Friday, July 23, 2010

Upcoming Birney's Max-Effort Event

This is just a reminder to get your registrations turned in for Hale Farm, August 14-15 in Bath, OH. At our annual meeting last year, the Division chose this as a max-effort event. Things are looking good but we need to get the registrations turned in (especially from the units is PA). We want to have a 100 plus man battalion on that field. If there any cav and artillery units who wish to come, please contact me as soon as possible prior to registration.

The Federal Army will be made up of units from The Army of the Ohio, USVs, Vincent's Brigade and Birney's of course. The Confederates will consist of Medich's Battalion and the ANV.

For those of you in the Ohio who have not had the change to meet our commanding general and chief of Staff, both Maj Gen Kelley and Brig Gen Maffei will be there.

There will be a large engagement on Saturday and Sunday for the public that will introduce several new elements to what we have done before, and the much anticipated tactical has returned to the event just for the reenactors.

This will be the largest Hale Farm in years and for those who have never been to the facility, you are in for a treat. There is so much to see and do at this historical village and farm. Plus, the event holds what is considered the best Saturday night dance at any reenactment in the region.

CLICK HERE for registration information:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lt Col Smith at

Monday, July 19, 2010

AAR: Funkstown

Greetings everyone,

The event at Funkstown this past weekend went very well. We had about 240 reenactors registered for the event up from 64 last year...the first year the town council took over the event.

A more reenactor friendly event you will not find as the participants from 1st Battalion and Artillery will attest to. Plenty of good wood, 5 gal bottled water and close at hand sinks...but, beyond that... The 97 PA string band was there all weekend, meal tokens issued for a Saturday meal of your choice at Fire Company stand (which served food at reasonable cost all weekend)and a Saturday evening fireworks display that was on par with any fourth of July display you will see. The cars were parked off site, out of view (but reasonably close) and they ran shuttles to parking when needed. Ice, on site 10 lb bags for a buck and a half...camping in shaded corpse of trees and everything very handy.

We foraged the town on Saturday morning and not only gathered a decent amount but were guests of the Hoffman family of Funkstown who provided a spread fit for a king. Country ham, pulled pork, fresh made lemonaide, all kinds of pies...etc....etc... After, foraging we did a morning street battle down Main street in Funkstown...was pretty decent. A well attended late afternoon early evening battle on the orginal battlefield (right next to camp) capped the day. Fireworks end kicked off the barn dance , music by the 97th Pa string band. Sunday morning, the fire company had a "all you can eat" breakfast $6 or use your meal token. Sunday also brought a 1 pm tatical that also went pretty well, done early and home in time to rest up.

It became very apparent that the whole town is supporting this many folks (including Mayor and Council members)coming by and expressing thanks to the reenactors for being there. Always checking to see what was needed or wanted.The fire company also had an on site AC aid station and did blood pressure checks, hydration assesments and so forth...or was just a place to get cooled down quickly if needed.

A full but not hurried schedule for the weekend provided a relaxing and interesting event.

I appreciate the support of the Birney's units in attendance!

I think they would agree this little event is a real "gem"!

I remain, respectfully & c.....,

D. Rohrbaugh, Lieut. Col.
1st Battalion Birney's Division

First Call: Argus Park

This weekend will be the bi-annual Civil War reenactment at Argus Masonic Park in Canfield, Ohio. At this time I would like to as for the following information from any Federal units attending...

1. Name of unit and affiliation if any.
2. Number of military personnel attending.
3. Will your unit have an officer/nco in charge?

Please email this information to the Federal Commander Lt Col Christopher Smith at

When you arrive on site PLEASE see Maj Don Van Meter before you set up.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Help a fellow reenactor - used reenacting goods now listed

As I mentioned last week, I am helping a fellow reenactor and Freemason who has fallen ill. He is also a 30 year veteran of the US Army.

There is a wide variety of items for Rev War, F&I, Civil War and WWII reenactors. More will be going up next week. Especially the Rev and F&I goods. There will also be some weapons going up in the next few days.

Please visit and click on the link for USED REENACTING ITEMS.

Thank you!

Christopher Smith
Commanding, Birney's 2d Battalion

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

AAR: 147th Gettysburg

To: HDQTRS 1st Battalion, Birney’s, 1st Federal Division


The following report is from 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, on the actions around and in the vicinity of Gettysburg, Penn.

Lead elements of the Battalion were already at a camp location about 5 miles outside of town when 2nd Company arrived. My company consisted of men who were transferred to my command when the campaign started. Troops of the 54th PVI, 142nd PVI, 11th PVI, and 5th Ohio Sharpshooters were combined under the command of myself, 1LT Guilliams, and 1LT Hicks. We arrived at the camp around 3 o’clock in the afternoon and began setting up company headquarters.

July 2nd : Our battalion along with elements of the 1st Federal Division and 2nd Division were engaged on the outskirts of town. 1LT Guilliams was in command of the company as CPT Murphy was assigned to be the Battalion Adjutant. 1LT Hicks was placed on sick call for the day and did not participate. After a brief encounter with two rebel regiments, we were forced to withdrawal. Casualties in my company were light with none killed and 2 wounded. Pickets were posted for the evening and the men bedding down for the night.

July 3rd : The battalion again was formed for action. We deployed with the brigade at a wheat field with a stone wall and spilt rail fence accompanied by a battery of artillery. After a stubborn defense at the wall, overwhelming numbers forced us to retire to the fence for another stand. After bloodying the rebels they were forced to halt their advance. The volume of fire from the battalion proved to be too much. I must say the fire from my men was outstanding. We held our position until darkness and then retired from the field back to our camp. Casualties for the company were 2 dead and 4 wounded.

July 4th: The Battalion was ordered to the center of the divisions line along a stone wall as a defensive rest. At around 3 o’clock the rebel artillery began to barrage our position with little effect, as the rounds were impacting behind the lines. After the barrage ceased, two North Carolina regiments advanced to our front. As they reached the Emmitsburg Road the brigade opened fire with a devastating effect. The closest the rebels got to the wall was about 15 feet. As the enemy withdrew a chant of “Fredericksburg” could be heard and soon was taken up by the men of our brigade. Most of them veterans of the attack on Fredericksburg.

The next morning our company was ordered to break camp to start with the pursue of the remnants of the Army of Northern Virginia. Scattered musket fire and artillery could be heard at the lead of the column but the company was not engaged.

All told our total casualties of the campaign were 2 dead and 6 wounded. This report is the best of my memory of the proceeding.

I remain sir, your most obedient servant,

M. Murphy, Captain
2nd Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Federal Division