed surprised that a team would have enough female shooters to field a full team, but the reaction has been very positive. And the men on our team have been awesome. We’re a very close-knit team, so many of the guys practiced with us, worked with the new shooters, and really supported and cheered us on while we were up on the line.

Q: Do you plan to shoot as a team again next national?

Katie: I would like to say that we will shoot again in the Spring, but I can’t say for sure.

Q: If another team wanted to organize an all ladies team, what advice would you give them?

Katie: Encourage women to shoot. Get them comfortable on the shooting line, and comfortable with shooting in general. I think a lot of women don’t express an interest because no one asks them. You never know if you’ll like something until you try it.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad4thKentuckyCav October 30, 2010 at 7:38 am

Great article, I really liked the last question and answer because it’s true.

Joe Miller February 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I was really surprised that The Skirmish Line did not have an article on these fine and accurate ladies. As a special note, they also had an all female cannon, and an all female mortar team. I thought they deserved more recognition for breaking ground like that.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: