Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hale Farm registration

The registration for for this year's Hale Farm reenactment (August 10-12) is now available. We are really pushing to make this a Birney's 2d Battalion Max Effort Event since the cancellation of Lisbon. Make sure to mark on your registration that you are part of Birney's Division.

CLICK HERE to download the registration form.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Antietam Reenactment Details

Wednsday / Thursday - Staff may arrive

Friday - Troops arrive set up camps

Saturday Morning 9:00 AM - "Escape from Harpers Ferry"

This battle is like no other battle you have experienced at any national anniversary event ever held in major Civil War reenacting today. At any other event of this magnitude the battle scenarios have been carefully scripted and tailored to accommodate spectators. They were always held out in the open and in plain view of the public. For all of you that question the merit of the non-spectator event consider this new and refreshing approach to a battle by reenactors for reenactors.

This battle will be very unique, challenging and spontaneous. The battle will begin with Longstreet's mounted cavalry making a hasty retreat out of the Harpers Ferry district over actual roads that were used during the war crossing the site of this event. They will be accompanied by a period horse drawn supply train and light artillery over these wooded trails somewhere on the property. All commanders will not have any knowledge of the train's whereabouts at the start of the battle. The Federal command will send the Federal Cavalry out to reconnoiter and find the Confederate Cavalry that is rumored to be making a break out somewhere in the area just as it would have been during the War. When the opposing force is located the Federal Cavalry will attack and try to turn their advance. Couriers will speed off to alert the opposing armies that will be in camp to come to the aid of their forces already engaged. Both armies will converage somewhere on the property and one hell of a fight will ensue. This battle may set the standard for reenactments to come in the future. Imagine for the first time at a major reenactment being able to have a major battle on a wooded trail just the way it would have happened during the war. The battle will test the abilities and instincts of all commanders to follow orders and react to what transpires. This battle has no time limit it lasts till a sealed objective order is fulfilled by both overall commanders. Our abilities will be tested in this new and refreshing approach to doing the hobby our way.

1:00 PM - "The Battle of the West Woods"

The battle of the West Woods will be a hotly contested fight on pristine ground that will be a scripted battle. The battle will roll between the armies back and forth as history dictates with many interesting twists incorporated into a great battle.

The battle opened at dawn (about 5:30 a.m.) on September 17 with an attack down the Hagerstown Turnpike by the Union I Corps under Joseph Hooker. Hooker's objective was the plateau on which the Dunker Church stood. Hooker had approximately 8,600 men, little more than the 7,700 defenders under Stonewall Jackson, and this slight disparity was more than offset by the Confederates' strong defensive positions. Abner Doubleday's division moved on Hooker's right, James Ricketts's moved on the left into the East Woods, and George Meade's division deployed in the center and slightly to the rear. Jackson's defense consisted of the divisions under Alexander Lawton and John R. Jones in line from the West Woods, across the Turnpike, and along the southern end of the Miller Cornfield. Four brigades were held in reserve inside the West Woods.

As the first Union men emerged from the North Woods and into the Cornfield, an artillery duel erupted. Confederate fire was from the horse artillery batteries under Jeb Stuart to the west and four batteries under Col. Stephen D. Lee on the high ground across the pike from the Dunker Church to the south. Union return fire was from nine batteries on the ridge behind the North Woods and four batteries of 20-pounder 2 miles (3 km) east of Antietam Creek. The conflagration caused heavy casualties on both sides and was described by Col. Lee as "Artillery Hell."

Sunday Morning - 10:00 AM - "The Battle of the Sunken Road"

The Finale to this great reenactment weekend will be the Battle of the Sunken Road. This battle will be fought on a 1/8 th mile natural swale that will have the erie look of the Sunken Road on that day in September in 1862 near Sharpsburg Maryland, complete with a replica rail fence similar to the one that stood at the time of the battle. To add to the excitement and realisim there will be major league pyrotechnics done by the experts that do the famous Perryopolis event in Western Pennsylvania. Great pains have been taken to make this battle as realistic as possible and it will be one you all will not soon forget.

The carnage from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the sunken road gave it the name Bloody Lane, leaving about 5,600 casualties (Union 3,000, Confederate 2,600) along the 800-yard road. And yet a great opportunity presented itself. If this broken sector of the Confederate line were exploited, Lee's army would have been divided in half and possibly defeated. There were ample forces available to do so. There was a reserve of 3,500 cavalry and the 10,300 infantrymen of Gen. Porter's V Corps, waiting near the middle bridge, a mile away. The VI Corps had just arrived with 12,000 men. Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin of the VI Corps was ready to exploit this breakthrough, but Sumner, the senior corps commander, ordered him not to advance. Franklin appealed to McClellan, who left his headquarters in the rear to hear both arguments but backed Sumner's decision, ordering Gens. Franklin and Hancock to hold their positions.