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I hope everyone is well and enjoying their summer which is quickly drawing to a close. I heard the muster went well and the weather for it was awesomely pleasant for this time of year. I will let the 1st Sergeant comment on it further since I was not able to attend.
For the month of September, we only have one event scheduled. That is a living history program at Antietam National Battlefield Park. This is the weekend of September 16 & 17. Since this is a National Park Service event there is no registration fee and you can still come even if you did not sign up for it. I hear there is a rather challenging march associated with the event. I urge everyone to attend if at all possible. Again, I will let the 1st Sergeant fill you in on all the details.
This is it for me this month, short and sweet, just the way I like it. See you at Antietam.
With kindest regards,
F Company Annual Muster (26 Aug 2017)-Well no one can complain about the weather for this year’s muster at Gettysburg! What’s more all the participants arrived on time ready to go w/many wearing F Co ball caps and T shirts as well! We departed for the tour at 0902 in a three-vehicle convoy w/our first stop being the newly restored Lee’s Headquarters just to the west of town where the background for the Gettysburg Campaign was discussed, and from here to the West End Guide Station to deal w/initial Federal cavalry defense fighting against the advancing Confederate forces. After completing this walking phase on McPherson’s Ridge, we explored the spot where John Reynolds was killed, the Federal 1st Corp commander. Then across the Chambersburg Pike to see the other prong of the Confederate attack including the Railroad Cut. The high ground at Oak Ridge provided a good picture of the problems of the Confederate attack by Rode’s Division. We drove the entire length of the Federal 11th Corp’s defensive line just north of town w/a stop at Barlow’s Knoll and a review of the failed Federal defense and retreat thru town to Cemetery Ridge. The stop at Coster Avenue proved a real treat as most visitors to the battlefield never see this isolated part of the battlefield nor the large-scale mural depicting the fighting at this site.
Using a long circuitous route to avoid tourist traffic in town we moved to the base of Culp’s Hill to Spangler Springs for our sack lunches and a latrine break. Spangler Springs was a favorite picnic spot, both prior to and after the battle, for Gettysburg residents so we lunched in an appropriate historical setting. Additionally, a CS living history demonstration was going on at this site as well. Wrapping up our lunch which included root beer and water provided by Jack Alexander we were off to explore the Federal defensive line at Cemetery Ridge which butts up to the Evergreen Cemetery. We ended the tour here at around 1500 hours. Participants at the muster included the Alexander’s; Travis Clements and his father John; Hanson brothers; Kyle Weidman plus the entire Villanueva family. In my estimation Jeremy’s two children, Amber and Daniel proved to be “good troopers” having been drug along to this muster! I want to particularly thank Jack Alexander and Ray Hanson for providing transportation to the group so we could keep our vehicle convoy down to the very minimum.
Antietam Living History and March (15-17 Sep 2017)-I’ll divide the information into living history and march components. This is based on information I’ve been provided by organizers. March- Participants will depart from the Antietam NB at 0500 on Sat morning for Harpers Ferry (start point) utilizing participant vehicles. Participants will march 17 miles in one day to Antietam wading the Potomac River. If the river is too high for a foot crossing then participants will march into Shepardstown and pick-up the C&O Canal on the Maryland side which would add another 2-3 miles to march. Marchers will be followed by chase vehicles w/water and a trained EMT. While you’ll be mostly on macadam roads you will be going up several hills. Organizers have recommended that individuals only in good physical condition should make this march. I’d strongly recommend you think seriously if you’re in condition to make this march!
Living History- Troops may arrive on Fri evening and should plan to bivouac at the Dunker Church near park visitors center. There are three musket firing demonstrations planned each day. You’ll need to provide your own rations and event organizers have recommended you bring an additional supply of water due to limited park support for the event as well as tentage (dog tents) in case of adverse weather even though this is a campaigner event.
This is an NPS event so your musket will be inspected 0800-0830 on Sat and Sunday. No blank rounds or percussion caps present during NPS inspection. Given the number of firing demonstrations planned then you’ll need a minimum of 60 rounds of blank ammunition and an adequate supply of percussion caps. All blank ammunition and percussion caps need to be stored in plastic or paper bag w/your name on them for storage in our company ammunition box.
New Regimental Dispatch Editor-Starting w/the Oct issue of the “Regimental Dispatch”, we’ll have a new editor, that is, Brooke Macrum, the daughter of Jack Alexander. This will free me up for other F Co activities and see an editor on board who has the skills for all this electronic work that I don’t possess! Information policy will remain the same w/all content for newsletter going thru me to Brooke for final formatting. Yes, we should be able to start publishing color photographs again!
Michael L. Vice
1st SGT, F Co,
21st VA Infantry
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