1st Pennsylvania Reserves, Co. D

Subtitle

News & After Action Reports

155th Gettysburg

Posted by Robert VanderPlate on July 11, 2018 at 4:15 PM

Most of the folliwing report is from the Adjutant of 2nd Regiment.  He summed up the event well enough and as he said, there are many stories to be told by each company, and we certainly had ours.  We joined up with the PRVC for the battle of the Wheatfield and went out as the Reserves that we are.  I must say, though, that the battle was lack-lustre and seemed as though the General didn't want to be troubled with dealing with our part of the days action.  So, we did a fair share of shooting and dying and marching around in the "damn dirty dust".  We were all so tired and cooked beyond "medium" that we did very little card playing or anything else.  Some of us made it out to the 'burg and had some ice cream and others made the rounds at the sutlers.  All in all, a nice weekend with 50% nasty weather and 50% nice, but we all came back with some nice tan lines :P.  So, enjoy the following report, and I'll see everyone again soon.

Your humble servant,

Capt. Bob V

To the members of Second Regiment:

 

Though voiceless, I bring you Colonel Swope's warmest compliments. If you were not able to attend Gettysburg this year, you were missed. In trying to sum up the event, I can only think of one word that truly encompasses the spirit of our time together: fun! What fun we had.

 

Some arrived Wednesday, with the bulk of the remainder arriving Thursday, and few more trickling in Saturday and Sunday. Captain Cameron Mallow through his efforts succeeded in bringing a company of the 7th WV based in California to join us for the event. For a number of others in the regiment, this was their first event. We had six battles in total, and managed to burn our skin along with a great deal of powder. Thursday's battle was in the sticky, humid, suffocating heat of a Pennsylvania summer, while Friday morning brought a steady, misty rain during much of the long, snaking march and subsequently long battle, being under arms for over three hours that morning, if memory serves. Friday finally cleared and the more pleasant weather prevailed the remainder of the event. During one of the engagements, our majors both found themselves wounded and Lieutenant DeShong and Captain Baran found themselves wing commanders for a time. Both acquitted themselves well in the roles suddenly thrust upon them. Beyond that, the battles and smoke all tend to blur together.

 

But while the battles were fun, the events in camp were, in a word, epic! The Sergeant Major was in full voice, as is his style. However his efforts were not in vain, as a rumor that somebody had been "taking" from the green "latrines" indeed led to blue "water" being found in a poor soldier's canteen. On Friday night, the 142nd Co. F finally had the party which should have taken place Saturday night at Cedar Creek last year, for Keith MacGregor's retirement as captain. The party had a Viking theme complete with swords, shields, helmets, wigs and a life-sized bow to a viking long ship. It appears the new saying around the regiment is "to the boat!" By some miracle, they kept the pillaging to their own company fly and street. Saturday night was the dance, and wanting the regiment to be represented honorably, the adjutant and sergeant major took it upon themselves to inspect the lads who wished to attend the dance. Sergeant Taylor of the 54th PA attempted to depart camp to pick up his date for the dance in a state that may at best be described as "clothed". However, after the Sergeant Major pointed out the finer points of fashion to the Sergeant, Sergeant Major Myers and Major Murphy kindly dipped into their belongings and produced sash, NCO belt, and white gloves to assist Sergeant Taylor in his presentation. Come Sunday morning, however, the Sergeant Major finally got his comeuppance. Orders were received from the brigade provost for the arrest of the sergeant major, which the acting regimental provost, Captain Gallaher, carried out immediately following inspection. At this, the adjutant was distraught at the betrayal of his closest comrade, and the adjutant forgot himself, giving the sergeant major a taste of his own "medicine" before being turned over to the brigade provost, where he was forced to stand before the latrines for a time and inform all those who approached that no paper was at that time available. Needless to say, the charges against the sergeant major are serious and a courts martial will need to be convened at the earliest possible convenience (ie. next event).

 

Not all, however, was high jinks and shenanigans. While not quite there yet, our ability as a regiment to wheel showed progress and the efforts from Campbell's Run to the present show. Before battle on Sunday, it came to Major Murphy's attention that Private Dante Seal was not longer going to just play a private, but had enlisted and was going to be shipping out for basic training a number of days after the event. The regiment came to attention and reverently rendered honors to Private Seal in appreciation. Also, Shelly Holcomb of the 3rd MD, Co. B in First Regiment begins her first deployment overseas the first of the year.

 

There are many people to thank for their efforts: Two ladies, Shelby Bard (3rd MD Co. D) and Caroline Curtis (adjutant's wife) volunteered their services as ice angels when needed. Also, before Sunday's battle two ladies of the 54th PA, Leslie Taylor and Nancy Johnson, went along the regiment's line kindly passing out apples and oranges to the troops. Captain Gallaher of the 54th PA, graciously agreed to act as regimental provost for the event, bearing his responsibility without complaint. Also, for those who were not able to attend, you missed out on some ice cold fresh squeezed homemade lemonade which was provided to the entire regiment following one of the battles.

 

Above is just a taste of our combined experiences at Gettysburg this year. For every story told, there are many more each of you has from the event. What we hope all of you experienced, is that you had fun while participating in this hobby we all share. On behalf of Colonel Swope, Major Petro, Major Murphy, and Sergeant Major Myers, thank you soldiers and civilians for giving us the privilege of leading you. Without you, there is no regiment.

 

Concerning October, efforts are being made to replace Cedar Creek with something else. After this past event, it would sure be a shame to let a chance to reenact together pass by. Once plans become known, they will be passed along to the regiment. In the meantime, while not a brigade event, many of use are attending Renfrew, and I will be asking for numbers for planning purposes in the coming weeks. The long tactical will take place again this year, so bring plenty of rounds and your aggressive fighting spirit!

 

Until then,

I proudly remain,

your most humble and obedient adjutant,

 

Capt. Brian Curtis

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