Saturday, September 29, 2007

Antietam photos

A great group of pics from the 145h Antietam have been posted. CLICK HERE to take a gander.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sweetening the pot of the Perryopolis event

Upon a suggestion from our 2nd Battalion commander Chris Smith, we are adding a Saturday night semi-tactical battle, non-spectator, just for us in the trenches. This will be in addition to the two Petersburg scenarios. Artillery and Infantry are encouraged to participate. Bring lots of powder!

Do we have any units wanting to stay in the barracks? We can accommodate about 40 soldiers. If so please get back to me asap.

Your Servant,

Edward L. Kelley Sr. , Major General
Federal First Division
Birney's Division

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thanks to all

I would like to take a moment and reflect my thoughts and observations of this past weekend at Loudoun Hts. In my position working closely with Gen. Kelley I have the opportunity to move about all the camps, Union and Confederate meeting with people of the highest rank down to a first year private and of course our civilians. Not in my 12 years in this hobby have I ever and I mean ever heard an across the board approval of a weekend as we have just experienced.

Throughout the weekend I questioned just about everyone I came in contact with, inquiring as to their take on the event, including the amenities, battles and their impression overall of the weekend. With exception of a few minor adjustments (we have already addressed them) this was the most successful large reenactment ever done. I hope this is an example to others that we can have a great time portraying events in history, without being an attraction for profit. What we have accomplished is pure reenacting done for our own satisfaction.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who attended and to the outstanding Command staffs of both armies. I would most of all I would like to express my gratitude to our generous and gracious hosts, Bill and Mona Raymond they are extraordinary people; who just love to have a couple thousand of their best friends drop by for a good time. I am looking very forward to our next year's event at the Raymond's.

Brig Gen Michael D. Maffei
Chief of Staff, Birney's Division

Monday, September 17, 2007

Petersburg at Perryopolis

As soon as you catch your breath from the great Antietam event, it is time to get prepared for Birney's Division's last event of the season, the Perryopolis event.

This great event is as unique as they get. We custom built this site and geared it toward the theme of late war trench warfare. We were given Carte Blanche a few years ago on over 100 wooded acres and a bull dozer at our command to make any kind of Civil War site we desired. We had a 125 yard earthworks built along with a couple hand made log cabins and long barracks on the wooded site, featuring a wooded grove style of camp areas. The site is just about free of modern intrusions and is just right for a great Civil War event. We know you have all heard of the event you just need to give it a try to experience a very realistic reenacting event.

Imagine having heavy artillery bombardment with "shells" exploding all around you. Feeling the concussion of the explosions and having the debris showering all over. Believe me when the pyrotechnics and shelling starts you can hear the boys hooting in the trenches. It is a real rush. We make it a step back into time. You gotta try this one!

For the family there is a community festival about a half mile away from the secluded CW site and shuttles are provided. With great low priced concessions, arts and crafts and live music all weekend, a free meal on Saturday night, and a Military Ball to top it off.

The town of Perryopolis is a very historic place. The town was laid out by George Washington's Brother and a restored grist mill of George Washington's is on site as well. There is something for everyone there. The registration is just $7 , can't beat that!

This is a Birney's Division / PAC event. General Ed Kelley and Colonel Mark Essig are the commanders and if you have ever done one of our events you know the standard we maintain. We just don't do stale or bad events. Only fresh exciting ones for us.

Take a look on Birney's Divisions website. There is a Perryopolis page with more information, pics, and registration forms.

Your Servant,

Edward L. Kelley Sr., Major General
Federal First Division
Birney's Division

Antietam Divisional AAR

Wah Hoooo! What a weekend; the 145th Antietam is in the books. This was without a doubt a breath of fresh air to the reenacting experience. The weather was beautiful except a shower on Friday night, the site was absolutely awesome, the fights some of the best held lately, and the experience of the no pressure non-spectator format with it's ease of pace along with the great civilian activities combined for a great event.

We heard nothing but raves from the participants all weekend. Many comments like "The best event we have done all year", " Who needs mega events when you can do events like this?" We even got a comment from a commander that has been in the hobby since the sixties in regard to the Sunken Road. "This is the best battle I was ever in!"

Many of the participants took the time allowed from the early conclusion of the second battle on Saturday and went to tour Harper's Ferry, or Antietam battlefield, or went out to a leisurely dinner . There were 20 quality sutlers on site and all amenities were of the highest quality and were plentiful. At the end of the last battle on Sunday morning everyone packed up and was on the road home by 1:00 . The non-spectator event may never replace the other events but it is a great change of pace to do one just for us.

This event was such a rousing success that planning has already begun for a Chancellorsville event and will be held with the same format on the same weekend in September there on the Loudon Heights location in 2008 . Bill Raymond informs us that a unique addition will be added to the property to enhance the flavor of the event. A website should be up very soon . Update will follow as things develop.

Our thanks for everyone's support and we look forward to the next event there. We would like to express our deepest gratitude for the hospitality of Bill and Mona Raymond and their hard work along with their staff to provide us all with a wonderful Civil War experience at their reenactors paradise.

Your Servant,

Edward L. Kelley Sr., Major General
Federal First Division
Birney's Division

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Antietam setup info


Be advised Sgt Major Donahue of Birney's Division will be on site mid-day Wednesday. If you are arriving early report to him for camp assignments. I along with much of the staff will arrive mid-day Thursday. Gen. Baldwin and his staff will arrive Friday. We will do our best to get you all in and settled.

I have been in close contact with Bill Raymond the property owner and event logistic coordinator. He tells me the amenities are plentiful and convenient for all of us and the site is ready for a great event. For any of you that have been to the event site previously, there have been many improvements made and the site has been upgraded to a first class reenactment site.

We would like to thank the Raymonds and staff for a supreme effort to see that this event is a roaring success. See you all there.

Many Regards,

Edward L. Kelley Sr. , Major General
Federal First Division
Birney's Division

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Message from the Surgeon

To All Commanders,

With the implement of the Medical Dept of Birney's Division, there are a few new Orders that will be set in place to protect the members, military and civilian, of Birney's Division. As we all know accidents do happen, and people get hurt. The Medical Dept is equipped to handle minor injuries on and off the field until medical personnel arrives. Certain members of the staff are certified in CPR and work in the medical field. The Medical Dept will have available things such as band aids, ace bandages, first aid supplies etc. The Medical Department's " Hospital Tent " will be set up close to the Generals Headquarters at all events, and will be open for the entire event. If medical attention is necessary please stop by the " Hospital Tent " or send a runner and Medical Staff will respond.

General Order 1:
All members of Birney's Division, who have any kind of medical condition, in which medication is taken, MUST fill out a Emergency Medical Card and keep it on them during the event. The information on the card is confidential, and will only be used in the event of an actual medical emergency. Paramedics will ask if the patient they are taking care of is on medication(s) and what medications they take, and if they are allergic to any medication(s). So this is very important for those members who are diabetic or have a heart condition. We must relay the correct information to the paramedics.

The medical cards will be supplied by the Medical Dept. and handed out by your unit commander or picked up at the Field Hospital. The cards are small, ( 4 x 6 ), and must be kept on you at all events. For all Military re-enactors these are to be kept in your cartridge box. If for some reason you are unconscious and unable to speak, medical staff will know to look inside your cartridge box for your card.

The purpose of this is to keep all members of Birney's Division SAFE !!!! Your health and safety are of our up most concern.

General Order 2:
Ice will be provided during all battle scenarios by the Medical Dept. There will be "Ice Angles" in all Battalion's, and spread out within the Division. The "Ice Angles" will fall under the direction of the Medical Dept. If volunteers form different units would like to participate, and help out as an "Ice Angel", they must report to the Division Hospital Tent and ice will be there for them. This will also give us a good head count of "Ice Angles" that will be available and where to assign them. Volunteers form different units will be assigned to their home unit and Battalion as an "Ice Angle". The goal of this is to provide the troops with ice in the field during an event, and to let other non combatant re-enactors to take part in the battle and have some fun.

As events change from year to year, so will the Medical Department. It is here to serve you and watch over ALL re-enactors. If there are any ideas or suggestions that you would like to see the Division Hospital do, please let us know. We are here for you.


Your Obedient Servant,

Birney's Division Chief Surgeon
Colonel Wayne Unger
3rd Division Field Hospital