Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Photo from the Ohio Civil War 150 Ceremony

Thanks to all who turned out at the Ohio State House. You guys looked grand!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beaver Creek Reenactment Around the Corner

It is almost time again for the bi-annual "Jackson in  the Valley" Civil War Reenactment at Beaver Creek State Park on May 6-8, East Liverpool, Ohio. That is just a few weeks away!!

Please visit the website at and get registered today!

If you have not attended this event you don't know what you have missed. The camps are some of the best you will ever experience and the mill area of the park is one of the most beautiful spots for a reenactment. Bring lots of power as the battle in the village and across the mill pond bridge are fast and intense! Plus, the event puts on a great breakfast for all reenactors Sunday morning!

We are calling all Ohio and PA units to attend!

Christopher Smith, Lt Col
Event Federal Commander
Birney's Division, 2d Battalion

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

American Civil War Begins 150 Years Ago Today

The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort.

On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern "insurrection."

As early as 1858, the ongoing conflict between North and South over the issue of slavery had led Southern leadership to discuss a unified separation from the United States. By 1860, the majority of the slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans, the anti-slavery party, won the presidency. Following Republican Abraham Lincoln's victory over the divided Democratic Party in November 1860, South Carolina immediately initiated secession proceedings. On December 20, the South Carolina legislature passed the "Ordinance of Secession," which declared that "the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved." After the declaration, South Carolina set about seizing forts, arsenals, and other strategic locations within the state. Within six weeks, five more Southern states--Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana--had followed South Carolina's lead.

In February 1861, delegates from those states convened to establish a unified government. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was subsequently elected the first president of the Confederate States of America. When Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, a total of seven states (Texas had joined the pack) had seceded from the Union, and federal troops held only Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast, and a handful of minor outposts in the South. Four years after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Event Musical Chairs

Members of Birney's Division and other Interested Parties:

April is the unofficial start to our reenacting season and this year and we have several events taking place on the same dates, at different locations throughout the tri-state area.

The weekend of April 15th through the 17th there are three Birney's events taking place, on the same weekend, West in Ohio at Hale Farm, in Western Pennsylvania at Perryopolis, and East in Chambersburg Pennsylvania.

In the West: Lt. Colonel Smith, will be holding a 2nd Battalion Spring Muster and Drill at Hale Farm, just outside Akron Ohio. Along with weekend drill, 2nd battalion will participate in scenarios of the Underground Railroad at the time of the civil war.

Western Pennsylvania in Perryopolis PA. (12 miles from the New Stanton ext. on the PA. turnpike) at our Reenactor Village, we will hold a Spring Muster / Drill and tactical battles with confederate troops, throughout the weekend. New Perryopolis web site

In the East: Lt. Colonel Rohrbaugh, will be participating in the 150th kick off series of events around Gettysburg with 1st Battalion. Along with a Spring Muster and Drill, the weekend of the 15th, will be the invasion of Chambersburg, in Chambersburg PA. with living histories and planned recreated historical events.

Check your event calendars and get out and shake off the dust and rust of winter quarters. With 3 Birney's Division events in 3 different locations, no one should be sitting at home in April. As Reenactors we will be very busy with the 150th series of events ahead of us and Birney's Division will continue to be one of the leaders in Reenacting, on and off the battlefield.

Brig. Gen. Michael D. Maffei
Birney's Division

Sunday, April 03, 2011

FIRST CALL - 2d Battalion Drill!

A BIG reminder that the Birney’s Division 2d Battalion drill on April 16th is coming up fast and we need to get numbers ASAP.

All units participating should send me your numbers no later than this Wednesday. We need to know how many people we are having so we can plan for dinner Saturday evening after the training.

Again, here is a quick rundown of activities:

Friday, April 15th – Personnel who wish can arrive the night before. We will be bivouacked around the “1st Settlement” cabin close to the gate house. If you need to arrive earlier than 5 pm, please email me ahead of time.

Saturday, April 16th – Formation will begin promptly at 8 am. We will start off with School of the Soldier, then Company, then Battalion. For those units who wanted to have their own drill to work at the Company level. Don’t worry; you will be doing just that during this training. Hale Farm will be open to the public during the day and visitors will get a chance to see how we prepare for Civil War reenactment battles.

This year, our organization is honored to be asked to participate in the final evening of Hale Farm & Village’s nationally recognized program “A Fugitive's Path: Escape on the Underground Railroad”. Thousands of members of the public each year participate in a “first person” experience as they portray run-away slaves seeking freedom in the North during the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act. As Federal soldiers, we have been asked to participate in a couple of the scenarios. This is the first time Civil War reenactors have been included in this program.

Sunday, April 17 – For those who wish to stay Saturday evening, you are more than welcome to depart on Sunday and opt for some additional Company drill at your discretion.

If is IMPORTANT to participate in our annual training as there will be many events over the year that will require tactical proficiency as a larger unit in the field. This activity on the 16th will give us a chance to learn and instruct so that our performance in the field will be the envy of our fellow reenactors!

You can download the registration form HERE:

If you cannot get this in on time, please bring it with you to the activity. Regardless, I still need a head count from each unit this week.

For those of you in 1st Battalion, There will be a drill this same weekend in Perryopolis, PA. Contact Lt Col Rohrbaugh at for more details.

Your Servant,
Christopher Smith, Lt Col