US Command Postings
A group of Scouts are helping honor a piece of History in Gettysburg.
“The field music 1st PRVC (BSA Venture Crew 1861) had a great time performing for the large crowds and our fellow reenactors. We look forward to working with you again next year.”
We hope that everyone arrived home safely and without incident. This past weekend’s reenactment turned out to be a sweetheart of an event, and that was mainly due to your presence and efforts. As always, the Artillery Reserve and its associates answered the call and helped to turn a questionable reenactment into a rousing success. By the response from the spectators we certainly did give them and the GAC a big bang for their bucks. Kudos to Capt. Barnhardt and Battery B for giving the folks a memorable and exciting “Cushing at the Wall” vignette and to the 19th Ohio for galvanizing and coming to the aid of the confederates. And to everyone else, a fine job, not only in the field but with the visitors to the artillery camp as well. As staff, we thank for your cooperation and support and look forward to serving you and with you in the future.
AFTER ACTION REPORT -152ND GETTYSBURG REENACTMENT
It is too easy to take the annual reenactment of the battle of Gettysburg for granted; often it seems the same old routine. For years the main focus of the battle was the Infantry, with Cavalry as a side show and the artillery as background.
This year the heavy rains flooded the site grounds and forced it to be rescheduled until August. Many of the reenactors scheduled time off from work to be there in July and rescheduling to August would mean many couldn’t come. There were other factors that would also keep the numbers down.
The weather cooperated for the August event but still the Infantry and Cavalry numbers were down, the numbers were the lowest I’ve seen in years. The Infantry and Cavalry that did show did an excellent job.
It was at this time that the artillery came through; there were more artillerymen than Infantry. The Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 was an artillery battle, and it became one again this year. I won’t go into detail about all the battles but I will go over the highlights.
On Saturday morning the Cavalry was to put on a demonstration with two guns in support. The demonstration became a full scale swirling battle with Cavalry surging back and forth and our two guns blasting away. With the threat of the guns being overrun by Confederate Cavalry, Union Dismounted Cavalry stood with the cannons defending them.
The afternoon’s battle was Culp’s Hill. The whole Union Artillery was arrayed in a magnificent battle line, and with the first shot of the Confederate Artillery, we opened a thunderous volley. The organizers of the event had arranged for a pyrotechnic company to have ground bursts in front of use and air bursts over us. Watching crews working and firing the pieces as the air and ground around them shook from the confederate response was a sight to behold (well there were only five Confederate guns, but the pyrotechnics masked that and gave the impression of more guns).
Sunday’s battle was like none many had witnessed before. The organizers of the event realizing that trying to do a Pickett’s charge with the small numbers of Infantry on both sides would have been a sham. Instead the scenario concentrated on Armistead’s Brigade breakthrough at the angle. Two guns were selected to portray Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Captain Gist would portray Lieutenant Cushing and his Gunner as Sergeant Fuger. The Captain Gist and his crew practiced Sunday morning to make the afternoon battle as historically accurate as possible. The Union and Confederate Infantry would also work with us to coordinate the scenario.
Words cannot describe how beautifully the scenario went. At the last minute the guns were rolled to the wall and with cannoneers drying all around them Cushing would be hit and Sergeant Fuger fired the last shot (yours truly with a mortal wound and an arm hanging over the spokes could still see the action). Soon Armistead’s Confederates swarmed over the wall driving the Infantry back and Armistead with his hand on the wheel of Cushing’s gun urging his men on fell wounded, soon the Confederates were pushed back, this ended the battle scenario.