Vernon has been a Civil War Buff since childhood, but had been inactive in studying Civil War history for two decades. However, in the early 1990’s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ documentary “The Civil War “on PBS. Vernon particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and has studied this battle extensively through books, attending seminars and visits to the battlefield.
Since his first reenactment in December of 1994 at Prairie Grove Battlefield in Arkansas, Vernon has participated in some very large reenactments, including the 135th, 140th and 145th Gettysburg, the 135th, 140th and 150th Antietam, the 135th and 145th and 150th Shiloh, and the 150th Wilson’s Creek to name a few. Usually the night following these reenactments or, in the case of the 140th Antietam, while leaving the reenactment battlefield, descriptions of what had occurred at the actual battles and at the reenactment battles came to him in poetic form creating such emotion that he had to get the words down on paper so he could have some relief.
Vernon’s most vivid Civil War experiences were when he had a “Civil War Period Rush” at the 135th Antietam and the immersion of the week long 1999 Red River Campaign. Both of these are described in his book “Civil War Reflections: Honoring the Battles, Soldiers and Spirits”.
Vernon is a member of Company E, the Champagnolle Guards, 3rd Arkansas Volunteer Infantry, and the Texas Brigade. He is referred to as a “high private” by his Captain, Keenan Williams. Vernon acts as the company’s second sergeant during the unit’s reenactments.
Vernon’s mission is to provide the American public ways to commemorate Civil War Soldiers through reenactments, videos, films, novels, eBook and poetry explaining the camaraderie of the participants, the fear of death and the courage of the American fighting man. Ultimately, Vernon would like to present historic land to the Antietam National Battlefield in the name of his mentor, Walter Smith.