1st Pennsylvania Reserves, Co. D

Subtitle

News & After Action Reports

Waynesboro - Renfrew museum 2017

Posted by Robert VanderPlate on August 18, 2017 at 5:45 PM

    I will suffice this report as reported so well by the adjutant.  I will add that it was a pleasure to have the 149th join us for the weekend.  Very nice time enjoyed by all and as most eveyone there from our company had not been there before, I believe they will all want to return next year.

Submitted,

Capt. Bob VanderPlate

Gentlemen,

 

I bring you Major Petro's greetings and compliments on a job well done this weekend at Renfrew. While not a brigade event, in attendance was a good portion of second regiment: 1st PA Reserves; 149th PA; 142nd PA, Co F; and the 11th PA. We also had the 28th PA from the Mifflin Guard join us. The 7th WV was represented by Captain mallow, who was on hand Friday night and Saturday morning for the tactical, working as a staff officer, a job he carried out with great energy and enthusiasm. The battalion was under the command of Major Petro, while Colonel Swope is home on furlough.

 

The weekend started off early....very early....Saturday morning as we formed up and set picket lines to gather information and counter whatever the Confederates had in store for the tactical. The 1st Reserves, 149th, and 28th were close to camp on the west side of Antietam Creek while the 142nd and 11th set up in the woods on the far side of the creek. The Confederates lost no time in hitting the companies near camp hard, begrudgingly driving them back. Major Petro commented that those soldiers formed a stout picket line that only gave way when faced with overwhelming force, allowing the remainder of the brigade to prepare to meet the Confederates. The 1st Reserves and 149th managed to make it back to the main body while the 28th PA was cut off. Though after awhile, they were able to rejoin the fight. In the woods, the 142nd and 11th had a rather different experience. Two young ladies were on a "stroll" that morning and come into our picket line. Such a ruse was quickly recognized and the ladies were taken back to Union camp and "invited" to spend the morning (at least until the firing started) as "guests" of the brigade musicians (who were the only soldiers left in camp). Later, it was reported that the ladies tried multiple times to escape, but were thwarted by the musicians. Meanwhile, the Confederate soldiers following the ladies were pounced upon by the pickets of the 142nd and 11th. Compliments to those two companies for having a picket line concealed such that neither the Confederate ladies or soldiers realized it was there until our soldiers were upon them.

 

The fighting went on through the morning with some retreating and advancing (but more retreating) until the Union forces (now combined together as a brigade) had lured the Confederates into one heck of a trap. Two Union companies retreated, leapfrogging each other as they did, drawing the Confederate column down a wide, grassy path with a corn field on one side and woods on the other. Finally, with our backs to the end of the path and the Confederates thinking they had us cornered, a volley from an entire wing hidden in the trees ripped forth into the flank of the Confederates, causing many Rebs to jump and others to take hits because, well, when one is ambushed in such overwhelming style, what more can one do.

 

There was a break and then the tactical continued with a "Burnside's Bridge" start to the scenario, the bridge being the one in the rear of Union camp. Second Regiment decided to once again enter the woods and outflank the Confederates. We came upon their pickets and pushed them, finally ourselves getting tangled in the woods enough to force us out into the open of the electrical lines right-of-way. Once there, our dismounted Cav came upon us and we together pushed the Confederates on our front. Soon, we saw other Confederates in our more distant front, their backs to us and being pushed by a wing of First Regiment. We thought we had 'em and the boys let out a cheer! But then, like angry bees coming out of a kicked nest, Confederates came pouring from the woods on our front and all fell upon Second Regiment, pushing us back and cutting us off, soon after which the cease fire sounded ending the second tactical. The overall Confederate commander came up to us and complimented our tactics, saying we had them in quite a pinch, so he chose to break out towards us and threw almost his entire force against Second Regiment. The lads performed like disciplined veterans, moving quickly and standing tall as long as possible.

 

After another rest, there was a third tactical in the field which allowed the artillery to join the fun. Thereafter, there was a relaxing afternoon for the men and civilians. One of many enjoyable moments during that afternoon was the holding of a stacking arms competition among three squads, one each from the 1st Reserves, 28th PA, and 142nd PA, Co. F. As this was a quickly put together event, the only requirement was that the stacks stay up. Each squad, stacking arms three times and the total of all times being taken to determine a winner, had both excellent and needs-more-work stacks; but, the 28th PA prevailed in the end. There was much fun, and for some reason heckling of our Russian judge (all true olympic-type competitions must include a Russian judge). This may not be the last of the stacking arms competitions, and more will be required in the future than the stack simply not falling down. (Hint-hint!)

 

After a quick and drenching thunderstorm, a pleasant night was had by all.

 

Sunday brought dress parade with the Confederates, and a relaxing morning before falling in at 12:30 for the afternoon battle in the field. The soldiers in the ranks are complimented for the incredible volley while clearing weapons. It was truly outstanding and rang as a single cannon shot would through the woods and fields surrounding. The adjutant, however, could not quite contain his glee at such a display and subsequently forgot that after order arms comes "In place, REST," (not, as he called, "Shoulder, ARMS") causing much deserved laughter. The final battle was well fought with many causalities on both sides.

 

Major Petro would like to thank the men for their excellence in the field all weekend. It was a fun weekend, with lots of hard fighting and many laughs. Thank you to all who came out.

 

Next up, Cedar Creek.

 

Until then,

I remain,

Your humble and obedient servant,

 

Lt. Brian Curtis

Adjutant

Second Regiment


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Reply sanhvcVop
2:46 AM on September 22, 2017 
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