Wednesday, July 27, 2011

After Action Report: 150th Manassas

The following is the report on the action of 1st Battalion Birney's Division at Manassas, VA July 22 thru July 24.

22 July:
After setting up camp in a stiffling heat on the night prior, woke up to the sounds of the army arriving at our camp site. By the end of the day Union infantry numbers were at about 3500 soldiers, under the overall command of Gen. Tony Daniels. Our brigade would consist of Birney's Division, FVB, and the National Regiment, under Gen. Ron Palase. The men rested throughout the day trying to stay out of the heat as best as possible and bedded down for the night early.

23 July:
Reveille was at 6:00 AM and after compiling the company reports our strength was at 95 soldiers, officers included. Battalion was on line for battle at 8:45 AM and moved out in lead of the brigade at 9:00 AM. After being held in reserve for a small time, the battalion was ordered forward through the main line of artillery in the center of the Union line. After engaging a larger Rebel battalion to our front and pushing them back to a line of trees, the 1st wave of rebel infantry was pushed off the field behind their guns. Orders were to hold at the tree line to wait for further orders. COL Rohrbaugh then took a 3 company wing and was attached to the National Regiment, while CPT Murphy took a 3 company wing to be assigned in a reserve position on the the left of the FVB. COL Rohrbaugh's wing was ordered forward with the 11th NY to retake a battery of artillery taken by the rebel advance. Chanting "HI, HI, HI" the whole way forward they took and held the guns for a short time before being pushed back. CPT Murphy's wing as well as the FVB were ordered to move forward. As a Battalion of US Marines were pushed out CPT Murphy took his wing forward, companies with him were 1st Company commanded by 1LT Guilliams, 2nd Company under CPT Baltzer and 3rd Company under CPT Van Meter. After plugging the whole left by the Marines and consoilidating the line, the brigade held the line as long as possible before overwhelming odds forced to line to fall back. The NR with COL Rohrbaugh's wing was forced back first, then the FVB, and finally with their flanks exposed CPT Murphy's wing fell back to the tree line and back past the waiting reserves commander by COL Childs. The brigade was ordered back to a tree line about 200 yards back in reserve and was not ordered forward. The battle ceased and the army was forced to leave the field in the control of the rebels. The men returned to camp disheartened by the turn events on the field and wanting to get revenge on the rebel traitors. The men relaxed for the rest of the day and tattoo was sounded at about 11:00 PM.

24 July:
Reveille again was at 6:00 and morning reports showed lil loss in numbers for the battalion, final report was 86 with 5 total companies; 1st Company under CPT Taylor, 2nd Company under CPT MacGregor, 3rd Company Under CPT Baltzer, 4th Company under CPT Van Meter and a 5th Company was assigned to us consisting of the 39th NYVI; in line at morning dress parade at 8:00. To the shigrin of the brigade commander the entire NR was not on the field for the next days action dropping the brigade numbers to roughly 130. The battalion was 2nd in the brigade line of march and was ordered into the immediate reserve when actions commensed. The battalion got orders to repulse a rebel battalion trying to take our main line of guns and with the FVB in support pushed the rebels back pass the line of trees in the center of the field. The battalion was in the center as the 1st wave again was repulsed in support of a battery of artillery. Orders came down to reconsolidate with the FVB on the Union right with the combined force command given to COL Rohrbaugh. Portraying the 11th NY, the red shirts moved forward to retake a battery of union guns. After stubborn resistance and hot crisp firings the battalion was eventually pushed back under overwhelming odds and the lack of ammunition. After giving ground slowly and stubbornly the battalion was forced back into a reserve position until the battle ceased.

At this time I would like to thank the company commanders: CPT MacGregor, CPT Taylor, CPT Van Meter, and 1LT Guilliams. As well as the Staff MAJ Doyle, SGM Hicks, and MAJ Guilliams (man of many ranks…haha) for their extremely hard work in making sure that things went off without a hitch at our level. I would also like to thank COL Rohrbaugh for giving the opportunity of commanding the wing or reserves on the 23rd. I would also like the thank the Brigade staff, especially COL Steve Reinke and his courriers for their excellent job in making sure the battalion got the proper orders and put in the right positions all weekend.


M. Murphy
CPT, Adjutant, Birney's Division

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Changes at Century Village

Good afternoon to members of Birney’s Division. I wanted to inform you that I was contacted by the Geauga County Historical Society which runs the Civil War reenactment in Burton, Ohio annually on Memorial Day weekend. They have asked me to take over as the Federal Commander for the event. Per General Kelley’s directive, I have accepted the post. I look forward to taking the event in a different direction and creating a new experience for both us as reenactors and the public who support Century Village with their patronage.

I would like to thank General Burdell Waffler for his years heading up the Union forces. I look forward to serving our living history community at the event next year.

Christopher Smith, Lt Col

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

First Call! Hale Farm

August 12-14, 2011
Hale Farm and Village, Bath, Ohio

The annual big event for Birney's Division 2d Battalion is only a few weeks away. If you have not been to Hale Farm in the past, this is a good time to get your musket cleaned up and come on down!

Last year we had over 800 reenactors and for the first time in the event history, cavalry operations where added to the scenarios. The Federal Army will again be camped in the town green with civilian camps throughout the village. Col Bob Minton from The Army of the Ohio will be the overall Union Commander, and Col Nick Medich in charge of the Confederate forces.

Birney's 2nd Battalion will once again be a large force on the field and we will be joined by our new gun and crew from the 9th Ohio Light Artillery.

At this time, I would like to call out to all Birney's Division units and those who wish to fall in with us. I need some basic numbers and the following information:

1. Name of unit
2. Number of military personnel
3. Number of civilian personnel
4. Will you have an officer or NCO in charge

Please send this information to as soon as possible. Below are a few links that will be of some service to all attending.

Hale Farm and Village Reenactment Page (INCLUDING registration forms):

Hale Farm and Village Civil War 150 Page on Facebook:

Friday, July 01, 2011

Civil War Activities for the Public at Hale Farm

BATH, OHIO — Hale Farm & Village, a museum of Western Reserve Historical Society, brings the Civil War to life at the 21st annual Civil War Encampment and Reenactment, August 12-14, 2011. More than 800 reenactors are expected to participate, making this one of the largest annual Civil War events in Ohio. Guests will meet soldiers and civilians, hear the sounds of battle, smell the gunpowder, shake hands with President Lincoln, and shop for a hoopskirt.

From 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14, 2011, guests will relive the American Civil War experience. At 2:00 pm daily, the recreation of Civil War battles in the museum’s North Pasture is just one feature of the event. A cannon, on loan from the Ohio Statehouse, will roar across the re-created battlefield amidst the soldiers, smoke, and gunfire. Cavalry will charge as the battle unfolds just yards away.

Guests experience the entire flavor and ambience of the Civil War era: soldier skirmishes, appearances by “President Lincoln”, performances by the Camp Chase Fife & Drum Corps, the US Cavalry, a dinner with Abraham Lincoln, and the 3rd annual Hale Civil War Ball. They will meet the men and women who reenact this seminal event in the nation’s history when visiting Union and Confederate soldier and civilian camps, witness the medical practices of the era, and shop along Sutler’s Row for unique items such as shoes, corsets, dresses, foods, and other fine goods from the period.

Discounted advance general admission tickets are available for purchase at General admission will also be at the gate. Tickets are $10 per adult/senior and $5 per child age 3-12. Children 2 and under and WRHS members are FREE. A 2-day Civil War Pass is available for $15 per adult/senior and $7.50 per child age 3-12. Group rates for parties of 15 people or more are available. Call 330-666-3711.

On Friday, August 12th visitors can get a behind-the-scenes look at the move-in and preparation that takes place for the weekend events. They can watch the reenactors set up and prepare for the weekend, the cavalry arrival, the northern and southern camps being built, and the bustle of staff preparing for the Farm’s biggest event of the year. This day is also perfect for media to capture the magic that goes into the creation of this event. Please contact Angie Lowrie to arrange a visit.

Guests can stay longer Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13 for evening events.

Dinner with Abraham Lincoln
Friday, August 12 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Enjoy a meal of historic portions during Dinner with Abraham Lincoln, part of the series: Hale and Hearty Dinner Programs. Historic themed dinners Hale Farm & Village style! Dinners are in the Hale Farm & Village Gatehouse Visitor Center
Dinner with Abraham Lincoln Menu:
Beef a la Mode - 1865 Inaugural dinner feature
Escalloped potatoes
Minted Watermelon
Corn salad
Cucumber and green bean salad
Mary Todd Lincoln White Cake - actual recipe
Gingerbread cookies

Seating is limited. Reservations are required: 330-666-3711 or email
Each dinner is: $45 per person.
Member rate is: $40 per person.

Civil War Reenactment Ball
August 13 8:00 – 10:30 pm
Guests dance the Virginia Reel and spin back to the Civil War era at the Hale Farm & Village Civil War Ball. Reenactors and Hale Farm & Village costumed staff will join the festivities. 8:00-10:30pm. $5 Admission and reservations required. Call 330-666-3711 for more information and to purchase tickets.

All Western Reserve Historical Society Civil War programming is part of the statewide initiative to honor the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Information on events is posted at and