Monday, March 31, 2008

May School of Instruction



I hope your unit is planning on attending the School of Instruction on May 16-18, 2008. The site for the School will be Camp Markle just outside of West Newton, PA. It is off of Route 136 about 3-4 miles out of town.

Historically, Camp Markle was a Camp of Instruction, rendezvous camp, for the Sewickley Rifles in September of 1862. They were earmarked to be part of the 100th PVI. However, the 105th PVI also forming a regiment at that time was short one company to be officially a regiment. The captain of the Sewickley Rifles offered the commanding officer of the 105th PVI the company he had formed in exchange for the rank of Major in the 105th. This being agreed to, the Sewickley Rifles became Company E of the 105th PVI. The parade "march" that we will re-enact on Sunday afternoon is the same route that the Sewickley Rifles did in going to the train station in West Newton when going off to join the regiment and fight in the war. Also, this same ground was used as a camp by the Continental Army when organized to put down the Whiskey Rebellion in the late 1700's. Bottom line is this. We will be holding a camp of instruction, which we all need to brush off the rust from the winter, and hold a living history at the same time, while on historical ground used for the same purpose. Lastly, we will be supporting a fellow unit member (105th PVI) of Birney's Division at the same time.

As you can see from the Birney's Division website, we have a full schedule of quality instruction and activities to make it a worthwhile weekend.

In the way of perks to attend this school the Sergeant Major has obtained the following:

1. Eighty-five $20.00 gas cards awarded to those that participate in the Sunday parade. Also, all participants will receive a "housewife" and a bible for participating. The Sergeant Major will be arranging school bus transportation back to the camp from the train station after the march. For the older soldiers that may not be up to a four mile march, the bus will drop them off for the last leg of the march to the train station. It's about a mile down hill. They would still receive the gas card. If you carpool to this event, your gas should almost be paid for by these gas cards!!!

2. A live firing competition will be held near the camp.Yes, of course in a safe place and direction. The winner will receive a $100 award. The competitors will need to bring their own balls (bullets), but the event will provide the measured rounds of powder.

3. For a $10.00 fee, the event will provide a breakfast on Saturday (pancakes, syrup, and sausage) and Sunday (fruit) , a Saturday lunch (Sandwich, ham and cheese, and soup), and Saturday dinner (pig roast or prime rib with a potato and vegetable side). Please bring your own plates, utensils. Beverages are on your own. To ensure enough food is purchased and prepared, the fee must be paid no later that Friday May 2, 2008 when you register. See registration form.

4. The net proceeds of the event fee of this school will be donated to the preservation of a needy monument at the Gettysburg National Military Park. The selected monument will be announced on the Birney's Division website after the event.

Gentlemen, if you have any questions, please contact me. The registration deadline, registration form available on the Birney's Division website, is Friday, May 2, 2008.

Paul D. Baltzer, Colonel
Infantry Brigade Commander
Birney's Division