With the "U. O. Battalion" at 125th Gettysburg, July, 1988

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James N.

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Part I - The Gathering of the Hosts
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I have spoken here before about the fact that Civil War reenacting has been around long enough to have a history of its own; a definite highpoint of that history would have by any standards to be the events of the 125th Anniversary of the War, 1986 - 90. Naturally, Gettysburg's anniversary in 1988 was the greatest of these in any respect. This was the largest reenactment held to date, featuring something like 10,000 - 12,000 participants, and I was a part of that number. Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate any of my papers from that time, so I hope you will excuse me if I recall what I can from memory about the events of that long weekend.

At the time, I was serving as chairman of the Dallas, Texas, North Texas Reenactment Society, a group originally dedicated to Confederate artillery, but which had become a large organization with (too) many impressions pulling in too many directions. I acted as captain of those who more and more chose to portray Union infantry, somewhere above a dozen; other members joined a local Confederate infantry group and my best friend among them joined a Federal artillery crew as sergeant. In the photo above, I am the officer about 2/3 from the left in the front rank looking to my right to guide on the captain at left with his sword raised. This was Jeff Grezelik from Florida, head of a large group called the Department of the Gulf; our two companies formed the division (a group of two companies) seen above.

At this time there was competition and rivalry among reenactors that still continues in various ways to this day. For Union reenactors, this was chiefly in the existance of three separate and competing battalions, the Eastern Battalion of authentics; the Western Battalion, ditto; and US: the "Third" or so-called UO Battallion. The latter was supposed to represent unattached others, i.e. those not affiliated with either of the other two; but this quickly degenerated into Unwanted Others or Unattached Orphans - those not deemed good enough by the other two! Our colonel was a former U.S. Marine officer named Tom Moore who I'd met previously at Corinth, Miss., and who had invited us to join him here at Gettysburg as part of his battalion. (Col. Moore can be seen on the white horse in the right background in the photo below.)

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Once arrived and established in camp we drilled in preparation for the various scenarios we were to perform over the next three days: Seminary Ridge, The Wheatfield, and Pickett's Charge. Since my "company" was only about a dozen strong - and Col. Moore had told me, "You provide the Captain - I'll provide the company", or something like that - we received other Western Federals from Arizona, Colorado, and California; plus a file of very "fresh fish" from somewhere nearby in Pennsylvania, all decked out in lots of shiny new hat brass: bugles, numbers, letters, etc. They didn't camp with us, disappearing when a battle ended and only reappearing right before the next. The group in these photos below show only the old-timers among us, properly sized by height so all mixed up as to origin.

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I was hugely assisted in my duties as captain by First Sergeant Glen Hargis of our Dallas group, seen in these photos drilling the men while I do what I always did best - pose for the camera! Our approximately thirty-man company (including the new locals) was the smallest in Moore's U.O. Battalion and probably the smallest Union infantry company on the field. Fortunately, most were men of experience, making my job all that much easier. Above, the position of ready!

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Aim! As you can see in the background, other companies are likewise performing company drill. Notice the red three-leaf clover insignias of the First Division of Hancock's II Corps which we represented in the Wheatfield scenario. These were donated to us as part of our registration packets.

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Recover arms! Oddly enough, once the event was underway, the structured battalion formations were largely abandoned, probably because they were unwieldy and really too large to represent veteran Union regiments at the time of Gettysburg. Our U.O. Battalion was probably as strong as a full-compliment regiment of a thousand men or more, so it and the others were broken into smaller units of maneuver.

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My thirty-odd plus Jeff Grezelik's approximately eighty were combined with a larger and truly Northern unit of over a hundred, seen in formation in their company street above and below,whose usual impression was of the 28th Mass. thereby making us a part of the Irish Brigade too, at least for the Wheatfield scenario. Note especially their green Regimental and National colors topped with the wreaths of evergreen foliage used by units of the Irish Brigade:

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Below, my Home, Sweet Home for the days of the event. This was a very hot July, making it hard to really rest, even at night.

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Next time - Whirlpool in the Wheatfield!
 
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7thWisconsin

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It was a memorable experience. I was one of those Californians who came back for the event. We were Iron Brigade on the first day, then 14th Indiana, with a bunch of boys from Evansville, Ind. the other 2. We had drilled for a year to make sure we were as "good as those eastern units." We were as good as some, better than others, in other words about average. Yes.it was fiercely hot. And dusty. I'd only been doing Civil War couple years at that time, although I'd marched through the Bicentennial doing Revolutionary War. I only had half a shelter tent at that time, so I rigged it like a lean-to.
At that time, I was in my unrepentant hardcore phase, and operated under the rubric that it's better to use none at all than use the incorrect item. Without exception. I didn't have proper underwear, so... Yep. 4 days, heat wool, marching, sweat, wool. By the end of the event you could have passed a Columbiad between my knees.
 

Frederick14Va

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.... and I was on the other side during that stifling hot weekend.... Our entire battalion combined together to portray the 4th Virginia (if memory serves correctly) of the Stonewall Brigade... I had the honor to be its color bearer... 25 years later at the 150th... (equally broiling hot).... still at it and we portrayed the 4th Alabama this time around....

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Part II - The Wheatfield, Etc.
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Unfortunately I have absolutely NO memory at all of the first day of this event, Friday, which represented part of the action of the first day of the battle on McPherson's and Seminary Ridges. I DO remember, however, that we "untouchables" of the U. O. Battalion portrayed (I think) part of Robinson's or maybe Doubleday's division, so were held "in reserve" and out-of-sight of the spectators until late in the battle. Naturally, as will be seen later, the Eastern Battalion of Federals had reserved for themselves the "plum" units and battlefield positions other than that of the Iron Brigade, which I think was at least made up of men of the Western Battalion. Above, First Sergeant Hargis and I stand at the head of our company in column-of-march formation on the more memorable second day's Wheatfield scenario. Note again the red shamrock insignia of Caldwell's First Division of the II Corps, sewn on the breast of my frock coat by Glen's lovely wife Carol, who probably also took these photos with my camera.

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We are formed in column waiting to move off into what was probably a very realistic scenario I remember only extremely vaguely - having participated in events of this scale makes me quite leery of all those first-person accounts our histories are based on, since I remember so little of this - and there were NO actual bullets flying or shells exploding either! I think this was a loose scenario, more like a tactical event where units maneuvered in a large and more-or-less open area without a definite timetable or battle plan; at least it certainly seemed that way.

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This formation was probably a safety inspection or maybe the gathering of the Federals prior to the Wheatfield getting underway. I entrusted Carol or another of the wives with my camera because as Captain of the company I had far too much to worry about to bother with photos or anything else! As you can see, we were in light marching order; in addition to my sword, I carried only a canteen with tin cup attached. Since we represented units of the Army of the Potomac, we'd been told to wear only kepis or forage caps, which I think I did on the first day, but due to the heat I donned my Hardee and heard nothing about it!

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We are here likely cheering our mounted brigade or division commanders; this was the largest event I'd yet participated in and was somewhat overwhelmed by its scale and numbers. I especially loved seeing the corps and division flags that had been made specially for Gettysburg, like that of the First Division of the II Corps below; I asked my surrogate photographer to try and get some shots with the flags in them. (The shirtless joker in the foreground of these is NOT a participant, but only one of the spectators, thank goodness!)

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Once the battle got underway, it seemed everything became a blur as I strove to react to the commands of the leader of the 28th Massachusetts who served as the commander of our "regiment". Presumably, Col. Moore and the other mounted battalion commanders served as brigade commanders since their original large units had been broken up. At some point, Jeff's company and my own were split off from the 28th, possibly to go around a Devil's Den-sized boulder I well-remember that occupied part of our battlefield. Sometime after that, Jeff's company also disappeared, leaving mine all alone near the end of the scenario. Our little "forlorn hope" was then ordered by some officer to CHARGE the attacking Confederates, in the manner of the real 1st Minnesota. We stumbled forward taking considerable casualties; fortunately, this was right at the end of the action and near the crowd, and so the attackers obligingly died, leaving me and a few others standing almost alone amid the carnage!

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Following the Saturday afternoon battle, I almost became a casualty for real! I was concentrating so much on my duties as Captain I hadn't eaten anything since our arrival Thursday afternoon, and as everyone here agrees, it was brutally HOT. I decided I needed to get something inside me, and at least something cool to drink besides water, so wandered over to the concession stands where fortunately I met one of my corporals, Ryan O'Neal from Louisiana. While standing in line I felt queasy in my stomach, weak in the knees, had stopped sweating, my skin felt clammy and I almost passed out; Ryan sat me down and got us drinks and hot dogs which did much to revive my flagging condition!

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Of course, the 125th Gettysburg was featured in Glory as the Battle of Antietam at the first of that movie. Although the following year I participated heavily in the filming of Glory, it wasn't until much later once it was finished and in the theaters that after several screenings that I realized I'd made into this part as well, though I certainly do remember seeing the film crew including my friend Ray Herbeck with their hand-held Panasonic movie camera. Below is a "screen capture" I made which shows me at the head of my company marching past as part of the Irish Brigade in the Wheatfield scenario:

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Next, action on the flank of Pickett's Charge.
 
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James N.

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Part III - Repelling the Various Charges of George Pickett
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On the third day at Gettysburg everyone was finally ready for the climax - the Pickett's Charge scenario! But by then it was painfully obvious there were major problems still to be dealt with. It seemed the Confederates were having trouble with their organization as well as we Federals, and it also involved competition between the long-standing Eastern authentics and newer groups like King's Brigade, above representing Hood's Texans on the second day of the event; Gen. Jack King is at left. How this played out will soon be told.

The main problem with this event was that it seemed to have outgrown everyone's expectations and was overwhelming its organizers, Pat Massengill's Napoleonic Tactics. Massengill was establishing an unsavory reputation among the reenacting community, which came to a head with a vengance during the later filming of the movie Gettysburg, but I think here he and his staff were trying to achieve the impossible. One evidence of this can be seen in the photo below where Glen and I are at the head of our company double-quicking to the battlefield on the morning of the third day: note the MOUNTAIN of garbage, loose and in plastic bags, piled at the left! All the camps were like this, and all the water buffaloes were dry, or nearly so.

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This size problem was even evident on the battlefield, which proved to be too small for the Pickett's Charge they planned. Even though like most Civil War events the Federals were considerably outnumbered, there were still too many of us for the Federal line. Also as usual for Eastern events, our friends of the Eastern Battalion made sure they were on the end nearest the spectators, and more importantly the Classic Images cameras! Naturally our U. O. Battalion was given the far end of the line where we were all but invisible; even then there wasn't enough room, so my company and Jeff's Floridians were put "in reserve" on a second line with almost no hope of seeing any action whatsoever.

If you'll remember, other than the handful of fresh fish, my company was composed of reenactors who had come the farthest to participate, and I was determined they would at least get to participate in Pickett's Charge! We were behind the Federal line with Jeff on our left and a clump of woods on our right front through which we could see nothing; fortuitously, about this time a cavalryman emerged from the trees who I recognized as reenactor and saddler Doug Kidd. I asked him what was going on in front and he told me there were Rebels in the trees or something like that; I decided to use this as the excuse to move my company on my own hook. I first sent my second sergeant down the narrow path where Doug had been to scout out if we could go down it; he soon came back answering in the affirmative. Without bothering to tell anyone what I was doing, I began to lead my company to the front when who should appear but Col. Moore who instantly demanded to know where we were going! I replied that a cavalryman had warned me there were Rebels in the woods, and he let me go!

Once through the narrow skirt of trees, an altogether different aspect presented itself: there were in fact no Rebels, but there was another company of Federals facing forward and in advance of the main line; I think they were supposed to represent the advanced position of the 8th Ohio at the Bliss barn. They were snugged up against more trees on their right, so there was no room for us there - but between them and the main line stood a nice big tree shading a gap about as wide as half my company. By the third day my voice was completely shot from screaming commands over the noise so I had to indicate and whisper to Glen and the others what I intended to do: split the company into platoons and have the right platoon kneel, backed by the second platoon standing and firing over their heads. In that way we could at lest fit into that small space, which was at right angles to our main line and the attacking Confederates - this was a maneuver actually used by some members of Alex Hayes' II Corps division on Gibbon's right during the real battle!

The poor Confederates were likewise constricted by the dimensions of the battlefield: instead of a single assault, there had to be two or three to get them all in! They therefore came at us in waves, the rear units waiting their turn to go forward and be slaughtered. I tried to keep my men firing furiously at will, but even they tired of burning powder and settled down to watch the spectacle of the Confederates marching to their doom. We were ignored and except for firing we saw no action and therefore suffered no casualties! Once it was all over, I formed my company and began to march out over the battlefield, that being the shortest way back to our camps. It was then that one of the more memorable scenes was enacted: from a loudspeaker there was a call for stillness and silence while Taps was played. It was only then that I recognized that we were marching over the "dead" bodies of my friends in the Confederate Guard of King's Brigade, who like us had been relegated to the end of the battle to make their assault and were also on the far end of the field, well away from the "hot dogs" who monopolized things up by the Angle! Thus for me ended what was probably the most significant reenactment of my career, even if scarcely the most enjoyable: from here I went on to "professional reenacting" in Glory!
 
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poorjack

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I was at the 125th of Gettysburg but on the Confederate side. Words are poor descriptions of what happened but I'll come back to that. At the 125th of New Market, we were on the stone wall shooting at the advancing Union. The acoustics of the buildings had more than one person looking up to see if twigs were being cut from the orchard by minie balls. It's where I "shot" my first bluecoat. He was a sargent, with the side guide on the end of his company. They were about 100yds away. His musket had evidently fouled and he drew a handgun to shoot at us. I took aim at the shiny breast plate, pulled the trigger and down he went. The 125th events, with Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Appomattox and others were a special time to be there. At Wilderness, we fought in woods so thick you couldn't see left or right past about 3 or 4 ranks. At Spotsylvania, we were on the field in the works before dawn. In the predawn chill, three of us sat back to back to conserve body heat. We heard the Union troops moving into attack positions in the darkness. We watched the sun rise, raising the curtain on the drama about to unfold where we would stack blue coats like so much cord wood. At Appomattox, we fought a desperate rear guard action to stave off the advancing Federals. We forded a cold stream over waist deep that was running high, holding our muskets, cartridge and cap boxes above the water, trying to gain the far bank to turn and further resist the oncoming Federals. Our defense there was determined and we shot down a group of Federals who taunted us with white cloth. Shortly after, even more Union men took their place and we were greatly out numbered, over run and all were killed, wounded or captured. It was very cold that night and snowed. The next morning, we formed up, marched up to the courthouse to stack arms, but before doing so, we did what our unit did 125 years prior and we parted our colors. All the Federals got were some musket stacks and an empty flag pole. My piece of the colors still has a place of honor on my den wall.

At the 125th of Gettysburg, on Pickett's charge, we died at the Angle in a desperate attempt to dislodge the Federals from that spot. Hot dog? Don't think so, at least I had no hand in that decision but was privileged to be there. Most of our front rank went down from a Federal volley at the road, most of the second at the next, and the 3rd finished it. Nobody got closer than about 20 yards. At the Wheatfield, I went through about 100 rounds before we were to take heavy casualties. Going through the field, you had to be careful not to step on anybody, they were that thick on the ground, both blue and grey. At most events, for me anyway, the battles are kinda like a play where we have scripted roles, but there are times when it is easy to forget that the real thing was 125 years earlier. For me at the Wheatfield, while burning powder, I had the "moment" several times where the foe I shot at went down. Hard to describe it, but there is a twinge of excitement about the guy going down tempered by remorse for killing someone. It can give a taste of what it might have been like for those guys. My favorite memory of the Wilderness was at night. Both armies camped in hollows separated by a hill. That night I went up onto the hill with musket and accoutraments. In the still night air sound really carries. The musicians of both sides got together and put on an inpromptu concert of fifes and drums. From that vantage point with no modern things to intrude, it was easy to imagine being out on picket duty and looking back over the camps. All quiet along the Potomac tonight.

I guess I have to post a couple of my pix. One is a group of Confederates moving through the Wheatfield and right in the middle is a guy taking a hit. Love that picture.

Lots of interesting stuff happened there during the 125s. While waiting for Picket's Charge, the bored Confederate troops started doing musket waves up and down the column. I won't say who started it, but he was in my company and was known to be quite a character. The radio guy doing announcing over FM commented on the goings on in the Confederate column. One of the VA guys always carried a crow call. He'd hit it and nearly the entire line pointed all directions to somewhere in the sky. Amazing what can pass for entertainment for bored reenactors. It was really hot that weekend (aren't most of them?) and I walked the camps of both sides in the evening soaking the ambiance in. I have another shot in an artillery park in the early morning fog with the guns parked by the tents. One of the guys in our company was one of those people who looked like they time travelled. He looked so good, that a national TV shot had focussed on him marching past and that clip played multiple times. I'm in the shot as well, at least my elbow and musket.
 

James N.

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I was at the 125th of Gettysburg but on the Confederate side. Words are poor descriptions of what happened but I'll come back to that.... At Spotsylvania, we were on the field in the works before dawn. In the predawn chill, three of us sat back to back to conserve body heat. We heard the Union troops moving into attack positions in the darkness. We watched the sun rise, raising the curtain on the drama about to unfold where we would stack blue coats like so much cord wood...
First of all, poorjack, Welcome to the Forums!

True, in our visual age, Words are poor descriptions of what happened but it's good to hear from someone on the opposite side; I'd love to see your pictures as well, and hope you can figure out how to post them. (It isn't hard.) I know what you mean about waiting in the morning stillness for a dawn attack - I was on the Confederate side at the 125th Antietam along the worm fence waiting for the I Corps attack through the Cornfield! Unfortunately, I have NO photos from that event and nothing to remember it by except for a commercial VHS tape; I can actually see myself in some of the scenes like falling over the fence there, and later at "Burnside's Bridge". (Actually another of the supposedly FORTY similar stone bridges in the county!)

At the 125th of Gettysburg, on Pickett's charge, we died at the Angle in a desperate attempt to dislodge the Federals from that spot. Hot dog? Don't think so, at least I had no hand in that decision but was privileged to be there. Most of our front rank went down from a Federal volley at the road, most of the second at the next, and the 3rd finished it. Nobody got closer than about 20 yards. At the Wheatfield, I went through about 100 rounds before we were to take heavy casualties. Going through the field, you had to be careful not to step on anybody, they were that thick on the ground, both blue and grey. At most events, for me anyway, the battles are kinda like a play where we have scripted roles, but there are times when it is easy to forget that the real thing was 125 years earlier. For me at the Wheatfield, while burning powder, I had the "moment" several times where the foe I shot at went down...
I made that comment because of all the reenacting politics that at times can ruin or at least lessen our experiences. It's annoying to come so far, as had most of the men in my company, only to be reduced to the part of "supporting player" while all the Eastern Authentics hog the spotlight! I agree with you about the Wheatfield scenario providing times of suspension of belief - but in one scenario (not that one though) I insisted beforehand that NONE of my NCO's become casualties, because I was having serious trouble with my strained voice and was worried that no matter how authentic it was, I wanted my commands relayed along the line. In addition to the aforementioned Glen Hargis as my First Sergeant I had a captain in the actual U.S. Regular Army from Fort Hood named Gary as my Lieutenant - but he was in the Corps of Engineers and not a line officer. (That's him gesturing on the left in the photo below.) After we got underway, I "decided" that I was the one who would "take a hit", so threw him unexpectedly into command. I don't know how he liked that but I knew he really wanted to be in command, if only for a short time!

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Gettysburg was the last of the 125th Anniversary events I got to attend, partly due to working on Glory the following year. Ten years later I had much less to do as a staff officer, but much better opportunities to take pictures:

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/with-the-frontier-battalion-at-gettysburg-135th-july-1998.100263/#post-881710
 
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poorjack

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Most of my pix are scans of pix that others shot. I never carried a camera on field. I'll try this evening to post some. Our outfit was part of the 1st NC Battalion and we, as a group of reenactors, very often brigaded together for the 125th events. Our group normally didn't have to be told to take casualties, but many times before a historical scenario, we met together and were told that we have to have X% casualties by the end. At Gettysburg, we were told from the fence at the road to about 20yds from the Federal positions, 100% casualties. We've had times in an event where we were to assault an artillery position. The officer of the guns could be heard ordering to load canister. We just took it that was our cue to take 80-90% on the next cannon shot. The gun crews loved it and would often come comment to us afterwards that they had "the moment" when the advancing gray line was mowed down by "canister". Many times, our "combat photographer" was usually the first to go where he would hunker down in the weeds and shot pix while striving to not let other see it unless they were practically on top of him.

Reenacting politics contributed to my leaving the hobby and not going back, although the main reason was occupational. I've always hated those types of games and have a disdain for those who play them. Another factor in not reenacting again is that I'm not as spry as I used to be. Not that I'm ready for the "Walker Brigade" but I feel that if I can't function at 100% in the heat, camp on straw under a shelter half with no ill effects, then it's probably time to stop.

I can relate to the voice going away. I was in the parade in Richmond just after, I think it was Spotsylvania, and was side guide for the company. I could only croak the repeat of the commands. It took several days before I could talk normally again.

The guys new to reenacting really missed out on some great events at the 125 cycle and I would hope that the 150ths are special for them given the current social political climate.
 

poorjack

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Here's my section of the colors. We parted them at the 125th of Appomattox. The most special part for me is that it has the battle honor for an engagement our original unit was in that is very near where my family is from. It is entirely possible that some of my ancestors witnessed events surrounding this battle.

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IIRC, this was at 125th of New Market. Tremendous amounts of musketry. Good thing I farbed out and wore earplugs.

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The is a shot from the 125th Gettysburg Wheatfield. Camera was Cannon AE1, 400ASA, 210mm lens. I like the composition of this shot. Note the looks and postures of the soldiers advancing and one on the right third that won't make it. There is also on on the left third that went down, you can just see his head dipping.
 

bdtex

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Awesome thread. You guys make me wanna go to a reenactment.
 
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CheathamHill

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Love these 125th era write-ups.
I came in at the very end of the 125th's in 89-90 but I lived off of the Classic Images 125th series for over a decade. I wore out VHS after VHS. That set was LOADED. Bullnassas, Shiloh, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotysylvania, Atlanta, Franklin, Bentonville..etc etc etc. My teen self would watch them over and over and over again.
My absolute favorite was the reenactor's edition of the 125th Gettysburg that was over 2 hours long and included everything from registration and planning the event months in advance to emptying the final parking lot. It was the gospel I would compare all future reenactments to throughout the 90's finally seeing it bested at the 135th 10 years later. The real shame is that this series never made it to DVD and I'm hard pressed to even find the VHS versions anymore.
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poorjack

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I have seen those, especially the reenactors cut of 125th of Gettysburg and there are a couple of places where I saw my unit, or myself. Wish I had that on dvd. And yes, parking was epic. (said dripping with irony and a dollop of sarcasm.) Incredibly hot too. I heard that there were 100k spectators, don't know if it was true. The crowd was very large and Picket's Charge was held in an area conducive to spectators. We formed up after the battle, struck camp and hung out in the charter bus with AC for nearly 2 hours waiting for traffic to clear.

The Wilderness was fought in, well, wilderness. The battlefield was a dense woodlot with pretty dense understory and brush so you were rarely able to see past 3-4 files left or right. The musketry was close range and there was some hand to hand. I spoke with a spectator afterwards and he lamented that there wasn't much to see, just a bunch of woods, lots of noise and smoke from the trees. The air was still so the smoke and "fog of war" had a special quality. The same spectator was telling me of guys leaving the woods puking from the smoke, and yeah, it was very thick in there.

I've got to dig out some more of my old pix, there are some pretty good ones. I'm not reenacting anymore but am getting into NSSA. The time for blanks is over, bring on the minies.
 

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Love these 125th era write-ups.
I came in at the very end of the 125th's in 89-90 but I lived off of the Classic Images 125th series for over a decade. I wore out VHS after VHS. That set was LOADED. Bullnassas, Shiloh, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotysylvania, Atlanta, Franklin, Bentonville..etc etc etc. My teen self would watch them over and over and over again.
My absolute favorite was the reenactor's edition of the 125th Gettysburg that was over 2 hours long and included everything from registration and planning the event months in advance to emptying the final parking lot. It was the gospel I would compare all future reenactments to throughout the 90's finally seeing it bested at the 135th 10 years later. The real shame is that this series never made it to DVD and I'm hard pressed to even find the VHS versions anymore.
the-civil-war-embattled-nation-vhs-1988-3-tape-set_953619.jpg
You know it's possible to have them transferred to a DVD and probably not all that expensive any more. You might look into it and see if it's still possible.
 
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You know it's possible to have them transferred to a DVD and probably not all that expensive any more. You might look into it and see if it's still possible.
Would love to however I can't find even the VHS versions these days. Every now and then 1 single one will pop up but would love to acquire the set
 

James N.

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Love these 125th era write-ups.
I came in at the very end of the 125th's in 89-90 but I lived off of the Classic Images 125th series for over a decade. I wore out VHS after VHS. That set was LOADED. Bullnassas, Shiloh, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotysylvania, Atlanta, Franklin, Bentonville..etc etc etc. My teen self would watch them over and over and over again.
My absolute favorite was the reenactor's edition of the 125th Gettysburg that was over 2 hours long and included everything from registration and planning the event months in advance to emptying the final parking lot. It was the gospel I would compare all future reenactments to throughout the 90's finally seeing it bested at the 135th 10 years later. The real shame is that this series never made it to DVD and I'm hard pressed to even find the VHS versions anymore.
the-civil-war-embattled-nation-vhs-1988-3-tape-set_953619.jpg
Of those I have Manassas, Shiloh, and Gettysburg; Antietam was produced by a different company than Classic Images and I have it too because I attended those four events. Shiloh has a brief shot of Marty Brazil as Grant and myself as John Rawlins standing outside a wall tent, but otherwise I don't think I show in any of the Classic Images tapes. I'm in several scenes in the Antietam tape though they are very quick.
 
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7thWisconsin

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I finally found the one and only photo that I know was taken of our company at Gettysburg, I think right before forming up for Pickett's Charge. There's G Co, 14th Indiana. We flew from California for the event. I'm the corporal on the front right, sleeve rolled up.
IMG_20150829_111600_burst_02.jpg
 
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James N.

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I finally found the one and only photo that I know was taken of our company at Gettysburg, I think right before forming up for Pickett's Charge. There's G Co, 14th Indiana. We flew from California for the event. I'm the corporal on the front right, sleeve rolled up.View attachment 77923
I don't recognize anyone, though I had Californians in the company I commanded; were you in the Western Battalion with George Derenburger instead?

Edit: Looking back at your first post I see you were - we certainly weren't "good enough" to portray the Iron Brigade!
 
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